The Handmaid’s Tale

By: Margaret Atwood
Fiction
1986
Rating: 3/5

The Handmaid's Tale

I know, I know. I’m super behind on this one.

The Handmaid’s Tale has seen a resurgence in popularity due to the Hulu TV series, but it was first published in the ’80s. And in case you’ve somehow missed it, it’s a dystopian novel about a woman drafted into semi-concubine status in a theocratic post-United States state.

It’s weird. And honestly kind of slow. Which I get – that’s part of the point. Offred (the main character) spends her life waiting, so of course the book is going to be depiction after depiction of waiting. And it’s a fascinating thought experiment.

It’s just not what I would have picked for myself.

I grew very very tired of it by the end. (And yes, it took me about FOUR MONTHS to read this.) It’s annoyingly open-ended at the final close, and yet you can’t help but feel like Atwood‘s just stuffed a big moral lesson down your throat.

I dunno – tell me why I’m wrong.

 

*****

 

If you enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, here are some other suggestions:

(for other dystopian fiction)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

(for stories of repressed women)

The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner

(for more by Atwood)

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

 

Coming up:

Family Furnishings by Alice Munro

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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