4 Stars · Book Review

The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood


The Handmaid’s Tale

Margaret Atwood

Published: 17 February 1986

Genre: Literature, Women Literature

Rating: 4 Stars

About the book:

The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

About the Author:

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, her novels include Cat’s Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; and her most recent, Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.


So, the reason I decided to read this book was I wanted to watch the t.v. program on Hulu. I figured I should read the book before I watched the show so I could understand what the show was about. I also saw a lot of reviews for the book on other blogs so I thought I would give it a whirl!

I liked the book, I was so into the book, until the last 10 chapters of the book. I could not get over the hump of the last chapters of the book for some reason. It took me 3 days to read 10 chapters. If anyone knows me I can read 10 chapters rather quickly. It was bothering me that I was so into the book but couldn’t finish it.

I have to say I was rather disappointed with the ending of the book. I was rather disappointed as a whole with the last chapters of the book, and now that I am done reading them I can see why I had such a hard time with this roadblock. I feel that the author herself might have had a hard time finishing the ending of the book, and just wrote something to finish it off.

The first 35 chapters of the book were great! I was so into the book, I was discussing the book with my husband at every turn. I even talked to him about the fact that I could not get past the last chapters of the book and he found that weird because I was so into the book before that.

I found that the plot of the book was very intriguing, and scary at the same time. I found that there are somethings within the story that are happening now within our world structure. Which really scares me since Ms. Atwood wrote this story back in the 80s. I could actually see something like this happening in our world today.

I have to say that if you want a book that will make you think a bit, maybe even make you a bit scared, and not because it is a scary book that go bump in the night, then this is the book for you. There is at least 1 swear in the book that I can remember, there might be more I’m not sure, but that should not stop you.

Stay tuned for my review for the show!



4 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale By Margaret Atwood

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