Tatiana’s review of The Handmaid's Tale > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Hannah (new)

Hannah I've often contemplated picking up this book. Looks like I might just do so with that "wow" comment! Look forward to your review.




message 2: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Well, if you like dystopias sprinkled with religion and feminism, you might like it. This one is right up my alley.


message 3: by Heather (new)

Heather I liked your review, very well done. I'll have to read this one for myself. There seems to be a lot of mixed reviews.


message 4: by Heather (new)

Heather Do you really think this could happen in America though? I mean, women are in the majority in this country for start, and I've never heard of a civilization set up the way our is reverting back to this type of tyrany.


message 5: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Gypsy wrote: "I actually didn't really like this book ...maybe because it was my first brush with Atwood, and I found the constant flashbacks to be disruptive. Also, the scenes you mention certainly are horrible..."

I read your review. I guess what didn't work for you worked for me. Happens all the time.

I will definitely read more of her books. Atwood has some crazy ideas.


message 6: by Tatiana (last edited Dec 22, 2009 06:56AM) (new)

Tatiana Heather wrote: "Do you really think this could happen in America though? I mean, women are in the majority in this country for start, and I've never heard of a civilization set up the way our is reverting back to..."

Well, you'll have to read it to see how exactly Atwood describes the way our society descended to this level. Infertility has to do with a lot of it.

And in the world of dystopias anything is possible if written well. If you can believe in a world where children are made to kill each other for public entertainment, you can believe in this too.


message 7: by Heather (new)

Heather Fair point, lol. I was approaching it like a piece of fiction that could happen int this world rather than approaching it as a piece of fiction in an alternate reality a la Hunger Games.

The book sounds intriguing for sure.


message 8: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana I never thought of HG as set in alternative reality. It is a dystopia just like The Handmaid's Tale. At the core is the same futuristic vision of a present society when one or several of its characteristic is taken to the extreme.


message 9: by Heather (new)

Heather See, I have to look at HG as an alternate reality, though a society like the one in HG is much easier to envision than the one proposed in Handmaid's Tale.


message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather I think HG is a more plausible potential future for the U.S. than a spiritialy based tyrany. We are secular, just as the Captial is secular, so it is easier for me to swallow.


message 11: by Tatiana (last edited Dec 22, 2009 07:20AM) (new)

Tatiana With a rise of all kinds religious fundamentalist factions in the world, it was easy for me imagine a theocratical future.

Even present day America is much more religious than it used to be even 20 years ago.


message 12: by Heather (last edited Dec 22, 2009 07:23AM) (new)

Heather I'm not so sure about that. I think the zealots are just very outspoken and make it seem that way. But ask anyone above the age of 40 and they will all say that our morals are slipping, lol. You have to remember T, that you live in the Bible Belt, just like I do. We're surrounded :)


message 13: by Tatiana (last edited Dec 22, 2009 07:27AM) (new)

Tatiana There is no question that morals are slipping. The more "slippery" they get, the more outspoken religious right becomes.

I might have not said it was possible, but Sarah Palin's success speaks for itself. Religiousness is on the rise. Just watch some Fox news and then we can talk:)


message 14: by Heather (new)

Heather I avoid Fox news like the plague it is, lol. And I'm not sure we can call Sarah's story one of success. She is everywhere, but more because so many people take pleasure in mocking her. Regardless, even if I'm wrong, and Palin's story is successful, the very fact that she is a "woman of power" proves that Handmaid Tale isn't likely to happen in our society.


message 15: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana I guess you've already set your mind on not buying into the idea. Reading the book probably will be a waste of time.


message 16: by Heather (new)

Heather No it won't. Like I said, if I approach it as an alternate reality, I should be fine. I think I'll like it, or at least hope that I will.


message 17: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana LOL Gypsy:) I am sure the book is extremely educational.

BTW, I could never understand how hunting and pro-life agenda go together. But that's just me I guess...


message 18: by Heather (new)

Heather Hmm, I'm not sure. Even though it's a blue state, it's still southern. Good question. I know TN used to be a blue state and we have always been part of the bible belt...

LOL, why am I not surprised, that woman cracks me up if nothing else :)


message 19: by Heather (new)

Heather Tatiana wrote: "LOL Gypsy:) I am sure the book is extremely educational.

BTW, I could never understand how hunting and pro-life agenda go together. But that's just me I guess... "



T, don't you know, shooting and stuffing animals for sport = godliness whereas allowing others to make their own choices = devil worshipers...


message 20: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Stupid me:)



message 21: by Heather (new)

Heather Gypsy wrote: "Pailn paints a rosy picture of growing up in Alaska in the 1970's that I find a little hard to believe. She also raves about her love of meat, sports, and church. So ... "

LMAO...I wonder if I could get a book deal writing about TN, being bored by sports, eating cheese its and not going to church?


message 22: by Albie46 (new)

Albie46 Hmmm. My friend has just begged me to read this book, one of her favourites, and I said I would, of course having no idea what it was about! Well, now I know!
I'll give it a go, but generally it doesn't sound like something I think I would like. We will see...


message 23: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana As you can tell, I was very impressed. I hope you like it too.


message 24: by Annalisa (new)

Annalisa Tatiana,
This is one of my favorite books too. And maybe it's the way Atwood shows the descent into this dystopia where Collins never does, but I could believe this future just as much, if not more, than Hunger Games. In this one, the government is obliterated and in that confusion and fear people just do what they're told until it's too late. Every time I think a government is implausible, I think of the Nazi party.
I too liked that Offred (which I don't like to think of her as because that isn't her name) is unreliable and can't give us a picture of the larger workings of the government. It feeds into her fear and was way more realistic than if Atwood would have contrived a way for her to see and hear things that she shouldn't. This was my first experience with Atwood, and I'll probably go through all her books this year. She's an amazing author.


message 25: by Kat Kennedy (new)

Kat Kennedy Great review! I'll give this one a go though I don't know how much I'll like it. Seems like a little bit historically off because Jewish women were encouraged to have a "business" of sorts outside the home and to earn an income. (Proverbs 31 actually praised this kind of woman.)

Also they had a great deal of freedom compared to their contemporaries in other cultures until the Greek and Roman Helenic influences came along.

Other wise it sounds interesting!


message 26: by Kelly (new)

Kelly This one is on my mental "very best books in the history of ever" list too.

@Kat: There's actually a good bit of warping of Proverbs 31 that goes on in some religious circles. nolongerquivering.com talks about it some. Basically, they kind of gloss over the businesswoman aspect and harp on the modest behavior and motherhood parts. The sexism doesn't come from actual Jewish tradition but from later Christian sects re-interpreting it.


message 27: by AH (new)

AH Did you ever see the movie? It starred Natasha Richardson (the actress that died of a head injury skiing), Faye Dunaway, Robert Duvall. Wasn't bad for a 90's movie.


message 28: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana No, I didn't, because I've heard quite a few unflattering reviews of it. Maybe one day.

And I don't have much to add to the religious text aspect of it. I just know that such texts can be twisted many ways for various unsavory purposes.


message 29: by AH (new)

AH I just remember that the religion aspect was part of the procreation part. It was really weird and gave me the heebie geebies.


message 30: by Megan (new)

Megan Great review. I haven't read this in years but I still get chills thinking about it.


message 31: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana This was one of the scariest books I've ever read I think.


message 32: by Kat Kennedy (new)

Kat Kennedy Oh I have no doubt that people will twist scriptures and things like that.

All I'm saying is that it's annoying for anyone half educated. I mean if you're going to be a fanatic, you might as well know what the hell you're talking about!

Seriously, ignorant religious fanatics are SO passe! been there, done that, darling!


message 33: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana LOL, Kat. You expect too much from fanatics IMO.


message 34: by Kat Kennedy (new)

Kat Kennedy I know. It only makes me think that *I* should become a religious fanatic because CLEARLY I could do so much better!

They don't have this book at my library. I'm very put out!


message 35: by Rosanne (new)

Rosanne Wow-this sounds so powerful, will definitely add it to my to-read. Still working on The Blind Assasain :) It is excellent but slow going as the language demands savoring. A far cry from the fluffy YA I've been reading, LOL!


message 36: by Kogiopsis (last edited Nov 11, 2010 08:49PM) (new)

Kogiopsis Ah, great review! I loved the reccomendation; quite true.

Kat- here's a truly terrifying thought: There exist fanatics who do the research and are still frothing at the mouth.
Case in point.
(Read their page on Islam. It's freaky.)


message 37: by AH (new)

AH Anila, that site is terrifying! I looked at their page on Harry Potter. Freaky.


message 38: by Christina (new)

Christina Anila wrote: "Ah, great review! I loved the reccomendation; quite true.

Kat- here's a truly terrifying thought: There exist fanatics who do the research and are still frothing at the mouth.
Case in point.
..."


Creepy. Also, isn't 'hateful' spelled with one 'l'? Figures,they would be grammatically ignorant as well.LOL.


message 39: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Goodness, whoever established that site had way too much free time on his hands.


message 40: by AH (new)

AH But Harry Potter???? The books that launched a generation of young and old readers???? Reading Harry Potter is like drinking chocolate milk laced with arsenic??? WTF????


message 41: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana LOL! I know!

Love this quote

The whole purpose of these books is to desensitize readers and introduce them to the occult. What a better way to introduce tolerance and acceptance of what God calls an abomination, then in children's books? If you can get them when they are young, then you have them for life. It’s the oldest marketing scheme there is.

The author of this would have succeeded greatly in 16th century Europe, hunting witches and stuff.


message 42: by AH (new)

AH *shudders* I can't believe people like this are able to post stuff on the internet. *shudders again*

(and now we've added hits to their website).


message 43: by Donna (new)

Donna Excellent review. I am almost finished The Handmaid's Tale and I am finding it compulsive reading. Brilliant. And scary.


message 44: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Tatiana wrote: "Well, if you like dystopias sprinkled with religion and feminism, you might like it. This one is right up my alley. "

Lots of symbolism too, if you like looking for that sort of thing.


message 45: by Cecily (new)

Cecily Heather wrote: "Do you really think this could happen in America though? ..."

One of Atwood's points is that none of this is fiction: everything she describes has happened somewhere in the world, just not all at the same time and place.


Heather wrote: "I think HG is a more plausible potential future for the U.S. than a spiritialy based tyrany. We are secular, just as the Captial is secular, so it is easier for me to swallow."

From this side of the Atlantic, the US seems FAR more religious than the UK, even though constitutionally you have separation of church and state and we have the opposite. Church attendance and even belief is much, much lower here, and debates about teaching creationism in schools are almost unheard of.


message 46: by Ryan (last edited Jan 15, 2014 06:03PM) (new)

Ryan Lynd +1 on the Old Testament comparisons. Women in Old Testament times were not regarded this way. In Proverbs 31, as said before it directs women to handle the household as a business. Buying and purchasing goods, and even buying and purchasing real estate. It wasn't oppressive. The man was directed to hold her in the highest honor and that he may be regarded by other men by how amazing his wife was.


message 47: by Anusha (new)

Anusha While this book surely does seem interesting, I find it hard to believe this would ever happen, not in America at least.


message 48: by Ella (new)

Ella Hamilton I feel like I should add that the Old Testament gives women more freedom and respect than you might be aware of. Young women were to be educated, God told their husbands to listen to their opinions, and reading Proverbs 31 shows that women had the freedom to purchase land and engage in commerce and deserved the praise of their families.


message 49: by Ella (new)

Ella Hamilton I feel like I should add that the Old Testament gives women more freedom and respect than you might be aware of. Young women were to be educated, God told their husbands to listen to their opinions, and reading Proverbs 31 shows that women had the freedom to purchase land and engage in commerce and deserved the praise of their families.


message 50: by Laura (new)

Laura Okay, you read this book 7 years ago but your review made me pick this book eight away. Although I don't always share your opinion in books I've read, I take your reviews into consideration all the time, since a lot of times I do agree with you or, even if I don't, I like the critical way you elaborate your review. I don't think I can say I was terrified by the book, for some reason I don't get easily terrified with these type of subjects since I have a very negative perspective of the world aka it wouldn't surprise me if this existed (not sure if I'm able to make my feeling clear...). Nonetheless, I totally understand why this book terrified you and why it stuck with you. I'm guessing you read it more than once and I can totally inderstand why. This is such a powerful book, with all the possibilities of wrongness (I might have just made that up?) sounding SO real... and if seven years ago this is how you felt, imagine today. Reading this book in 2016 was like feeling bits and pieces are happening already and we're all blind to see.
Also, I totally unserstand what you mean about the narrator but it worked for me as well. For some reason, I feel like Offred, being the way she is and the way she describes things actually help us understand the lack of humanity surrounding her. More than that, it made it possible for others to understand how could someone ever "accept" whatever is done to them without question. A lot of people assume they would always choose freedom, no matter what, but I don't think that's necessarily true.

Sorry if this comment os a huge mess but I literally finished this like... 10 minutes ago and I'm still wrapping my mind about it.

Although I'm curious: what do you think happened to Offred? Or have you no theory whatsoever?

PS: yeaaaaah Saramago the man! (sorry, I didn't really read anything of his but I'm Portuguese xD)


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