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.)
Categories: Pick Ups, Weekly Review
Tags: book review, books, classic, dystopian, five stars, handmaid's tale, margaret atwood, pick ups, reviews, women writers
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Let me first preface this review with this: it took me forever to read this book. It was really no fault of the book itself. Somehow this became my bed stand book that I only picked up in the few minutes that the hubster and I were getting ready for bed. Because of this, I don’t think it’s fair for me to say the book was “slow” or “uninteresting” or even “confusing” because any book that you only read 4 or 5 pages at a time with isn’t going to have time to catch your interest.
That being said, the first adjectives that come to mind when I think about this book is slow, uninteresting, and confusing. Maybe I’m just not fair.
But I love Atwood. She wow’d me with The Handmaid’s Tale but I truly fell in love with The Blind Assassin. The woman is a genius and even with my sludge-y read, by the end of this book I felt awed. She’s got this post-apocalyptic thing down. What starts off as something bizarre and strange pulls together into something that makes sense (in a horrifying, I wish-I-didn’t-understand-as-well-as-I-did kind of way). Still, even with that, the wrap-up of the book just wasn’t what I wanted to would find. I always do my best to keep out spoilers, so let’s just say I had hoped to get more from the characters we were promised we would meet. I wanted some good interaction but it wasn’t there.
I also have a huge qualm with trilogies that are trilogies just to be trilogies. I feel like the three books should stand alone. When you get the end you’ll realize that this doesn’t stand alone in the least. It could be the most heart-stopping cliff-hanger ending ever. Yes, even more than the season finale of season 4 of The X-Files.
So, at this point, I can’t say if it’s a pick-up or a put-down. I think the rest of the trilogy will tell. In truth, if this were by a different author I wouldn’t even go on, but I trust Atwood and I’m willing to make my way to the The Year of the Flood to see what happens.