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The Robber Bride

Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 20 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Summary

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.

©1993 Copyright © O.W. Toad Ltd. 1993 (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

'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)
'A provocative version of the war between the sexes; entertaining, imaginative and suspenseful, it finds Atwood in rare form.' ( Publishers Weekly)
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping

Couldn't stop listening to this. The story switches between the point of view of 3 different women who you can all empathise with. A fascinating psychological thriller / mystery.

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Meet some true evil

Story:
This really is an interesting re-imagining of a Grimm's classic. There is something very beguiling about truly evil people (that's why the most interesting character in Paradise Lost is the devil, right?) and Zenia is truly an abomination. I really liked Atwood's characterisation of three very different women; all seduced by her lies, as are their men by her charisma and sexuality. The ending wasn't strong - but that didn't really matter - the unravelling of the story is brilliant. Overall, I think this is a strong work by Atwood.

Narration:
When I first started listening it sounded a little bit like the woman at the beginning of Desperate Housewives, which really put me off. I did gradually get used to her voice, but I'm not sure she was the best for intonation and particular passages didn't get quite the right emphasis. However, this did not overly detract from the story which was excellent and overall I wouldn't allow it to put you off a listen.

8 people found this helpful

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Terrific listen

I love Margaret Atwood's novels and wasn't disappointed. The plot is character driven and the characters credible and engaging. Atwood's prose is crystal clear as always. Brilliantly narrated. I rarely give 5 stars but this is exceptionally enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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Love the circularity texture of this book

Love a lot of Atwood. Her voices are so nuanced and there is a lot of wry humour to her writing too. Would recommend this book for its great characterisations of women and the narrative drive.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

I utterly lost myself in this novel for a very happy week, having been intrigued by a much shortened version on radio. An excellent plot, very well written and performed. My favourite of her novels.

1 person found this helpful

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Boring and uninspiring

I loved the Handmaid's Tale and was really looking forward to this book. Unfortunately, I have just decided to give up about half way through as it is terribly longwinded and nothing happens. I even googled the story line in case I was being impatient......but it doesn't get much better! Maybe it's just too high-brow for me although I love a challenging well written book.

1 person found this helpful

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I love this book

I'm a big Margaret Attwood fan. I've read this book twice before. 1st time listening to it. I didn't like the narrator's voice at 1st but I guess it was because it wasn't the same as in my head. she really grew on me and I found it impossible not to listen as much as I could.

3 people found this helpful

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could not understand the story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

this book had great ratings so I downloaded it. But I could not understand what it was about. I went through 6 chapters and finally gave up as it was boring.

What was most disappointing about Margaret Atwood’s story?

Maybe she is meant to be read. The read performance does not work for Margaret Atwood

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Could not understand the dialogue- who was saying what

If this book were a film would you go see it?

no

5 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

This is Margaret Atwood at her best - perceptive and funny, biting and compassionate, I loved it. Enhanced by a great reader who got the tone just right. Highly recommended.

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Compelling tale of female relationships

This is a breathtakingly intricate and yet simple tale told from the view point of three very different women who have one thing in common - the destructive force of nature that is Zenia.
Margaret Atwood’s storytelling is immaculate. Her characters convince utterly and take you on a fantastical yet entirely plausible journey. I don’t think there is another author who can write a more convincing female internal dialogue.
In the hands of another writer Zenia may have seemed like an unconvincing caricature. In Atwood's skilful hands she lives on the page or rather in the mellifluous tones of Bernadette Dunne who is an absolutely brilliant narrator.