Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Title: The Robber Bride
Author: Margaret Atwood

ISBN # 1853817228

Publisher: Virago

First Published: 1993

564 pages

Format: Paperback

Rating: 7/10

Zenia is beautiful, smart and greedy, by turns manipulative and vulnerable, needy and ruthless; a man's dream and a woman's nightmare. She is also dead. Just to make sure Tony, Roz and Charis are there for the funeral. But five years on, as the three women share an indulgent, sisterly lunch, the unthinkable happens; 'with waves of ill will flowing out of her like cosmic radiation', Zenia is back.

I think I'm missing something - by the accounts of other readers, Margaret Atwood is a great writer, but I just don't see it. I read The Handmaid's Tale and it was all right, but I didn't feel it was anything particularly special. Now I’ve had the same trouble with The Robber Bride.

My main problem, I feel, was with the characters - Charis was insipid, Roz was bland, Tony was timid to the point of cringing, and her husband, West was so painfully fragile that he was hardly a man - certainly not man enough for Zenia who was the only character who shows any spirit. I couldn't blame her for leaving him and despising Tony as they were both so naive I almost felt they deserved to be taken advantage of, if only to wake them up! There was only Zenia with whom I could get on-board, despite the fact that she was a liar and a cheat - at least she had balls!

It did get a little better as I progressed, but it still felt like a bit of a slog and the characters still seemed a bit wishy-washy right to the end. Throughout it all, the only one I had any respect for was Zenia who lied and cheated her way through her life - she was at least interesting and gutsy. It also seemed to just peter out at the end and didn't really go anywhere - I couldn't see what point Atwood was trying to make with this at all.

Still not convinced about Atwood really...


Blogger Kailana said...

Yeah, I have never got the big deal over Margaret Atwood either. Everytime I have read her I just think she is okay.

3:06 am  
Blogger The Book Fiend said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one! ;)

5:39 am  
Blogger Robyn said...

Actually I found the book very interesting, like there were three stories on the one book. It took a lot of concentration to get it all but it was well worthwhile.

Maybe you could reread the book and see it in a different light?

But then I enjoyed Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood which is quite a dark story.

Certainly not Mills & Boon material!

9:33 am  

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