Stone Mattress

  • by Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by Margaret Atwood, Rob Delaney, Mark Bramhall
  • 10 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy. Vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor: think Alias Grace.
Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in "Alphinland," the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In "The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom," a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In "Lusus Naturae," a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In "Torching the Dusties," an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in "Stone Mattress," a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.
List of Stories and Narrators:


"Alphinland" and "Torching the Dusties" read by Lorna Raver
"Revenant" read by Mark Bramhall
"Dark Lady" and "The Dead Hand Loves You" read by Arthur Morey
"Lusus Naturae" read by Emily Rankin
"The Freeze-Dried Groom" read by Rob Delaney
"I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth" read by Bernadette Dunne
"Stone Mattress" read by Margaret Atwood

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What the Critics Say

"Stunning…Atwood brings her biting wit to bear on the battle of the sexes." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
"Shrewdly brilliant, gleefully mischievous, and acerbically hilarious…Atwood has the raptor's penetrating gaze, speed, and agility and never misses her mark." (Booklist, starred review)
"Clever tales about writers and lovers…Atwood is a playful, sharp-edged, and politically alert author." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Includes 3 great short stories

I am a big fan of Margaret Atwood's work, and appreciate everything she writes, but in my opinion this is not her best work.
I didn't enjoy the entire collection, but it had its moments, thanks to the connection between the stories (revnge, looking back, connection between fantasy writers and their inspiration or themes).

There are also two exceptional stories included in this collection +one enjoyable nostalgic story for M. Atwood's fans.

I Dream of Zenia... - a retrospect/ revisit of the book The Robber Bride (funny and very well written)

The Dead Hand Loves you - a very amusing story, about a glorified horror writer, looking back at his inspiration and planning to take revenge on his past flat mates.

Torching the Dusties - best story included in this collection, and deserves entery to Atwood's hall of fame work. smart and disturbing story including a distopian view of old age.
brilliantly told and memorable.



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- Vered

Staggeringly Good

Year ago, I read two of Margaret Atwood's novels; both were dark and disturbing, and extremely well-written. And recently, I've been listening to detective stories and mysteries - most of them enjoyable and good enough to pass the hours of my long daily commute.
Well, I clearly had forgotten how wonderful it is to listen to beautifully written prose!

Atwood's stories are wonderful, the characters are intriguing and the imagery conveyed by her beautiful words is stunning. I laughed out loud at times and other times I simply smiled to myself at the sheer wonder of how she tells a story. Happy tale or sad tale, Atwood's telling of the tale is everything.

I enjoyed every single minute of this collection of short stories and cannot recommend them highly enough.
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- The Amester

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-16-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio