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The Testaments: WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE 2019: The Booker prize-winning sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale Hardcover – 10 Sept. 2019
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- Hardcover : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1784742325
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784742324
- Dimensions : 15.6 x 3.8 x 24 cm
- Publisher : Chatto & Windus; 1st edition (10 Sept. 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: 4,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
An incredible follow-up ― the Sun, *Pick of the Week*
Gripping, pacy and beautifully written -- Justine Jordan ― Guardian
Finding hope in a hopeless place, this is everything The Handmaid’s Tale fans wanted and more. Prepare to hold your breath throughout, and to cry real tears at the end. My book of the year -- Kayleigh Dray ― Stylist
The Testaments is Atwood at her best, in its mixture of generosity, insight and control. The prose is adroit, direct, beautifully turned. All over the reading world, the history books are being opened to the next blank page and Atwood’s name is written at the top of it. To read this book is to feel the world turning -- Anne Enright ― Guardian
I gobbled it down... Atwood has an incredible intellectual nimbleness that challenges us constantly and poses the question that lies like a pearl inside the shell of this frighteningly readable novel, "Before you sit in judgement, how would you behave in Gilead?" -- Allison Pearson ― Sunday Telegraph
No one needs another recommendation for The Testaments and still I have to say how thrilling it is when a book manages to exceed all expectations. How did she manage to make darkness feel so effortless? How did she think to inject humour where no humour should exist? Because she’s Margaret Atwood, and she can do anything -- Ann Patchett
A cracker: urgent, moving and as tense as any thriller... there's a darkly rebellious humour, ingenious wordplay and, of course, chillingly timely warnings. Atwood is long overdue a Nobel -- Hepzibah Anderson ― Mail on Sunday
At its heart, this gripping novel is a rallying call for action... In Atwood's world, resistance is never futile -- Mernie Gilmore ― Daily Express
The must-read novel of the year -- a perfect gift for bookworms and fans of the TV series ― Sunday Telegraph
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From that retrospect, the television show is fresher in my mind than the book, yet this follow up is a great companion to both the television show and the book. I thought the narrative style was very gripping with the basic premise that you are jumping between three separate witness accounts throughout the book. As the book progresses, the gaps tighten so the witness accounts are more less bleeding into each other. I would say a very satisfying conclusion is reached.
For anyone worried about reading this book in fear of it foreshadowing things that may come to light in our own society, you should not! This follow up doesn’t correlate so much with society like the first book and television series does, rather it fills in the gaps of what happened to some of the characters and concepts you’ll know from the first book/television series as well as expanding your knowledge of society in Gilead.
Without spoiling any of the plot lines it largely revolves around the aunts so you find out a lot more of their backstory and how their role in Gilead evolves. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable read and one for anyone who loves the Handmaid’s Tale: book or television show!
She has succumbed to external pressure in the worst possible way. The prose is dull and lifeless with no linguistic subtleties that Atwood is so very good at. There is no tension as there was in the original text. We do not really care what happens to the characters as we passionately did for Offred. There is no poetry in the writing, no chanting, no description of outlandish ceremonies. The plot-line is baffling and lumbers to its conclusion with no real conviction about itself. The sentences are long and often opened with 'I' - repetitively sometimes. Was this really written by a world-class author? I've taught The Handmaid's Tale for A level - it's a treasure trove of ingenuity. This? Not a patch.
Even the genius of the Symposium at the end of The Handmaid's Tale - that clever, sharp, flick of the authorial wrist to cast doubt and time and perspective on Offred's narrative, that was pastiched by another, so much less proficient version of itself here in The Testaments. What a waste of opportunity to stun the reader by coming up with something equally unexpected as the first symposium - another device that would remind us of Atwood's genius as a writer - not, sadly offered here, just the tired original rehashed.
It is a shame that people cannot accept that a narrative may not have a neat ending and that we may never know what happened to the protagonist. All the unknowns about Gilead that Offred could never have known, that we would never know, have been filled in doggedly, so that no question remains unanswered. It is a shame - the overlay of this dundering elephant of a sequel will linger and spoil the mystery of The Handmaid's Tale. I wish I'd never read it.
#1 What was the point of Aunt Lydia plotting to bring Baby Nicole back to Gilead, only to send her back to Canada with the microdot? Why did she need to expose the girl to such danger, and surely she could have got the microdot into Canada by some other means?
#2 Would exposing the crimes of the Gilead ruling class really be enough to bring the whole society down? In our post truth age, with world leaders literally breaking the law in plain sight on a daily basis, this seems like a far-fetched liberal fantasy.
Congratulations Margaret Atwood ..You have 100per cent out done your self in the writing of THE TESTAMENT ..
It was so good I read it twice in succession and will probably (definitely) read it again....For all fans of The Handmaid's Tale...please read this for your self. If like me, you will cry, laugh and hold your breath in parts, as I did...
A truly remarkable and unique way of finding the truth of the story . Thank you Margaret Atwood
The only way I can think to describe it is to say the book seemed to me a little as though it had been written by Jessica Fletcher, of Murder She Wrote. Who had been binge watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
3 narrative POVs merge together to tell a delicious tale. There are no surprises, for we know who is who quite early on, but that doesn't matter. The rich worldbuilding (complemented by the TV show) makes this a wonderful tale.
Atwood has a remarkable way with words and each of her first person POVs are unique.