The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

Book - 2006
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Aug 26, 2019

I loved this book! It was gripping and suspenseful. Futuristic, yet believable with how the world is today.
I cannot wait to watch the television series.

Aug 15, 2019

One hell of a book. Not just the story but Atwood's writing and the way she crafted the story. I was not ready to read this when it first came out in the 1980s, and I'm so glad I decided to read it. It is an extremely thought-provoking story. I was completely absorbed by the tale from beginning to end, on the edge of my seat, hanging on to every word, anxious to know what would happen to the heroine and what the hell had happened in the U.S. to create such a disturbing, oppressive way of life for women. I don't feel it left questions answered nor was the ending ambiguous. To me, it's plausible that the U.S. could end up like Gilead, an idea I may not have thought 30 years ago. Thank you, Ms. Atwood, for writing this masterpiece and wake-up call.

JCLKarynH Aug 14, 2019

Okay, I have mixed feelings about this book. I read this novel for the August Leawood book club. On the one hand, I'm glad that I finally read this classic, since it's been read, analyzed, and discussed by so many scholars and casual readers. It's been adapted into an award-winning Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss and it's considered in the elite class of feminist dystopian fiction. I'm not a fan of dystopian fiction, so I can't say that I enjoyed this book, but it is thought-provoking. Atwood does a very chilling job of depicting a dystopian world of misogyny, racism, sexism, and homophobia. There are some unanwersed questions as to how this world came to be and the ending is ambiguous, but it all works well to create an ambiance of fear, ignorance, and uncertainty. There's a sequel, The Testaments, coming September 2019. I haven't decided yet whether I can brave more time in this world. If you favor dystopian fiction, The Handmaid's Tale will make your day. "Blessed be the fruit!" (a required sentiment of greeting in Gilead).

Aug 03, 2019

DNF - Not of interest to me

Jul 25, 2019

I read this story once more for a refresher after watching the series on TV. Wow! It was even scarier the second time. Many of the women in our world have a hard road to travel and this tale put our women pretty much out there with them too.

Jul 22, 2019

Powerful, provocative, and terrifying, THE HANDMAID’S TALE deals with issues that, sadly, society is still wrestling with today. I’m so glad I finally got around to reading Margaret Atwood’s dystopian classic.

Jul 16, 2019

A nightmarish (and sadly prophetic in our times) vision of a dystopian "republic" in the former United States, described through the narrative of a single Handmaid, a woman living in extremely oppressive conditions and occupied in the service of breeding children for the upper echelon of this society. The book is a classic and certainly worth reading, but beware: you will be unsettled and may experience a few angry, sleepless nights before the story ends.

Jul 12, 2019

I read this book as a fan of the Hulu series of the same name, and I felt it was a good supplement to the series. The author jumps back and forth between present and past quite a bit, but I was able to follow it just fine. Since I hadn't read it previously I can't say for sure, but I can see the potential to initially be confused by this writing style without prior exposure to the storyline. The book contains much more narrative and description than dialog, and typically this is not my preference. Atwood does it very well, though, and it didn't bother me at all. I thought the book was very well written, with a poetic feel, and I honestly didn't want to put it down.

Jul 08, 2019

Is this the fantastic dystopian novel it is purported to be? Not to me, not in 100 years. Its premises are silly. As silly as those of another supposedly great novel, this one from the right wing, Ayn Rand's "Atlas shrugged".
Besides, I found it boring and repetitive. To wit: since its writing in the early 1980's, women's condition has gone exactly in the opposite direction from Atwood's "premonition".
Obviously, the futurology capacities of Margaret Atwood are not those of, say Arthur Clarke: she even ends the novel with a 22nd century academic conference on the text of the Handmaid's Tale, assuming that those types of supposedly intellectual exchanges, the sick extrusion of the <publish or perish> world of the hollowed minds of academia invented in the second half of the 20th century will survive two centuries...

Jun 20, 2019

For the first time in years, I felt that feeling of not being able to put the book down. An absolutely eye-opening dystopian work, that features a beautiful style of writing that almost mirrors our style of thinking. A must-read!

Jun 13, 2019

This dystopian book is Atwood's masterpiece. It could happen here; we already have all of the technology necessary. And more than enough misogyny embedded in our culture. Anything can be justified in the name of the news.

Jun 05, 2019

A gripping and scary satire on the logical end result of a totalitarian takeover of the United States by patriarchs who feel entitled to have complete control over women. The parallels to current news are striking, where right wing Supreme Court justices are poised to turn back the clock on women's rights, by reimposing control over women's right to choose. I'm sure this book (which is less than 300 pages) is concise compared to the Hulu series, so to newbies I recommend the book first.

Apr 06, 2019

We don't, of course, read dystopian fiction for comfort, but to speak to us about how *not* to shape society, and Atwood delivers in spades with the extreme and violent consequences of racisim and gender stereotypes. At the same time, amidst the terror and abject, lonely dehumanization of a woman's daily life as only a reproductive vessel, Atwood writes with stunning grace and narrative power, and offers even fleeting glimpses of persistent humanity.

Feb 05, 2019

Good book, just gets so bogged down in the mundane details

Feb 02, 2019


Oct 30, 2018

Read it after watching season 1. Very thought provoking as it makes the reader think about how important individual freedoms and rights are and that we need to respect differences.

Oct 21, 2018

I liked how the book took place soon after a transition into the new regime that was in place throughout the novel. The main character’s flashbacks allow you to see how things gradually changes until it became something they all thought they were never allow. It really makes you think about what’s going on today.

Oct 05, 2018

I enjoyed the premise of the story, although the author's writing-style did not resonate with me well. She bounces around a lot (between past, present, and the main character's fantasies) without any warning---sometimes mid-paragraph. The author spends most of the book delving into the main character's thoughts and not very much time creating a picture of the new world order. You only get a vague understanding of what is going on in the world and why and how it happened, and I would have liked to know more. The historical notes at the end of the book do shed some light on the events of the time "Gileadean" time period from the perspective of future historians, so I recommend reading that section.

Sep 29, 2018

Not sure what all the hoopla is about. It's about 50 pages too long, but otherwise an easy read for the beach or long weekend.

Aug 30, 2018

I picked this up because I was intrigued by the TV trailer.

This was an interesting story, I'm not sure how I feel about it. It kind of bothers me that Offred kept going back and forth between the past and the present, often in the same sentence. That keeps throwing me off as to the timeline and what is happening. It gets annoying after a while.

The world Offred knew has changed. From what use to be a democratic society, where females have a say and choice, to a world where females are assigned 'roles' (handmaidens, wives, cooks, etc). We don't find out what really happened in Offred's world before the establishment of the current Gilead until more than half way through the book. And even then it was very brief, I would have liked more information about what else went on.

It is interesting how the idea of handmaidens are similar to surrogates, except handmaidens have only 3 chances, a lot of restrictions and don't have a say in all this, plus this is all done for the purpose of strictly helping the declining birth rates in Gilead.

I didn't really feel for any of the characters because I couldn't connect with them, especially Offred. I feel there is a disconnect somewhere.... I had hoped I would have enjoyed this book more but I guess not.

Aug 29, 2018

Well written, but I found the plot lacking. Not very believable unless you're a total fan of dystopian fantasy.

ArapahoeLauren Jul 23, 2018

This book will stir up all kinds of emotions and beliefs as you enter into a very different perspective of rights and privileges and choices as a woman. I just started the TV show, which is amazing. Please read this excellent type of "window" story into the lives of the Handmaids.

SFPL_ReadersAdvisory Jul 20, 2018

Series based on the novel, 2018 SAG Award nominated, Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series; Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series, Elisabeth Moss.

SFPL_StaffPicks Jul 12, 2018

Adapted from the classic novel by Margaret Atwood. 2017 Emmy Awards for outstanding drama series (Hulu); Elisabeth Moss, outstanding lead actress; Ann Dowd, outstanding supporting actress; Reed Morano, outstanding directing; Bruce Miller, outstanding writing

EverythingTouches Jul 05, 2018

This was well written. The story had an honesty about it that made it feel real. The main character reflected the unassuming traits of a survivor which I found interesting and could connect with. Lots of attention to detail and surreal moments.

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