One of the best books that I've read this year. I found the Handmaid's Tale original and engaging, and not that far-fetched for a futuristic/dystopia...more One of the best books that I've read this year. I found the Handmaid's Tale original and engaging, and not that far-fetched for a futuristic/dystopian story.
I love Atwood's writing style (based on the only two novels of hers I have read so far - this and the Blind Assassin). I think she does the stream of consciousness narrative technique really well (not every writer can pull this off), and her diction and imagery are striking. I also really liked the juxtaposition of the narrator's original 'liberal' personality, whose name we never learn, and the submissive, obedient being that is Offred (and the way in which the former at times shines through even under these ridiculous and horrible circumstances). Although the story was told in almost an emotionless sort of way, that juxtaposition we get through the flashbacks, gives the story its emotional impact.
I think it is one of those stories that is scarily poignant in pointing out how easily (easily is probaby not the right word, quickly maybe)people adapt to their labels and socially appointed positions, whether they are assigned to the role of the oppressed or the oppressor, which is always an uncomfortable realisation, since we all like to believe that wouldn't be us.
In short, I think Atwood is a really skilled writer, and this was a really great read. Can't wait to read more of hers. Oryx and Crake is next on my reading pile.
**spoiler alert** Another brilliant piece of story telling from Maragaret Atwood. Disturbing, shocking and depressing, yes; it is post-apocalyptic fic...more**spoiler alert** Another brilliant piece of story telling from Maragaret Atwood. Disturbing, shocking and depressing, yes; it is post-apocalyptic fiction after all. There were some details I could have really done without, though I get the relevance to the story, in terms of showing just how desensitised to violence and abuse the citizens of this society had become,and how their cold, disengaged way of 'interacting' with the world had helped to create a society devoid of ethics, thus setting the stage for it's destruction, at the hands of Crake. It is an uncomfortable read, in that it leaves you with more questions than answers, and no one particular character to blame, as what Crake became almost seems inevitable in the context in which he was raised. And of course it is an uncomfortable read because of how chillingly close to reality it actually is, more so than I would like to acknowledge anyway. So overall, a scary read, but a very good one.(less)