Ian Mapp's Reviews > The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Jun 03, 2009

really liked it
Read in May, 2009

I'm not sure I, a nearly 40 man, am the target audience for this book and its style, unreliable narrative and density certainly make for a challenging read.

Set in 1970s Canada it tells of three different friends (Mousey Tony, Hippy Charis and power woman Roz) and how they were hurt by the alluring Zenia - who I am not sure is even real. She is everything a man wants.

They meet for lunch and see Zenia - who they thought was killed in a terrorist attack (as well as the sexual politics, there is an undercurrent of world politics at play). Zenia has done the dirty on all of them, by seducing their menfolk.

We then have detailed chapters on each character, their histories and men and how, through a different background story, zenia moved into their lives and then took their men away from them. All interesting, but the style can be hard work, especially as zenia's story changes at every moment.

Then in the present, they all decide to independantly track zenia back to her hotel to bump her off. But will they go through with it.

At times, this is like a fairy tale - which is by intent, it builds on the robber bridegrrom by Brothers Grimm. The menfolk in the story are all cardboard cutouts - so it really is a ladies book - about friendship, envy, how to appeal to a man etc. etc.

Not as story driven as other work I have read by her and not as accessible for challenging in all the right ways and probably worth a read again or being used for more indepth study than just entertainment.

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