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The Blind Assassin
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1001 book reviews > The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

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Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments This book is good! It is complex and intricate; it is sometimes confusing. But Atwood told a story in three different narratives which she tied together perfectly in the end. This is a book that I will definitely revisit, because it is one that I am sure will only be richer and sweeter with a second reading. There are some wonderful reviews on Goodreads that do a good job of summarizing the story without spoiling it. I am not even going to try. Suffice it to say that I liked both Iris and Laura. I found them very real. Both were flawed. Imperfect. Sometimes unlikable. Those are are the kind of characters I like because they are so much more like real people. They are believable. And the plot was woven together artfully. It was full of little surprises, and even when the reader believed they knew it all there were more to come.

I would give this one 4.5 stars. I think it will be on my shelf for years.


Kristel (kristelh) | 4168 comments Mod
Read 2017, This was a great book that covers the time period from just before WWI to just after WWII and actually into 1999. It is the story of two sisters. Iris is the sister who is telling the story in her old age and she is such a perfectly developed "old" person. I just loved her as the senior Iris, not so much as the young Iris. The story is not only historical, a story about sisters, it is also a mystery and a bit of science fiction. Mostly to me, it is about old age, about living past all the other people in your life until you are alone and then the retrospect of looking back at your life at the things you didn't see, the carelessness of how you lived. This book was so well written, unique style with its layering device, and so enjoyable reading with great quotable lines. I think it was worthy of the Booker Prize that it received. My rating is 4.75.


Diane Zwang | 1268 comments Mod
Also read in 2017
5 stars

I am continuing my love affair with Margaret Atwood, this my third book by the author and by far my favorite. An intricate family tale surrounding the girls Iris and Laura Chase. The story is non-linear, told from both past and present. Additional information is gleamed through articles and a story called The Blind Assassin. The book jacket states “The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience.” I wholeheartedly agree. I loved the experience and journey of the novel and it will stay with me for some time.

"The picture is of happiness, the story not. Happiness is a garden walled with glass: there's no way in or out. In Paradise there are no stories, because there are no journeys. It's loss and regret and misery and yearning that drive the story forward, along its twisted road."


Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount) (ravenmount) | 479 comments After hearing too many great reviews of this book, and reading several Atwood books I really enjoyed, I may have had too many high expectations for this novel. It really is not sci-fi, and while I suppose the stories do all connect finally near the end, I never was really drawn into any of the threads of this book. The men are all sexist jerks, the women are all differently awful, and the story was boring. I was just enough engaged with the story to be irritated at how clueless Iris is, and how pathetic Laura is. They just accept Reenie's anxieties about life and sex, and absorb all her prejudices about anyone and everyone who is not a member of the right race and class. They are growing up in a world with public libraries and even with all Reenie's annoying ideas about parenting, surely both girls could have wandered off to make friends with local kids. So, the fact that both girls turned into such pathetic women bugged me, because they were so complacent and let themselves become adults without knowing much about anything.
I gave this book 3 stars. I am still looking forward to reading more Atwood, but I am glad I started with others of her books before reading this one.


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