Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Title: The Handmaid’s Tale

Author: Margaret Atwood

# pages: 311

Date published: 1986

Genre: speculative fiction, dystopia

Challenge(s): Fall into Reading, Shelfari’s LIO, A Novel Challenge Mini Challenge (banned book), New Classics Challenge, Raved-About Reads Challenge, Book Awards Challenge II


(one of my favorites)

First Sentence:

“We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.”

Synopsis (from Barnes& In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Random Thoughts: The Handmaid’s Tale is a fantastic, but scary, story. To me, the parallels between The Handmaid’s Tale and Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, that I read just last month, were truly frightening. Although one book was fiction and the other non-fiction, the two stories said one thing to me—if we, as citizens, become apathetic and allow our governments to take away our basic rights, especially those of women, we could very easily be in the same boat as Ayaan and Offred. With the U.S. elections coming up in a little over two weeks, you better believe I’ll be there to make my choice known. I hope you will, too.

Let’s give people a variety of opinions! If you've reviewed this book (or a book by this author), leave me a link to your review in the comments and I'll link to your review, too!

Also reviewed by:

Rebecca Reads

In Spring it is the Dawn

Things Mean a Lot

Chain Reading

The Lists - Books for The Obsessive Reader

Reading Room


Marg said...

I read this book in my pre blogging days, so I don't have a review to link ot.

I didn't enjoy it as much as you did though. I found it really hard going to read it.

samantha.1020 said...

This was my 1st Atwood book and I enjoyed it as well. I'm looking forward to picking up more books by this author.

Rebecca Reid said...

I found similar comparisons to Islam. But this book isn't one of my favorites. My review here.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you liked this so much as Atwood is one of my favourite authors. I can see why you say it is scary though. Try Oryx and Crake at some point by her too.