The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride

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by Margaret Atwood
     
 

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Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by "The Robber Bridegroom," a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three

Overview

Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by "The Robber Bridegroom," a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony,

Charis, and Roz. All three "have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them.

To Tony, who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career, Zenia is 'a lurking enemy commando.' To Roz, who did lose her husband and almost her magazine, Zenia is 'a cold and treacherous bitch.' To Charis, who lost a boyfriend, quarts of vegetable juice and some pet chickens, Zenia is a kind of zombie, maybe 'soulless'" (Lorrie Moore, New York Times Book Review). In love and war, illusion and deceit, Zenia's subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies' pasts.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Set in Canada in the early 1970s, The Robber Bride continues Atwood's satiric exploration into sex and empowerment. Three women and the femme fatale who unites them are set against a backdrop of draft dodgers and the resurgence of feminism. Atwood is an astute observer of contemporary misinformation, and references to tarot, auras, astrology, and more abound. Despite some wonderful passages, however, the narrative thrust consists of self-contained vignettes that do not easily lend themselves to audio. The histories of these women are intense and distinctive, but the superficial present in which they do little more than move from restaurant to restaurant blurs them to the point of being interchangeable. When she stays with one character long enough (e.g., her treatment of Charis's incest-filled childhood at the start of the third tape), the poignancy increases. It's slow going, but a lively reading by Blythe Danner and musical interludes that accentuate the New Age mood should help keep maintain listeners' attention.
Michiko Katukani
. . .In a shorter, more focused book, [a] cartoonlike approach to writing might have resulted in a kind of darkly colored fairy tale. . . .Her characters [here] remain exiles from both the earthbound realm of realism and the airier altitudes of allegory, and as a result, their story does not illuminate or entertain; it grates.
The New York Times
From the Publisher
WINNER OF THE TRILLIUM BOOK AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE GOVERNOR GENERAL'S AWARD FOR FICTION

“Atwood has never written better than in this novel of glittering breadth and dark, eerie depths.” The Sunday Times 

“A remarkable achievement, constantly entertaining and intriguing.” The Ottawa Citizen

“Funny, thoughtful, moving…. Atwood’s plotting is masterful, and her humor is razor-edged, sexy, and raucous.” The Washington Post

“Nobody maps female psychic territory the way Margaret Atwood does.…What a treasure she is.” Newsweek

“A hugely enjoyable novel.” Globe and Mail

“Brilliant and entertaining.” Boston Sunday Globe

“Brilliant and entertaining.” Ottawa Sun

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385260084
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1993
Pages:
466
Product dimensions:
6.75(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.49(d)

Meet the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty volumes of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and non-fiction, but is best known for her novels, which include The Edible Woman (1969), The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), The Robber Bride (1994), Alias Grace (1996), and The Blind Assassin, which won the prestigious Booker Prize in 2000. A book of short stories called Stone Mattress: Nine Tales was published in 2014. Her novel, MaddAddam (2013), is the final volume in a three-book series that began with the Man-Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003) and continued with The Year of the Flood (2009). The Tent (mini-fictions) and Moral Disorder (short fiction) both appeared in 2006. A volume of poetry, The Door, was published in 2007. In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination, a collection of non-fiction essays appeared in 2011. Her non-fiction book, Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth was adapted for the screen in 2012. Ms. Atwood’s work has been published in more than forty languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian.
Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.
www.margaretatwood.ca
.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Toronto, Ontario
Date of Birth:
November 18, 1939
Place of Birth:
Ottawa, Ontario
Education:
B.A., University of Toronto, 1961; M.A. Radcliffe, 1962; Ph.D., Harvard University, 1967
Website:
http://www.owtoad.com

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The Robber Bride 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Robber Bride is a book full of twists and turns. It leaves on the edge of your seat and makes you want to keep on reading. Tony, Roz, and Charis met under odd circumstances. They had all been badly wounded by Zenia. Zenia is a vindictive character whose only pleasure comes from the hurt of others. Zenia befriends the three and then finds what would hurt each of them the most, the man in their life. Not only does Zenia take away each man, but she also finds it necessary to completely destroy each man. For Charis and Roz Zenia is successful in demolishing each man, but for Tony's beloved West she cannot win. Through out the story you become more acquainted with the three characters. All three have lost their husbands to Zenia. Margaret Atwood did a superb job with this novel. Her ability to makes you actually know the character makes the book some how comes alive. It's like you can relate to the characters. At one point they're eating lunch at Toxique and it's almost like you can see what they see. Atwood really gets into the minds of her characters. She shows you a simple instance, such as going out to eat, from each perspective. At times her language can be a bit confusing, but at the same time it intrigues you even more. I really like the fact that she chose three completely different characters and was able to bring them all together and make it work. The Robber Bride is a book for anyone who enjoys being engulfed by a piece of writing. I recommend this book to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whether you're a reader or a writer, this book is a classic. The three women and their long history with the elusive Robber bride will entertain the reader, mesmerize the writer. Atwood is at the top of her craft with this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Atwood weaves a tale of 3 very different women ( Roz, Charis, & Tony) who are similar in their personal lives. These women attract men who use them for personal satisfaction and they allow themselves to become bulldozed by a very clever and ruthless woman, Zenia. The events of changing times - war,the drug culture, exploration of ones civil liberties, influences their future. Does Atwood interject some of her own experiences into the book?
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I couldn't finish this book. The story sounded interesting but too many unnecessary descriptions left me bored beyond belief. I rated this book one star because zero star wasn't a choice. This was the first Margaret Atwood book I've read (tried too) and it is definitely the last. Yawn!!!! --K--
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Especially in scifi fantasy Zphobic perhaps? unless Greek which is hard to avoid a Z name