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Publisher Description

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.

Fiction & Literature
February 17
HMH Books
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Customer Reviews

Mrs. Cassie ,

The Handmaid’s Tale- A good read

This book was an easy read as it kept my interest throughout. As a fan of the Hulu series of the same name, I must say their is much that happens in the series that does not happen in the book. For instance, many characters, such as Nick, Luke, Moira and Janine, are overly-glamorized and play larger roles in the series. We often see episodes focusing on these characters points of view whereas the book revolves around the one central character, Offred, and the story is told from strictly her perspective. Many quotes from Offred in the series come from within the book’s pages. The story does leave some loose ends untied and leaves the reader with the option to interpret the ending in different ways. All in all a great read!

KW-tat2 ,

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.

Deodorant ,

Fascism in America

A great story! This is the type of control which is handed over when we vote for those who pass out government checks and "benefits", rather than voting for those who actually believe in Freedom and personal responsibility. If we so quietly expect those in charge to just "do the right thing" because it is right, we will be sorely disappointed. The form of control any "regime" takes will vary. However, there will always be enemies of the state in a Fascist government. Bias against these "enemies" will be based upon political or religious views, etc. Americans need to get their faces out of Dancing With The Stars and other such diversions, and first study History and vote accordingly. Stop taking the hand out, and start being responsible for your own financial situation. It's called a Work Ethic.

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