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
4.5 Atwood has such a unique voice.I am constantly amazed by her craft, However, I felt that the ending was a little rushed and could have been delved into a little more, but overall I loved the book.
Too Frightening To Not Be Concerned!
Are we not seeing the “writing on the WALL” as they did in Germany before Hitler came to power? Did they stand-by thinking it isn’t possible...as Hitler was not very well received when he was first introduced to politics in Germany at the time. They didn’t think it could happen. We mustn’t think such thoughts. Whom would have ever thought citizens could violently enter into the Capital while Homeland Security stood-by and did nothing.
Dark and disturbing
While this book revealed how objectified woman are and could be through an extreme version of a dystopian society, I questioned why it had to be so violent. The hangings, suicidal themes, and the narrow and disturbing view of women made me not want to keep reading.