4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
One to rival Alias Grace?, 27 Feb 2006
I must admit to having tried to read this book around a year ago. I got 40 pages in and gave up, it bored me. However, being an Atwood fanatic I just had to finish it.
This isn't, as someone so correctly stated it, a book one can rush through in a day. The plot is so thick and multi layered and the structure so frantic that serious time is needed to synthesise all the elements within it. Yet, once you get into it this book haunts you, seriously, and follows you around as if Iris herself, in her girdle, is stalking you.
The book is set against a history of the 20th century which helps to contextualise the book and anchors it whereas other books seem to float free from context.
Laura Chase comes across as one of the most enigmatic characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about but ultimately it is Iris who is our heroine. Perhaps far too cynical and self critical, this old broad tells an amazing tale.
This book is clever, beyond clever. It takes a lot of skill and mental gymnastics to get your head round the characters and the plot loops and the structural pattern but once you do you'll love this. When I first started to read it I thought 'Ok, no Alias Grace, perhaps on a par with Lady Oracle'. Now, my views have changed. We are on a par with Alias Grace, perhaps, dare I say it, even exceeding it.