Tuesday, December 30

Book Review: Stone Mattress

Title: Stone Mattress

Author: Margaret Atwood

Pages: 273

Summary: In these nine dazzlingly inventive and rewarding stories, Margaret Atwood's signature dark humour, playfulness, and deadly seriousness are in abundance. In "Freeze-Dried Bridegroom," a man who bids on a storage locker has a surprise. In "Lusus Naturae," a woman with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In "I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth," we remeet Tony, Charis, and Roz from The Robber Bride, but, years later, as their nemesis is seen in an unexpected form. In "Torching the Dusties," an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet's syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. In "Stone Mattress," a long-ago crime is revenged in the Arctic.


Dark Lady
Lusus Nature
The Freeze-Dried Groom
I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth
Stone Mattress
The Dead Hand Loves You
Torching Dusties
My Rating: 9.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I loved this short story collection. It had excellent writing and wonderful dark and twisted stories. The dark and twisted side of the stories just made them that more enjoyable, as they were all incredibly well done. Atwood's wit, storytelling and dark humour shine in this collection, and I loved every minute of it.

There were so many enjoyable aspects of the collection, one of which was you never really knew what little twist Atwood had in store. All of the stories had some sort of dark twist to them, while some were predictable, all were ones I enjoyed getting to the end. Some of the characters were also as dark and twisted as the plot, like the one we meet in Stone Mattress. It's hard to pick out which one of these short stories was my favourite, as all had something appealing to them. My least favourites probably had to be Lusus Nature, but even that one was still a fairly enjoyable read. I also enjoyed how the first three of the stories connected together as one, it was well done, and I enjoyed them on their own as well as together. And The Dead Hand Loves You, was also one that was wonderfully dark and twisted. I loved it!

Overall, this was an excellent collection of stories, full of dark and twisted plots and characters, and I enjoyed it from the start to the final page.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, although I don't think this particular collection would be for everyone, it's an excellent read, and if you enjoy the dark and twisted, than this is the book for you.

What to read next: I'd suggest some of the author's novels, Alice Munro is also a great choice if you enjoy short story collections

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge


  1. I'm definitely going to have to pick this up; I've been trying to read more short story collections but so often they are hit and miss.

    1. They are hit or miss, this one was very good, and Alice Munro is also a great choice if you want to read more short story collections.