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The Handmaid's Tale

by

The Handmaid's Tale Cover

ISBN13: 9780385490818
ISBN10: 038549081x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

Review:

"A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex....Just as the world of Orwell's 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood's handmaid!" The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"The Handmaid's Tale deserves the highest praise." The San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Atwood takes many trends which exist today and stretches them to their logical and chilling conclusions....An excellent novel about the directions our lives are taking....Read it while it's still allowed." Houston Chronicle

Review:

"Splendid." Newsweek

Review:

"[A] taut thriller, a psychological study, a play on words. It has a sense of humor about itself, as well as an ambivalence toward even its worst villains." Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

Review:

"The most poetically satisfying and intense of all Atwood's novels." Maclean's

Review:

"The Handmaid's Tale is in the honorable tradition of Brave New World and other warnings of dystopia. It's imaginative, even audacious, and conveys a chilling sense of fear and menace." The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

Review:

"The Handmaid's Tale brings out the very best in Atwood — moral vision, biting humor, and a poet's imagination." Chatelaine

Synopsis:

First published in 1985, The Handmaid's Tale is a novel of such power that the reader is unable to forget its images and its forecast. With more than two million copies in print, it is Margaret Atwood's most popular and compelling novel. Set in the near future, it describes life in what once was the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, the new regime has reverted to — even gone beyond — the repressive tolerance of the original Puritans.

About the Author

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than twenty-five books, including fiction, poetry, and essays. Her most recent works include the bestselling novels Alias Grace and The Robber Bride and the collections Wilderness Tips and Good Bones and Simple Murders. She lives in Toronto.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 8 comments:

cominguplray, November 12, 2012 (view all comments by cominguplray)
This is one of my favorite books. It is gripping, vivid, exciting, frightening, and full of human spirit. The story follows a woman in an ultra-religious and oppressive future society in which leaders are panicking and dissenters are silenced quickly. She struggles to make sense of the world, longs for the past, and endeavors to return to some semblance of the life she knew before the world went mad. It was a book that I couldn't put down, full of imagery and emotion, and one that I could read over and over again.
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Brianna, August 30, 2012 (view all comments by Brianna)
Margaret Atwood writes beautiful sentences. This one seems like a good one to read in during an election year.
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elisava-grace, December 10, 2009 (view all comments by elisava-grace)
"The Handmaid's Tale" is unquestionably an excellent piece of literature, and Margaret Atwood is very effective in drawing the reader into the world of the Republic of Gilead. As the story unfolded, I found myself both drawn to and repulsed by the events. It was a fascinating story, but also disturbing and threatening, especially when the reader understands that the vast majority of the events in the book were based off of actual occurrences in history.

Atwood's novel is the story of a woman who previously had what would widely be considered a "normal" American life. She had a career, a husband, and a daughter. But after the U.S. government was overthrown and replaced by the Republic of Gilead, she lost her family, job, and rights. In the Republic of Gilead, women are no longer allowed to read, and are divided into different positions. The main character becomes a handmaid, and exists solely for the purpose of providing an infertile couple with a child. She is referred to as Offred, or "of Fred," making reference to the man who is supposed to fertilize her. She is also restricted to a specific uniform as a handmaid, a long red dress with red gloves, and a white hat with long flaps that shield her face from strangers. Ultimately, the new government has stripped her of her identity.

Atwood bravely explores the repercussions that such a governmental system would have on this handmaid. She tells the story of Offred's past in brief flashbacks, and also recounts her re-education as a handmaid. Offred has become an unemotional and determined woman who clings to fantasies of her family and desperate grasps of love to survive.

This is a difficult book to read. In particular passages, it is easy to understand why this book could be banned or suppressed. However, it tells a story that ought to be told, both to remember those in history who have had similar experiences and to caution against the future. Furthermore, Atwood does this effectively and well.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780385490818
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Atwood, Margaret
Author:
Atwood, Margaret
Author:
Waters, M. D.
Publisher:
Anchor
Location:
New York :
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Women -- Fiction.
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Science / Adventure
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 1998
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.35 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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History and Social Science » Politics » General

The Handmaid's Tale Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780385490818 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex....Just as the world of Orwell's 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood's handmaid!"
"Review" by , "The Handmaid's Tale deserves the highest praise."
"Review" by , "Atwood takes many trends which exist today and stretches them to their logical and chilling conclusions....An excellent novel about the directions our lives are taking....Read it while it's still allowed."
"Review" by , "Splendid."
"Review" by , "[A] taut thriller, a psychological study, a play on words. It has a sense of humor about itself, as well as an ambivalence toward even its worst villains."
"Review" by , "The most poetically satisfying and intense of all Atwood's novels."
"Review" by , "The Handmaid's Tale is in the honorable tradition of Brave New World and other warnings of dystopia. It's imaginative, even audacious, and conveys a chilling sense of fear and menace."
"Review" by , "The Handmaid's Tale brings out the very best in Atwood — moral vision, biting humor, and a poet's imagination."
"Synopsis" by , First published in 1985, The Handmaid's Tale is a novel of such power that the reader is unable to forget its images and its forecast. With more than two million copies in print, it is Margaret Atwood's most popular and compelling novel. Set in the near future, it describes life in what once was the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead. Reacting to social unrest, and a sharply declining birthrate, the new regime has reverted to — even gone beyond — the repressive tolerance of the original Puritans.
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