In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.
When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over. ...more
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I hoped that wouldn't be the case. I really really hoped Atwood had something important to add to the world of Gilead with this book, but she honestly doesn't. If anything, The Testaments serves only to weaken the power of The Handmaid's Tale.
In the past, I have spoken highly of authors who are not afraid to "be evil" with their books. This may give the impression that they are doing something particularly nefarious, but, in fact, it’s not so much ...more
Check your expectations at the door: The Testaments is a highly entertaining page turner, but it is also probably quite different from whatever you were anticipating.
It differs from its 1985 antecedent, The Handmaid's Tale, in tone, voice and literary heft. That earlier book had a power and a gravitas that is not recaptured here. For me the most striking thing about The Handmaid’s Tale has always been Atwood’s choice of narrator. Offred (in the book she has no other name) is so c ...more
I'm excited and surprised. The Handmaid's Tale felt like such a closed book, so it will be real interesting to see where this one goes. I wonder if she decided to write this after the success of the television adaptation or the show was made because this book was being written.
So why does Margaret Atwood choose to tell the story again? That question has haunted me since I heard the announcement of the project almost a year ago. WHY? I was convinced I would hate the hype and the gushing reviews and the book itself, and started reading with the attitude of someone who knew the story didn't need telling again.
To my surprise, I liked it from the start, and soon engaged in the thriller unfoldi ...more
This is a flashy, placative, but also intelligent thriller, here to make some points about society and to entertain - it's certainly not the most layered or subtle literature ever written, but you know what? It's engaging, rather suspenseful and great fun to read, full of quips and commentary on the world we live in, and sometimes, that's more than enough. And honestly: The Handmaid's Tale wasn't particularly ambiguous or enigmatic either.
As we already know ...more
2019 could be one of this year I got really disappointed by movies, series books. They were like several ugly stabs to your stomach. I was unlucky to read Cari Mora ( After 13 years of ...more
I can't help but be a little disappointed with this book. In my view The Handmaid's Tale didn't need a sequel, but I suppose we can't begrudge Atwood the opportunity to cash in on the popularity of the TV version. In my view this book is not worthy of a Booker shortlisting, and is possibly the weakest of the Atwood novels I have read.
There are two main problems - firstly by alternating the accounts of three narrators, the distinctive voices are lost, and seco ...more
You’ll labour over this manuscript of mine, reading and rereading, picking nits as you go.
I was fortunate enough to attend one of the live cinema screenings of the readings and author Q&A from the National Theatre on the evening of the book's official publication, managing to complete my first read of the book just as the event started.
The event was excellent - and I think only reinforced my view that Handmaid's Tale is a great works of fiction. Great ...more
EDit: WE HAVE A COVER (?) I don't really understand. it's like the same cover as book one
OH MY GOSH! I'M SO EXCITED. but I need to know... Which dum-dum gave this a low rating?
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It was an “extraordinarily complicated process” to get copies of the manuscript, which is protected by a “ferocious” non-disclosure agreement.
Chair of Booker Judges as told to the Guardian
When, in 2197, the Thirteenth Symposium on Amazonian Studies takes place, the as ...more
I am only giving it four stars because one plot point strikes me as a little too far-fetched, even in the world of Gilead, but I may have missed some details in my fervor to read this as quickly as possible. I may re-evaluate after a closer reading.
but like. it’s margaret atwood, so i will read it and probably love it and look back on this pre-review as me being whiny and averse to change. i hope
Although I don’t think Atwood pulled a spectacular second book showstopper à la Year of the Flood again, The Testaments definitely stood up in its own right for me! It felt quite different to The Handmaid’s Tale but it would be impossible not to, being written 34 years after the fact.
Where THT feels almost claustrophobic at times, always being in Offred’s head, with The Testaments we get a much wider narrative, allowing us to gain a bigger picture of Gilead, its unfortunate inhabitant ...more
While the first volume depicts the society of the Republic of Gilead pretty much from the point of view of a single individual, the Handmaid, this here book offers the respective perspective from three persons, one from the outside looking in, and the other two from the inside looking around. Two of those views become altered by moving the narrators from insid ...more
But perhaps it is too late for that. You take the first step, and to save yourselves from the consequences, you take the next one.
The three narrators assessed
We return to Gilead, the theocracy that superseded the United States of America through the eyes of three women: aunt Lydia, Agnes/Victoria and Daisy/Jade.
The last two narrators are both teenagers, one having grown up in Gilead and one in Canada.
I found there s ...more
I. Am. Obsessed.
I enjoyed the book too. So I'm super excited for this sequel. I don't think I can wait until September 2019, though...
The Testaments differs greatly from The Handmaid’s Tale in that it’s more action packed, if you will. The Testaments focuses less on the inner workings of the individuals and more on the world and Gilead as a whole.
The biggest difference between the two novels is the agency and actions of the characters. While The Handmaid’s Tale gives readers a character who holds up a mirror daring readers to say otherwise that they would ...more
From Margaret Atwood: ‘Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. The other inspiration is the world we've been living in.’
See this twitter thread for more:
Has it only been written to create more content for the television series?
Don’t get me wrong, the show is incredible. I’ve only seen the first season so far, but there is already a fear that the story will get tired and lost the more seasons are created.
Handmaids Tale works perfectly as a stand-alone and I’m a believer that it should remain that way.
Basically, I want this book to convince me otherwise. Please!
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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