The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to ...Show synopsisThe Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of twenty-first century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.Hide synopsis
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Like so many of the famous tales of the future, The Handmaids Tale is a prescient look into a dystopian future where, in America, the religionists rule by fiat. None can stand against their rules for in this tale, the Bible has become the law and anyone who breaks the law has also sinned against the ruling party's dictates.
The fact is that The Handmaids Tale is one engrossing and revelatory story. I heartily recommend this story to all who have read, Animal Farm, Brave New World, 1984 and so many others of this genre.
This was the first book I read after joining a book club. It was WAY outside of my comfy box of Dan Brown & Harry Potter. This book really made me THINK for a change. I thought about concepts that I had never imagined possible before!! Scary - life changing concepts about how easily it would be for my money and freedom to be taken away. It's been 3 years since I read this book - and I STILL think about the ideas I was introduced to regularly. Excellent read. Great for broadening ideas about life. Great for book club discussions.
This is one of the first books I read as I began to move on from the realms of young adult fiction. As such, it was the first time I encountered such distinct stylization, and I had no problem absorbing it, although I know other people have reported discomfort with Atwood's style.
Offred's narration starkly conveys her numbness and clearly displays her coping strategy, which is to get through one day at a time as she attempts to fend off a deluge of overhwhelming memories of normal times. The tone of the book is startingly immediate, which gives the flashback segments a dreamlike quality. This is an interesting reversal, where the bizarre totalitarian society in which Offred lives feels more realistic than the descriptions of her previous life, which was as normal as any contemporary American woman's.
I would recommend this with no reservations, except to say that for some, Atwood's work may be an acquired taste. Take it on its own terms, not as some call to arms or some manifesto on women's liberation. It merely takes one facet of life and spins it to an extreme alternate future in the spirit if "imagine if..."
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