#BookReview: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

What’s it about?

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

 

 

 

My thoughts

Seriously…what can I say about this book that hasn’t already been said!!?

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it but the buzz around the Channel 4 TV adaptation had me picking up a copy for our book club read which overall was received quite well.

I have to admit I didn’t love the writing style.  I much prefer to read with speech in quotation marks, rather than just pages and pages of block text – on a first glance this would really put me off.  Having said that, on this occasion I found it quite easy to read, not the heavy going slog I had honestly expected from one of the books everyone should read.

It’s probably been said so many times this was just so thought-provoking and shocking! This Government sanctioned abuse was just downright horrifying.  Made even more so because even though it was written in 1985 some of Atwood’s thoughts are still so relevant today.  This may sound strange given it’s of a futuristic nature; it’s just so cleverly written the content doesn’t date it and feels as though it could have been published yesterday.

I had such admiration for Offred’s character; her fear and courage jumped off the page and her astounding strength of character truly makes her one of the best female characters ever written and that I’ve ever read.

I’m also loving the tv adaptation and the additions to the plot they’ve made.  Seeing it on screen actually makes the whole idea seem so much darker and terrifying.  And Elisabeth Moss is just incredible in it.  Although a lot of what’s happened isn’t explained in the book or tv series, it just is what it is, and so you’re left to draw your own conclusions; such as, how many States has this affected or is it the whole of the US? Where are the Colonies and do they actually exist or is this a story that is fed to the Handmaid’s to keep them under control? Are those that were sent to the Colonies actually dead? What caused the War that led to this regime? Maybe these questions will be more explored in the second series…..Loved it, 5*, read it if you haven’t! 🙂

Book links: Goodreads | Waterstones | Amazon

Author links: Twitter | Website

Small print for info
Source: Purchased
No of pages: 324
Publisher: Vintage

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6 thoughts on “#BookReview: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

      • Claire | Art and Soul says:

        I did! I thought it was very good, but I’m not sure all the additional graphic violence was necessary. I know TV is a visual medium, but I thought the book was creepier and more disturbing for leaving everything implied and unsaid. Seeing all the blood just makes it stomach-churning :-/
        VERY interested to see what they’re going to do with series 2 when they’ve no longer got the book as a guide!

        Like

  1. Terry Tyler says:

    Interesting :). Loved the TV series, badly (have you seen the original 1980s film, too? Hilarious – all the wives are dressed like Princess Diana!). I read another of Atwood’s futuristic books and found the same thing – I like it, but there wasn’t enough explanation, and I had many similar questions to the ones you express here. I love all things dystopian and post apocalyptic…. but you’ve got to know WHY!

    Liked by 1 person

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