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The Handmaid's Tale (Contemporary Classics) Paperback – 5 Jul 1996
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"Compulsively readable" Daily Telegraph "Out of a narrative shadowed by terror, gleam sharp perceptions, brilliant intense images and sardonic wit" -- Peter Kemp Independent "The Handmaid's Tale is both a superlative exercise in science fiction and a profoundly felt moral story" -- Angela Carter "Moving, vivid and terrifying. I only hope it's not prophetic" -- Conor Cruise O'Brien The Listener "The images of brilliant emptiness are one of the most striking aspects of this novel about totalitarian blindness...the effect is chilling" -- Linda Taylor Sunday Times
Now a smash-hit Channel 4 TV seriesSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
There is so much that is a metaphor for our times, bearing in mind that this was written in 1985. It is a deeply dystopian world where the birth rate has plummeted to almost zero and of the few babies that are born, a lot are shredders. That means not sustainable and they die within short space of time. Women who have been shown to have had live births are very valuable and are captured to be turned into the eponymous Handmaids.
It transpires much later that many of the men have been rendered sterile by a vaccine but this is not allowed to be generally known or discussed. Everything is carried out in a quasi-religious manner and the hand-maidens themselves are taught they are chosen by Him to do His work for the Commanders whose wives cannot bear children.
It soon becomes clear that these men are no different to the rest of humanity, just as flawed and corrupt, one law for the rest and one for themselves.
I cannot recommend this book too highly, it is one of the very best things I have ever read and everyone ought to read it at least once.
Most recent customer reviews
Amazing book, great read. The story really gets you thinking and you get so engrossed you just cant put it down. Read morePublished 3 hours ago by Elle
The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I only really got into it half way through so by the time I did it was over! But it is definitely worth a read!Published 4 hours ago by A Dyer
I first read this years ago and am now enjoying the TV adaptation, although it is going to places the book does not. Read morePublished 4 hours ago by G. Coates
This is definitely a book to make you think. The way the rights of the women were taken away bit by bit until the fertile were no more than baby making slaves is a horrifying... Read morePublished 7 hours ago by C Odell
What an ending...better to be left in suspense than to know! Like Pandora, Margaret Atwood leaves hope to the reader, and I for one am rooting for June. Read morePublished 7 hours ago by Dario Pellegrini