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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I've read most of Margaret Atwood's books. This, by far, is one of my favorites. This author has a way of pulling you into the stories and feeling the feelings of the characters. There is also a lot meaning behind her words.
This was truly a fast read. I really liked the character, Rennie, although at one point in the book I was ready to clobber Paul for her...
Published on March 8 2002 by Jeanne Anderson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated It
I chose to read this book for a book report project in English because I had heard such great things about it, and the author Margaret Atwood. The beginning of the book was okay, and I reallie liked the main character Rennie. But as I continued to read I found that the story was dragging, and wasn't seeming to get any better along the way. I kept expecting something...
Published on Oct. 19 2002


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent, March 8 2002
By 
Jeanne Anderson (Swartz Creek, MI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
I've read most of Margaret Atwood's books. This, by far, is one of my favorites. This author has a way of pulling you into the stories and feeling the feelings of the characters. There is also a lot meaning behind her words.
This was truly a fast read. I really liked the character, Rennie, although at one point in the book I was ready to clobber Paul for her.
If you like Margaret Atwood, don't miss reading this one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hated It, Oct. 19 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Unbound)
I chose to read this book for a book report project in English because I had heard such great things about it, and the author Margaret Atwood. The beginning of the book was okay, and I reallie liked the main character Rennie. But as I continued to read I found that the story was dragging, and wasn't seeming to get any better along the way. I kept expecting something interesting to happen, or for the story to take a twist for the better but it never did. I didn't even want to finish the book, but I had to for my English class. This was the first book my Margaret Atwood I had ever read, and it almost turned me off her all together. (and believe me, I love to read, and had never been this turned off by a book before) Luckily I decided to try reading the Handmaid's Tale, and really enjoyed it, but I would never recommend this book to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happiness and cheer abound, Dec 29 2001
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This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
Sure it does. It is very much not a good idea for a reader to attempt to psychoanalyze an author through their own works, because not only will you probably come to the wrong conclusions, but the ones you do come up with will probably creep you out just a little bit. To whit: Margaret Atwood probably is a delightfully cheery woman who quite enjoys life and all she encounters . . . however that sure doesn't come across in her novels. In her best novels the misery her characters suffer often eventually dovetails into a gloriously insightful epiphany of sorts. And in other cases you often feel like just guilty reading the book, after a while you get the impression by continuing to read you're furthering the character's Job-like troubles. Life Before Man was a bit of a downer but at least it was spread over four people . . . here poor Rennie has to take it all on the chin herself. Young woman journalist Rennie is sent to a Caribbean island to write a vacation type story . . . what happens is quite simply the vacation from hell. There's really no other way to put it. Nobody is what they seem, Rennie is totally out of place and things start getting very serious before anyone knows what's going on. However if that's all there was to the book then it would simply be a matter of plodding on to see what Ms Atwood is going to do next to poor Rennie. To save the story, Atwood details Rennie's crumbling relationship with her boyfriend, as well as her relationships with both her family and others . . . these quasi-flashbacks (some are given as monologues, though I'm not sure who she's talking to) are interspersed throughout the novel and are where the story truly shines. When she wants to Atwood can get right to the heart of a person and choose the exact right words to get the emotions right. The ending alone is one of the best examples of a stark prose style I've ever seen. So ignore the quasi-political intrigue plot and instead focus on a masterful character study by one of the few authors who know how to get such things right. The feelings she reveals may be painful but you can't argue that she's all that far off.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rennie as the 'every woman', June 18 2001
By 
"cilice" (Sacramento, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
Although I have not read many Atwood novels, when I pick up one of her books I expect to be provoked intellectually and emotionally. Bodily Harm kept me reading well into the night, and I was amazed at Atwood's ability to write so evocatively. I noticed early on that while I did not like Rennie, the main character, I did empathize with her. Before breast cancer hits her, Rennie is the 'every woman' and not in a positive sense. Breast cancer and the ensuing chaos in her life leads her to question her purpose as a survivor. The theme of finding a purpose in the midst of tragedy is used often in popular fiction, and Atwood does a good job with it. The synopsis of this book sounds trite, but in actually, the book is very dense and stimulating. It is replete with symbolism and meaning, and I will be reading Bodily Harm again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars This book is difficult to read., July 4 2000
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
Alright, maybe you have to be extremely sophisticated to understand this book. Or maybe I just wasn't up to the task. I adore Atwood's work, largely speaking. I love the play on gender issues, the windows onto the character's personal worlds, the suspense and tension Atwood can introduce and tease into page-turners... But this book? Maybe it's because it spent so much time developing a "politics" sub-plot, or because it took place on an island that was difficult for me to render inside my head... but I just never understood what was going on. Never exactly understood, never could get "connected" enough with anything to care. That's so weird, since I get completely wrapped up in her other stories and novels, and I've read them all. I don't want to give this book a thumbs down, for fear that it's my own lack of skill *as a reader* that made the book so opaque and boring... but at least this review might give you some information pertaining to the apparent difference in this work from Atwood's others, you know?
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3.0 out of 5 stars A watery ending of an otherwise lush novel, Nov. 5 1999
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
After getting over the typicly Canadian opening of Bodily Harm (it took four days to get past page 4), I breezed through the pages clinging on to what Attwood has always been great at, suspense. She makes one wonder what will happen next, what insight she will give into the characters and whether of not she will start writing like a normal author. Well...good. Her style is different but refreshingly enjoyable. Though she may not be descriptive about the externals of the plot, the reader knows where each character stands at each moment of the story. Dont let yourself get dicouraged if the plot seems to pass by slowly. It speeds up and brings you to new situations you would never have guessed. I would only encourage those of you who are looking for something different. While the ending may not bring you the answers you may have wanted, you will feel satisfied that you made it through the book knowing how Rennie made it in a Revolution. With the due exception of her constant description of female feelings and her compulsive use of the word mabey, after reading this (male or female), popular fiction seems so dry and empty. Three and a half stars. A definate read for anyone who likes a story that holds true to life but doesnt dive into the normal dark subject matter of todays literature
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3.0 out of 5 stars Discomforting and disturbing, Dec 2 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
This is the second novel by Atwood that I've read, along with a few short stories, and I'm not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to read another. Her grim themes pop up again here like mushrooms after a spring rain. Like "The Handmaid's Tale", this novel is suffused with anger and darkness, although the locale this time is a sunny tropical island. Rennie, the main character, is a thoroughly unlikable woman: bitter, angry, cynical, a bit of a coward. Very human, in other words. The story flips back and forth between what is happening on the island and her life back in a sterile and constricted Canada. Through the painful events in the book, it seems that blame for all the violence and agony in the world is laid at the feet of men: men as users and abusers, corrupted by power, not to be trusted, but also loved and desired despite all that (and does that make us women "weak" and somehow partners in our own subjugation?) I found all the ambivalence very wearing. But life is full of ambivalence. Those looking for a light relaxing read that leaves no aftertaste would be advised to choose something else.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bodily Harm a Disappointment, Jan. 29 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
I bought Bodily Harm looking forward to another great book from Margaret Atwood. Although written with Atwood's characteristically witty, deliciously descriptive language, the book fails on the content.

The protagonist is a woman who has just gone through mastectomy, a loss with which she is trying to come to terms. Depressed further over the breakup with her boyfriend, she travels to a small island on the Caribbean to write a "fun in the sun" -article for a magazine. The vacation turns into a nightmare--the nation is undergoing a civil war.

The book is replete with imagery of violence, pain, death, and suffering. This is not recommended bedtime reading, and not for the faint-of-heart.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Deep look into someone else's life, Jan. 11 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
At first I did not like this book and almost put it down after the first few chapters, too much jumping around from past to present. Then it started to entice me as it got more and more personal with the character. The character reveals her secrets and feelings and it almost leaves you feeling guilty of voyeurism. I at first thought the jumping around back and forth with background on the character to be confusing, then I started noticing that the past and the present action all tied in with relevance. This book is a hard read, but well worth it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars What a dark and dismal horror story!, June 9 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Bodily Harm (Paperback)
I had to read this book for an English project and I was really looking forward to reading a book by Atwood because she has been aclaimed so many times. I was very disappointed in her choice of plot and I felt that she advanced her plot in leaps and bounds. The quality of writing was what I expected but there was so many different parts to the plot that it seemed as though it had been manufactured for popularity. This was a very unfortunate piece of writing as far as Atwood is concerned and I would advise readers to forget that she even wrote it.
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Bodily Harm
Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood (Paperback - Oct. 5 2010)
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