Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Edible Woman - Margaret Atwood

Summary: Ever since her engagement, the strangest thing has been happening to Marian McAlipin: she can't eat. First meat. Then eggs, vegetables, cake, pumpkin seeds--everything! Worse yet, she has the crazy feeling that she's being eaten. Marian ought to feel consumed with passion, but really she just feels...consumed. A brilliant and powerful work rich in irony and metaphor, The Edible Woman is an unforgettable masterpiece by a true master of contemporary literary fiction. (Excerpt from book cover)

My Review: Interesting premise right?!?! WRONG. Oh, SO wrong. I honestly don’t want to have any more of my life sucked away by this book and so I will try to be brief. I finished this book only because I FORCED myself finish it. I hated it. It’s not that the writing was bad. It was fine. It was Atwood. However, it had very little (possibly an infinitesimal speck) redeeming qualities. It was boring—mind numbingly so—and I wanted to quit SO MANY times. Marian is a complete pushover—a doormat—an irritating specimen of just-sit-there-and-take it. I wanted to reach into the pages and smack her into action. The plot that is outlined on the back of the book doesn’t even come into play until page 164. 164!!!!! When it does, it is hardly the humorous, slightly philosophical drama that it pretended to be. There were a few fleeting moments of insight into the role of women in a society and points where it seemed that perhaps Marian was was going to stand up for herself and grow a spine—and eventually she does, but the ending is SO unsatisfying. The final nail in the coffin? I simply did not like ANY of the characters. Not even remotely. In the beginning, they were mildly intriguing in their dysfunctionality (yes, I made that word up) but even that got old really quickly and all that was left behind was a bunch of irritating people who couldn’t relate to one another in the slightest. Maybe that’s what this book was about (people damaging one another) but I just couldn’t stand it. Oh, and the author randomly switched from 1st person to 3rd person for no apparent reason. Nice. In short, it was several days of my reading life that I will NEVER get back. I should sue.

My Rating: 1 Star. If that.

Sum it up: 150 pages of blahblahblah. One semi- interesting chapter. 150 MORE pages of blahblahblah. One semi-interesting ending.


Kim R. said...

I was surprised to hear that you finished this! Sounds like a really interesting book, guess covers can be deceiving:) I admore your stick-to-it-ness....

Anonymous said...

I agree it was not one of the most exciting books I've ever read, and also agree with your character analysis. However, I found it quite clear why the point of view changed. Marian became detached from herself in the second part of the book, hence she referred to herself in the first person--feeling neither in control and emphasizing loss of identity. But yeah, every author has to have a starting book, and this was one of Atwood's earlier publications. Still love her. (Blind Assassin is my favorite)


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