Before The Testaments, there was The Handmaid’s Tale: an instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (New York Times).
The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.
The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.
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 absolutely 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A good read.
I was very happy with this book. At first, it struggled to keep my interest, but as I kept reading I found myself obsessively turning the pages—which hasn’t happened in a long time. As a woman, this book was very powerful, and opened up a lot of different thoughts. I would recommend this book, and I am looking forward to watching the movie/series adaptation.
A cautionary tale well heeded
With the current climate of religious fervor in politics, this book should be required reading. Call it theocracy, totalitarianism, or dystopian, Gilead is a warning of what may become of us if we lose hold of our rights and freedoms especially due to fear and superstition.
Don't let this become reality
Many aspects of this book are becoming extremely relevant. We should do something before this actually happens.