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The Robber Bride [Paperback]

Margaret Atwood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Oct 1994
Zenia is beautiful, smart and greedy, by turns manipulative and vulnerable, needy and ruthless; a man's dream and a woman''s nightmare. She is also dead. Just to make sure Tony, Roz andd Charis are there for the funeral. But five years on, as the three women share an indulgent, sisterly lunch, the unthinkable happens; 'with waves of ill will flowing out of her like cosmic radiation', Zenia is back...

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Virago (13 Oct 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853817228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853817229
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 36,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays.

In addition to the classic 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 Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, was published in 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.

(Photo credit: George Whitside)

Product Description

Review

It stirs depths that CAT'S EYE did not reach, and grants deeper, stronger powers to women's friendship in distress (Marina Warner)

Margaret Atwood's new novel is a fairy tale of malicious simplicity. Fay Weldon's SHE-DEVIL meets John Updike's WITCHES OF EASTWICK...Vividly written, acutely observed and very likely the most intelligently tongue in cheek novel of the year. (Salman Rushdie, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Excitements, wit and insight sizzle across the pages. Atwood's survey of impulses that bedevil life seethes with imagination, inventiveness and intelligence. Even she has never written better than in this novel of glittering breadth and dark, eerie depths. (SUNDAY TIMES)

The virtuosity with which Margaret Atwood's prose moves between rage and wit, poignancy and suspense, fantasy and realism makesTHE ROBBER BRIDE a stimulating read. THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

Book Description

It stirs depths that Cat's Eye did not reach, and grants deeper stronger powers to women's friendship in distress' MARINA WARNER

An exceptional novel from the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Connections and Relationships 22 Feb 2010
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The Robber Bride is a story of the connections and relationships between three women (Tony, Charis and Roz) and Zenia, a femme fatale character. Zenia's sole interest in befriending each of the three women seems to be to take whatever she can. Each of the characters has a very different relationship with Zenia, although all are similarly destructive. The stories that Zenia tells about who she is, what she has been doing and what she is currently doing is different with each of the women.

The backstories of Tony, Charis and Roz are detailed and take up the majority of words in The Robber Bride. While their characters are well explored the character of Zenia is somewhat of a mystery. Even the conclusion of the book is not well defined and has an air of mystery. Throughout the book, things are not really all that they appear to be in each of the women. How much is each of them responsible for the events that happened?

This is a book that requires some thinking about to really fully appreciate its messages that Atwood is conveying. While Tony, Charis and Roz appear to loathe Zenia but they are obviously strongly connected to her and even demonstrate loyalty to her. I think The Robber Bride would make an excellent book club choice as it would easily provoke a lot of discussion about the relationships between the four women.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Virtuoso chaos 7 Jan 2004
By JOHN
Format:Paperback
I have just re-read this, one of my very favourite contemporary novels, and consider it to be an extraordinary achievement.
Its major strength surely lies in the highly skilful interlocking of themes and narrative technique and structure. The lives of three different women, Toni, Charis and Roz, have been ransacked in various unsavoury ways by the baleful influence of the mysterious Zenia. The reader is given ample opportunity to see things from the points of view of three characters with highly contrasted personalities and attitudes to life in general, and as a result is gradually led to realise that, while all three women are in many ways likeable, none of them is perhaps one hundred per-cent trustworthy...
Many articles and reviews have set out to establish what "really" happens in this novel, who, if anyone, is "really" responsible for what happens in the end. This surely misses the point, which is that subjective interpretations of "reality" inevitably and by definition clash with and contradict one another. And, after all, perhaps Zenia, like the witches in "Macbeth", doesn't "really" exist as any more than a personification or metaphor of the neuroses, uncertainties and vulnerabilities of the other characters?
Margaret Atwood heaps up the images which correspond to the chaos and fragility of our inner lives, and alludes very deftly to the fact that so much of what we do and how we behave corresponds to largely anarchic impulses, rather than to rational, planned behaviour.
I haven't yet read "Oryx and Crake", but I put this firmly at the top of the list of Atwood's novels. Although it wasn't shortlisted - five of her others have been, including "Oryx and Crake" and "The Blind Assassin", which went on to win in 2000 - this, for me, is the one that really deserved the Booker.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a masterpiece and must be read 10 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I first read this novel when I was 17 and no other literary character have I come across since who has surpassed Zenia in terms of sheer glamour; she is the ultimate femme fatale, more than worthy of a cult following, yet unlike the movie godesses she resembles, yet knocks sticks off (think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct, whose combination of lethal sexiness, intelligence and ambiguity best matches that of Zenia) she inhabits an identifiable world (Atwood is genius at presenting one that's both realistic and cosy) and so is believable. That's what makes this unique: that such an attractively wicked anti-heroine lives and breathes in an Atwood book; it's deliciously incongruous and allows explosive scenes of conflict between this extraordinarily fabulous creation and the three drearily real-to-life women who also appear in this novel, and from whose perspectives we get to learn about this Zenia, and how she went about destroying their lives. Part of us sympathises with these women, who are so well-drawn that we get to know them inside-out, a testament to Atwood's talents, and part of us cheers the immoral Zenia onwards, which ultimately makes this a life-changing, and almost subversive work of art.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of my top 10 books ever! (I'll spare you the whole list). If I enjoy a book I am usually disappointed by the conclusion - but in this case the entire book fulfilled the expectations of the first few chapters. The reader (me) could identify with all the main characters, and the villain is delicious in succeeding at all the duplications expected of a woman of 'a certain age' and managing to succeed undetected. As ever, Atwood does not dwell on some idealised 'sisterhood', but acknowledges the support that women can get from their peers without necessarily trusting them wholeheartedly. The whole book fits in with my own experiences, both first hand and vicarious.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, true, compassionate and memorable 13 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
One of the best books I have ever read, The Robber Bride is a work to read at one [very long] sitting, and then read again, and again, and again. Atwood creates a world so real that you can touch it, and the extraordinary things which happen there are utterly convincing and deeply moving. Her four heroines are all, even the villain, created with consummate skill and a compassion which grabs the reader and sweeps you along in the stories which are woven together in this wonderful book. The complex structure is extremely satisfying, and is sustained by the creation of three distinct - and glorious - narrative voices, a stunning feat of writing which makes this an amazingly enjoyable read. Lots to think about, characters to love, and a real joy in language. The ending, or endings, in particular, are amazing, and even thinking about them brings tears to my eyes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Poor quality - Not as described and a different, older cover to that advertised so very disappointing.
Published 20 days ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of her best
Published 1 month ago by Sigrun Huld Thorgrimsdottir
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb page turner
Mysterious, written in a number of voices, humorous and a superb page-turner. An apparently malevolent character from the past disturbs the lunch of three very different (and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by David Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable novel
Perhaps not one of Atwood's best, the lives of the three main characters, who have all been disrupted by an ambiguous woman who comes back to haunt them, are nevertheless quite... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sarah Humphreys
5.0 out of 5 stars book
I was pleased with all aspects of this purchase: the product arrived promptly and was in excellent condition and met my expectations.
Published 9 months ago by Ms. S. J. Rolph
1.0 out of 5 stars not my kind of book
not my kind of book, did not get passed the third page. Not your fault but that of my book club
Published 11 months ago by Marga
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Atwood is supreme, read it! I loved this when I read it when it first came out and love it even more now that I've read it again and have seen more in it. She's superb!
Published 13 months ago by Anna
5.0 out of 5 stars Three women united by a common enemy
First off - hands up, there aren't many works by Margaret Atwood that I wouldn't rate 5 five stars - I love her work, and The Robber Bride is no exception. Read more
Published 14 months ago by V. G. Harwood
5.0 out of 5 stars book margaret Atwood
This was a christmas present and the person is a very big margaret Atwood fan and she love this book
Published 22 months ago by fred
4.0 out of 5 stars A History of Four Lives
I am fan of attwood and would say this is a typical well told tale of three womens lives and how they are bound together by a gravitational attraction of a fourth woman . Read more
Published on 29 Mar 2012 by lart phauson
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