Manny's Reviews > Bluebeard's Egg

Bluebeard's Egg by Margaret Atwood
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Jun 08, 10

bookshelves: blame-jordan-if-you-like, too-sexy-for-maiden-aunts, well-i-think-its-funny, life-is-sex-and-the-city, older-men-younger-women
Recommended to Manny by: Jordan
Read from May 19 to June 06, 2010

How I saw Sex And The City 2 after reading Bluebeard's Egg

Carrie wonders why she's so unhappy. She's spent her life pursuing excess, and now she's acquired everything on her list. She's a famous writer. She shares a beautiful apartment in the best part of Manhattan with the handsome, successful man she spent years snaring into marriage. She's got a walk-in closet full of expensive designer shoes. She eats out most evenings at the city's finest restaurants, and attends its most exclusive parties. She's close to her three longtime girlfriends, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha. She'd do anything for them, and she knows they'd do anything for her. But she's miserable.

She's invited to a wedding. Her gay best friend has unexpectedly decided to marry Charlotte's gay best friend. She does her best to enjoy it, but she feels out of place. At the reception, a woman comes up to her. She says she is a huge fan. Then she asks Carrie why she has no children. Carrie doesn't know why. She can't explain it even to herself.

At breakfast, Carrie sits with her friends. Charlotte has her baby and her young daughter with her. Samantha counts out vitamin and hormone pills from a huge box. She takes nearly fifty pills every morning.

"I'm tricking my body into thinking it's younger," she says, and explains that the pills will allow her to stay beautiful forever. At that moment, Charlotte's nanny arrives. She's in her early 20s, and radiates health and vitality. She has lovely breasts, and it's obvious that she is not wearing a bra. The men all gaze at her appreciatively, ignoring Samantha.

Samantha is attending a movie première with her ex. Carrie goes shopping with her to buy a dress. The assistant tells Samantha that the dress is too young for her. Samantha puts her down magnificently. At the première, another, younger woman is wearing the same dress. The cameras are all directed towards her. For a moment, Samantha looks helpless and pathetic. Then the younger woman relents. She puts her arm around Samantha, and they pose for the journalists together. Disaster is averted.

Afterwards, at the party, Carrie discovers that her husband has disappeared. She looks around, and eventually finds him talking with a beautiful dark-haired woman played by Penélope Cruz.

"Every night, I go down on my knees and pray that it will stay up," Penélope is saying. Carrie's husband laughs, a real laugh. He notices Carrie and invites her to join them. He says that Penélope is a high-powered banker from Madrid. They have been talking about the stock market, which is constantly on the brink of crashing.

"Your husband is very funny," says Penélope, but without explaining what he said that was so amusing. Carrie suddenly hates the party. She tells her husband that they are leaving. When they get home, they have a small and inconclusive quarrel.

The four friends are invited on an all-expenses-paid trip to Abu Dhabi. They each have their own chauffeur-driven limousine and their own butler. The hotel is absurdly luxurious even by their standards. At breakfast, the table in their private suite contains more cordon bleu food than the whole buffet at a normal hotel. But they only take a little fruit, because they are afraid they will gain weight.

They try their hardest to appreciate the gifts that are being showered on them. They sigh orgasmically as each new delight is revealed, but they know they're faking it. Samantha's hormones have been confiscated by the customs officials. She is pursued by the thought that her body will tip over into menopause. She consults Google, then gorges herself on foods that are claimed to be rich in oestrogen. Charlotte is obsessed with the idea that her husband is sleeping with the nanny, and spends all her time trying to call him.

The women behave badly. Carrie bumps into an old flame at the market. She goes out to dinner with him, wearing her most provocative outfit. She kisses him, then feels guilty about it. Despite Miranda's warnings, Samantha refuses to acknowledge the strict Muslim rules. She is arrested for behaving immorally in public. The women are nearly lynched by an angry mob, and have to leave precipitously for New York.

Carrie arrives home to an empty apartment. She wonders if it's all over. But, after several agonizing hours, her husband turns up. He has a present for her, a ring with an unusual stone.

"Why a black diamond?" asks Carrie.

"Because you're not like anyone else," says Big, but she knows he's not telling her the truth.

She has a sudden glimpse of the future. Samantha's pills have ceased to work, and she is old and ugly. The market has crashed for real. Big has lost his job, and there are broken windows in the gleaming facades of Wall Street. It's ten years away, or maybe five, or maybe next year. She is like everyone else, and her country is like every other country, and this realization is both terrifying and strangely comforting.
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Reading Progress

05/31/2010 page 15
6.15%
06/02/2010 page 111
45.49% "Just finished "Uglypuss". Cat lovers: you might want to avoid this story."
06/03/2010 page 170
69.67% "The title story is very good - one of her best." 2 comments
06/04/2010 page 229
93.85% ""The Salt Garden". Definitely the best infidelity-and-nuclear-war story I've ever read."
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Comments (showing 1-21 of 21) (21 new)

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notgettingenough Wow. It turns out Sex in the City is profound. I'm amazed.


Manny notgettingenough wrote: "Wow. It turns out Sex in the City is profound. I'm amazed."

Yeah, well, for best results mix with a little Atwood.


message 3: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W Manny wrote: "notgettingenough wrote: "Wow. It turns out Sex in the City is profound. I'm amazed."

Yeah, well, for best results mix with a little Atwood."


LOL


message 4: by Eric_W (new)

Eric_W Manny wrote: "notgettingenough wrote: "Wow. It turns out Sex in the City is profound. I'm amazed."

Yeah, well, for best results mix with a little Atwood."


LOL


notgettingenough Eric_W wrote: "Manny wrote: Yeah, well, for best results mix with a little Atwood."

LOL"


Sigh. I can see I'm going to have to give Atwood another go. I'm having so many reading prejudices picked away at, right now, I feel like the most narrow-minded of people being shown just how judgmental I shouldn't be.

So, Eric, are you another of the Atwood fan brigade?


message 6: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Brilliant! Although I do wonder why you (or anyone) went & saw SATC2.


Manny Aerin wrote: "Brilliant! Although I do wonder why you (or anyone) went & saw SATC2."

Thank you! Er, you know, cutting social satire and all that. Plus Elisabeth reminded me that I'd persuaded her to see Basic Instinct 2, so I owed her.


message 8: by notgettingenough (last edited Jun 08, 2010 09:16AM) (new)

notgettingenough Aerin wrote: "Brilliant! Although I do wonder why you (or anyone) went & saw SATC2."

I'd say that's about being open-minded, not being culturally snobbish, maybe, thinking of myself here. I can go out of my way to avoid being culturally elite, I think to myself, and yet a person who simply goes with the marketing flow can see something amazing just by looking at it the right way.


message 9: by Aerin (new)

Aerin notgettingenough wrote: I'd say that's about being open-minded, not being culturally snobbish, maybe.

Valid point, and I was mostly kidding - though all the reviews of SATC2 I've read, even from members of its target audience who liked the first one, have panned it. I do think Manny's interpretation of these characters was much more interesting, insightful, and respectful than the scriptwriters' version even approached.


notgettingenough Aerin wrote: "notgettingenough wrote: I'd say that's about being open-minded, not being culturally snobbish, maybe.

I do think Manny's interpretation of these characters was much more interesting, insightful, and respectful than the scriptwriters' version even approached."


I suspect you are right. But it does make me think I should see it and make up my own mind. And in some terrible way I feel like he's marketed me into this position. Manny: that is your secret role in life, isn't it. Making the people accept pop culture who otherwise wouldn't even know it was there. A cunning, furtive approach that leaves us thinking we are doing it of our own free will. As has been discussed, I guess, on your HP review.


Manny K.I. wrote: "is that really how the movie ends? really?"

Well, I can't be sure what thoughts were running through Sarah Jessica Parker's head. I tried to make an intelligent guess based on her expression and the rest of the movie.


Manny Aerin wrote: "I do think Manny's interpretation of these characters was much more interesting, insightful, and respectful than the scriptwriters' version even approached."

You're very kind. But seriously, I do wonder whether the scriptwriters didn't intend an interpretation somewhere in this direction. Have you seen the movie? It's just too much. They can't have gone that far past the mark by accident, can they?


message 13: by Aerin (new)

Aerin Have you seen the movie?

No. I saw the first one, and various episodes of the show, and the basic message always seemed to me to boil down to something like "SHOES! OMG SHOES!!!" I know I'm probably oversimplifying and missing things, because plenty of smart people identify with the characters and love the show. But if there were intentional deeper meanings included with all the shallowness, I never stuck around long enough to look for them.

They can't have gone that far past the mark by accident, can they?

Considering some of the things I've read about the new movie, I hope it wasn't meant to be taken at face value!


Manny Well Xox, that certainly used to be the message. The importance of friendship and designer shoes. But, in the latest movie, it all changed, and there is this shocking suggestion that shoes may not actually be the second most important thing in life. I think friendship is still #1 though.


Manny PS In case you're wondering, "Manny" isn't short for "Manolo".


message 16: by trivialchemy (new)

trivialchemy We've been thinking it for two long years. All of us. Gnawing our cheeks at night, clutching at sweaty sheets, our faces hollow and gray, our once-bright eyes dimmed by the pain of too many questions. Sometimes we cry out, en masse, to a faceless god and a cold, indifferent universe that holds its secrets close. What... rasps the death rattle of our collective sanity. What is the lubrication level of Samantha Jones's 52-year-old vagina? Has the change of life dulled its sparkle? Do its aged and withered depths finally chafe from the endless pounding, pounding, pounding—cruel phallic penance demanded by the emotionally barren sexual compulsive from which it hangs? If I do not receive an update on the deep, gray caverns of Jones, I shall surely die!


excerpted from:
http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/bu...


message 17: by Jason (new)

Jason I've got a daughter that just turned 6. I didn't realize how much was marketed to her demographic, and how sexually charged it is--how skinny she has to be and how mature. If she grows up liking shows like SATC (of which I've been forced to watch several episodes), then I'll realize I should have kept her locked in the attic until she was 24 instead of 21.


Jordan I think I can put another notch on my telling people what to read bed post
; )


Manny Jordan wrote: "I think I can put another notch on my telling people what to read bed post
; )"


Jordan, I'd almost be prepared to guess who your favourite character is in SATC. Though she's mine as well :)


Jordan Manny wrote: "Jordan wrote: "I think I can put another notch on my telling people what to read bed post
; )"

Jordan, I'd almost be prepared to guess who your favourite character is in SATC. Though she's mine ..."


I will let you know! I think I am going to see it tomorrow. However I want a younger version of SATC, I am tired of these old hags! I mean I am sure they can do something new. ; )


Manny I want a younger version of SATC, I am tired of these old hags!

Hey, that's unusually ageist of you!

I tell you again, this is an insightful film about old hags, their neurotic fears of becoming ugly and menopausal, the pathetic way they behave as a result, etc etc. Just don't expect it to be feelgood like the old SATC. It's anything but.


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