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Good Bones

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3.77  ·  Rating details ·  2,058 ratings  ·  182 reviews
In Good Bones, first published in 1992, Margaret Atwood has fashioned an enthralling collection of parable, monologue, mini-romance and mini-biography, speculative fiction, prose lyric, outrageous recipe and reconfigured fairy tale, demonstrating yet again the play of an unerring wit overseen by a panoramic intelligence.

Good Bones is a cornucopia of good things — precise,
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Paperback, 153 pages
Published 1993 by Virago (first published 1992)
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Miss Bookiverse "Good Bones & Simple Murders" is a combination of 2 short story collections by Atwood, one is the aforementioned "Good Bones", the other one is…more"Good Bones & Simple Murders" is a combination of 2 short story collections by Atwood, one is the aforementioned "Good Bones", the other one is called "Simple Murders".(less)

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Marchpane
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Margaret Atwood fan, I was predisposed to like this (very short) collection of (very short) pieces. If you haven’t read anything by Atwood, I don’t recommend starting here. If you have, and you like her particular brand of sly wit, these amusing musings might be up your street. Bedtime stories for grownups.
Stela
Whenever you are overwhelmed by world’s bleakness, try laughing. It will fade, eventually, your laugh, but for a while it would give you strength to keep going. This is basically what Good Bones is about, from the image of the angel of misfortune who “When you’re feeling bad (…) scratches at your window” in the first story (Bad News), to the image of the bones as a symbol not only of our ephemerality but also of our inner (literally!) strength, in the last one (Good Bones).

It’s true, the laugh,
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Virginia
Feb 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Some pieces were excellent and others were forgettable. It's very clever, and very amusing for the most part. But I expected more than simply clever and amusing from Margaret Atwood.

This part did give me chills:

“By now you know: I come from another planet. But I will never say to you, "Take me to your leaders." Even I--unused to your ways though I am--would never make that mistake. We ourselves have such beings among us, made of cogs, pieces of paper, small disks of shiny metal, scraps of
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Christy
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Is there anything that Margaret Atwood can't write?! I like that I can read her superb character portraits in small snippets within this short story anthology. It is great if I don't have long to read and don't want to start a new full-length fiction book. I recommend it, even just for her social commentary within the stories.
Violet
Mar 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: margaret-atwood
A collection of 27 writings or works i think is the best way to describe them. They are short tales, essay type reads and sometimes others are general thoughts and musings of the author. Sometimes i felt like i was reading a immature diary or notebook,or wandering through a scrapbook of general thoughts and notions.

It is witty and in parts laugh out loud funny.. i particulary enjoyed 'The Red Hen Tells All'

" Everyone wants in on it. Everyone! Not just the cat,the pig and the dog. The horse too,
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Kathryn
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club
Loved this. But as others of my book club might not have finished it yet, instead of a review, I will write my word-list for this book. (After finishing a book I go through, flipping to pages at random and pointing at one word, then doing it again and find another. This generates word pairs that I put on a list, which somehow, magically perhaps, represents the feel of the work.)

My word list for GOOD BONES:

miniature bodies
man accounts
dry birds
neon waste
muse hammer
outraged plainsong
backyard cavern
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Pam Baddeley
A collection of short pieces which are dry, ironic, strange. Various topics, including Queen Gertrude in Hamlet addressing her son, or the viewpoint of the little red hen, which seems to be from a children's story I'm not familiar with, but all have a common thread of examining misogyny and the roles played by women and men. Well-written and clever, sad, dark in places.
Christine
Worth reading for "Gertrude Talks Back". You tell that spoiled son, Gerty.
Sreepurna Datta
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty and honest. <3
Milka
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016, library
What caught my attention in the library was that wonderful cover! That women looks like a badass and I LOVE IT. I have been meaning to read something by Margaret Atwood for such a long time, and since I was in the lookout for short books and collections of short stories, it didn't take me long to decide that this is a title that needs to leave the library with me. I guess I can could pat myself in the back for an awesome decision, because once I started reading this one, I couldn't put it down ...more
Annebelle
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a book I didn't find particularly remarkable, sadly. While there were some stories that I found interesting, most I ended up skimming because it didn't interest me at all. Most of these stories are shorter than a few pages, which might be the reason I was unable to get attached to them. While I love Atwood's writing this was not my thing and put me off her short story collections for now. Her novels, however, are still on my list.
Alexa
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fab-15
Some of these are very, very funny, and some of these are painfully ironic, and most of them are quite deliciously pointed. Many of them are gems. However, as a collection, they all felt a bit too precious to me. Or perhaps it’s just that I can only take so much silly, snarky humor at a time. This needs to be read very slowly, when one is in the humor for a small piece of irony served up with great precision.
Chantal
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
By turns hilarious, clever and completely surreal.

If you like Angela Carter these little snippets of Atwood will appeal.

(I really didn't mean that to rhyme.)
Katrina Waldman
So I'm just going to come out and say it - before this book, I had NEVER read anything by Margaret Atwood. Please don't throw things at me. But, being a Feminist and hearing so many great things about Atwood's style as well as her strong writing on gender roles, I really thought I ought to try her work out. I have been eyeing up her short story collections for a while, a good as place as any to start in order to get a feel for her work, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed for the most ...more
Zorn Rose
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Many of the stories are pretty gimmicky, or framed more as riddles than as stories, so this reads more like a collection of writing exercises than a finished work. That being said, a collection of writing exercises by Margaret Atwood is still pretty good and interesting, so I probably would have given this four stars except that I'm about to review a book I liked better that I want to give four stars instead.
Lea Dokter
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I adore Atwood, and Good Bones was no exception. It is basically a book of prose poetry, which is slightly more accessible but as enchanting as her "actual" poetry. Her reflections on gender and bodies are illuminating and entertaining at the same time.
KtotheC
A little thin, like The Penelopiad - feels like she's really phoning it in.
Katie
Mar 27, 2018 added it
Shelves: 2018
Loved: Bad News, Gertrude Talks Back, Unpopular Girls, The Female Body, Making a Man, Homelanding, and Good Bones. In no particular order.
Natasha
Whoever said that light was life and darkness nothing?
For some of us, the mythologies are different.
Philip
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
It’s not often that a book review of any kind threatens to be longer than the original work. Any review of Margaret Atwood’s Good Bones, however, risks such ignominy. Good Bones, which might also have been successfully entitled Bare Bones, is not just succinct: it is short. Ostensibly, it’s a collection of short stories, but cover to cover there is only enough material to keep a determined reader happy for an hour or so, if the object is merely to cover the ground. If the object is to savour the ...more
Fauve
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
These were both super sassy and kind of dark at the same time, which is exactly why I love Atwood so much.
Will Chin
I once compared Margaret Atwood to what ancient philosophers understood about stars and the night sky. They believed that stars were holes in the curtain of night, letting the light of heaven to pass through. Of course, we know all of that is bullshit today, but that's how I see Margaret Atwood in some ways.

Atwood is not a god, but reading her makes me feel like a person in the medieval times, peeping at heaven through holes in the sky. I may not know exactly what I am looking at, but I know
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Cheyenne Blue
While I enjoyed this collection of super-short-short stories and essays by Margaret Atwood, it paled in comparison to her later volume "The Tent". The formula is the same, but Atwood's writing reached a pinnacle in the tiny tales in "The Tent". Like George Clooney, Atwood gets better as she ages. "Good Bones" is an enjoyable read but it doesn't have the barbs, the insight, the succinctness that "The Tent" does. My attention wandered in some of the stories in "Good Bones", which isn't a good ...more
Buddy
Apr 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
There are some good pieces and some underwhelming pieces in here. I feel like I would have appreciated it more as a younger, less jaded feminist. Atwood's poetic voice is strong enough that I don't mind this collection not really lighting any fires for me. Torn between 2 and 3 stars, I err on the side of generosity.
A G
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
For some reason I was certain that I had read this so I'm happy I picked it up on instinct. I love Atwood; she never fails to leave me thinking long after the book has been put down. This book is strongly feminine and feminist and funny and fierce. Lot's of 'aha!' moments. Unique and fabulous book from my favourite author.
Kris McCracken
Aug 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
Like a lot of short story collections, this one is uneven. When good, it's pretty good. When not, well, meh.
Carrie
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Exceptionally well written, funny, horrifying, and at times flat out... weird. I highly recommend it.
Aimée Villarreal
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daisy
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quality Rating: Four Stars
Enjoyment Rating: Four Stars

I think this is probably one of the best books to try if you're uncertain about devling into Margaret Atwood's writing. It exhibits her trademark wit, her strong sense of theme and morality, and does it in a variety of forms. It's not exactly a poetry collection, but it's not short stories either - a collection of poetic flash fiction, perhaps? The form, syntax and tone is so important I can't separate from poetry in my mind, and it's often
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Shelley
Largely a collection of reworked fables and modernised fairytales. I appreciated Atwood’s creativity, and I can tell these stories have been crafted with a lot of careful thought. She’s also darkly humorous.

But I’ve come to realise that what makes me feel detached from Atwood’s work is that we have differing notions of womanhood and feminism. I didn’t find her satire here transgressive. Instead, they reminded me very much of our generational gap. Sometimes I found Atwood belittling.

I’ve taken
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FABClub (Female A...: Good Bones group discussion 8 9 Nov 11, 2015 10:04PM  

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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,
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“By now you know: I come from another planet. But I will never say to you, "Take me to your leaders." Even I--unused to your ways though I am--would never make that mistake. We ourselves have such beings among us, made of cogs, pieces of paper, small disks of shiny metal, scraps of coloured cloth. I do not need to encounter more of them.

Instead I will say, "Take me to your trees. Take me to your breakfasts, your sunsets, your bad dreams, your shoes, your nouns. Take me to your fingers; take me to your deaths."

These are worth it. These are what I have come for.”
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“You can wipe your feet on me, twist my motives around all you like, you can dump millstones on my head and drown me in the river, but you can’t get me out of the story. I’m the plot, babe, and don’t ever forget it.” 33 likes
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