Posts Tagged With: classic

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale – 5 of 5

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Confession: I have a total lady crush on Margaret Atwood. I’m not ashamed.

Even though I wasn’t in love with Oryx and Crake I still think Atwood is a genius. While I still love The Blind Assassin the most of all the Atwood I have read, my 2014 re-read of this book has rekindled my lady-love.

I enjoyed this book immensely. The plot is incredibly gripping – instead of revealing it in chronological order, the reader is slowly taken through the mind of a Handmaid. Atwood gives such a perfect balance of the character’s remembrance and current activities. The truth is told to us is plausible pieces – the memories of Offred rise to the surface naturally.

My absolute favorite part of the book is when we get to the “how it happened” moment. The day that the funds were frozen, that the jobs were lost. Reading that caused a chill to run through me. It’s so simple and horrifyingly possible… it made me want to keep a stash of cash in the house just in case.

The plot line was fantastic and the writing in of itself was amazing. She personified characters who we never met and managed to integrate the boredom of the Handmaid (the words, the details, the line of thought) into a meaningful and forward moving story.

I found it intriguing and well done. Exceptional read. My re-read popped it to a 5.

(P.S. – on my first read through, I totally didn’t even know there was an epilogue. Mind. Blown. Also, I kind of liked it better without the epilogue… but I’m always one for ambiguity.)

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Reviewing a Classic: Slaughterhouse-Five – 4 out of 5

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Goodness me, the clock has struck-
Alackday, and fuck my luck.”

Tell you the truth, I don’t really get satire. Never have. Candide? Hated it. I just didn’t find it funny. I didn’t really find Slaughterhouse-Five funny either – except for the quote above. I did a great big make-people-look-at-you-on-the-train kind of guffaw laugh at that quote. And then I continued reading to find that Billy Pilgrim did the same thing before they trucked him off to the hospital.

So… somewhere in here I’m clearly not getting it.

That aside, I still liked it. I tried reading this book maybe seven or eight years ago and was completely lost. I expected a story – that’s not what this is. On my second attempt it made sense in that I knew it wasn’t supposed to make sense.

The point I’m trying to make is that sometimes you need to just read something and it’ll absorb into you. Your brain will try to decipher it like your high school English teacher but it’s really your body that you’re reading with. That’s this book. Vonnegut’s writing reminded me of Salinger, but it didn’t quite hit me with instant love.

There’s a reason why this book is one that’s so popular. I just can’t tell you what that reason is.

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