Bones & Murder by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Found this book used for 10lv at Elephant bookstore in Sofia. This was my first real exposure to fiction by Margaret Atwood, and it was enough to make me think that reading longer works from her will be something I’m going to enjoy deeply.
While looking for the real title of the book on Google, I stumbled upon this review which just so happens to portray my feelings for it pretty much exactly. Allow me then to do the unthinkable and use that review’s words instead of mine. Thank you Kelly EasyVegan.
“The stories cover a little bit of everything: fantasy, mystery, science fiction, speculative fiction, feminism, rape culture, gender wars, dating, death – you name it.
Many of the pieces are hit and miss; my favorites are the scifi stories that hinge on an environmental or animal-friendly theme:
– “Cold-Blooded” – An alien race of matriarchal moth people visit planet earth – or as they call it, “The Planet of the Moths,” a nickname owing to the fact that their moth cousins outnumber us by billions – and find humans sorely lacking in both culture and intelligence;
– “My Life As a Bat” – A series of reflections on the narrator’s past life as a bat, including a disturbing (and, as it just so happens, true) anecdote about WWII-era experiments in which bats were made into unwitting suicide bombers;
– “Hardball” – A piece of dystopian speculative fiction in which humans, having decimated their environment, have retreated to live under a giant dome. Since space is limited, the population must be kept in check: for every birth, one person is chosen to die via a lottery. Care to guess what becomes of the remains?
Also enjoyable are those stories which reimagine classic literature: “Gertrude Talks Back” gives voice to Hamlet’s long-suffering mother, and “Unpopular Gals” and “Let Us Now Praise Stupid Women” celebrates those villains and “airheads” without which fairy tales would not exist.
While at times difficult to read, “Liking Men” is another standout; this is the piece that deals with sexual assault, vis à vis a woman’s journey back to coping with – and even loving – men (or rather, one man in particular) again after her rape.
A must for fans of Margaret Atwood!”
But seriously, those eyes on the cover…
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