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Extended Audio Sample The Robber Bride 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 (17,954 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Margaret Atwood Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780307940612
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Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by "The Robber Bridegroom," a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends, Tony, 

Charis, and Roz. All three "have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them. 

To Tony, who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career, Zenia is 'a lurking enemy commando.' To Roz, who did lose her husband and almost her magazine, Zenia is 'a cold and treacherous bitch.' To Charis, who lost a boyfriend, quarts of vegetable juice and some pet chickens, Zenia is a kind of zombie, maybe 'soulless'" (Lorrie Moore, New York Times Book Review). In love and war, illusion and deceit, Zenia's subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies' pasts.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Virtuoso fullness…Vigour and wit…A hugely enjoyable novel.”

    Globe and Mail (Toronto)

  • “Moving amid these three women, touching up their portraits with one perfect detail after another, conjuring Zenia from their memories and tears, Atwood is in her glory. What a treasure she is, and what a fine new book she has written.”

    Newsweek

  • Moving amid these three women, touching up their portraits with one perfect detail after another, conjuring Zenia from their memories and tears, Atwood is in her glory. What a treasure she is, and what a fine new book she has written Newsweek
  • Funny, thoughtful, moving. . . . Atwood's plotting is masterful, and her humor is razor-edged, sexy, and raucous. The Washington Post
  • Moving amid these three women, touching up their portraits with one perfect detail after another, conjuring Zenia from their memories and tears, Atwood is in her glory. What a treasure she is, and what a fine new book she has written. Newsweek
  • [Atwood writes] about her characters' inner lives with the sort of authority and assurance usually associated with autobiographical novels. The reader has the sense that she has complete access to people's emotional histories, complete understanding of their hearts and imaginations. The New York Times
  • Margaret Atwood continues her long-running roll, offering us the good fortune of yet another disturbing and brilliantly concieved work of fiction? Chicago Tribune 
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1994 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book: Canada and the Caribbean
  • A 1994 Governor General’s Literary Award Finalist
  • Winner of the 1993 Trillium Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 2/20/2014

    " I just couldn't get into this one. I had zero interest in or sympathy for the three main characters even after 100 pages. Maybe another time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Neil | 2/12/2014

    " I quite liked the narrative style but found it a bit heavy going at times and the climax was something of an anti one "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ohgirlfriend | 2/3/2014

    " if margaret atwood and zadie smith never met up for coffee, they probably missed out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lillerina | 1/27/2014

    " This book is so great that I find it difficult to be coherent about it. It is beyond question the best Atwood book I've read. It is possibly the best book I've ever read. It is possibly the best book ever written. I can't even put into words - I just flail helplessly and hope that someone understands how great it is. I was explaining it to my partner and I said, 'well it's about these three women. And this other woman, Zenia. And Zenia's not a very good person.' But really it's in the writing, it's in the prose and the insights that Atwood does so well. It's in the structure, with these three four intertwined women's lives and the viewpoints of the three narrator characters, close third person, and how they each see every interaction, and how their lives are ruined by Zenia. And how their lives are not ruined by Zenia, too. It's about love and envy and hatred and passion and being a woman and being a girl. It's about being fantasy made flesh and being flesh made fantasy. These three women (maiden, mother and crone/mind, body and spirit/fates/witches) are messy and complicated and they struggle with the world which struggles with them right back. It's about vulnerability and it's so neatly done, so perfectly encapsulated that it does everything for me. I loved it. I can't wait to read it again. Just, this book. Amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jes Phillips | 1/19/2014

    " A very quick moving pleasurable story from the incomparable Atwood. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paige Kynock | 1/6/2014

    " It was good, but the ending left me with a ton of unanswered questions. The last 1/4 of the book just felt really rushed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen Harrison | 1/4/2014

    " This is the author that most inspires my writing. I started reading her novels when I was 16. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizzie | 1/2/2014

    " I really liked the writing the style but it dragged on- I personally thought that the use of 3 women and their stories was unnecessary and 2 would have sufficed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mirjana | 12/12/2013

    " I think Tony is the "voice" of the author. The clear, analytical, cold-blooded mind. The book starts and ends with her. Though, might she have been the one to throw Zenia off the balcony? I wonder... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Njeyeguy | 12/6/2013

    " I may be getting into a rut only reading one author. But so far, she delivers the stories I like to read. This is something I would have originally called a girl book. But I liked it. Fun to see how it ends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deb | 11/11/2013

    " Loved this read outrageous charachter at the centre, page turner "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Naomi | 6/4/2013

    " Atwood writes amazingly realistic, distinct and believable characters. I want other people to read this book so we can discuss it, especially the last 30 or so pages. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rob | 4/20/2013

    " It started off strong but ended with a whimper. The prose was strong, the characters were interesting, but in the end it just seemed a little too predictable a tad too structured. By the end, it almost felt as if Atwood was bored with her own novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katie Majcen-sergent | 3/25/2013

    " I really wanted to like this book. But I just couldn't. I haven't read it in years but I remember it clearly. It really unsettled me. The narrators are unreliable and unpleasant. But since it obviously stuck with me, then it did it's job. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Macon | 9/4/2012

    " The Handmaid's Tale, it is not, but you can always trust Atwood to provide a beautiful work of literature. This was quite dark and depressing and I unfortunately read it at a time when I was suffering a major health crisis and could have used a more cheerful experience. However, it's well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Frank | 8/23/2012

    " Atwood shows her wicked sense of humour and eye for nuanced detail. If only all chick-lit were this good. "

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

    " This was a re-read of a favorite book from long ago. It's not my favorite Atwood but I still enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 7/23/2012

    " I went into this book with high expectations but unfortunately it seemed way too tedious. I might try reading it again at some point though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 astried | 5/8/2012

    " This is the kind of book from Atwood that I wanted to read. Of course oryx & crake is great but Atwood's women can beat dystopian world anytime. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meaghan | 10/29/2011

    " Not as good as some of the other Atwood books I've read, but still very enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 10/20/2011

    " This one was a challenging read but I mean that in a good way. It took me a long time to finish it but I enjoyed every second. Will never read it again because it is horrifying in its deadpan, calm descriptions of a really terrible "friend". Margaret Atwood is brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Keon | 9/29/2011

    " Read this when I was in high school and I think it helped me understand a lot of things that are hard to articulate about women and female relationships. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Danielle | 9/23/2011

    " Not my favorite of hers, but worth a look "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caitlin | 9/13/2011

    " I'm actually choosing not to read the final 30 pages. She feels very dated and very same-y.

    Also, why is Atwood so insistent that EVERY novel contains a story of child sexual abuse? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth | 8/31/2011

    " In my top 10 of all time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 8/29/2011

    " This book like most of Atwood's novels was dark but wonderful. She is so good at communicating the darker side of the human race that it is sometimes overwhelming. It's definitely one of those books that you just can't put down. I don't think I'll ever get tired of her prose or her novels. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sarah | 8/26/2011

    " YUCK. Reflects a misogynist (yeah, I know, the author is supposed to be a feminist) terror of the sort of femme-fatale that really only exists in Bond movies. I think people think Margaret Atwood is deep because she has a creepy imagination. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tom | 8/23/2011

    " Margaret Atwood kind of freaks me out. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 8/16/2011

    " Ah! Got this at the library to day only to get two pages in and realize that I have already read it! At least my taste is consistent I guess....this also provides further evidence for why I need this website.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 8/14/2011

    " Hated it most of the way through but then I loved it.. probably because it evoked so much emotion from me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 8/12/2011

    " Really enjoyable read!

    If I were a novelist, I would love to write novels just like Margaret Atwoods - she writes so intelligently yet keeps the thriller edge...

    Loved it - a page-turner. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 8/11/2011

    " This is fantastic - sharp and biting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Steffi | 8/11/2011

    " I read this a long time ago and didn't like it. I think I abandoned it rather quickly but I can't remember why.
    One of these days I will give it another try since I can only imagine that I was too young to understand or appreciate it then. "

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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

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.