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Moral Disorder: and Other Stories Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 19, 2006


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This Book Is Bound with "Deckle Edge" Paper
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Nan A. Talese; First Edition edition (September 19, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385503849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385503846
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,825,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An intriguing patchwork of poignant episodes, Atwood's latest set of stories (after The Tent) chronicles 60 years of a Canadian family, from postwar Toronto to a farm in the present. The opening piece of this novel-in-stories is set in the present and introduces Tig and Nell, married, elderly and facing an uncertain future in a world that has become foreign and hostile. From there, the book casts back to an 11-year-old Nell excitedly knitting garments for her as yet unborn sister, Lizzie, and continues to trace her adolescence and young adulthood; Nell rebels against the stern conventions of her mother's Toronto household, only to rush back home at 28 to help her family deal with Lizzie's schizophrenia. After carving out a "medium-sized niche" as a freelance book editor, Nell meets Oona, a writer, who is bored with her marriage to Tig. Oona has been searching for someone to fill "the position of second wife," and she introduces Nell to Tig. Later in life, Nell takes care of her once vital but now ravaged-by-age parents. Though the episodic approach has its disjointed moments, Atwood provides a memorable mosaic of domestic pain and the surface tension of a troubled family. (Sept. 19)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Margaret Atwood has expressed her social vision, played with narrative form, and written about enigmatic women, sexism, and family in more than 40 books, including the acclaimed The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, and The Blind Assassin. Her newest collection contains the same dazzling intellect, writing, and suspense as her previous fiction, but critics call this semiautobiographical effort more compassionate, rich, and emotionally resonant. The stories embedded in this novel of sorts, far from being randomly ordered, speak to each other and Nell's personal growth as she becomes caretaker to her sister, husband, and parents. The only problem? "The stories are so compelling," admits the Rocky Mountain News, "that they leave us wishing for a fuller, more novelistic treatment."

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I didn't care for the first story, but I kept on and found the rest of the book more to my liking.
Fiction Reader
Fans of The Handmaid's Tale - one of the best books ever written - will not be disappointed with new collection of Atwood's short stories."
BookManBookWoman TV REVIEWS
This particular book is a collection of short stories from different periods of the life of a single character.
P. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By G. E. Melone on January 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Margaret Attwood has to be the most brilliant writer of our time. Her descriptive brilliance penetrates deep into your soul as her words take wing. Her latest work, Moral Disorder, continues the high standard of her other works such as Cat's Eye, Blind Assassin, Oryx and Crake. No matter what genre she dips into, the results are astounding.

This book of short stories, are all connected through the lives of the women of one family. They could be read separately, but together each story adds to the family portrait giving the reader a panoramic view of the three central characters of the book- mother and two daughters.

The way Margaret Attwood describes a daughter trying to get through to her aging mother, lost in reverie or some other country in her mind, makes you want to weep. Her prose is exquisite.

I have never ever never been disappointed with a Margaret Attwood piece and this one is no exception.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A good friend of mine is also an incurable Margaret Atwood "fan" and has reminded me yet again of our shared benign affliction, craving assurance that she still has first dibs on MORAL DISORDER the moment I've soaked up the last word of the last paragraph of the last story. "Buy it yourself," I chide her over tea. "We have to support Canadian authors."

"But it's Margaret who supports us!" she exclaims in mock surprise at my naiveté. And once again we marvel at how succinctly, elegantly and inexhaustibly Atwood keeps on revealing "our" ordinary little stories, bares (and bears) "our" secret little griefs and anxieties, and gives wry sincerity to "our" hopes and aspirations, no matter how tangled and threadbare they may seem.

"Our," of course, refers to the collective and peculiar cultural condition known as being Canadian. It matters not one iota to our national great lady of fiction (both short and long) that most of her readers live well south of the fabled 49th Parallel and that we are no more The Great White North than Wal-Mart. For Atwood, mere geography is simultaneously nothing and everything; in her tales, the terrain of the human heart and its myriad tributaries of experience and feeling are the truly renewable natural resources. Or, as my hungry-to-borrow friend puts it, Margaret Atwood can turn a tired and mundane junk-mail idea --- sibling rivalry, common-law couples, hobby farming, teenage angst --- into soul-stirring literature. Amen to that!

And she does it wholly up to form in MORAL DISORDER, whose rather weighty and officious title is just another of those playful authorial devices that belie this collection's true generosity of spirit.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By DCSusan on October 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book a week ago and finished it yesterday. I wanted to savor each of the stories and not rush through through the book. As a contemporary of Atwood's, I could relate to the periods and relationships she so brilliantly describes. The final story, "The Boys at the Lab," I was able to read on two levels--the description of the decline of the narrator's 90+ mother and recollection (only by photos in an album) of a magical period of her childhood.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fiction Reader on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I didn't care for the first story, but I kept on and found the rest of the book more to my liking. And after I read the rest of the book, I understood how the first story fit in. The stories fit together loosely, as episodes from a woman's life. Many chapters focus on her relationships with others - trying to be a good helper to her mother, overwhelmed with a difficult baby; trying to help her sister when she is a still troubled adult; making a life with her lover and his sons on a rural farmstead; dealing with his first wife; handling the aging of her parents, and more. I liked the unromantic descriptions of life on a farm, which show all the difficulties and messes while still revealing how this life could be appealing. I liked the secondary characters, who seem to have lives and personalities of their own even if they only show up for a few pages. I LOVED the story about her father's memory loss, interspersed with a description of an ill-fated historic trek. I actually turned back and instantly re-read that chapter, something I'm not sure I've ever done before. I would give that story 5 stars.

I hadn't read any Atwood in years, and now I'm excited to read what I've missed!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heather on March 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book did not start out the best, during the first story, I nearly set the book aside, ready to call this one a loss. But I made it through the first story and found myself very fascinated by most of the others. This book chronicles a girl's life through chapters that are stories unto themselves that skip around and back and forth in time. Margaret Atwood's writing style is very smooth and vivid.

An enjoyable read, however, I did not find it extraordinary either. I wonder if I would enjoy some of her previous works better and am considering picking one up (any suggestions from Atwood fans?). I wasn't a huge fan of the structure of the book, going from here to there in time with short stories.

Overall, a decent book that I'd imagine fans of Atwood's previous works would have a much better appreciation for than I did.
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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.

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