Saturday, 19 March 2016

Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood

"She wants to humiliate him and feel virtuous about it at the same time"

A short story collection from Margaret Atwood is like a mixed box of chocolates which all taste singularly great but completely different from each other. Some of these short tales intertwine which just adds to the sense of wonder. 
It does not take 300 pages however to get the very clear sense that getting old really sucks.
Life becomes fixated on long ago, virile, agile days before the boundaries of an ageing body come into play.
There's a perfectly fiendish murder, revenge, a frail old dear lost in a fantasy land with her dead husband, not to mention a rather scary plot to burn the inhabitants of a retirement home to make way for the new.

Atwood is, as always, an amazing spinner of tales and these little gems will undoubtedly reward the reader. It is not often that one inhabits the world of a once lecherous, now cantankerous old man or of a woman who has completely reinvented herself after being poorly used as a young, poor 14 year old into a rich, black widow, and yet here the reader is completely drawn into these vivid lives, to take them for a brief spin.

5 out of 5 aching bones are a sign of things to come.

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