Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

The Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is probably best known for The Handmaid's Tale (reviewed here on VBPL Recommends) and her other novels, but I've long been a fan of her short stories as well.  

The Stone Mattress is a collection of 9 short stories.  Several of the stories are interrelated, but all deal with similar themes, especially the theme of aging.

Most of the stories feature main characters who are writers or artists, including the first (and my favorite in the collection) "Alphinland", about the author of a popular fantasy series experiencing an ice storm.  Atwood writes, as always, with humor and realism, and is a keen observer of human nature.

I especially enjoyed experiencing this title as an audiobook -- each of the stories is read by a different narrator, and the titular story is read by the author herself.  Each story is approximately an hour, making a perfect listen for a workout or a commute.

If you enjoy Stone Mattress, I would of course recommend the other works of Margaret Atwood.  If you enjoy short story by Canadian authors, I'd recommend the many collections by Lucy Maud Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame).  Finally, if you enjoy audiobooks with multiple narrators, I must recommend Lincoln in the Bardo (which might just break records for most narrators in one audiobook!)

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