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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really funny collection, from a great mind...
The Tent is a funny and thought provoking collection of stories and mini essays in which Atwood explores the contemporary world. The stories are often autobiographical or inspired by myths, or Atwood's own experiences and are very true to life and also extremely amusing. Atwood's distinctive style and voice is obvious throughout the collection, as it is in her novels, but...
Published on 1 Mar 2007 by Heather

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a little disjointed but well worth reading
Like a previous reviewer, this was my fiest experience of Margaret Atwood's work. A collection may not always be the best way to introduce yourself to a writer's work, especially someone as prolific as she is. I, too, found the fluctuating style of the essays (for want of a better term)a little disorientating but, when I decided to slow down and allow myself to adapt to...
Published on 12 Nov 2008 by K. Hannay


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really funny collection, from a great mind..., 1 Mar 2007
By 
Heather "star_reader" (Leeds, Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Tent (Hardcover)
The Tent is a funny and thought provoking collection of stories and mini essays in which Atwood explores the contemporary world. The stories are often autobiographical or inspired by myths, or Atwood's own experiences and are very true to life and also extremely amusing. Atwood's distinctive style and voice is obvious throughout the collection, as it is in her novels, but these stories and musings seem much more personal then in previous writings.

I was lucky enough to see Atwood read from the collection at the Guardian Hay Festival last year and she read one of the best from the book 'Our Cat Enters Heaven' in which the after life of the family pet is imagined! Only Atwood could make this so unique and funny. Other favourites include, 'Clothing Dreams' and 'Chicken Little Goes too far' A must read for any fans of her writing... highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Curious Collection of Atwood Shorts..., 7 Jun 2012
By 
Simon Savidge Reads "Simon" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
Collections such as `The Tent' are always really difficult to review as they are a delightful hotchpotch of snippets of an author's work that aren't quite long enough to be a short story collection. In fact this collection is brimming with a whopping thirty-five mini works. Mind you what could be better than almost forty pieces of Margaret Atwood's brainstorming and idea's? Nothing frankly, if we are being honest! If you haven't read any Atwood then this is actually a rather wonderful collection of hers to start with as you really do get a flavour of what a versatile author she is.

One such short I must highlight straight away is `Three Novels I Won't Write Soon'. Here Atwood takes a couple and greats a basic story and then turns it on its head, with varying twists, styles and genres and giving them different names like `Worm Zero', `Spongedeath' and `Beetleplunge'. It's fascinating example of how an author might randomly have a stab at a novel and then make errors and changes as they go, whilst also just being a very entertaining read.

`The Tent' is set into three parts and I could try and feign some academic understanding of why the tales are in the parts they are, and indeed the order they are. Instead, actually, I just enjoyed them. `Orphan Stories' made me laugh as I too have often wondered why on earth most stories have an orphan at their heart, its wry and dark but also a little moving and to do that in five pages is very clever. `Voice' is a very clever analogy of why we were given a voice and the good and bad we can do with it. There's almost a fable element to it.

My very favourite of the stories all had rather magical and fairytale like elements to them. `Chicken Little Goes Too Far' is a hilarious modern take on the old fable, I am imagining that this might just be the sort of stories she writes in `Bluebeard's Egg' which I really must read. It's the original mini tales that I loved the most of all. `It's Not Easy Being Half Divine' and `Salome Was A Dancer' both are very modern tales yet they read in that way you loved as a child at bedtime. I think `Winter's Tales' is one of the funniest modern fairytales I have read, how could you not love a story that starts with...

`Once upon a time, you say, there were germs with horns. They lived in the toilet and could only be defeated by gallons and gallons of bleach. You could commit suicide by drinking this bleach, and some women did.'

You weren't expecting that were you? Some of these fictional essays are also rather political. Atwood is becoming better and better known for her worldy wise views and there are elements of this side of her nature in `Warlords', `Resources of the Ikranians' and title story `The Tent'. They never preach, there is just a steering of direction and undertone, but not enough to alienate should you not agree with them, and of course I do. If that wasn't enough there are also poems in the forms of `The Animals Reject Their Names and Things Return to Their Origins' and `Bring Back Mom: An Invocation' plus some of Atwood's own illustrations too.

`The Tent' was just the sort of read you need from a voice, or narrator, that you know well. It also reminded me that whilst I love almost everything that Margaret Atwood writes I don't always understand it. I can come away a little confused and yet having enjoyed the experience. Oddly that said I would urge people who haven't tried Atwood before to give this a whirl, it is a really good way of experiencing all the types of ways she writes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a little disjointed but well worth reading, 12 Nov 2008
By 
K. Hannay "kh014u5746" (yorkshire, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
Like a previous reviewer, this was my fiest experience of Margaret Atwood's work. A collection may not always be the best way to introduce yourself to a writer's work, especially someone as prolific as she is. I, too, found the fluctuating style of the essays (for want of a better term)a little disorientating but, when I decided to slow down and allow myself to adapt to the change in mood, I thought most of the pieces were excellent. A few of them made me think of Carol Ann Duffy's re-writing of certain myths in her collection, The World's Wife, which is a good recommendation. Some bits sailed by without really capturing my attention, even on the luxury of a second reading, but the majority of pieces are engaging, witty and thought-provoking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars short stories by Atwood, 4 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
Outstanding collection. I love the animals story and the Tent. It's Attwood at her sharpest, most ironically humorous. Read them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There is a fab mixture of materials here, 15 April 2013
By 
James Miller (Durham) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
Not everything in this little book is good, but some of it is fabulous. The feminist materials are great (I liked bring back Mom), but I love Atwood's classical reception (I think the Penelopiad is her best work) and the Procne materials are stupendous. I borrowed this from a library, but had to buy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous collection of short fiction, 23 Aug 2012
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
This is a wonderful collection of short essays by Margaret Atwood, ranging from musings on the modern world, her thoughts on some of the themes of her novels, like feminism, women's place in the world, environmentalism etc, and her reworkings of modern myths, as in her work The Penelopiad.

I loved this book. I am not generally a fan of the short story genre, but these are too short to be short stories. They are more like the literary equivalent of amuse bouches. They were funny, touching, surreal, and thought provoking in turn, and I consider them to be a great addition to her already impressive body of work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Atwood fans, 29 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
I picked a copy of this up in a charity shop because I love her writing. I found these short pieces, reflections on life but mainly approached through symbolism, stunning and at times incredibly moving. The illustrations , done by a family member I think, are wonderful. Bought this copy from Amazon for a friend, to spread the words....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Snippets, 1 Jun 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Tent (Mass Market Paperback)
Incredible! This fascinating collection of stories, poems, and shorts is as intriguing as the many different voices Atwood uses to portray the pieces. The Works in this collection span many years of writing and many of the pieces have previously been published elsewhere in such works as: The Walrus, Harper's Magazine, New Beginnings, and a few small independent printings of smaller collections.

What draws the reader in, in this compilation, is that every tale is a story about a life, or lives. They are told in first, second or third person accounts, and some are stories of a person telling their own story to save it from the ravages of the press, or from being lost in time.

There is a powerful collection of pieces on orphans that highlights the collection. Atwood uses wit, witticism, irony and dark humour to open our eyes to the lives of others.

A reader will be drawn in by the power of lives, some calm and serine, and some outrageous, and others downright wicked and evil. But all will grab your attention. Read with great attention and take time after each story to reflect upon the message of that piece before moving on. The temptation will be to race through the book, and if you do so, you will be drawn back to reread it more slowly and savor the offerings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great snippets., 1 Jun 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Tent (Paperback)
Incredible! This fascinating collection of stories, poems, and shorts is as intriguing as the many different voices Atwood uses to portray the pieces. The Works in this collection span many years of writing and many of the pieces have previously been published elsewhere in such works as: The Walrus, Harper's Magazine, New Beginnings, and a few small independent printings of smaller collections.

What draws the reader in, in this compilation, is that every tale is a story about a life, or lives. They are told in first, second or third person accounts, and some are stories of a person telling their own story to save it from the ravages of the press, or from being lost in time.

There is a powerful collection of pieces on orphans that highlights the collection. Atwood uses wit, witticism, irony and dark humour to open our eyes to the lives of others.

A reader will be drawn in by the power of lives, some calm and serine, and some outrageous, and others downright wicked and evil. But all will grab your attention. Read with great attention and take time after each story to reflect upon the message of that piece before moving on. The temptation will be to race through the book, and if you do so, you will be drawn back to reread it more slowly and savor the offerings.
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2 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 30 May 2007
By 
Sam "Sam" (UK, Birmingham) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Tent (Hardcover)
I like the fictional essays, and this was my firt time to read for Atwood, as intorduced by a friend, but I wasn't impressed.

Reading the first few essays I was not able to put the book down. It is a well written easy read, but the style often changes in a way that makes you lose intrest. I find some of the essays picking up on the nice style again, thought provoking in some instance, but others I just wanted to read to finish the book (without major interest). The book format is very nicely layed out and although it is a 155 page read, it can be written in almost half that. I found one of the strongest aspect of the book was the occasional drawings, although going through the acknowledgements and every details in the book I failed to see anyone's credit for those, so is it Atwoods drawings? I don't know.
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The Tent
The Tent by Margaret Atwood (Hardcover - 6 Mar 2006)
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