Imagining a world where citizens take turns as prisoners and jailers, the prophetic Margaret Atwood delivers a hilarious yet harrowing tale about liberty, power, and the irrepressibility of the human appetite.
Several years after the world's brutal economic collapse, Stan and Charmaine, a married couple struggling to stay afloat, hear about the Positron Project in the town of Consilience, an experiment in cooperative living that appears to be the answer to their problems - to living in their car, to the lousy jobs, to the vandalism and the gangs, to their piled-up debt. There's just one drawback: once inside Consilience, you don't get out. After weighing their limited options, Stan and Charmaine sign up, and soon they find themselves involved in the town's strategy for economic stability: a pervasive prison system, whereby each citizen lives a double life, as a prisoner one month, and a guard or town functionary the next. At first, Stan and Charmaine enjoy their newfound prosperity. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who shares her civilian house, her actions set off an unexpected chain of events that leave Stan running for his life. Brilliant, dark, and provocative, The Heart Goes Last is a compelling futuristic vision that will drive readers to the edge of their seats.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We imagine it’s not always easy to be Margaret Atwood. Like her Nebula Award-winning feminist dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale, The Heart Goes Last is an unsettling story of a not-so-distant future gone horribly wrong. In the aftermath of a financial collapse that’s crippled North America, married couple Charmaine and Stan find themselves living in their car and scraping by on tips from Charmaine’s seedy bar job. You can’t blame them for giving up their freedom for a chance to live in Consilience—a gated community that makes inventive use of prison labour—but you know that decision will blow up in their faces. Atwood is a master storyteller, churning up anxiety and painting vivid, nightmarish scenes that linger in the imagination.
In the dystopian landscape of the unflappable Atwood's (Stone Mattress) latest novel, there are "not enough jobs, and too many people," which drives married couple Stan and Charmaine to become interested in the Positron Project, a community that purports to have achieved harmony. There is a catch, as Positron leader Ed explains: citizens are required to share their home with other couples, alternating each month between time in prison and time at home. It's an odd arrangement, but one that temporarily satisfies Charmaine and Stan until they each fall in love with the alternates they're supposed to never see; their infatuations put the entire Positron arrangement into question. Atwood is fond of intricate plot work, and the novel takes a long time to set up the action, but once it hits the last third, it gains an unstoppable momentum. The novel is full of sly moments of peripeteia and lots of sex, which play alongside larger ideas about the hidden monsters lurking in facile totalitarianism, and, as implied by the title, the ability of the heart to keep fighting despite long odds.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This was my intro to Margaret Atwood and I’ll be reading more!
The Heart Goes Last
There is a lineal discrepancy in the change over at Ambush . Other that that it's an entertaining read. Altho occasionally a little draggy.