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Moral Disorder: And Other Stories

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Moral Disorder: And Other Stories Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"Unlike some books, in which key plot points revealed ahead of time may ruin the dramatic effect, the story of Moral Disorder — a woman's life — should be familiar, one in which births and deaths occur in the natural way. 'Where are we without our plots?' Nell asks, as her father loses his memory, and thus, his own narrative. The stories we know, Atwood suggests, help us make sense of the 'other stories,' the stories yet to come." Alexis Smith, Powells.com (read the entire Powells.com review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Margaret Atwood is acknowledged as one of the foremost writers of our time. In Moral Disorder, she has created a series of interconnected stories that trace the course of a life and also the lives intertwined with it — those of parents, of siblings, of children, of friends, of enemies, of teachers, and even of animals. As in a photograph album, time is measured in sharp, clearly observed moments. The '30s, the '40s, the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, and the present — all are here. The settings vary: large cities, suburbs, farms, northern forests.

"The Bad News" is set in the present, as a couple no longer young situate themselves in a larger world no longer safe. The narrative then switches time as the central character moves through childhood and adolescence in "The Art of Cooking and Serving," "The Headless Horseman," and "My Last Duchess." We follow her into young adulthood in "The Other Place" and then through a complex relationship, traced in four of the stories: "Monopoly," "Moral Disorder," "White Horse," and "The Entities." The last two stories, "The Labrador Fiasco" and "The Boys at the Lab," deal with the heartbreaking old age of parents but circle back again to childhood, to complete the cycle.

By turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder displays Atwood's celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage. As the New York Times has said: "The reader has the sense that Atwood has complete access to her people's emotional histories, complete understanding of their hearts and imaginations."

Review:

"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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A young writer, like a young woman, has a narrow strip of experience from which to contemplate an unknown future, empty and waiting for its form. An older writer, reminded of mortality by aging knees and dying parents, has the consolation of seeing everything in rich detail, meaningful and apparently pointless together. Moral Disorder is about a whole life, the life of Nell, married to Tig, or Gilbert.... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Her stories are sophisticated, reticent, ornate, stark, supple, stiff, savage or forgiving; they are exactly what she wants them to be. They are stories from the prime of life." Times Literary Supplement

Review:

"Stories like 'The White Horse'...prove Atwood is still a master of the compelling, peculiar portrait of human behavior. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"...Atwood's stories evoke humankind's disasterous hubris and phenomenal spirit with empathy and bemusement." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Crisp, vivid detail and imagery and a rich awareness of the unity of human generations, people and animals...make Moral Disorder one of Atwood's most accessible and engaging works yet." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"In these reflective selections, Atwood...turns inward, as autobiographical as she has been to date. The result is alternatively humorous and heart-wrenching, occasionally sardonic and always brutally honest....Recommended..." Library Journal

Synopsis:

This collection of ten stories is almost a novel by turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal — displaying Atwood's celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage.

Synopsis:

Margaret Atwood has frequently been cited as one of the foremost writers of our time. MORAL DISORDER, her moving new book of fiction, could be seen either as a collection of ten stories that is almost a novel or as a novel broken up into ten stories. It resembles a photograph album ? a series of clearly observed moments that trace the course of a life, and also of the lives intertwined with it ? those of parents, of siblings, of children, of friends, of enemies, of teachers, and even of animals.

About the Author

Margaret Atwood's books have been published in over thirty-five countries. She 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 Man Booker Prize 2003. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Laurie Beringer, April 27, 2007 (view all comments by Laurie Beringer)
Dry, witty, quietly hilarious, deep, true and sad. I didn't want to finish these perfectly crafted short stories. Just amazing. Atwood at her best!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385503846
Subtitle:
and Other Stories
Publisher:
Nan A. Talese
Author:
Atwood, Margaret
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Short stories, canadian
Subject:
Autobiographical fiction, Canadian
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Publication Date:
September 19, 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.50x5.96x.93 in. .89 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Moral Disorder: And Other Stories
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 240 pages Nan A. Talese - English 9780385503846 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Unlike some books, in which key plot points revealed ahead of time may ruin the dramatic effect, the story of Moral Disorder — a woman's life — should be familiar, one in which births and deaths occur in the natural way. 'Where are we without our plots?' Nell asks, as her father loses his memory, and thus, his own narrative. The stories we know, Atwood suggests, help us make sense of the 'other stories,' the stories yet to come." (read the entire Powells.com review)
"Review" by , "Her stories are sophisticated, reticent, ornate, stark, supple, stiff, savage or forgiving; they are exactly what she wants them to be. They are stories from the prime of life."
"Review" by , "Stories like 'The White Horse'...prove Atwood is still a master of the compelling, peculiar portrait of human behavior. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "...Atwood's stories evoke humankind's disasterous hubris and phenomenal spirit with empathy and bemusement."
"Review" by , "Crisp, vivid detail and imagery and a rich awareness of the unity of human generations, people and animals...make Moral Disorder one of Atwood's most accessible and engaging works yet."
"Review" by , "In these reflective selections, Atwood...turns inward, as autobiographical as she has been to date. The result is alternatively humorous and heart-wrenching, occasionally sardonic and always brutally honest....Recommended..."
"Synopsis" by , This collection of ten stories is almost a novel by turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal — displaying Atwood's celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage.
"Synopsis" by , Margaret Atwood has frequently been cited as one of the foremost writers of our time. MORAL DISORDER, her moving new book of fiction, could be seen either as a collection of ten stories that is almost a novel or as a novel broken up into ten stories. It resembles a photograph album ? a series of clearly observed moments that trace the course of a life, and also of the lives intertwined with it ? those of parents, of siblings, of children, of friends, of enemies, of teachers, and even of animals.
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