RaveTorWhat makes Ortberg’s everyday horrors truly different is that they map questions onto these old stories instead of answers ... Every story in The Merry Spinster is told with a whimsy and a lightness of touch that makes their painful questions, and still more painful non-answers, palatable. Having finished the book, I’m convinced there’s no better way to discuss non-truths than through a host of genres—fairy tales, prayers, what have you—that are known for being stodgily moral and unambiguous ... The Merry Spinster is an unnerving book, a familiar one, and a delightful one. It changes and transforms stories that we may hold dear. That convergence of contradictions is very much what makes it great.
RaveTor.comStone Mattress is expertly arranged, its first section containing a set of three, interconnected stories, with each subsequent work linked to the rest through a slow, thematic unfolding ...represent Atwood at her best, and the consistency of her candor and humor carries across a wide variety of tones and generic conventions ... This is not the kind of short story collection you struggle through, weighed down by the stories’ similarities or the constancy of voice. It is cohesive enough to feel like a finished work, but dynamic enough to keep you turning pages ... At the very least, the stories in this collection are exciting and dangerous, as much as they are introspective and complex.