Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wilderness Tips

1991, 1992 Seal Books edition
Margaret Atwood
Wilderness Tips
Original price $5.99, purchase price $2.99
Worn paperback with splitting spine

Disappointing short-story collection (her fourth but the only one I own), with somewhat unpleasant characters doing somewhat unpleasant things.  The theme is nature, not necessarily the outdoors.  I thought "Uncles" was the best of the lot, recalling some of the childhood chapters in Lady Oracle, while "Hairball" is probably the grossest and has the least sympathetic main character.  It's partly that I often find short stories less interesting because, well, they're too short and we don't really get to know the characters (I was disappointed in A.S. Byatt's and don't get me started on The Cat Who shorts), but there were stories here where I didn't want to spend any more time with the people and couldn't wait for them to be gone.  Still, Atwood is talented, even in her weaker works, so I won't go below a C on this.

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