18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is a masterpiece and must be read,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Robber Bride (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.