Moral Disorder

Moral Disorder

Stories

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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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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Anchattopadhyay
Jul 13, 2015

Atwood's stories always get me thinking and for those looking for more to read by her, try "happy endings"

multcolib_susannel Jul 28, 2014

Margaret Atwood never fails to impress me. This book can be read all together as a novel, or separately as short stories. Always, always Atwood's amazing writing shows through.

n
nsbookclub
Jul 22, 2012

Read 2010

p
Pisinga
Aug 16, 2011

She is a master of writing about trivial things in a manner that it is impossible to leave the reading without finishing it at once.

madame_librarian Jan 20, 2011

Margaret Atwood has a clever way of moving through the decades in this collection of related stories. The recurring main character, Nell, is a little girl anxious about the impending birth of a sibling in the 30s, a teenager just realizing that she's miles ahead of her boyfriend in intelligence and maturity in the 50s, a slightly rootless young woman in the 90s. As usual, Atwood packs a lot of social commentary in these gems and delivers it with a sharp wit and refreshing insights.
-Madame Librarian

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