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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood, read by Margaret Atwood, Rob Delaney, Mark Bramhall, Lorna Raver, Arthur Morey, Emily Rankin and Bernadette Dunne.

A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. 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. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire, and a crime committed long ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9-billion-year-old stromatalite. 

In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle - and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

©2014 O. W. Toad, Ltd (P)2014 Random House LLC

Critic reviews

"Dark and witty tales from the gleefully inventive Margaret Atwood.... Witty verve, imaginative inventiveness and verbal sizzle vivify every page." (Sunday Times)

"Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood." (Observer)

"This collection of short stories is charged with a delightful cheekiness.... Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first." (Independent)

What listeners say about Stone Mattress

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Absolutely floored

I don’t know what I was expecting when I downloaded this, I’ve enjoyed some of Margaret Atwoods other works but this is a beautifully put together set of stories.

The first and last tales won’t be leaving my mind any time soon.

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Utopian realism at its finest

Stories that are so unimaginable, yet realistic. Margaret Atwood is an amazing author and exquisite narrator. I enjoyed this book from start to finish, and the voices of each character were suitable for them. I just couldn’t stop listening. Top marks.