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The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1)
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Classics Group Reads > Group Classics Read - The Handmaids Tale - November 2016 - SPOILERS ALLOWED

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message 1: by Jo (new) - added it

Jo Weston (joster) | 1697 comments Mod
Spoilers are allowed in this thread. Please unselect 'Add to my update feed' so other don't see your comments.
Things to consider:
1. Did you like the book?
2. Did you like or dislike the main characters?
3. Do the characters develop?
4. What did you think of the plot and the ending of the story?
5. Do you have any particular favourite quotes or scenes?
6. Would you read anything else by this author?


message 2: by Pamela (last edited Nov 09, 2016 07:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pamela (bibliohound) | 359 comments I really liked the first two thirds of this book and galloped through, not so sure about the final section as it seemed a bit rushed, but overall I liked it.

I liked the handmaid, she developed well and was just an ordinary person trying to survive, not a classic heroine. Ofglen was a good foil for her. Didn't like the Commander or Serena Joy, I felt no sympathy for their situation.

The plot was chilling, very believable in the way the totalitarian regime took control, and I felt the hopelessness of the situation was really well developed. The ending of the actual story was good, I thought the ambiguity worked well, but I didn't like the 'lecture notes' at the end - I guess they showed how this kind of regime eventually breaks down and becomes a curiosity of history, but for me it took the focus away from the personal element of the handmaids story.

I would read more by this author - I prefer her novels to her short stories so far.


Saffron (celeste1973) | 136 comments I read this a couple of years ago, it was my first Margaret Atwood book and made me an instant fan of her writing.

Atwood is so good at writing the subtle nuances of the changes in society that creep up on the general populace unawares before bam, your life has changed and you let it happen by inaction or ignorance. It feels sadly, very like the situation shaping up in the world today. She is in my eyes a prophet, she sees so much detail around her in the modern world that sadly gets missed, either because of the loud media coverage of the celebrity world or political spin of events.

Offred is such a tragic character, having had her personal freedom, love of a partner and a child, to loose all of that through no fault of her own and then to endure the humiliation of the Handmaidens life is horrific to read. However you cannot help but be overwhelmingly drawn into the story and the events that surround her. Her connection to the Commander is interesting and shows that he is aware of the errors of the system but will not jeopardise his position in the ruling elite.

I liked the ending, her presumed escape to freedom and the historical notes left me feeling hopeful that whenever a tyrannical force comes to power, eventually the people will rise up in protest and demand liberty and freedom. Considering this was written over 30 years ago, it is just a bit too relevant to the events around us today.


Olly L-J (olly_lj) | 3 comments I wasn't so sure about the historical notes at the end of the book ... i wonder if it would have been better letting the reader decide whether she got out or not. I loved the abrupt ending, like a door slamming shut!


Wendy I did read this during the group read but somehow forgot to post about it. I found this book quite hard work initially, in fact to the point I had to take a break from it and read something else. Well I managed to finish I and think I quite enjoyed it in the end although I it was hard to like any of the characters. It struck me how everyone was miserable whether they had power or not. I found this book frightening, frustrating, upsetting and downright infuriating in equal measure. But it was well worth reading and I am very pleased I did. I think it will be one of those book that come back to you without warning - and that's a good thing.


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