Bluebeard's egg

by Margaret Eleanor Atwood

Hardcover, 1983





Toronto : McClelland and Stewart, c1983.


A man finds himself surrounded by women who are becoming paler, more silent and literally smaller; a woman's intimate life is strangely dominated by the fear of nuclear warfare; a melancholy teenage love is swept away by a hurricane, while a tired, middle-aged affection is rekindled by the spectacle of rare Jamaican birds... In these exceptional short stories, by turns funny and searingly honest, Margaret Atwood captures brilliantly the complex forces that govern our relationships, and the powerful emotions that guide them.

User reviews

LibraryThing member eilonwy_anne
I'm still wading into the Atwood oeuvre, having only read Wilderness Tips and The Handmaid's Tale before this volume. This book, while full of well-crafted stories, didn't impress me as much as the stories in Wilderness Tips did. All the craft is there, but something was turned to 10 or 11 in her
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other stories which was only at 8 or 9 here. The stories are less daring, the frames (many of the stories in Wilderness Tips are framed by the protagonist recounting or remembering the events) when they occur less illuminating.

This book is still good and intelligently written, but the comparison to her other work is irresistible, and where I shivered perhaps once from the beauty and horror in these pages, her other work made me lose count of the shivers.
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LibraryThing member souloftherose
I normally love Margaret Atwood's novels so I was looking forward to this book but I found myself slightly disappointed.

This is a collection of short stories by Atwood, some are autobiographical and I think these were the ones I enjoyed the most.

The rest were well written but often ended abruptly
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and left me feeling clueless about what that particular story was about. I don't know whether I just don't like the short story format or whether these were too literary for me but I was left feeling like Atwood was trying to make some point that I just wasn't getting.

I felt quite dim which is not a feeling I enjoy!
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LibraryThing member LARA335
I read the Handmaid's tale years ago and found it astounding. So I was disappointed with these dull slice-of-life short stories, full of sad characters. Just finished it, and most of the tales are forgotten already.
I presume Atwood's huge reputation wasn't based on these.
LibraryThing member misfidget
A lot like a box of someone else's treasures that you wish were yours...
LibraryThing member stef7sa
"The life she's led up to now seems to her entirely crazed. How did she end up in this madhouse? By putting one foot in front of the other ..." Quite a few stories of this collection present women stranded in their middle age, trying to understand what happened. These are the best of the
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collection, full of unforgettable lines and observations and presented with a type of humour all of the author's own: "Her only discoverable ambition as a child was to be able to fly, and much of her later life has been spent in various attempts to take off."
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LibraryThing member rocjoe
Some of the themes in these stories make an appearance in Cat's Eye. The endings to several stories seem to come along suddenly, almost shut down. This makes me wonder if Cat's Eye was the one that Atwood just didn't want to finish too soon, or if some/all of the selections is Bluebeard's Egg was a
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warm up. All in all, well worth the time spent as I am still thinking over characters revealed in the beginning, middle and end of the book.
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LibraryThing member bragan
A collection of stories about the lives of women -- even the one or two that are from a male POV are really more about women -- and about relationships between men and women or between children and parents. They're mostly the kind of literary stories in which not much actually happens and in which
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there doesn't even necessarily seem to be a well-defined beginning, middle, and end. The one exception, perhaps, is "Uglypuss," about a woman's attempt to get at a cheating man by way of his cat. As a cat lover, I found that one highly disturbing, and part of me wishes one fewer thing had happened in it, honestly. It's definitely an effective story, though. And, like all of them, it's well written. Atwood's prose isn't showy, but it's smooth and beautiful, and full of subtlety.
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LibraryThing member ValerieAndBooks
I‘m not much of a fan of short stories in general anyway, but these stories were full of hapless women and mostly ambiguous endings. Yes that‘s probably trademark Atwood, but done better in novel form, I think.

Warning: one story “Uglypuss” is especially disturbing, due to animal cruelty
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LibraryThing member AltheaAnn
A collection of short stories/writings... they tend to involve emotionally fraught , unresolved issues. Not always an easy read (emotionally), but a worthwhile one. Thoughtful and thought-provoking.



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