2.27.2006

5. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Two nights ago, I finished The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I read Oryx and Crake last year, and liked it, and I loved "Lusus Naturae," the leadoff tale in McSweeney's Enchanted Chamber of Astonishing Stories. And I was also pretty keen on The Blind Assassin, especially its narrative structure. She is an incredible writer. So I had been looking forward to reading The Handmaid's Tale, as it was the first work of hers that I heard of, years ago, and is still oft-cited as one of her defining books.

But this dystopia wasn't the bag of apes I had hoped for. Maybe it's just my mood, I'm not sure. It could be that I had a harder time suspending disbelief. But it never grabbed me by the balls and took hold of my throat, like some of her other books have done. I eventually got a little tired of reading it, and after dallying for two weeks, finally plowed through it just to go ahead and finish.

Yet it was a good book. I'll give it that. The story will stick with me, and it was well-written. Compelling, even. But the timing was wrong, or it just wasn't the book for me. Either way I'm glad to move on.

4 Comments:

Blogger Viewer said...

Hey u shud try some india authors they are really amzing esp Jumpa Lahiri and Rohinton Mistry

11:15 AM  
Blogger Viewer said...

U shud try some indian authors they are really good esp jumpa Lahiri n Rohinton Mistry

11:16 AM  
Blogger mat said...

I read Mistry's A Fine Balance a few years back; a great book.

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was my first book by this author and although I enjoy the writing, I was expecting something more that would hook me to the story.

3:48 PM  

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