Lisa's Reviews > Alias Grace

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die, margaret-atwood

"If we were all on trial for our thoughts, we would all be hanged."

When I first read Alias Grace, I thought it was "less" relevant than her other, almost prophetically painful novels. I changed my mind. Not immediately, and not deliberately. But slowly, steadily, like a patchwork taking form, I could see the novel in a new light long after I finished it. It grew in my memory as it faded, and all of a sudden, it occurred to me that it was a masterpiece of quiet rebellion where the other novels, like the Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, the Penelopiad or Cat's Eye are angry, eloquently shouted manifestos.

What is sanity? That painful interregnun between phases of blissful insanity, as Poe wittily claims, or the opinion of the (insane) majority? What is murder? What is guilt? How can one determine what really happened if all people involved in the action live in different minds, meaning different realities? How do we establish "truth" in the tangle of myths, passions, prejudices and conventions?

As always, we solve the mystery of a story by telling another, and Margaret Atwwod seemed to define my journey as a reader long before I knew what I was reading myself:

"When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else."
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 24, 2014 – Shelved
August 9, 2014 – Shelved as: 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die
November 10, 2018 – Shelved as: margaret-atwood

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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message 1: by Jan-Maat (new) - added it

Jan-Maat it is the only one I guess that deals with an actual literal rebellion...


Lisa Jan-Maat wrote: "it is the only one I guess that deals with an actual literal rebellion..."

You are so very right of course, Jan-Maat! I need a bit longer to move from my default state of confusion to some kind of flawed clarity :-)


message 3: by Jaline (new) - added it

Jaline From Lisa's Review: "As always, we solve the mystery of a story by telling another . . ."

This is beautiful, Lisa, and it sent my mind off into a whirlwind where connections and links to my last several reads all came sliding through the tunnel together. :)


Lisa Jaline wrote: "From Lisa's Review: "As always, we solve the mystery of a story by telling another . . ."

This is beautiful, Lisa, and it sent my mind off into a whirlwind where connections and links to my last s..."


Oh, isn't that lovely, that maelstrom of stories?


Eleanor Interesting review Lisa. I have just finished reading it and am still thinking about what to make of it.


Lisa Eleanor wrote: "Interesting review Lisa. I have just finished reading it and am still thinking about what to make of it."

If you are like me, you will bump it up in five years or so, realising you are still thinking...


message 7: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Thanks for this review. This is my favorite Atwood and I must re-read it !!


Lisa Jaidee wrote: "Thanks for this review. This is my favorite Atwood and I must re-read it !!"

Glad to hear that, Jaidee! Thanks!


message 9: by P.E. (new) - added it

P.E. Thanks for this review and quote. I can relate!


message 10: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa P.E. wrote: "Thanks for this review and quote. I can relate!"

I think we all can :-)


message 11: by Ellison (new)

Ellison Beautiful quote and review. Thanks


message 12: by Lisa (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lisa Ellison wrote: "Beautiful quote and review. Thanks"

Thanks!


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