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Download Stone Mattress: Nine Tales Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Stone Mattress: Nine Tales, by Margaret Atwood Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Atwood Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Stone Mattress is a collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy, vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “These exuberantly told tales are a tour de force of wit, style, and discernment.”

    O Magazine

  • “Witty and frequently biting…This book’s stories offer characters a chance to put their own understandings of gallantry, courage, and revenge to the test, in ways both mundane and extraordinary.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Eclectic, funny, vibrant, terrifying, beautiful, and utterly delightful.”

    Boston Globe

  • "[These] stories have the caustic wit and giddy deviance…along with the probing interiority and flinty insights of Atwood’s novels.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • "[This] collection is surprisingly unsettling, gripping, and at once laugh-out-loud hilarious. It attains its laudable goal: Myths last over time, and the stories in this book have that very quality. They are timeless, memorable and quite simply fun.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Stylish, acerbic, and wickedly funny…With wit, sympathy, and precision, Atwood draws readers into a reflective frame of mind.”

    Miami Herald

  • “Atwood, a bestselling master of fiction, delivers a stunning collection—her first since 2006’s Moral Disorder. Most of the nine stories feature women who have been wronged as girls but recover triumphantly as adults. Atwood brings her biting wit to bear on the battle of the sexes…Readers love Atwood’s women, despite, or because of, who they are and what they do…It’s clear that this grande dame is at the top of her game.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Atwood is shrewdly brilliant, gleefully mischievous, and acerbically hilarious in her first short-fiction collection since the superb Moral Disorder…Atwood has the raptor’s penetrating gaze, speed, and agility and never misses her mark.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Clever tales about writers, lovers, and other weirdos. This, explains Atwood in the acknowledgments, is a book of tales, not stories…Up to her old tricks and not dropping a card.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Nine provocative tales are divided among seven utterly capable voices. The result is an often startling, sometimes humorous, and always satisfying exploration of the human condition. Lorna Raver is clearly energized and engaged with the characters, and her low-pitched voice lends itself well to the stories that open and close the collection, each featuring an older woman who is struggling to balance reality and imagination. Also performing double duty, Arthur Morey is deliberate with pace and pronunciation as he navigates the murky intersection of biography and storytelling. Though she’s tasked with the shortest story, Emily Rankin’s memorable performance belies the innocence of a character whose genetic condition is mistaken for vampirism. The highlight is Margaret Atwood’s reading of the titular story. Her understated delivery and low tones are a chilling combination in this pointed tale of revenge.”


  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, September 2014
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