Reading the 20th Century discussion

Margaret Atwood
This topic is about Margaret Atwood
Favourite Authors > Margaret Atwood

Comments Showing 1-21 of 21 (21 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4673 comments Mod
We've just had some discussion of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood in another thread, so here is her own thread.

One of the leading writers of the 20th and now the 21st century too, with an amazing body of work, including poetry and non-fiction as well as novels and short stories - not forgetting TV scripts, a graphic novel and a lot more! Just see her Wikipedia page for the whole amazing list:

So, do you have a favourite book by Atwood, or one you are planning to read soon?

message 2: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4673 comments Mod
I had a period some years back when I read a number of books by Margaret Atwood straight after each other. They have somewhat blurred together in my memory, but I know I liked Alias Grace, an historical novel based on fact, and I also remember liking Surfacing and Lady Oracle, and maybe The Robber Bride.

message 3: by Hugh (last edited May 18, 2018 05:57AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 752 comments I am reading and enjoying Cat's Eye at the moment. My favourites so far are The Blind Assassin and Alias Grace - I have also read The Handmaid's Tale (a very long time ago), Oryx and Crake and one short story collection (Bluebeard's Egg). A very interesting writer...

message 4: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5680 comments Mod
One of the things I love about Atwood is that her novels are so different from each other: I love Handmaid, The Penelopiad, and Hag-Seed. I was so-so about The Blind Assassin but it's lingered with me anyway so that says something. I have Alias Grace but haven't got round to it yet.

Hugh, Cat's Eye looks interesting.

message 5: by Story (last edited May 17, 2018 01:13PM) (new)

message 6: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4673 comments Mod
Another book I really liked was her poems The Journals of Susanna Moodie, The Journals of Susanna Moodie by Margaret Atwood based on the memoirs of the 19th-century writer who moved to the Canadian wilderness.

This is beautifully illustrated by artist Charles Pachter, and I remember there is an interesting introduction about how this eminent pair met when they were both working with kids at a summer camp.

This book encouraged me to read Moodie's own memoirs, and a biography of her and her sister, Sisters In The Wilderness: The Lives Of Susanna Moodie And Catharine Parr Traill, by Charlotte Gray.

message 7: by Story (new)

Story (storyheart) Judy, I have fond memories of reading all of those in school.

message 8: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10376 comments Mod
Thanks for setting up this thread Judy

The Handmaid's Tale is my first book by Margaret Atwood, and I am already very impressed by the inventiveness and how, so far, everything depicted already exists in some form or another, so it's not that much of a stretch to see how we get from where are now to the dystopian future depicted in the book.

I've heard good things about the recent TV adaptation. What are you thoughts about that? And indeed the book.

message 9: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (bibliohound) | 534 comments My favourite Atwood novel so far is The Blind Assassin and of the short stories I enjoyed Stone Mattress. Just started reading The Robber Bride with another GR group so am looking forward to that.

message 10: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4673 comments Mod
As far as I remember, The Handmaid's Tale wasn't one of my favourites by Atwood. I haven't tried the TV series as yet.

message 11: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10376 comments Mod
It's quite slow moving, and has a number of different narrative strands, however - at about 55% - I'm starting to get quite engrossed. A very skilfully structured, and prescient novel.

message 12: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10376 comments Mod
I've now finished The Handmaid's Tale.

Not wholly successful for me.

I'm glad I've read it however, as I explain in my review, overall I found it a bit of a slog....

message 13: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 752 comments I have to admit that I found The Handmaid's Tale a struggle and thought it rather heavy handed and humourless, so much so that it stopped me reading anything else for years. I suspect I would appreciate it more now that I can see how it fits into Atwood's wider oeuvre - she is a surprisingly versatile writer.

message 14: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10376 comments Mod
Thanks Hugh - that's very helpful and inspiring. Without your post I may well have given up on her but, now, I feel inspired to try another of her novels. Thanks again.

message 15: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 4673 comments Mod
I remember enjoying other books by her more - must really give one of her recent books a try soon.

message 16: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 752 comments Finished and really enjoyed Cat's Eye - My review. It is definitely among the best three of the Atwood books I have read, but perhaps does not quite match the ambition of The Blind Assassin and Alias Grace. Her account of the psychology of bullying is spot on (and brought back some unpleasant memories).

message 17: by Nigeyb (new)

Nigeyb | 10376 comments Mod
Hugh wrote: "Finished and really enjoyed Cat's Eye"

Thanks Hugh - that sounds very enticing

message 18: by Annabel (last edited May 21, 2018 04:59AM) (new)

Annabel Frazer | 82 comments I absolutely loved The Blind Assassin The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood which has a stunning dustjacket. But it made me sad even while I was reading it (gloomy things happened to all my favourite characters) and I was so cast down by the end that I don't know if I'll ever read it again. Why do authors all feel the need to do this? I need to go and read some PG Wodehouse.

I read The Handmaid's Tale years ago and didn't rate it. For me, it didn't do nearly enough on HOW and WHY this horrible, frightening state of affairs came about, which would for me have been the most interesting part - watching a society collapse into something monstrous is always fascinating, as in The Stand. Instead, it's a fait accompli and most of the focus is on WHAT rather than WHY. Now that it's so hugely successful as a TV adaptation, I am guiltily wondering if I misjudged it and I should give it another try, but I suspect I am more likely to reread The Code Of The Woosters!

message 19: by Roman Clodia (new)

Roman Clodia | 5680 comments Mod
I recently re-read The Blind Assassin which hadn't wholly worked for me before and this time I loved it! It's sparked a mini Atwood binge and I followed up with Alias Grace, and have Cat's Eye.

Who else is looking forward to The Testaments? Handmaid is a hard act to follow so fingers crossed the sequel doesn't go horribly wrong.

message 20: by Robin P (new)

Robin P I really liked Cat's Eye for its depiction of childhood and the power of bullying when there is really no reason for it. There's a quote about how to other kids, children are not cute, they are life-sized. Also the first part about how the heroine grows up with her brother and parents in forestry stations is autobiographical, as that was Atwood's childhood. She then observed girls' interactions like an anthropologist, since they were so foreign to her. The Robber Bride is also a study in female competition and deception.

Handmaid's Tale may seem overdone today, but it was shocking at the time, especially as Atwood asserted that everything in it was taking place somewhere in the world at the time, though not all at once. This was before the whole range of dystopias we have had since.

message 21: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 233 comments Glad to see some love for my favorite Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye. She's been a favorite author of mine for decades. It started when I stumbled on The Handmaid's Tale on my library bookshelves, long before it was well known.

My favorites:
Cat's Eye
Negotiating with the Dead
The Handmaid's Tale
The Penelopiad
The MaddAddam Trilogy: Oryx and Crake / The Year of the Flood / MaddAddam

I still have so many left to read. She has a new one coming out I'm interested in:
Burning Questions Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021 by Margaret Atwood Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces, 2004 to 2021

back to top