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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Handmaid's Tale
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Strange.
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on May 29, 2015
This novel follows our handmaiden through her current life as a baby machine, with many flashbacks to her life as a normal woman, and a few moments during the transitional period. While the writing was perfectly fine, the narrator's sense of mind was not entirely enjoyable to follow. She went from resenting her new position in life, to nearly enjoying it, to a strange almost lack of caring about it.

While it seems to be about human nature in unfortunate circumstances, our narrator was not deep enough to grow an attachment to. It's more like watching an ant farm than reading a dystopian end of the world novel that I think it was aiming for.

Though I may not have enjoyed it as much as I could have, I won't discredit it for an interesting idea, albeit one that I would have liked a more present-minded narrator for. With a bit more of a backbone, or a bit more of a layabout the narrator would have been easier to sympathize with.
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on May 29, 2015
Goes against the conformity of religious and social behavior that we so execute unconsciously. I loved it. Women are finally speaking out the nonsense of us men.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2015
Amazing book!
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on May 26, 2015
This book was flawed in narrative and changing tone to me, sounding as if multiple authors contributed. However, my curiosity, disbelief and the underlying question ("this could never happen... could it?") kept me in suspense for most of the book. With the main character near my age, and having some from "modern America," I related to some degree. The circumstances are extreme, but what was most remarkable to me is that this was written nearly 30 years ago!

This book is fairly dehumanizing to women (and raised my feminist hairs), while it strives to place women in support roles - for some that may mean serving as an extra set of ovaries so that a family of "honor and privilege" may grow.

It is so extreme, so twisted... so strangely addictive. You think there's no way something like this could ever happen... but then I reflect back on what has and is happening in our world, and it suddenly (and sadly) doesn't seem as unbelievable.

I am left with so many unanswered questions and theories, which can be both fun and frustrating; it essentially became a mental "choose your own adventure" novel for me.

As soon as I finished I had to find out if there was a sequel (no). Apparently there was a 1990 film... and while tempting, I think I will not see it so that I can keep my own character visuals and storyline paths.

I think this could make a great book club discussion book - lots to talk through! I am not a big sci-fi person, but to me this fell under the same category I'd place The Hunger Games.
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on May 25, 2015
From a product standpoint, no issues. The book came in perfect condition. 5/5

Reviewing the book content: 0/5
-Terrible dystopian novel. The government that is set up doesn't even benefit the people in power. This system would not last long under its own rules.

-It is quite obvious that this novel was written with a social and political agenda. The authors purpose was not to write a good book, but to try to prove some kind of feminist point, and ends up being completely unreasonable in its assessments of society.

-the point of view of the main character prevents the complex description of the society, which leads me to believe the author had no idea how her own fictional universe worked. The main point was not to create a good book, but rather to promote a certain sociopolitical viewpoint. Too many things are not explored in the story that should have been.
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on May 24, 2015
Very good read
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on May 24, 2015
I am a fan of Margaret Atwood and I know she can be heavy-handed at times but this seemed especially so. Parts of it read like a dystopian Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl -- it tackled similar themes of patriarchal oppression -- but the non-fiction Incidents may have been a little more forgiving. I suspected there may have been more to the characters of the Commander and Serena LoveJoy but they were painted with too broad a stroke to inspire empathy (which may have been Atwood's intent.) Overall the read was slow-going but thought provoking enough to forgive a little didacticism.
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How would I describe this book? Depressing. Beautiful. Poetic writing with a story that grabs you and will not let go. It is incredibly depressing because of the treatment of women, and scary to think it was written in the 80's and some of these things could happen. This is an amazing book and every woman should read it! Love it! Powerful!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2015
Margaret Atwood's <i>The Handmaid's Tale</i> has made me think about society and feminism more than any other book I have ever read. I was riveted and terrified of this story because of how realistic its totalitarian society becomes for the reader. It's easy to imagine that this horrific lifestyle could become a reality, and I think this is an essential read for everybody.

Before I decided to buy it, I kept hearing how great this book is and that I needed to read it. The summary didn't appeal to me much, but I decided to give it a chance. I am so glad I did. This is one of the few books that have made me see the world in a different light.
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