Moral Disorder

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Moral Disorder

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1avaland
Jan 19, 2007, 11:00am

The latest book in the Atwood oeuvre. Have you read it? What do you think? Note: this conversation began on the Message Board and I thought it might be worth opening a separate thread for it.

I'm about 2/3rds of the way through and will hold my comments until I finish.

2avaland
Jan 20, 2007, 2:33pm

****SPOILER ALERT*******Finished the book last night. Thank you rampaginglibrarian for the link to your blog with comments on the book (link on the MessageBoard) and to kathrynnd for her link to commentary on the book (link also on the Message Board).

Several things struck me. Yes, the feeling of distance, of looking out through a slightly clouded window; but Nell struck me as unsure and passive most of the time...maybe passive isn't the right word. She seemed to adapt to what came her way but rarely seemed to try to take control of it. EXCEPT, that is, the moment when she rebelled against all that responsibility placed on her when her sister was a baby. Why did this not carry through...I kept expecting Nell to have a moment like this over the whole situation with Oona, Tig and the kids, but it never happened.

It's portrait of aging, of being lost also struck me. The first piece about her and Tig, the piece about her father, her mother.

3torontoc
Mar 25, 2007, 9:39pm

I just finished the book.What I liked about this particular book is the use of language, the structure of the stories, and creation of character. I find that all of Atwood's books are so engaging right from the start.

4booksinbed
Jul 25, 2007, 10:00pm

I really enjoyed Moral Disorder, partly because I keep picturing Atwood as Nell. I love the way Atwood combines humour and pathos. I found the tribute to her aging parents (even if it is fiction) especially touching.

5Caroline_McElwee
Nov 19, 2007, 9:52am

I enjoyed some of the stories in Moral Disorder but none has remained with me especially, but as I often find with some writers, the resonance comes at a second reading. I will go back to it.

6neverlistless
Abr 22, 2008, 9:23am

booksinbed: I'm right with you. I couldn't help but picture Atwood as Nell. On the jacket of my copy, it was written that, other than Cat's Eye, this was her only other semi-biographical piece to date (I'm paraphrasing, of course... so it was something along those lines).

I was very moved by two themes in this book:

1) aging (as did avaland) - I think this struck me hard because I've been very worrisome lately. My parents are relatively young (dad almost 51, mom almost 44), but I've been dwelling on life without them a lot lately and I'm not sure why. So reading about Nell's losses and about her own aging process was a little difficult for me to take.

2) interfering with nature - particularly with the baby lamb that Nell and Tig saved and the chicken eggs they attempted to incubate. I'm not sure why this stuck with me, but it was a shame that everytime they tried to do something, it somehow ended up being a painful experience.

One downside (slight) that I encountered: I sometimes had a hard time going back in forth between the different voices in the novel. At times it was in first person (from Nell) and other times it was third person (talking about Nell). Did anyone else notice this? Or is it just my crazy brain misreading things again?

(by the way, a little off topic, this is something like the 4th book in a row that has referenced Miss Havisham. I think it may be time to re-read Great Expectations, haha).