Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: The Handmaid's Tale

How did I come into possession of this book?
I think I picked up this book at a thrift store in Tahoe.  I figured I should read some of the classic dystopian books, since it is one of my favorite genres.  I've also been given a couple other of Margaret Atwood's more recent books, so I guess I should start with her best known novel.

What is it about?
It takes place in a future after many things have gone wrong with the government.  It takes a while to actually figure out how the world is and how they got to where they are.  It is a society where women have a much different place in the world, a much lesser place.  The story follows one handmaid and how she fits into this society.  There start to be flashbacks of her life before the world changed and you can fit the puzzle together a little to see how she got to where she is now

What did I think?
I really enjoyed the way you don't know how the society works off the bat.  Details are revealed here and there and the flashbacks help with that.  A lot of the book is learning how the world is now functioning which can lead to some slower reading, but still held my attention.  I wasn't a big fan of the main character, she just seemed so passive to everything going on in her world, but I guess that's a product of what she has experienced.  I also wish there had been more to the ending, but I'll try not to get too spoiler-y about it.

Who would I recommend it to?
Anyone who enjoys a good dystopian novel or anyone who just enjoys good literature.  It is very well written and doesn't get to far out as far as some dystopian novels will.  So it's a good book for pretty much any reader, if you like books you should probably read this one.  It would also be a great book to discuss, so if you enjoy that sort of thing, this is a good book to read.

Sidenote: My copy of the book is pretty old, but it said that it was now a major motion picture.  Has anyone seen this movie? Is it any good? I had no idea it existed!

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