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The Robber Bride Hardcover – Special Edition, 2 Nov 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Special edition edition (2 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408803585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408803585
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 3.8 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Excitements, wit and insight sizzle across the pages. Atwood's survey of impulses that bedevil life seethes with imagination, inventiveness and intelligence' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'Funny, thoughtful, moving Atwood's plotting is masterful, and her humor is razor-edged, sexy, and raucous' Washington Post 'It stirs depths that Cat's Eye did not reach, and grants deeper, stronger powers to women's friendship in distress' Marina Warner 'Atwood has never written better than in this novel of glittering breadth and dark, eerie depths' Sunday Times

Review

'Moving amid these three women, touching up their portraits with one perfect detail after another, conjuring Zenia from their memories and tears, Atwood is in her glory. What a treasure she is, and what a fine new book she has written.' (Newsweek)

'A provocative version of the war between the sexes; entertaining, imaginative and suspenseful, it finds Atwood in rare form.' (Publishers Weekly) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have just re-read this, one of my very favourite contemporary novels, and consider it to be an extraordinary achievement.
Its major strength surely lies in the highly skilful interlocking of themes and narrative technique and structure. The lives of three different women, Toni, Charis and Roz, have been ransacked in various unsavoury ways by the baleful influence of the mysterious Zenia. The reader is given ample opportunity to see things from the points of view of three characters with highly contrasted personalities and attitudes to life in general, and as a result is gradually led to realise that, while all three women are in many ways likeable, none of them is perhaps one hundred per-cent trustworthy...
Many articles and reviews have set out to establish what "really" happens in this novel, who, if anyone, is "really" responsible for what happens in the end. This surely misses the point, which is that subjective interpretations of "reality" inevitably and by definition clash with and contradict one another. And, after all, perhaps Zenia, like the witches in "Macbeth", doesn't "really" exist as any more than a personification or metaphor of the neuroses, uncertainties and vulnerabilities of the other characters?
Margaret Atwood heaps up the images which correspond to the chaos and fragility of our inner lives, and alludes very deftly to the fact that so much of what we do and how we behave corresponds to largely anarchic impulses, rather than to rational, planned behaviour.
I haven't yet read "Oryx and Crake", but I put this firmly at the top of the list of Atwood's novels. Although it wasn't shortlisted - five of her others have been, including "Oryx and Crake" and "The Blind Assassin", which went on to win in 2000 - this, for me, is the one that really deserved the Booker.
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By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
The Robber Bride is a story of the connections and relationships between three women (Tony, Charis and Roz) and Zenia, a femme fatale character. Zenia's sole interest in befriending each of the three women seems to be to take whatever she can. Each of the characters has a very different relationship with Zenia, although all are similarly destructive. The stories that Zenia tells about who she is, what she has been doing and what she is currently doing is different with each of the women.

The backstories of Tony, Charis and Roz are detailed and take up the majority of words in The Robber Bride. While their characters are well explored the character of Zenia is somewhat of a mystery. Even the conclusion of the book is not well defined and has an air of mystery. Throughout the book, things are not really all that they appear to be in each of the women. How much is each of them responsible for the events that happened?

This is a book that requires some thinking about to really fully appreciate its messages that Atwood is conveying. While Tony, Charis and Roz appear to loathe Zenia but they are obviously strongly connected to her and even demonstrate loyalty to her. I think The Robber Bride would make an excellent book club choice as it would easily provoke a lot of discussion about the relationships between the four women.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of my top 10 books ever! (I'll spare you the whole list). If I enjoy a book I am usually disappointed by the conclusion - but in this case the entire book fulfilled the expectations of the first few chapters. The reader (me) could identify with all the main characters, and the villain is delicious in succeeding at all the duplications expected of a woman of 'a certain age' and managing to succeed undetected. As ever, Atwood does not dwell on some idealised 'sisterhood', but acknowledges the support that women can get from their peers without necessarily trusting them wholeheartedly. The whole book fits in with my own experiences, both first hand and vicarious.
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback
One of the best books I have ever read, The Robber Bride is a work to read at one [very long] sitting, and then read again, and again, and again. Atwood creates a world so real that you can touch it, and the extraordinary things which happen there are utterly convincing and deeply moving. Her four heroines are all, even the villain, created with consummate skill and a compassion which grabs the reader and sweeps you along in the stories which are woven together in this wonderful book. The complex structure is extremely satisfying, and is sustained by the creation of three distinct - and glorious - narrative voices, a stunning feat of writing which makes this an amazingly enjoyable read. Lots to think about, characters to love, and a real joy in language. The ending, or endings, in particular, are amazing, and even thinking about them brings tears to my eyes.
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