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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.4 out of 5
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  • kind of a scary name for a title

    I wasn't able to put it down. A crazy ending, too. Even the location where offered was surprising. Wonder why margaret Atwood hasn't written a sequel to it.

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    3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • A very interesting story by a classic Canadian author. Even though Ms. Atwood wrote this book some time ago, it is a relevant and thought provoking story. It is well written and full of details that offer the reader a glimpse into the life of a handmaid after a major depopulation. This science fiction tale is told from the perspective of a woman being oppressed by gender inequality and the triumphs and tribulations associated with her station in a futuristic society. This story is thought provoking and leaves one to ponder what the world would be like in the aftermath of a major depopulation.

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Amazing read!

    This book... there are no words for how much Atwood's words affected me. The book was originally published when I was about 16, but I didn't read it. In some ways, I regret that because I think it would have been interesting to compare the two experiences, 30 years apart. Kim at 16 would have taken it in very different ways than Kim at 46. But, on the other hand, I don't think at that age I would have been able to fully appreciate the themes and implications of this novel. The novel takes place in a dystopian near future (roughly 2004-2005). after society has fallen to a religious new order. The USA is no longer, now known as the Republic of Gilead. Society is based on a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, a rather chilling androcentric, misogynistic social order. Birth rates have sharply reason, providing the justification for the new system. Women have had virtually all of their rights taken away, reduced to categories like Jezebels (pleasure women), Marthas (cooks/housekeepers) and Handmaids (fertile breeding women). Aunts are in charge of retraining the lesser women, indoctrinating them in the new world order. Only the Commanders' Wives have even a touch of freedom, but that, too, is limited. The Handmaids even lose their names, becoming "Of-" and whatever the Commander's first name is. It is a disturbing look at sexual politics, particularly the ways in which sexuality is or isn't expressed based on gender. It is a book about power and how what is seemingly utopian for some, it is clearly dystopian for others. This is a book that is extremely thought-provoking, especially in this day and age. Despite the fact that it was published 31 years ago, there are so many themes in it that are just as relevant in today's world. There were times when I forgot I was reading a book that supposedly took place more than a decade ago. The Handmaid's Tale is a part of me now, one of those books that I will read again and again. It is the kind of book that will give you a new experience each time it is read.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Handmaid's Tale

    I read this book a long time ago. With the recent rise of making mini-series for books on NetFlix, Hulu, and prime cable channels, book club selected it so they could read it before watching (at least most of them did). I loved having a chance to pick this incredible story up again. The TV show was quite different the further I got into it. It was a great way of highlighting things that I “liked” better or worse between the two and opened a whole new conversation about the events as well. Most of you will know the basics of the story – a dystopian somewhat futuristic society that has reverted to extreme religious views (of a sort) and certain class of young fertile women are related to basically be breeding stock for the military higher-ups and the elite. Not a very pleasant situation. I think what I enjoyed most about the book was the ending – so I won’t say too much other than it surprised me. It’s quite open-ended, which I usually don’t like. But in this case, it just seemed to fit. I highly recommend this book – and it seems to be a quite fitting read in our current political climate as well.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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  • Dealing with a loss of personhood

    I can hardly begin to write any review as informative and admirable as those preceeding me. This novel is eerily portending our current political climate and its eventual denouement.

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    0 person found this review helpful

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