An Amazon Best Book of the Month, September 2014: “Stop trying to pimp me out to all these groupies,” a famous author and infamous cad utters in “Revenant,” one of three cleverly interconnected tales that begin Margaret Atwood’s superbly sardonic Stone Mattress. He is referring to an impending visit from an infatuated graduate student who is supposedly writing a thesis about his sonnets…which aren’t really sonnets (long story). Naveena—her name, he derisively but accurately points out, “sounds like cheese food slices. Or better—like a hair-removal cream”—is insufferable enough to be sure. The depiction makes yours truly nervous to be writing this review, but it’s all part of the fun, and these tales are fun, which is odd considering the sinister current that runs through many of them. But it’s as if the reader is privy to some sort of inside joke. This is especially evident in “The Dead Hand Loves You,” when Atwood playfully skewers the horror genre then gleefully indulges in it, and the ominously tongue-in-cheek “Torching the Dusties.” Fans of Margaret Atwood will certainly delight in this collection. But beware, the Stone Mattress will make groupies of old and new readers alike. –Erin Kodicek
"Witty and frequently biting ... this book’s stories offer characters a chance to put their own understandings of gallantry, courage and revenge to the test, in ways both mundane and extraordinary."
—The New York Times Book Review
"In Stone Mattress [Atwood is] having a high old time dancing over the dark swamps of Horror on the wings of satirical wit ... Look at these tales as eight icily refreshing arsenic Popsicles followed by a baked Alaska laced with anthrax, all served with impeccable style and aplomb. Enjoy!"
—Ursula K Le Guin, Financial Times
"These exuberantly told tales are a tour de force of wit, style, and discernment."
"Eclectic, funny, vibrant, terrifying, beautiful, and utterly delightful."
"[These] stories have the caustic wit and giddy deviance ... along with the probing interiority and flinty insights of Atwood’s novels."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Stylish, acerbic and wickedly funny ... With wit, sympathy and precision, Atwood draws readers into a reflective frame of mind."
"[This] collection is surprisingly unsettling, gripping and at once laugh-out-loud hilarious. It attains its laudable goal: Myths last over time, and the stories in this book have that very quality. They are timeless, memorable and quite simply fun."
"Stunning ... Atwood brings her biting wit to bear on the battle of the sexes."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Shrewdly brilliant, gleefully mischievous, and acerbically hilarious ... Atwood has the raptor's penetrating gaze, speed, and agility and never misses her mark."
—Booklist, starred review
"Clever tales about writers and lovers ... Atwood is a playful, sharp-edged, and politically alert author."