Monday, October 31

Book Review: Bluebeard's Egg

Title: Bluebeard's Egg

Author: Margaret Atwood

Pages: 260

Summary: In this acclaimed collection of twelve stories, Margaret Atwood probes th territory of childhood memories and the casual cruelty men and women inflict upon eh other and themselves. She looks behind the familiar world of family summers at remote lakes, ordinary lives, and unexpected loves, and she unearths profound truths. A melancholy, teenage love is swept away by a Canadian hurricane, while a tired, middle-aged affection is rekindled by the spectacle of rare Jamaican birds; a potter tries to come to terms with the group of poets who so smother her that she is driven into the arms of her accountant; and, in the title story, the Bluebeard legend is retold as an ironic tale of marital deception. Stark and scathing at times, humorous and compassionate at others, Bluebeard's Egg confirms once again Atwood's reputation as the pre-eminent chronicler of our times.

Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother
Hurricane Hazel
Loulou; or, The Domestic Life of Language
Bluebeard's Egg
Spring Song of Frogs
Scarlet Ibis
The Salt Garden
The Sin Eater
The Sunrise
Unearthing Suite

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: As always, I enjoy Atwood's writing, and this short story is no exception. There were stories I didn't like at all, some I found to be boring, but overall a well done collection of short fiction. And a good choice read from some of her earlier work. With short stories, you like some, you dislike others and this is no exception. Some of the stories didn't engage me, especially compared to some of the other works I've read by here, but she never fails at digging deep under the psyche and most inner emotions, characteristics and thoughts of her characters. Which is part of why I love Atwood's work so much, she digs deep and dirty into her characters, they are very flawed people, most of the time are morally grey as well. Uglypuss was a well written story, but I wanted to throttle the one character at the end. Poor Uglypuss!

The quality of writing is wonderful, Atwood is truly a master short story writer, who easily creates an entire story, in a short amount of time, giving the reader enough to get the whole story. I particularly enjoyed Bluebeard's Egg and Sunrise. Salt garden was also a good story to read.

Overall, a good collection of short stories, from one of my favourite authors.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, especially for fans of short stories of Canadian fiction.

What to read next: If you like short fiction and Canadian fiction, Alice Munro is a good choice

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge V


  1. Oh, I know, I know, I know. That story is soooo hard to read. But talk about one that is lodged in my brain. ::shakes head::

  2. I have not read any short fiction by Atwood, and in truth, have only read two of her books, though I have quite a few on my shelf. It's good to hear that this collection is worth seeking out. Great review!

  3. What a shame you didn't enjoy all of her stories, although that is often the way with short story collections.

    Maybe you should try The Tent - it s another collection of short pieces of work (essays and fiction). It's very small and I loved all of it!

  4. I've read many of her novels, but only one of her short stories (it was in an anthology of Canadian short fiction). I should read this-- I even have a copy sitting right there on my shelf and didn't even realize it was a short story collection.

  5. Buried in Print - It was. Made me hug my own "Ugly Puss".

    Zibilee - Ooo! Read some of her short fiction, it is worth it.

    Becky - It's not that I disliked any of them, more either the plot didn't impress me as much as the others, or I could connect/like the characters enough for the story to wow me. Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always looking for my next Atwood read.

    John Murford - I think this is my second or third collection of short stories. I didn't realize it was a collection of short stories until after I bought it. But it's a good collection.

  6. I have always been curious about this book. One day I am going to read it!

  7. Kalina - Well worth giving a try.