Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. Thus begins The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel. Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent Industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous ...
Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. Thus begins The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel. Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent Industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following: as Iris says, she herself lives 'in the long shadow cast by Laura'. Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on the Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one, as events in both move closer to war and catastrophe. By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama. It is Margaret Atwood at her breathtaking best.
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A little slow for Atwood but her writing is impeccdable
Apr 3, 2007
Top gun of the literary world
This book is for people who like a book to be brilliantly written. It's description and characters are second to non. The story itself is set out like a cryptic jigsaw that all becomes apparent once it is pieced together. You don't get much better than this.
Feb 15, 2007
I was mesmerized by this book. I generally don't like Margaret Atwood, mostly because I find the whole "oppressed woman" genre tiresome. I think this book was also an "Oprah's book pick," which is usually another bad sign. So the book had two strikes against it before I even cracked it open, but I enjoyed it immensely.
Publishers Weekly, 2005-10-03 Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel, with its 1930s setting and stories within stories, is well suited to audio dramatization. O'Brien has simplified and streamlined the structure so that it jumps around in time less and makes clearer parallels between past, present and the whimsical internal novel. Some dialogue has been added, while many meditative and descriptive sections are absent, but the new words blend gracefully with Atwood's own, and her elegant style remains intact despite the omissions. Abundant sound effects make the production much richer than many audiobooks; it sometimes seems like a movie without the visuals, with chirping birds, clinking silverware and the murmur of crowds filling in the background. Music that alternates between a lovely, slightly melancholy theme and an ominous one, helps highlight the shifts from the protagonist Iris's personal history to her retelling of the novel. The skills of the cast almost make such extras unnecessary: the three women who play Iris at different ages capture her brilliant but frustrated spirit perfectly, while the actresses for her troubled younger sister, Laura, find just the right blend of dreaminess and defiance. Though in some respects this adaptation is less intricate than the rather complicated original, the condensation serves it well, making the story more tightly wound and intense in a way that should attract listeners who may be put off by Atwood's writing. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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