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Good Bones Paperback – September 9, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Virago Press Ltd (September 9, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853816159
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853816154
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 7.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,405,387 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'A marvellous miniature sample case of Atwood's sensuous and sardonic talents' TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT 'Savagely hilarous' THE LIST 'Her wit and humour are perfectly complemented by a penetrating eye for the false and absurd' THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Full of fun and invention, with an edge that cuts through preconceptions...an entertaining sampler of Atwood's cleverness and imagination' NICOLETTE JONES, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Alias Grace and this have all been shortlisted for the Booker Prize and she has won many other literary prizes in other countries.

More About the Author

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; and her most recent, Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Mrs Taylor on June 12, 2003
Format: Paperback
Some days, you simply don't have the attention span required of you for reading good books. Sometimes, I find even short stories too taxing and poetry much too dense to absorb properly. That's when Good Bones will come in handy, for it will provide doses of short, potent prose.
It's a tiny little book, with tiny short stories (three or four pages on average) that are clever, intriguing and shot through with Margaret Atwood's luscious style. Despite the lengths of the stories, they are in no way lacking in emotion or intensity. They are snippets of random musings, of well-known stories told from somebody else's point of view, of sci-fi fantasies that reflect upon our own humanity...
The stories do not link to each other. As far as I can see, they are writing experiments, little flashes of inspiration that do not fit somewhere in a greater whole (such as a novel). They are ideas, brief contemplation of how the world is, snapshots of human behaviour.
Atwood has a particularly cutting insight into the way things are. I cried at certain stories, not because they were formulated with particular tragic scenes, but because they moved me. Forlorn beauty, half-remembered sensations, the things she could say with a stroke of a pen are those dark, shadowy feelings we sometimes find in ourselves, yet could never describe. Now she has done it for us, and it makes for cathartic reading.
Through Good Bones we are given a glimpse of Atwood's world: usually bleak, sometimes spine-chilling with its prediction of how the world just might turn out, but always haunting and always beautiful. If you have not read any of her works before, this is a great place to start. If you have read and enjoyed her other works, this one will definitely be worth your while.
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By J. Ang on May 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This slim volume contain 27 short stories, or not quite stories, perhaps little pieces of caustic prose, some without a narrative but with the feel of "almost-essays", as some critics have observed. The ones that are most like stories read like the French conte, "midway between parable, fairy tale, and story", as helpfully explained by Rosemary Sullivan in the Afterword. But still that does not quite accurately describe this collection.

In other words, these pieces elude definition, and in a way, the nebulous form and style that stubbornly defy easy classification reflect the viewpoints that these pieces often take, giving voice to the disenfranchised, or the traditional villain, or the characters that are conventionally sidelined, like the wicked stepsister in "Unpopular Girls", who refuses to be trumped: " Whereas all I get is the blame./ God knows all about it. No devil, no Fall, no Redemption. Grade Two arithmetic." Instead, she defiantly proclaims: "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."

A similar thread is found elsewhere in "Let Us Now Praise Stupid Women", where the narrator tells us why: "Men love them because they make even stupid men feel smart: women for the same reason,/ and because they are reminded of all the stupid things they have done themselves,/ but mostly because without them there would be no stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this just before boarding a plane for a weekend away and found that the variety of short stories and thought experiments were really quite ideal for the purpose. I could read a complete story in between walks around the city I visited, and found that I kept wanting to go on to the next.

Like any book of short stories there are some that I liked, some that I didn't find pulled me in and some that were fantastic. There were also a few that I didn't quite feel I understood this time around, and look forward to revisiting with a different headspace in the future.

Worth getting and particularly good for days where you want a burst of brain-nourishment, but don't want to have to read for a long time to get it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By susan boyke on January 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Maybe it's me but I could not get past the first chapter. I kept saying to myself 'What the!' So I skimmed into further chapters and felt the same so I angrily deleted it from my Kindle. I should have tried a sample. I have loved this author previously.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Markus Van Der Riet on April 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Cannot rview Margaret Atwood's writing because I quit reading it after the second page. There is no table of contents so you cannot select any particular story. The paragraphs are seperated by about 4 or 5 empty lines causing each page to have far less lines than it should. This was a waste of money.
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