Saturday, January 19, 2008

Booker #3: The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

Sigh. I am not nearly the sophisticated reader I once was. I've never really been able to enjoy Atwood (probably because the movie version of The Handmaid's Tale freaked me out to no end and I could never get past that), but I am really trying here. It starts with the main character describing her sister's death (an apparently suicidal joy ride off the side of a bridge) and the novel the sister has left behind, which she posthumously publishes.

So far the book is a surreal combination of this novel within a novel and a smattering of newspaper clippings of obituaries also pertinent to this main character's life. The obituaries are quite interesting; the novel within a novel? Well, it's a weird mixture of a torrid love affair and a freaky sci-fi, otherworld where horrible social conditions drive people to heinous crimes, apparently.

It is a looooong read and fairly slow, so I wouldn't expect to hear from me here anytime in the next week or so. I hope to get through it because I really feel like at 36 years old, I really should be able to say I've read at least one Atwood novel. Sigh.


Charlie said...

It really is my favorite Atwood book, but I recall having trouble getting into it the first time. I set it down for a while and went back to it after my sister-in-law raved about it. On the second try, I loved it.
I had forgotten there's a Handmaid's Tale movie -- I vaguely recall reading somewhere that they dramatically changed the ending? I'm not sure a movie could capture the book very well.

trying2bzen said...

Dang - you are cranking through the books! You are making me feel guilty for not getting to the pile of unread books I have by my bed!!

Lets pick one for book club - I need some inspiration!

KMW said...

Okay, I read this and didn't like it. I have this response to Margaret Atwood. I feel like I SHOULD really like her, but eventually, I have to admit that I don't and now I have read several of her books. I do think Blind Assassin gets more engaging and that it will turn into an exciting read.

I just finished Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. It also starts out slow, but eventually, gets very good. I think its worth a whirl if you are looking for your next book!

sunnyd said...

This is one of my favorite books- and I teach it now. I cry every time I re-read it. And you have to re-read- because after you unravel the mystery, it's so much fun to start over and see how she pieces it together.