** THE SUNDAY TIMES NO. 1 BESTSELLER **
Go back to where it all began with the dystopian novel behind the award-winning TV series.
'As relevant today as it was when Atwood wrote it' Guardian
I believe in the resistance as I believe there can be no light without shadow; or rather, no shadow unless there is also light.
Offred is a Handmaid in The Republic of Gilead, a religious totalitarian state in what was formerly known as the United States. She is placed in the household of The Commander, Fred Waterford - her assigned name, Offred, means 'of Fred'. She has only one function: to breed. If Offred refuses to enter into sexual servitude to repopulate a devastated world, she will be hanged. Yet even a repressive state cannot eradicate hope and desire. As she recalls her pre-revolution life in flashbacks, Offred must navigate through the terrifying landscape of torture and persecution in the present day, and between two men upon which her future hangs.
Masterfully conceived and executed, this haunting vision of the future places Margaret Atwood at the forefront of dystopian fiction.
'A fantastic, chilling story. And so powerfully feminist', Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian masterpiece is having something of a moment, and we can't think of a more worthy novel. Elegantly told and utterly unforgettable, The Handmaid's Tale is a chilling depiction of the United States as a theocracy where women are cast as subservient wives, household slaves or gestation vessels for white babies. It's a decidedly apt cautionary tale for this (and any) time.
Equal parts gorgeous and horrifying, Nault's adaptation faithfully follows both the plot and style of Atwood's 1985 dystopian novel. Narrator Offred lives in Gilead, a United States that is both unrecognizable and too familiar: the government strips women of their freedom in the name of protecting them, discards the old and infirm, and loves fetuses more than the living. Offred says, "Everything Handmaids wear is red: the color of blood, which defines us." Nault's reds are rich and layered watercolors, rust to flame. In one frame, she draws hanged Handmaid bodies as drooping crimson flowers. Nault's semiabstracted interpretations of traumatic scenes are stronger than the story's more pedestrian moments, when it's hard not to feel the flatness of the pale characters' expressions. Painting life in Gilead's toxic, war-torn Colonies, Nault takes great advantage of the graphic form. In Atwood's text, exile is frightening because it is a void. Here the cancer-eaten jaw of an "unwoman" worker is on full display. Atwood fans may shrug at another incarnation of this classic, but it's skillfully done and likely to appeal to younger readers; the tale's relevance and Nault's talent are undeniable.
Interesting concept, a bit slow at times and a disappointing ending but still interesting.
The Handmaid's Tale
Brilliant concept, superbly written. This book is thought provoking and an excellent read.
Brilliant book showing how a country could change. With this and the follow up, The testaments, released 35 years after this, it is a complete story.