Review: Good Bones – Margaret Atwood

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


These wise and witty writings home in on Shakespeare, tree stumps, ecological disasters, bodies (male and female), and theology, amongst other matters. We hear Gertrude’s version of what really happened in Hamlet; an ugly sister and a wicked stepmother put in a good word for themselves,and a reincarnated bat explains how Bram Stoker got Dracula hopelessly wrong. Good Bones is pure distilled Atwood – deliciously strong and bittersweet.

I don’t often read short stories. In fact, I can’t actually remember the last time I did, or even name a collection that I may have possibly read. So, according to my memory, this was my first ever short story collection!

I bought this book simply because I didn’t have a book with me at the time, so I wanted something super short for my bus journey, and I was seriously craving some Atwood. I read The Handmaid’s Tale just over a month ago, and ended up falling in love with Atwood’s style.

This didn’t disappoint.

Whilst this is categorised as a collection of short “stories”, I’d also argue that they’re more musings and thoughts rather than pure fiction.

Some of the “shorts” as I will call them, were purely bizarre. Whilst I didn’t fully understand them and how they fit into this collection, I can still appreciate the humour and wit within them.

There were several pieces in Good Bones that I just absolutely adored. One of my favourites was a great piece which tackled racism and feminist in literature. There were two voices within this; the first being the writer, and the second was the critic. The critic constantly picked fault with the descriptions of the writer’s character. She was too white, too weak, why did she have to be a she, why not gender mutual? Etc. In the end, the character was totally shapeless.

I found myself saying “YES, YES!” So many times by the end of this piece…

Another favourite moment of mine:

“Please note that although men are made of dust, women are made of ribs. Remember that at your next Texas-style barbecue”

The feminist tone throughout was wonderful without preaching or man hating. It was tackled in such a humorous way that I felt joyously empowered reading it.

There was such an array of tone and topic throughout the 145 pages, that it was impossible for me to get bored. The only reason that I didn’t give this 5🌟 was that sometimes it was just a little too bizarre for me to understand and appreciate. But I’m still, and even more so, in love with Margaret Atwood’s writing, and ill for sure be reading more!

View Good Bones on Goodreads


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