Book 27: The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood

What can you say about Margaret Atwood that hasn’t been said? She has been nominated for countless awards (including 5 Booker Awards, winning once) and is just brilliant all around. I recommend checking out her Twitter (it’s political, about books and writing, about people who’ve been influenced by her works, and about any random thing she decides to mention).

I was first introduced to Margaret Atwood through The Handmaid’s Tale, a dystopic feminist novel written in the early 1980s. I’ll probably reread The Handmaid’s Tale next year and I’ll review it, but I definitely recommend it (especially if you read it and either precede or follow it with Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time).

I’ve only read a couple of other Booker Prize winning novels and this one is by far the best. The intricate stories and their intertwining details were fascinating and kept me wanting to read it even though it was dense at time and lulled in a few spaces. I can see why it won and why she has been nominated so many times. This novel has made me want to go back and read the one’s between Handmaid and Assassin and catch up on everything she’s done!

This novel is three novels within one and could easily have been three novels, but in combining the three stories (morning, noon and night/maiden, matron and crone) Ms. Atwood created a literary gem. The novel is told by Iris Chase and is set in a fiction small town in Canada just outside of Ontario and is about her and her sister’s lives. I would love for Atwood to write a full version of the novella as it was a science fiction/fantasy novel that sounded pretty awesome. The story itself was a society story and the pitfalls and peaks of the Griffin/Chase family. The love affairs, the backroom business deals and the family drama create a beautiful piece of literature. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but the great twist at the end wasn’t too much of a surprise but Atwood keeps you guessing the entire time so you’re not quite sure who is or isn’t…


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