The Handmaid's Tale
A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time.
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now p...more
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Original review written in 2o12:
WARNING: This review is being written after I worked a 13 hour day, with another one on the horizon tomorrow, and a glass of wine and while watching the Rachel Maddow show. Current events have put this book on the forefront of my mind, and damn it I got to get this out.
I have never written a review on The Handmaid's Tale because I love the book, and it is so hard to ...more
In 1986, when Margaret Atwood published The Handmaid’s Tale, Ronald Regan had declared “Morning in America,” and society was going to renew itself by returning to the old values. The Christian right, in its infancy at the time, was rising in reaction to the Free Love, and the horrors of AIDs. The 1984 election gave us Willie Horton, and a reminder about how violent and evil society had become. Finally, even though Chernobyl happened shortly ...more
First 100 pages:
Really annoying..why? well because I felt like a juicy bone was being waved in fro ...more
There are only a small handful of books that have affected me in a REALLY personal way. In a way that I always try to put into words and always, ultimately, fail. I have read a lot of books over the years and I've liked many, disliked plenty too, loved and hated a smaller amount... but out of the thousands I've read, there's less than ten - maybe even less than five, now I think about it - that honestly hit me so hard that I would go so far as to say they changed me.
The Handmaid's Tale is a book ...more
Extremist Judeo-Christian beliefs have won America's culture war. Now women have no rights. They are slaves to men and the biblical, patriarchal society in which they live. The Handmaid's Tale is the first-person account of one of these enslaved women.
Massachusetts Turns Into Saudi Arabia?
More than thirty years have passed since The Handmaid's Tale was first publish ...more
Consider it not a commentary on the concept of subjugation of the weak by the ones holding the reins. Consider it not a thinly veiled feminist diatribe either.
Instead, consider The Handmaid's Tale an almost physical experience. Consider Margaret Atwood a fearless deliverer of unpleasant news - a messenger unafraid of dishing out the bone-chilling, cruel, unalter ...more
“Yes, Ma’am, I said again, forgetting. They used to have dolls, for little girls, that would talk if you pulled a string at the back; I thought I was sounding like that, voice of a monotone, voice of a doll. She probably longed to slap my face. They ...more
Claire Danes is a pretty good match for this narrative.
Imagine the near future where power is overtaken by the religious right under the guise of protection from Islamic terrorism. Imagine the future where the roles of the women reduced to those assigned to them in Old Testament - they are no longer allowed to read, work, own property, or handle money. Im ...more
The account reminds me of, and is probably written trying to somehow emulate, "The Diary of Anne Frank." This new vision of the future is one devoid the female mystique, with only one sex becoming triumphant &) dominating the other. This is misogyny to the nth degree. It is a holocaust that mi ...more
There's a lot of talk about women's rights these days. There were times where I thought: enough already. You girls got it good. I looked around me and saw women with strong voices and a million choices. If they wished to go for a career, they could go for it. If they didn't, no biggie. Their liberty seemed greater than men's in a lot of respects. The power they wield over men is magnificent and often described as the greatest humanity is capable of: a woma ...more
This is by no means an easy read, but I think it's a book that everyone needs to read.
This review can also be found at The Alliterates.
Told with simplistic, feminist prose and stark attention to detail, Atwood describes life in the not too distant future where the United States has been transformed through military coup into a totalitarian theocracy. This dystopian horror story is made all the more real by the bridge Atwood has created between the world we know now and the world that could be – the story’s protagonist remembers the time before ...more
Επομένως,πρέπει να διαβαστεί απο όλους τις Έλληνες!!
Επίκαιρο και ταιριαστό στην νέα τάξη πραγμάτων που μας υποβάλουν αργά και βασανιστικά.
Η αλήθεια ειναι πως το βιβλίο ειναι μια μαύρη κόλαση ένας τρόπος να αντιληφθείς άμεσα τα σάπια και τερατώδη γνωρίσματα του πολιτισμού μας. Του σύγχρονου πολιτισμού. Ειναι βιβλίο φαντασίας που βρίσκετα ...more
A wonderful hybrid: a book that is eminently readable, but packed with fascinating and thought-provoking ideas and symbolism.
It's set in the near future in a dystopian totalitarian theocratic state where pollution has rendered many infertile, so there has been a backlash against permissiveness and women are subjugated to the point where they are not even allow ...more
"Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some."
I used to think of my reading taste as predictable. Well, at least a very specific part of my reading taste: namely, there are very few things in the world that I love more than I love dyostopias in the style of 1984 and, above any other, Brave New World (se ...more
Imagine: You are a woman, and you have no name. Your name has been taken from you. All identity and individuality vanquished. Your name has been replaced by the word Of and the first name of your Master. You are Offred, Ofglen, Ofcharles, you are a nobody, you belong to a man who's not your husband, but someone who uses your body as a vessel for procreation. If ...more
It is hard to say that a story like this is "great" as that has a positive connotation. I was very enthralling, but terrifying at the same time. As a man, I don't think this story has as deep of an impact on me as it would if I was a woman.
If you like dystopian, you mu ...more
Update in Year One Of Dystopia:
As long as you are allowed and capable to read, please do read this novel! In an era when politicians in the Western world are not ashamed to refer to pregnant women as "hosts", deprived of their rights as individuals, we must start speaking up against the steady realisation of dystopian fiction. Let these authors, such as Orwell, Atwood, or Ishiguro, stay great writers of fiction! Don't make them involuntary prophets!
If we don't oppose the ...more
“This is a book about what happens when certain casually held attitudes about women are taken to their logical conclusions”
Somewhere in Maine, in a grim new regime called The Republic of Gilead, fresh laws stripped all women from their rights. Distorting the texts of the Bible, they follow a strict, conservative, extremely religious set of rules, instating a world where homosexuals, abortionists and priests are swiftly executed.
In a setting where more and more women are becoming infertile, f ...more
The interesting idea: this is the third dystopian novel I've read - before it, there was Orwe ...more
When I originally read the book, I was disturbed by the story but gave it only three stars as I felt that it was too far-fetched. Well, my opinion has changed drastically over the past few months. With a person who believes in "grabbing women by the p****y" in genuine contention to become the president of one of the world's pristine democracies, one has to be seriously worried.
The recent episode from the annals of this scary clown is that his supporters want to take away women's right ...more
“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.”
The Handmaid’s Tale is the foretelling of what will happen once this guy . . . .
is elected President. I keeed. Maybe. Anyway, this is the story of Offred who after the rise of the religious right has been forced into the strangest form of indentured servitude – that of being a “breeder” for the wealthy. You see, the new world fell victim to all of our daily sins:
“Women took medicines, pills, men ...more
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Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr ...more