The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

06 Jul

An interesting review of a book I’ve always meant to read… by the Crazy Book Lady. 🙂


There is nothing like reading an old book, it’s pages yellowed with age. I stumbled across a copy of the Handmaid’s Tale in my favourite second-hand book store and had been meaning to read it after hearing so many good things about it. The Handmaid’s Tale tells the story of Offred, a woman living in the dystopian society of Gilead. A society where women have no rights, they are merely a possession with a role to fulfil. Offred’s role is that of a handmaiden. Her role is simply to pro-create. This book tells of her life trying to navigate this strict society with unyielding laws of how to act while also throwing back to her life before everything changed. A life where she has a husband and a daughter.

This book comes highly regarded and is referred to often. After reading The Heart Goes Last I was determined to read…

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Posted by on July 6, 2016 in writing


4 responses to “The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

  1. Nita

    July 6, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I just adored this book, her boredom an a room with nothing to read or do, the demands made of her and the final outcome, (no spoilers here.) Beautifully written and well worth a second read.
    I believe a film was also made but I have not come across it as yet.

  2. Micki Peluso

    July 6, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    I read this years ago but loved it. I might even still have the book.

  3. Pete Rogan

    July 6, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    “The Handmaid’s Tale” is an unusual work. Not only is it an epistolary novel told in past tense, but the protagonist’s original name is not known, and her role in Gilead history and its downfall not documented at all. In effect Offred is handled badly by the past, that let the Republic of Gilead happen, by her awful treatment at their hands, and then she is half-forgotten by a future that holds her up as a curiosity.

    More curious is that Margaret Atwood also wrote the screenplay for the movie of her book, and the two tellings are remarkably dissimilar. She has explained that this was the necessity of dealing with the structure of motion pictures, which must not just show but compress any tale into practically an epigraph — her phrase for it was ‘finite time,’ distinguished from the ‘stretchy time’ of a novel, where the reader may skip around and even read ahead of the narrative. As it stands, the two tellings make Atwood’s novel a singular piece of literature, transcending the genre and defying convention. It richly rewards the reader, but a number of people have taken offense to it because Atwood has insisted it is not science fiction, delineating the difference quite admirably, and this has angered people who feel their fondness for the subgenre has been impugned by Atwood’s accurate description of it as a form of popular, non-serious literature, about the latitude of comic books. This makes her, to my mind, a singular voice worthy of your attention, regardless of the work.


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