2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Delightful Short Atwoodian Snippets,
This review is from: Murder In The Dark (Paperback)
Rather than being a collection of short stories `Murder in the Dark' is really a collection of very short fictions, of just two or three pages in some cases. Oh apart from part two which is a full on short story in the form of `Raw Materials'. Yes, I mentioned part two because the book is 27 pieces split between four parts. The first part seems to be autobiographical snippets, second part is a short story, the third and fourth parts are further random selections of small pieces. I did try and see if each of the last parts had any themes but I couldn't personally pick any out they were just fantastic shorts. Speaking of which enough of how the collection is put together and onto what it actually contains.
Atwood being Atwood every novel she writes is completely different in prose, genre and motivation and so with a collection like this you get a whole host of varying themes. Those of you who know her for her feminist views will enjoy shorts such as `She', `Liking Men', `Simmering', `Iconography' and `Women's Novels'. The latter of which I think quite a few publishers themselves could learn from. If you like her subtle and sometime wry humour then `Fainting' will probably make you laugh as much as I did.
In fact `Fainting' came from my all together favourite section which was her more autobiographical jottings. I love `Autobiography' which describes a first memory and the humour of memories of a younger (we assume) Atwood in the darkly comic tales of teenage pranks in `Horror Comics' and `Making Poison'. Though they are written by Atwood in recent years they seem to show the younger Atwood you know was brimming with ideas that would form her later works.
There is further darkness in the slightly chilling `Murder in the Dark' from which this collection gets its name with a brilliant last paragraph that if I told you would ruin it so I shall not. There were two particular stand out shorts for me though. `Bread' will both move you and almost give you a wake up call which will leave you looking at your loaves quite differently from now on. There is also the remarkable `Happy Endings' which takes us down the many routes a relationship can go and does it with a big slice of emotion.
A superb bite size collection of works, it's a bit like a box of chocolates which you start of with just having one... and then they are all devoured and gone.