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The Handmaid's Tale

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4.07  ·  Rating details ·  775,277 Ratings  ·  42,077 Reviews
Written in 1985, Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale imagines a near future quite different than the one George Orwell had predicted for the previous year, but her novel has joined 1984 as one of the classics of dystopian literature. Her vision is of a United States transformed into the Republic of Gilead, a fundamentalist state in which women & their increasingly rare r ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published March 13th 1986 by Random House Ltd. (UK) (first published 1985)
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Petra In all honesty I read this book when I was 13 and didn't find it difficult to grasp. People belittle the intelligence of middlegraders. If a middle…moreIn all honesty I read this book when I was 13 and didn't find it difficult to grasp. People belittle the intelligence of middlegraders. If a middle grader is interested in the book he is old enough to understand and grasp the meaning. If he isn't ready he will left the book unfinished.(less)
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Kate
Apr 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's been almost five years since I wrote my review. I've rewritten large parts of it for clarity. The main idea remains the same.

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
Stephanie *Very Stable Genius*
7/7/17 I'm just going to leave this here.... fuck Paul Ryan.... but not literally, ew.

Sleeveless women? My stars and garters!

03/31/17. So, this Russia thing.... Am I right?

2/5/17.....just another giant step towards making this book a reality, like they always dreamed of.

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
...more
Pollopicu
Nov 25, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I guess Atwood doesn't believe in quotation marks.. I don't think I've ever come across a novel yet in which there is no distinction between the narrator and the character. It took me quite a while to get used to that type of style of writing. I had to go back and re-read sentences again and again, which doesn't really lend itself to a relaxing reading experience, and it slowed me down quite a bit..

First 100 pages:
Really annoying..why? well because I felt like a juicy bone was being waved in fro
...more
Emily May

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
Jennifer
Nov 29, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(edited from a paper I wrote in college about the book)

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
Bookdragon Sean
Anyone else loving the television adaptation at the moment?

Sure, they’ve played around with the plot a little and padded a few things out, but I think they’ve captured the essence of this book in all its brutal reality. Certainly, worth a watch!

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Book Review

I’ve been moved by books in the past, many times, but I’ve never before read a book that has emotionally drained me to such a degree. This is frightening and powerful. And sometimes it only takes a single paragraph to make you realise how much
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a tale of terror as well as a warning. The dystopian future she describes in "Gilead" which appears to be centered in Boston (due to the reference to Mass Ave and the town of Salem) is chillingly misogynistic where women are reduced to strict categories: Martha for housework and cooking, Jezebels (easy to guess, right?), Eyes, Angels (soldiers for the state), infertile Wives and potentially fertile Handmaids. It is beautifully written with lots of flashba ...more
Michelle
Aug 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everyone seems to like getting scared from time to time. We sometimes like to read, or watch movies and shows about natural disasters, psychopaths, monsters, zombies, and vampires. However, we like our scary stuff to be fictional and temporary. Watching "Battle Royale"? Awesome. Watching the news about a real murderous dictator on CNN? Not awesome... but just as scary. "The Handmaid's Tale" is guaranteed to terrify you—both in a fun, entertaining way and in a viscerally upsetting, too-close-to-h ...more
Samadrita
Consider this not a ground-breaking work of literature. Consider this not a piece of fiction boasting an avant-garde mode of narration.
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
Tatiana
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who are not afraid to dive into the worst feminist nightmare
What a perfect time to be scared to death by this novel. It doesn't feel dated or far-fetched at all, thanks to President Trump.

Claire Danes is a pretty good match for this narrative.

Original review
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
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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

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
More about Margaret Atwood...
“Don't let the bastards grind you down.” 2421 likes
“Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” 1585 likes
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