Lucian McMahon's Reviews > The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
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's review
Jul 15, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: booker-prize-winners
Read from July 15 to 18, 2012

The novel regurgitates all the same old, tired tropes: an old woman recalls her unhappy youth amidst the rapid changes of the late-20th century, woefully regretting the passing of old icons and institutions in a way to elicit nostalgia and pity, I guess; the same woman as a young unhappy upper class socialite bound to a surly industrialist through a pragmatic marriage pursues a furtive love affair with a—you guessed it—rebellious fugitive Bolschevik who makes love to her in grimy basements and dusty lofts. The octogenarian spends her time limping around mourning her lost youth and the pesky altruism of her friend, while the chain-smoking politico regales his wealthy-yet-unhappy lover with cookie-cutter pulp science fiction tales of love and [un]happy endings.

It was kind of interesting how Atwood portrayed the story of Iris Chase through the novel written by Chase but published under her sister’s name and Chase’s own memories, but that’s about as interesting and meta as the book gets. It’s kind of like if Updike meets Wharton in a TGI Friday’s, and, instead of getting ripped on high resin dope in an old van in the back parking lot, blowing lines of each other’s rear-ends, and making crazy passionate literary love to some overblown 70s guitar solo, they sip milkshakes and talk about the weather, the neighbors, the stock market analysis on FOX.

Maybe I’ve just been reading too much family-saga-drama-tragedy-sadness-bullshit literature lately, but I kept catching myself rolling my eyes and snorting at the triteness of the whole thing.
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message 1: by Zach (new)

Zach this book sounds terrible, but your review is incredible. you should review books for a living.

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