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Lady Oracle by [Atwood, Margaret]
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Lady Oracle Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Length: 377 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description


If you feel safe only with "nine to five" reality, you'll probably not enjoy her books. But if you'd like to lift off, try her (COSMOPOLITAN)

Shrewd, funny, intelligent, honest, ironic (SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)


'Funny, poignant, and briskly energetic.' (Newsweek)

'A really gifted writer ... alternately satirical and lyrical.' (Time)

'A very funny novel, lightly told with wry detachment and considerable art.' (Washington Post Book World)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 807 KB
  • Print Length: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Virago; New Ed edition (28 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860683036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860683032
  • ASIN: B0089YH8CW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #24,017 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
'Lady Oracle' tells the story of serious feminist writer Joan Foster, (the Lady Oracle of the title) and her secret life as gothic-romance writer Louisa Delacourt, from Joan's life from a chubby child, her conflict with her mother who wants the perfect daughter, her battle to lose weight, bizarre affairs, (one with a Polish Count and another with an artist named 'The Royal Porcupine',) eventual marriage to the pasteboard Arthur, and the bizarre way in which she leaves the mundanity of her marriage to quite literally begin a new life.
The novel opens with the fantastic line 'I planned my death carefully; unlike my life, which meandered along from one thing to another, despite my feeble attempts to control it' and goes on to explain that the narrator has faked her own death in order to escape both her stillborn marriage and a blackmail attempt by the mysterious Fraser Buchanan.
It then continues with vivid, moving, and highly amusing accounts of her childhood. The narrator was a fat person until her late adolescense, and here Atwood gives a voice to the underrepresented and oppressed overweight of today's society. Joan's battles with her mother, of which her body was the battleground, are telling of a society where it is unacceptable to be anything except a perfect ten.
Atwood then alternates the narrative of the story with extracts from the gothic romance her narrator is writing: 'Stalked by love.' It is in these extracts, and the narrator's thoughts on them, that Atwood's trademark insightfulness truly flourishes, as even the most militant feminist finds herself confessing that what they really want is a Rochester. I particularly like the quotation 'Escape wasn't a luxury for (my readers), it was a necessity ...
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Format: Paperback
The only thing I found disappointing about this book is that it came to an end. I therefore immediately went out and bought The Edible Woman so that I could stay in Atwood's world a bit longer.
Margaret Atwood has such a wonderful way of telling the story about an ordinary woman - she isn't beautiful beyond imagination, she doesn't have fantastically wonderful relationships, a model husband and unrealistically good looking children, she is simply Joan Foster, with long red hair and, as one of the characters puts it "built like a brick nuthouse". But she doesn't need to have all the above things because Margaret has given her character a wonderfully touching and extraordinary life. Extraordinary because it is so ordinary!!!
Atwood strikes exactly the right balance in this book between moments of raw pain (Joan's childhood and relationship with her mother) and comic moments. I really really loved this book. It doesn't really have a proper ending but it wouldn't have because this is a snapshot of someone's life so it wouldnt tie up neatly at the end as you would not then be left wondering how Joan gets on.
Some people have moaned that Atwood includes too much detail in her novels but I think this is tosh - the details make it more real - who wants to read a book where the characters don't eat, sleep, burp, become obese, look ugly, in short, they don't behave like real people.
She has a wonderful way of describing relationships, especially the tensions and misapprehensions but by far the most chilling, Atwood can convey exactly the relationship between a bully and a victim and this is a common theme in her novels. It can be very unnerving to read especially if you yourself have been through similar experiences but then again, that just goes towards making the book more "real".
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Format: Paperback
I first read a Margaret Atwood novel only 2 years ago and since then I have managed to read them all as they are mostly fasinating.Since her international breakthrough novel puplished in the early 80s the Handmaiden's Tale, her novels have mostly been of the highest quality (the Penolopiad is an exception).Her early novels dating from the 60s while interesting and showing a promising talent can at times seem dated and a little lacking in action.
This novel however is still as fresh as when it was first puplished in the 1970s.It also shows some of the later themes of Atwood's novels. The novel starts towards the end of the story and gaps are filled in to bring the reader up to date.The main female character has had a bullied upbringing and exotic affairs (Cats Eye and The Robber Bride ). There is even a subplot consisting of the main character's own fiction making an appearance on the page (The Blind Assassin).If you have already read and enjoyed Atwood's later novels this book is well worth reading.
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By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I hate to be the only negative reviewer of this book, and must add that I'm usually a big Atwood fan (apart from the dystopian fiction, which, though well written, I found too painful to get through), and have read a lot of her work, and admire her a lot. But to be honest - I really hated this book! For one thing, I found all the characters pretty dislikeable, from the self-indulgent heroine - an overweight girl and teenager who becomes a romance writer and builds up a whole double-life with a Marxist husband plus infidelity on the side - to the self-righteous Marxist husband, the flamboyant Polish Count (if he was one), the Performance Artist lover (who nearly made me throw up), the heroine's terrible fighting parents and - well, it's a while since I read the book but I can't remember liking any of the characters. The traumas of childhood were described in a more melodramatic and much less subtle way than in 'Cat's Eye', nothing really happened (apart from the heroine getting into worse and worse scrapes), the ending was completely inconclusive, and the big passages of quotes from a trashy romance that Joan the heroine was writing simply showed how boring books of the Mills and Boon kind are. She was also clearly not meant to be considered a talented poet as her poems all came to her 'in visions' dictated by an external force. All the characters seemed to me to be ghastly caricatures, and this book taught me that the Classical view that leading characters have to all have something in them that you sympathize with and something noble is in fact quite a good view to hold.

This review is not to get at Atwood, a fine writer; but I must say that it's a book I never want to read again! Not a good introduction to her work either - read 'Cat's Eye' or 'Life Before Man' first.
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