The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

Book - 2017
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Comments (103)


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Memawrayne
Oct 30, 2018

Read it after watching season 1. Very thought provoking as it makes the reader think about how important individual freedoms and rights are and that we need to respect differences.

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leanneb112
Oct 21, 2018

I liked how the book took place soon after a transition into the new regime that was in place throughout the novel. The main character’s flashbacks allow you to see how things gradually changes until it became something they all thought they were never allow. It really makes you think about what’s going on today.

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begue88
Oct 05, 2018

I enjoyed the premise of the story, although the author's writing-style did not resonate with me well. She bounces around a lot (between past, present, and the main character's fantasies) without any warning---sometimes mid-paragraph. The author spends most of the book delving into the main character's thoughts and not very much time creating a picture of the new world order. You only get a vague understanding of what is going on in the world and why and how it happened, and I would have liked to know more. The historical notes at the end of the book do shed some light on the events of the time "Gileadean" time period from the perspective of future historians, so I recommend reading that section.

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DuchessA2017
Sep 29, 2018

Not sure what all the hoopla is about. It's about 50 pages too long, but otherwise an easy read for the beach or long weekend.

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Dream24
Aug 30, 2018

I picked this up because I was intrigued by the TV trailer.

This was an interesting story, I'm not sure how I feel about it. It kind of bothers me that Offred kept going back and forth between the past and the present, often in the same sentence. That keeps throwing me off as to the timeline and what is happening. It gets annoying after a while.

The world Offred knew has changed. From what use to be a democratic society, where females have a say and choice, to a world where females are assigned 'roles' (handmaidens, wives, cooks, etc). We don't find out what really happened in Offred's world before the establishment of the current Gilead until more than half way through the book. And even then it was very brief, I would have liked more information about what else went on.

It is interesting how the idea of handmaidens are similar to surrogates, except handmaidens have only 3 chances, a lot of restrictions and don't have a say in all this, plus this is all done for the purpose of strictly helping the declining birth rates in Gilead.

I didn't really feel for any of the characters because I couldn't connect with them, especially Offred. I feel there is a disconnect somewhere.... I had hoped I would have enjoyed this book more but I guess not.

a
arlengarrison
Aug 29, 2018

Well written, but I found the plot lacking. Not very believable unless you're a total fan of dystopian fantasy.

ArapahoeLauren Jul 23, 2018

This book will stir up all kinds of emotions and beliefs as you enter into a very different perspective of rights and privileges and choices as a woman. I just started the TV show, which is amazing. Please read this excellent type of "window" story into the lives of the Handmaids.

SFPL_ReadersAdvisory Jul 20, 2018

Series based on the novel, 2018 SAG Award nominated, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series; Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, Elisabeth Moss.

SFPL_StaffPicks Jul 12, 2018

Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood. 2017 Emmy Awards for outstanding drama series (Hulu); Elisabeth Moss, outstanding lead actress; Ann Dowd, outstanding supporting actress; Reed Morano, outstanding directing; Bruce Miller, outstanding writing

EverythingTouches Jul 05, 2018

This was well written. The story had an honesty about it that made it feel real. The main character reflected the unassuming traits of a survivor which I found interesting and could connect with. Lots of attention to detail and surreal moments.

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ajax_6_0
Jun 21, 2018

Read this after watching the tv series. It really adds a lot to the story!

JCLAmyF Jun 07, 2018

I read this because I recently watched Hulu's series and was blown away. It was delightful to read the book and get more details. Atwood's writing is poignant, simple and beautiful. This book is hard to read because of its realistic portrayal of gender oppression. Highly recommended.

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talk2terih
May 10, 2018

It is possible to admire this book without liking it, especially if you are a female. We pride ourselves on how far we've come in terms of winning the vote, being able to own property and have our own money, to work, and to choose our life partners. But this book reminds us that everything we have gained could be wiped out in a few keystrokes on a computer. Most men wouldn't act to help us, and even our sisters would largely sit placidly by, fearing reprisal.
The book is frightening because it has a solid element of truth. As the religious right grows more politically powerful, we worry as we see the reduced status of their women. Are we standing on the brink of the handmaid's world?
The book is well written, the longing for what went before, along with the flat affect of hopelessness is beautifully reflected in the matter-of-fact, terse, prose style of the narrating character. You can see who she was before in the agonized personal memories she recounts in at times lively and evocative prose. And you can see who she has become as she repeatedly has to correct herself from referring to her husband and child in the past tense.
Be prepared for a very dark vision when you pick up this book. But it is a vision we would do good to remind ourselves could come to pass if we are not vigilant.

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singidunum_25
Apr 27, 2018

https://lithub.com/margaret-atwood-on-how-she-came-to-write-the-handmaids-tale/

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evilbunnee
Apr 10, 2018

If monotone is your jam, this is the book for you.

p
p33atti
Mar 12, 2018

Awful. Just awful.
Can't believe they made it a movie! :-/

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xiaojunbpl12
Feb 23, 2018

Writing is graceful, though dogmatic dotted in Offred’s otherwise lyrical narration. Story is well structured, concluded with a epilogue (notes) which clarifies further, but appears more like an appendage to undermine the ending.
Based on historical (real) conditions with author’s perspective and interpretation, I’d pondered if it were plausible when I cared about such dystopian tale more than I’m affected by hyped buzz.

j
jmli
Jan 28, 2018

I am honestly so torn. I hated this book, but I also loved it at the same time.

What stuck out most to me is that The Handmaid's Tale is so moving, elegant yet subtle, and so relatable on a certain level. At the same time, Offred is SO real that it's haunting. And that's probably why I'm also terrified as an individual. This is the first book I've read that's really addressed all the sides to a human being. I truly connected with its message, and I am hoping to dive into some kind of follow-up.

Final, few minor problems I had were the world-building and quotation marks. Sometimes, Atwood employs the use of quotation marks and sometimes, she just doesn't. I'm not sure if there's a reason, or if she just felt like it. Also, there is so much information regarding the society, but I was so curious, and I think there could've been more detail.

At the same time, the transition between different time periods is difficult. I couldn't quite place my finger on whether or not the event occurring was a flashback or currently taking place.

If you've seen other ratings, you'll know that The Handmaid's Tale ends on a rather open note, but I think it was pretty fulfilling and satisfying. It really depends on personal opinion, but it shouldn't be something that stops a reader from approaching this novel. It's worth it.

Looking back at my 3-star rating, I think 4 to 4.5 would better fit how I really feel. But I guess this approximation is a better illustration of the complexity of The Handmaid's Tale and its true meaning.

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Dolly9433
Jan 25, 2018

Jan. 25th/2018, :)
THE MOVIE IS V. GOOD & MUCH BETTER THAN THE BOOK, AND WORTHWHILE TO SEE - RECOMMENDED.
Ok, This 'Crazy', and scary, oppressive book summarizes or resembles, George Orwells, futuristic indoctrination of society in his 1984 novel. The story unfolds a stagnant, sadistic, regressive community, which sets examples of public displays of lynchings and out casting of infertile misfits to toxic-chemical, 'Death-camps' - for small crimes and misdemeanours as one means of controlling the mass populations: vaguely, yet uniquely parallel in structure to that of the Nazi German armed forces.
Other means of population & mind control included: a new formation of a completely uniformed, "HIERARCHAL REGIME", committed to ritualistic burnings of intelligence materials, food & product rationing, strict emotion control, specific impregnating & birthing procedures, religious issues, and depressing women into old traditional roles which reminded me of red tape, Communist China's previous order, and also mirror's that of North Korean's repressive, dictatorship State. However, in direct contrast and opposition to this strict, new regime: I particularily enjoyed, 'MOIRA'S', moxy, rebellious attitude and very fun/exciting character! :) .
This book also resembles 2 movies, seen: 1) The Island 2) Equilibrium - both of which are good and entertaining features worth watching. :) Lol.
Lastly, one cannot help but wonder or imagine in horror - what would happen to us - if our current day, advanced, free or privileged North Western societies around the world - reverted back into this Handmaid's Tale, of living day, reality? ;) lol... Overall a v. popular, unnerving yet creative, interesting and thought-provoking, read! Thx.

tch2917 Jan 06, 2018

One of customers at the Snellville Branch recommended this book. I completed it in one day! The society and relationships revealed from the perspective of this handmaid is complex, layered yet terrifyingly realistically portrayed! I cannot wait to binge watch the corresponding series. Highly recommended!

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mattstrelau
Dec 10, 2017

Atwood's dystopian society takes a different perspective from famous authors such as George Orwell. I personally enjoyed this novel and thought the plot was riveting. There are high and low points throughout the story but still found myself struggling to put the book down. The dynamics and secrets between characters, ritualistic community, and struggle for life and individualism make this indeed a great tale.

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brooklynheart5
Dec 04, 2017

Didn't love this book. Found it difficult to follow right from the start. Will definitely not be watching the series. Sadly, not for me.

loonylovesgood Oct 31, 2017

Intriguing story with a somewhat unsatisfying ending. I hope rumours of an impending sequel are true. Now to find somewhere to watch the television series.....

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Starpoem
Oct 12, 2017

This book is a masterfully written piece of social commentary. It was relevant in the 1980's, and it is still relevant today. If you care about women's issues, religious issues, and environmental issues, this book will have something to say to you.

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CarleeMcDot
Sep 25, 2017

I don't remember who recommended this one, but I'm so glad I grabbed it. I could not put it down. It was actually written in 1984 but has gotten much more press lately because it was turned into an original hulu series (and, before you ask, I'm not sure I'll watch it because I always tend to like the books more). The story is set in a totalitarian society that has replaced the United States of America. Due to dangerously low reproduction rates, Handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples that have trouble conceiving. Although this is a fictional story (I loved reading the new introduction written by the author in February of this year) it is crazy how you could technically see some of the ideas playing out in today's society. It was a bit of a wake up call as to never "fall asleep" on the rights, liberties and freedoms we hold near and dear. I would give it a 9 out of 10.


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