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The Handmaid's Tale Turtleback – Sep 1 1989


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Turtleback, Sep 1 1989

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Product Details

  • Turtleback
  • Publisher: Demco Media (September 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0606037977
  • ISBN-13: 978-0606037976
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.1 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (250 customer reviews)


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jon Myer on Oct. 4 2001
Format: Paperback
Picture a world, not far in the future; consisting of low birth rates, oppressed females, religions, constant wars, and a never-ending battle for freedom of thought. That is the type of setting presented in Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. This book tells the tale of Offred, who happens to be one of the few handmaids in the world. A Handmaid is a woman who is used as a tool for the leaders of the world in order to procreate. Sound scary? You have no idea. Atwood describes a world full of fear and oppression that is easily portrayed through the narrative of Offred. With her harrowing words, Offred describes the people, places, and her thoughts quite clearly, leaving readers only in the wake of her emotions. She speaks to the readers personally about her contact with an underground organization, her past, the events leading up to the present, her secret affair, and much much more. All I can say is that this book holds you in a grip of anticipation and mystery as to how the set of events will unfold. The only thing you can do while reading this book, is to hold on for a wild ride of excitement and suspense. This book is a change from Atwood's common writing style, but she seems to handle it like a pro. You will definitely feel a sense of satisfaction when you put this book down. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S Svendsen TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 3 2012
Format: Hardcover
Atwood has a way with words. Her sentences are often poetic, but can be stark and abrupt, chopped off. At times this is intriguing but at other times irritating. This is a speculative novel about a newly established territory, Gilead, in north-eastern America, ruled by a secretive despotic regime. The Handmaid is Offred (her imposed Gileaden name), who is confined to an asylum where women are kept to breed a new generation of superior beings fathered by privileged "Commanders." She tells her story biographically. Often she has memory backflashes of her pre-Gilead life, her childhood, her mother, her husband Luke and their daughter. These recollections frequently surface mid-paragraph and even mid-sentence, which, as the mind works, is realistic but can be annoying for the reader who has to pause and sort out her present from her past.

Offred's somber tale describes a bleak situation that can be characterized as suffocating, lacking airiness. Her life is dreary and tedious, filled with obscure anguish. The overall theme is that women are helpless victims to men's schemes rooted in fascistic power structures legitimized by quasi-religious creeds and rituals. Instead of toeing the line, as she fails to conceive, Offred succumbs to her own need for emotional and physical diversion but these experiences only conspire to ensnare her rather than liberate. The last third of the book made it worthwhile for me but I thought the appendaged "Historical Notes" distracted from and complicated what would have been a furtively simple open-ended conclusion.

Religious fundamentalism, patriarchial oppression and political fascism are topics Atwood has woven into The Handmaid's Tale to interplay with a disconsolate feministic undertone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Liliania on July 17 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When approaching the ending, I had a strong feeling that she was going to die. This book was filled with flashbacks, gloomy atmospheres, and a tone suggesting death. It was quite an abrupt ending, something not expected for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kirstie on Nov. 13 2008
Format: Paperback
The Handmaids Tale is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. This story takes place in the Republic of Gilead, the future version of the United States of America. With plummeting birthrates, handmaids are assigned to bear children for elite couples. Because many women are infertile from environmental pollution if you can't have children you are declared unwomen and sent to colonies to become the work force for the society. This story is told from the perspective of Offred, a woman who after proving fertile becomes a handmaid. Offred serves the Commander, and his wife Serena Joy. Like all woman and handmaids, the main character has very little freedom. She can only leave the house for shopping trips where she walks with the same person, wearing the same red dress every day. This story goes through Offreds daily life while revealing pieces of her past. She used to have a husband and a daughter, her own friends, her own money, and lived a normal life before the architects of Gilead changed everything.

This book was very good. It was very interesting and thought provoking. I was so into it that I read it in only a few days. I recommend this book to anyone who's looking for a good dystopian novel!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 5 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're one for a novel that is truly off the beaten path, then stop--you've just found it. THE HANDMAID'S TALE is the most riveting and explosive thing I've read since Jackson McCrae's THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD (which completely blew me away). The story alone, even if it had been poorly written, is incredible, but what the author does with this material makes the telling all the more powerful. Wow! This is one great read!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel could not be more relevant in today's religious extremist political matrix. Read it and shudder. A brilliant work. A favorite author.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very well written, leaves you guessing at the end. Funny how improbable it all seems now.
Re-reading books that you read as an adolescent but now as an adult gives you a whole new prospective.
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