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The Handmaid's Tale (Vintage Classics)
 
 

The Handmaid's Tale (Vintage Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Margaret Atwood
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.25
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Product Description

Review

'The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story' Angela Carter 'Out of a narrative shadowed by terror, glam sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit' Peter Kemp, Independent 'The images of brilliant emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel about totalitarian blindness...the effect is chilling' Sunday Times 'Compulsively readable' Daily Telegraph

Review

'The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story' Angela Carter 'Out of a narrative shadowed by terror, glam sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit' Peter Kemp, Independent 'The images of brilliant emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel about totalitarian blindness...the effect is chilling' Sunday Times 'Compulsively readable' Daily Telegraph

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 440 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0771008791
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (15 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0082BAJA0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #920 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than thirty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays.

In addition to the classic The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize and Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel, The Year of the Flood, was published in 2009. She was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for Literature in 2008.

Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto, Canada.

(Photo credit: George Whitside)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
183 of 193 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still good 20 years on 3 Sep 2006
By Magpie
Format:Paperback
I still don't know what inspired me to take this book home from the library that day back when I was 16- up until then the only "grown up" literature I had read had been formulaic historical romances of the Catherine Cookson variety.

I can now credit this book with opening the door to a whole different world of books from what I was used to- books that demanded me to THINK.

And, being only 16, and not reading this book as part of my English class but rather just for myself, I was swept away by it.

Then, a couple of years ago, I got hold of a copy and read it again, curious if it would still seem so mind-blowing (I remember re-reading my beloved Narnia stories as an adult and getting the shock of my life).

And I can say that, half a life later, this book remains one of the best books I have ever read. Why?

I am still amazed at the author's imagination. How did she manage to describe the menace of a totalitarian regime so well? Science Fiction often dates quickly, seeming at best naive decades after it was written. And for me, reading this book 20-odd years after it was written, in this older and wiser post-9/11 world, certain aspects of the book took on new meaning (religious fundamental regime, strict rules about women's dress, football stadium executions).

It may not be a perfect book, but I think it is worth reading for its ideas (and warnings). And all that aside, it's a gripping read!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 16 Jun 2005
By jfp2006
Format:Paperback
Following a Christian fundamentalist coup d'état in New England at some point towards the end of the twentieth century, a Handmaid is one of a tiny minority of fertile women in a society which has been devastated by unspecified environmental catastrophes. Her function is to provide offspring for the ruling elite, and to be sent to her death if she fails. She lives in a nightmare world of public executions, lynchings, propaganda, impregnation ceremonies... "The Handmaid's Tale" is the story of her inner rebellion, and her struggle to retain her sanity and her memories of "the time before".
Margaret Atwood has been at pains to stress that her novel is not "science-fiction", but "speculative fiction". In other words, it is not about little green men arriving from other planets, but about what happens if men from the planet Earth decide to take some of their more extreme ideas to their logical conclusions. The novel was published in the mid 1980s, against the background of the rise to prominence of the religious right during the Reagan years. In the opening years of the twenty-first century, it has lost none of its relevance. Au contraire...
"Whatever is silenced will clamour to be heard, though silently." The novel constantly testifies to the vitality of the human spirit and its ability to survive in extreme adversity. "The Handmaid's Tale" has repeatedly been compared to "1984", but in fact is a much richer and deeper novel. Orwell's story is an important landmark in the novel of ideas, but Atwood, in addition to her ideas, has written a highly wrought poetic story, incorporating intensely moving meditations on love, loss and memory.
"The Handmaid's Tale" is without question one of the most important novels of the twentieth century. It demands to be read again and again and, in reading it, we must hope and hope that it never comes true.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book has to be one of the most powerful, terrifying, and insightful books ever written about a very plausible future, where religion and politics win over morality. Margaret Atwood, has shown a deep understanding of the threats that women have faced in the past, and what they may possibly face in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chilling warning 28 Feb 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
truly an underrated masterpiece, Margaret Atwood uses her immense skill of the language to draw the reader into the life of Offred, A woman who has been forcibly given "freedom from"the world as we know it today, to become a breeding macine to the ailing elite in a christian dictatorship.The overriding theme is not one of a barren heartless world,but more of a story of passion and change,in the life of the character . This book is truly Margaret Atwood in stye, which may confuse those not familiar to her work.If you have seen the film the book far,far,far surpasses any expectations you may have. The content of the book is terrifyingly brilliant, and two pieces of information shoud scare you the most 1) every attrocity in the book is real -has happened in the real world,and2) Gilead could be formed tomorrow.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
A stunning novel which depicts a world all too possible in reaction to today's permissive society. It tells the story of Offred, condemned after a military coup, in which she is forcibly separated from her husband and daughter, to become a handmaid, whose function is to produce a child for an infertile older woman. Atwood's remarkable non-linear narrative technique takes getting used to, the main plot being punctuated by both recent and 'time before' flashbacks, but the story is so absorbing that you quickly get accustomed to the style. The novel is eloquently written with its fascination for the nuances of language; (natural communication is suppressed, a common feature of dystopian fiction.) As time passes, Offred's desire for freedom and determination to resist the regime (a Christian fundamentalist state, closely based on misogynistic Old Testament teachings) increase. We are entirely gripped by her plight and willing her to succeed. Does she? You will need to read the book to find out, but I can promise you, you will not anticipate the very unusual ending.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Transfiguring Work of Fiction
The Handmaid's Tale is a transfiguring work of fiction. Imagine that you are a young college-educated woman in mid-1980s America. You have an affair with a married man. Read more
Published 8 hours ago by P. T. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant read
A great book - Be sure to read the epilogue as kindle tells you you've finished it before the epilogue
Published 2 days ago by Abc123
5.0 out of 5 stars Atwood at her best. Read it
Prescient and powerful. Atwood at her best. Read it!
Published 3 days ago by E Davenport
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Scary Read!
Considered changing my legal sex. (Which is now possible in Denmark.) I just had to recount parts of it, which had my 10-year-old daughter wanting to read it... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Cecilie Nissen Jųhnk
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Classic. Thought provoking read
Published 7 days ago by Runner
4.0 out of 5 stars Very unsettling
Probably spooky when it was first written, but now extremely unsettling. A fascinating creation of a world based on a patriarchal and oppressive religious (christian) state. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Lyracat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant but scary!
Published 11 days ago by J. Phillips
2.0 out of 5 stars Spent half the book waiting for something interesting to happen
I really wanted to like this book. It was an English teacher that recommended it to me, and it sounded interesting so I bought a cheap copy off Amazon and eventually got round to... Read more
Published 11 days ago by malikamai
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 12 days ago by W. Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great!
Published 13 days ago by tc350
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