Margaret Atwood is acknowledged as one of the foremost writers of our time. In Moral Disorder, she has created a series of interconnected stories that trace the course of a life and also the lives intertwined with it, those of parents, of siblings, of children, of friends, of enemies, of teachers, and even of animals. As in a photograph album, time is measured in sharp, clearly observed moments. The '30s, the '40s, the '50s, the '60s, the '70s, the '80s, the '90s, and the present, all are here. The settings vary: large cities, suburbs, farms, northern forests."The Bad News" is set in the present, as a couple no longer young situate themselves in a larger world no longer safe. The narrative then switches time as the central character moves through childhood and adolescence in "The Art of Cooking and Serving", "The Headless Horseman", and "My Last Duchess". We follow her into young adulthood in "The Other Place" and then through a complex relationship, traced in four of the stories: "Monopoly", "Moral Disorder", "White Horse", and "The Entities". The last two stories, "The Labrador Fiasco" and "The Boys at the Lab", deal with the heartbreaking old age of parents but circle back again to childhood, to complete the cycle.
By turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder displays Atwood's celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage. As the New York Times has said: "The reader has the sense that Atwood has complete access to her people's emotional histories, complete understanding of their hearts and imaginations."
"Gimlet-eyed, gingery, and impishly funny." (Booklist)
"A memorable mosaic of domestic pain and the surface tension of a troubled family." (Publishers Weekly)
"Atwood mingles omniscient with first-person narrative, moving backward and forward in time through nearly seven decades, to portray her sentient protagonist Nell, a freelance journalist and sometime teacher whose eventual commitment to writing seems born of the secrets and evasions into which a lifetime of relationships and responsibilities propels her....Crisp, vivid detail and imagery and a rich awareness of the unity of human generations, people and animals, and Nell's own exterior and inmost selves, make Moral Disorder one of Atwood's most accessible and engaging works yet." (Kirkus Reviews)
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Fantastic Story and Reading
I think they're both good, but Susan Denaker does a fantastic job of bringing the narrator of these stories to life.
The poignancy of the narrator's interaction with her parents, particularly in The Labrador Fiasco, is particularly memorable, perhaps because it seems to be an issue that many people may be facing when caring for aging parents. The final words of this chapter seem to be both heartbreaking and reassuring. She is there for her father, but there's still a certain amount of fear in his demeanor that is difficult to overcome.
Of course, it would be the author, who seems to have some very autobiographical elements in her writing. I would love to open a bottle of wine with Margaret Atwood and ask her how she manages to write such realistic characters.
This is a fantastic book and a wonderful rendition as an audiobook. I greatly enjoyed it!
- Amazon Customer
Outstanding stories about life
Moral Disorder and other Stories was my first audiobook. Before listening I had read the book and found it excellent. It's hard to say which version was better -.by reading I could choose my pace, by listening I enjoyed an artistic interpretation ....
The stories are about Nell's life but I wouldn't say she was the main character. Nell made two decissions relatively by herself - to become editor and to choose an considerably older married man as her partner. All the other life conditions and companions happened to her . I would say LIFE is the main character with it's ups and downs. By superficially reading or hearing all semas al right but an
Susan Denaker did a great work narrating M. Atwood's stories. I liked her voice and the way she had modulated it in presenting different characters. My favorite
Whom would I take out to dinner? Margaret Atwood for her artful style and Susan Denaker for her wonderful interpretation.
For me English is a forign language - you have noticed it reading my review. I often don't undestand what I hear and have to look into the print version. Or, I read first in the print book and listen then the part in the audio version. The way this audiobok was broken makes it extremely difficult to find the right location. It would be much easier, had the audiobook been broken accordingly to the titles in the print version.