21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2003
Atwood is one of the greatest and most prolific living authors in my opinion. This collection of short stories shows why. Generally I'm not a big fan of the short story format - I prefer something that's long and meaty enough to get my teeth into and really get to know the characters. But I enjoyed this collection of gems thoroughly. Each story is like a photograph - a moment in time - from a life or a collection of lives; a small and privileged glimpse into other people's worlds. Atwood's stories are about the little things in lives: noisy bathrooms, weekend trips, stays in hotel rooms, infatuations - little things in the scheme of things, but things that matter to the people involved. Where Atwood excels is in taking us into the life of the protagonist to such an extent that the reader forgets that the story revolves around something as mundane as a birdspotter missing a bird, or a girl's fleeting attachment with a stranger. What's also great about this collection is that each story is the perfect length for a single sitting before bed, or on the train. This book won't change your life, but it will give several hours of pure and simple pleasure - which, after all, is something that a lot of contemporary authors seem strangely unable to do.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 October 2009
I've read a fair amount of Atwood by now, but this is my first experience with her short stories. This is one of her lesser-known collections of stories written early in her career. As a hopeful author myself, it was a good insight to see how she has changed and grown as an author over the years.
This early in her career, she's still an incredible writer. Her descriptions are short and sweet. One that for some reason really stuck with me was the girl in "The Man from Mars." She was playing tennis at the beginning of the story and her skin was hot and "felt poached." Such an excellent way to put it! All of the women here are a little strange, a little off, and possibly a little crazy. They are put in odd situations and it's interesting to see how they react.
My one criticism to this collection is a trend with Atwood I see overall. She's really fond of open endings, but some of the stories have too open an ending and are thus a but unsatisfactory. I'd like ones that had a clearer resolution. Overall, though, for Atwood fans, this is another Atwood to chew on.