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The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

Book Reviews

The Handmaid's Tale
Average rating
4.4 / 5
2 of 2 people found this helpful
kind of a scary name for a title
May 15th, 2015
I wasn't able to put it down. A crazy ending, too. Even the location where offered was surprising. Wonder why margaret Atwood hasn't written a sequel to it.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
A very interesting story by a classic Canadian author. Even though Ms. Atwood wrote this book some time ago, it is a relevant and thought provoking story. It is well written and full of details that offer the reader a glimpse into the life of a handmaid after a major depopulation. This science fiction tale is told from the perspective of a woman being oppressed by gender inequality and the triumphs and tribulations associated with her station in a futuristic society. This story is thought provoking and leaves one to ponder what the world would be like in the aftermath of a major depopulation.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
I found that although this book was very interesting, it was often challenging to decide whether the main character was talking about her present or her past, which caused me to have to go back to the beginning of parts and read them again.
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1 review
October 5th, 2013
one of the most thought provoking examples of post apocolyptic world facing re-population. Atwood's style of story telling and imagery is unsurpassed by most!
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1 review
Handmaids Tale
July 3rd, 2013
Awesome and all too easily could be reality...
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1 review

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