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Lady Oracle Paperback – April 13, 1998
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“A rich, subtle, deep, delicate, nourishing book. It’s all joy, but it stays with you. She has things to tell us.”
–Maclean’s --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Publisher
"Funny, poignant, and briskly energetic."
"A rich, subtle, deep, delicate, nourishing book. It's all joy, but it stays with you. She has things to tell us."
"A really gifted writer...alternately satirical and lyrical."
"A very funny novel, lightly told with wry detachment and considerable art."
--Washington Post Book World
"Brilliant and funny. I can't tell you how exhilarating it was to read it --everything works. An extraordinary book."
Top Customer Reviews
It struck me, though, that Joan doesn't really seem to believe in much of anything. She goes through the motions for people to make them happy. She is whatever those around her want her to be. In fact, the only thing she ever seems to do of her own volition is fake her death. Initiative is not on Joan Foster's agenda. Neither is truth. One wonders a bit if anything is.
In any case, _Lady Oracle_ is good, but it's nowhere near as good as _The Handmaid's Tale_. If you haven't read the latter already, I highly recommend it.
Like many of Atwood's characters, the main character of Lady Oracle suffers from an unhappy childhood, this time at the hands of a neurotic mother who frequently berates her daughter for failing to live up to her expectations. The result is a fractured personality - many different personas that have to be juggled regularly, and with increasing difficulty.
This fractured woman struggles with her relationships and her jobs, and how they affect her identity. Does her success at writing fluffy romance novels make her a less serious, worthwhile human being? Does her success at writing deep, meaningful, feminist poetry make her a less valuable spouse to her husband? Her romances are shallow, and she seeks out men who define her in contrast to themselves. She allows others to define her because, increasingly, she cannot define herself. As the novel winds down, we venture tentatively into the Atwood meme of insanity - are the events narrated to the us merely a product of a deranged mind on the part of the main character? We do not know.
I really love Atwood's writing, and own nearly all of her novels, but I will admit that Lady Oracle is not my favorite. The writing and story are, for me, strangely forgettable - even after re-reading the book recently in order to write this review, I find that much of the book did not leave a lasting impression on me, unlike her other, more recent works. "Lady Oracle" is an older work, and perhaps that is why it doesn't have the same grip on me. I recommend it, but only after you have read her more recent works.
~ Ana Mardoll
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ambitious as usual, but circles around itself, and the long part of it about mother-daughter failure was a little turgid and took up too much time.Published 2 months ago by Daniel Goode
I would give the first half a solid 4 stars and the last half barely 2 stars. At the beginning of the novel her protagonist is a 'fat girl' with a mean mother who undermines her,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Susan Ricci
i read a lot. i first read this book around age twenty, and now decades later, still reading it. i just love this book, it is so funny, and i just love it.Published 4 months ago by Mommyof3
I can't write a review. I'm crazy about everything Margaret Atwood writes.Published 6 months ago by Chele Montes de Oca
Margaret Atwood wrote this book in 1976, which means much of what she is making fun of may not be easily accessible to younger readers. Read morePublished 7 months ago by e. verrillo
To me this was an odd book with entertaining moments followed by long periods of tedium. At the end it was just odd...Published 13 months ago by Beverly J. Bates
The butler did it! No it was the author. T'is a who done it plot? Lots of laughs and mazes.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer