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Extended Audio Sample Moral Disorder Audiobook, by Margaret Atwood Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,556 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Atwood Narrator: Susan Denaker Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2006 ISBN: 9780739340523
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Margaret Atwood isacknowledged 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.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • Her stories are sophisticated, reticent, ornate, stark, supple, stiff, savage or forgiving; they are exactly what she wants them to be. They are stories from the prime of life. Times Literary Supplement

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Douglas | 1/23/2014

    " A fascinating collection of interrelated short stories about one woman's life. In some of the stories, the woman is a central characters; in others, she plays more of a peripheral role. The result is a collection of stories not unlike what is recounted at a family reunion when people start sharing memories. The stories aren't quite in order; and it's not always obvious how the stories - or the characters - tie together until you take time to mull over them after the fact. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lydia | 1/22/2014

    " I loved this book, the beautiful ability to capture childhood as we all experienced it, maybe. Close, believing your special, later going on and doing all those mundane things our parents did. I'm very glad Atwood decided to create these loosely knit biographical stories--they're so different from her other fare like Handmaid's Tale, Oryx & Crake, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea DeAngelis | 1/12/2014

    " A heart-rending book of semi-autobiographical stories, many of these stories images and trials will stay with me a long time. The only story that didn't stir me completely was the very first one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sara | 1/8/2014

    " I don't know . . . the writing was good of course . . . but the content just didn't appeal to me. I don't think there was enough life in the stories for me. They were pleasantly unsettling at times, but maybe too dreamy for my taste. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elvira Millar | 1/4/2014

    " I didn't read this book...I listened to in on my CD player in my car as I drove to and from work, etc. I never knew it was supposed to be short stories that were interconnected. At any rate, I was fairly entertained, but I found the book lacking in tying up all the loose ends. It felt sad to me...like a life lived means not much at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 stephanie | 12/31/2013

    " better than oryx & crake, which turned me off atwood for quite some time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 12/30/2013

    " I love this author but I just couldn't get into these short stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ritva S | 12/30/2013

    " Reading stuff from Atwood, like this or 'Alias Grace', gives you a second life as a country girl. She's so good at depicting all the details of a farm house and its chores. Funnily enough, even though everything revolves around the characters, they still don't seem that relevant from the point of view of the whole: they're just pawns in a game, really. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Cecily | 12/24/2013

    " I couldn't get through the first disc. It just didn't grab me but I will try something else by Atwood and see if I like it better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia | 12/20/2013

    " Voice in the story is so much like a conversation between friends. Thoughts stray from one topic to another, from events to feelings. Now on to some of her novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 10/23/2013

    " Nice collection of short stories of one woman from different points of view. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberlys | 9/15/2013

    " I love Atwood, but this was definitely not my favorite. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marya | 9/15/2013

    " not my favorite of atwood's works, but still a good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 9/8/2013

    " Not Atwood's very best perhaps, but since Atwood is better on an off day than most writers will ever be... I guess I just like her novels better than her short stories. Semi- or perhaps quasi-autobiographical and thus very interesting stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louise | 8/18/2013

    " Some of the stories are hit or miss, but several are quite moving. I have never read Atwood, but would pick up her other books based on this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyla | 4/29/2013

    " I think the Tig and Nell stories could easily have been their own slight, lovely, earthy, amazing novella - but I'm not going to complain about some extra Atwood stories thrown in for good measure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jesi | 11/8/2012

    " I didn't like this nearly as much as "the handmaid's tale" But it was well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 linnea | 10/15/2012

    " I dislike reading short stories, but I loved this collection. I forgot how much i love and want to write like Margaret Atwood. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Julie [Kaskade] | 6/12/2012

    " It might have been me, but I just couldn't get into this one. I only finished the first half, but I will try to come back to it another time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April | 6/5/2012

    " Of course, this set of short stories is beautifully written and thought provoking. It is written by Margaret Atwood after all. Some of the stories, like "The Headless Horseman" and "The Other Place" are simply stunning but in truth, I prefer Atwood's long fiction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jesse | 1/31/2012

    " Started with a few wobbles, but once it picked up speed it all rang true. Good stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie Strocco | 1/26/2012

    " eh... not good. not bad. reading to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Taylor | 10/17/2011

    " Okay. It's official. I don't like Margaret Atwood. I hear she's a bitch, anyway. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nate D | 10/15/2011

    " Proficient but forgettable Atwood. Nothing like the ambition or innovation of her prior two novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 pjreads ♫ | 8/11/2011

    " 5.9 Read in bed "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerry | 6/21/2011

    " Interconnected short stories. Interesting but not as good as some of her other books. Go read Blind Assassin or the Handmaid's Tale or Oryx and Crake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Johanna | 5/16/2011

    " I like reading short stories. The weird and wonderful world of Atwood, always a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rachel | 5/4/2011

    " The Handmaid's Tale is my favorite book. I have loved many of Atwood's novels, but this one is a mess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doris | 4/28/2011

    " A life is traced to essentially form a novel within this collection of short stories. Richly written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 4/14/2011

    " OK but soon forgotten; liked the treatment of old age and death "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 4/5/2011

    " Atwood is consistently intelligent, lyrical, interesting. The sweep of a woman's life from her fierce effort to knit a layette for her baby sister through the final care of her aging mother. Moving backward and forward through time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 megan | 3/22/2011

    " There was a moment, in the second story, when I didn't want to continue. But I did. And I'm glad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 3/17/2011

    " Reviews have said that this is the most autobiographical of Atwood's books. Obvuiosly it is very well written and highly compelling, it is Atwood after all. I just kind of wondered what the point was.

    Most of the book is about Nel's life and her life with Teig. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tori | 3/9/2011

    " Some of the stories were great and some were not. My favorite was "My Last Duchess." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilarie | 2/27/2011

    " I don't usually like short stories, but all of the stories in this collection are about the same set of characters over a long span of time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 2/17/2011

    " I've given this book 4 stars despite the fact it won't rank as one of my favourites, just because it's written so well. Considering the slight lack of clear narrative and plot, I still engaged with the characters and enjoyed it enough to want to read to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 NaomiStrange | 1/28/2011

    " Great stories. I always enjoy reading Margaret Atwood "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kyla | 1/21/2011

    " I think the Tig and Nell stories could easily have been their own slight, lovely, earthy, amazing novella - but I'm not going to complain about some extra Atwood stories thrown in for good measure. "

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About the Author
Author Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s books have been published in more than thirty-five countries. Her novels The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat’s Eye were shortlisted for the Booker Prize, The Blind Assassin was awarded the Booker Prize, Alias Grace won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy. In 2005 Atwood received the Edinburgh International Book Festival Enlightenment Award. She lives in Toronto.

About the Narrator

Susan Denaker is an actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator. Her extensive theater credits include numerous plays in the West End of London, national tours, many English rep companies, including a season with Alan Ayckbourn’s company in Scarborough. In the US, she has appeared in Our Town and Sweet Bird of Youth at the La Jolla Playhouse and Breaking Legs at the Westport Playhouse.