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Bluebeard's Egg

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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,476 ratings  ·  363 reviews
By turns humorous and warm, stark and frightening, Bluebeard'S Egg glows with childhood memories, the reality of parents growing old, and the casual cruelty men and women inflict on each other. Here is the familiar outer world of family summers at remote lakes, winters of political activism, and seasons of exotic friends, mundane lives, and unexpected loves. But here too i ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published January 20th 1998 by Anchor (first published 1983)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,476 ratings  ·  363 reviews


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Madeline
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
If someone were to ask me to encapsulate Margaret Atwood's writing style in three sentences or less, I would show them the first two lines of the first story in Bluebeard's Egg:

"When my mother was very small, someone gave her a basket of baby chicks for Easter. They all died."

BOOM. Welcome to Margaret Atwood, motherfuckers. You're going to like it here. Oh, and happy Easter.

I've only read a few of Atwood's short story collections, and I never find them quite as satisfying as her novels - I pref
...more
Manny
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.
...more
Maria
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: margaret-atwood
I enjoyed all of these short stories! And I'm so happy to be able to write that, because the last few short story collections I've read, have been quite disappointing, with just one or two stories each that was really good. But Atwood gives you quality all the way.

Her short stories are very character driven. They are not necessarily heavy on plot, but you get to know some very interesting characters and relationships. It's easy to get into each new story, it rarely took me more than a page or tw
...more
Tracey
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: margaret-atwood
No more short story collections for me. If I'm going to read a short story or a novella I'm going to cherry pick them and not read the whole book , ie I have The birds and other stories by Daphne Du Maurier, I'm only going to read The birds.
I think my problem with them is that they can be so hit and miss. I like a couple in this book but that's not enough really. Also I like to immerse myself in the story, get to know the characters etc and the only time I've done that with short stories is wit
...more
Arun Divakar
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
There was once a request for a day's absence from office that went like this :

My wife delivered baby. As I am the only father, I request you to declare holiday today !!

This at a moment of insane happiness is what a father wrote to his boss asking for a day off ! What should ideally have been written as :

I am now a proud father. I would like to take a day off and spend time with my family in this time of happiness.

This became something totally different in the hands of another English user
...more
Jordan
Apr 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I have only read the short story "BlueBeard's Egg" so far, here is what I thought.

Within the pages of “BlueBeard's Egg” by Margaret Atwood we are introduced into a world of metafiction and intertexuality. Atwood spins the retelling of the fairytale of BlueBeard's Egg for the reader. Atwood does this through the narration of the man character Sally. Atwood wanders down the path of the complexities of the ordinary life, through the inner narration of the main character Sally. Atwood's main lite
...more
Abbie | ab_reads
3.5 stars

Bluebeard’s Egg is a collection that offers up classic Atwood in short story form. Some of them were a tad forgettable, but always enjoyable when you were doing the actual reading, and there were some truly Atwoodian gems in here.
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As usual, she provides her unique take on themes such as nature, gender roles, friendships, mother/daughter relationships, and of course, the relationship between men and women. Also present is her classic wit, which seethes just below the surface and never ma
...more
Em*bedded-in-books*
Reinstates my faith in one of my all time favorite writers.
Am not a fan of the anthology genre, and I plunged into this collection due to the following reasons :
Came upon it on storytel while surfing through my next audio to listen,
It was by Atwood and it was a long time since I read something by her

And I never regretted it.

Each story was good in it's own way , and none were less than 4 star material .
Am not going to touch upon any story as I feel I am not capable of it.


I was lost in many dif
...more
Alaina
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Point me to the nearest Lesbian Separatist Feminist Commune, will you? What a lot of heterosexual angst this book has. The male characters are cads and the women are in love with them and unhappy.

I realize this is a book of its time, and the stories are about realistic women in realistic situations, but it has not aged well. Or maybe I just don't care for Margaret Atwood's writing. All of the stories were depressing except the last one, which was more of a personal memory and very sweet and lov
...more
Alexa
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fab-15, summer-15
This collection of short stories has come to represent “comfort” reads to me. Many of them feel quite autobiographical and realistic, with contemplative notes. Included are musings on (her?) parents, (her?) childhood, motherhood, and gender roles. They seem to have roots sunk deep in the reality of memory and nostalgia. There was none of the touch of surrealism I think I’ve detected in some of her other work, and yet also no grim reality either. I highly recommend this!
Cendaquenta
Loved the final story, but regarding the whole collection, I'm coming to the conclusion that I don't get along with realistic-fiction short stories. ...more
abcdefg
Sep 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1m, 200-300, 1m-finished, spl
If you're a woman, and you're having a shitty relationship with a man, this book will either depress the hell out of you or it will make you feel better to know that someone else knows how it feels to be a woman in a shitty relationship.

But not every story was centered around relationships between women and men. "Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother" and "Unearthing Suite" focus on parents seen through the eyes of their progeny. It's interesting to note how the entire book which largely
...more
Chinook
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
Margaret Atwood’s characters, the white women from Ontario of a certain age always make me feel like I’m contemplating women who could be my relatives. The small towns, Toronto, the nature background - my Nana and Grandpa and the cottage they built in a semi-swamp and the beach they dug out of the lake and their huge backyard garden in North York, for example, were recalled by that last story.

Some of my love for her comes from that sense of learning more about my people, even now that those peo
...more
Amanda
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am soooooo happy right now. Not because the book is finally over, but because I am fulfilled by the very reading of it. This touching book is 13 of me. 13 beautiful, amazing, perfectly-shaped pictures of a woman I know as self and as friend and as human. Soft electric humanity. I. Love. It.
Regine
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
Atwood, I'm giving you another chance.
...more
Ian
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was wondering if there would be a really good set of short stories by Ms. Atwood as ones I previously read were disappointing, but these, with the exception of Bluebeard's Egg, were outstanding. ...more
kate
Oct 13, 2012 added it
sigh. this book is why there is a tv show about 1960s ad agencies in new york and not a tv show about 70s era canadian hippies. canadians aren't always terribly exciting and the me generation wasn't necessarily as earthshatteringly special as books like this would like you to think.

disconnected tales of disconnected souls in toronto, a city undesigned in order to be disconnecting and dislocated.

like most things canadian, it bashes capitalism and shies away from being blatantly sexy. I say this b
...more
Paras2
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved Atwood from the very first short story I read from her. I just connected with her on so many levels and she kinda pictured above he human nature, specifically the females, in its true form, ugly and beautiful both at the same time.
I couldn't finish this book, but I'd one day get back to it. I'm sure.
...more
Jim
May 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Margaret Atwood is a great writer and I have enjoyed most of her books, especially the Oryx series. Best thing about short-story collections is you don't have to read every one. I liked the first two, which felt less like fiction and more like memoir. Other stories were pretty good too, though many were just not what I was looking for and I would drop them at a certain point if they weren't pleasing me. Still, I think I liked about half the stories, which is pretty good for most collections. I'd ...more
Baba
I really struggled to give a fig about any of these shorts, for me Atwood's skill lies mostly with long form novel writing 3/12.
...more
Julia
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the style of these stories, particularly the way that seemingly unrelated details or occurrences were mentioned but their meaning and significance left to the reader. At times the collection seemed repetitive... probably better read liberally staggered. My faves were "Hurricane Hazel", "Loulou", "Bluebeard's Egg", and "Unearthing Suite". ...more
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ana-reviewed
Bluebeard's Egg / 0-385-49104-2

This collection of Atwood stories includes:

- Significant Moments in the Life of my Mother
- Hurricane Hazel
- Loulou
- Uglypuss
- Betty
- Bluebeard's Egg
- Spring Song of the Frogs
- Scarlet Ibis
- The Salt Garden
- The Sin Eater
- The Sunrise
- Unearthing Suite

Most of the stories revolve around the superb Atwood device of women in comfortable, "correct" lives, yet who are unbearably sad and alone. Many of these women have relationships outside of themselves - husbands, lover
...more
Sarah
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Atwood has a way of letting readers peer into her characters' minds as they go about their days. Nothing was extremely exciting or crazy but that's why I loved this collection of short stories- I have a thing for simplicity. I think it's something special when an author can make an average human into something interesting and unique, and it reminds me that everyone has a mind that is constantly thinking. I particularly enjoyed Bluebeard's Egg, The Salt Garden, and Significant Moments in the Life ...more
Stephen Heiner
Dec 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm not a frequent reader of short story collections, but I found this for a dollar at a used book shop so I thought, why not, given that I had read The Handmaid's Tale and found her writing to be better than average.

The stories are of uneven quality but are generally good, with thoughtful look-ins into relationships, nature, and time. My favorite one was the first in the collection, the deceptively-named "Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother."

"Here my father looks modestly down at this
...more
Elise
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
This one is tough to rate. I vacillated between 3 and 4 stars, so if I had the option, I would give it 3.5 stars. Here I err on the generous side because I absolutely love Atwood's writing style, and I think she should be given a prize for arresting lead ins beginning with the title of this short story collection. The first story, "Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother" (one of the strongest, in my opinion) begins, "When my mother was very small, someone gave her a basket of baby chicks f ...more
Miriam
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
The only thing wrong with most of these is that they are too short: I enjoyed her spooling out characters and details and settings, but then they ended and I had to start again with another set.

I like the way she writes about stuff, things, the material objects in life. I like how she describes the politenesses we use to keep our heads in ridiculous, unfair situations (why nurture a man's idea that he is perfect or superior, when the sisterhood of women see past that?). She analyzes why we do th
...more
jen
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was very good, my favorites were bluebeard’s egg and the sun eater and my least favorite was loulou. unearthing suite reminded me of my grandparents weirdly and made me cry. this makes me want to write short stories even though i haven’t written anything in years and haven’t written a short story maybe ever
Poornima Vijayan
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I haven't read a full length novel by Atwood, but I'm a fan of her short stories. Bluebeard's egg is delightful, told from women's perspective, unapologetic, fierce and gentle at the same time.

The short story titled 'Bluebeard's egg' was simply magnificent. I cannot say all of them were wonderful, the last 2 were a little tiresome, but overall the book is brilliant!
...more
Tammy
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Atwood short stories are fascinating. I don’t view her writing as “dark” at all. Intriguing in such a way that individually, each tale draws you into the world she is creating at the moment. Then just leaves you. Alone. To contemplate...

“Though if art sucks and everything is only art, what has she done with her life?”
Bonn Nee
Jun 01, 2020 rated it liked it
The short stories were good, but often then ended abruptly. I was like WTF?!
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65,753 followers
Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr
...more

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