The Handmaid`s Tale

When my mother gave me to read this book, I was at first sure that I wasn`t going to like it. I somehow thought that Margaret Atwood was one of the "women`s writers" - one that was capable of filling her books with sappy romantic scenes and that was unable to write anything worthy. To my surprise Margaret Atwood turned out to be none of that. Of course, I don`t mean to tell that she`s the best writer ever and that I was stunned because of the quality of this book, but it did surprise me nevertheless. "The Handmaid`s tale" is the tale of a woman living in a new kind of anti-utopian society, a society where the patriarchal system is stronger than ever and a woman is considered to be at least partly human only if she has given life to enough children (preferrably male, of course). Everything starts with bank accounts of women being blocked and their money transferred to the closest male and then everything else followed. Offred, the heroine of this book is a handmaid and her job is it bear children for her master and his wife (since they can`t have a child together), yet she`s willing to sneak away from the USA for not everywhere in the world it is as bad as in the States, still she hopes that she can go to Canada (the land of the free and the home country of Margaret Atwood). Actually the political situation seems somewhat imprecise, for on one hand Atwood goes for the George Orwell approach where wars are fought against similar countries and every state is like all overs, yet this whole Canada thing seems somewhat out of place. Actually that`s the biggest trouble with this book - Atwood doesn`t have enough to tell off her own, so she recycles from Orwell, influencing from "1984" too much. So I can say that the book was some sort of revelation for me in the meaning that I wasn`t expecting it to be a dystopy, yet I also got no doubt that Atwood still is closer to a minor than to a major writer and that she`s readable but not much more than that.
2006-08-01
7.5
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