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The Blind Assassin

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The Blind Assassin Cover

ISBN13: 9780385720953
ISBN10: 0385720955
Condition: Standard
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Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling new novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist.

For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious.

The novel opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Laura's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.

Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience. The novel has many threads and a series of events that follow one another at a breathtaking pace. As everything comes together, readers will discover that the story Atwood is telling is not only what it seems to be — but, in fact, much more.

The Blind Assassin proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of our time. Like The Handmaid's Tale, it is destined to become a classic.

Review:

"As she adroitly juggles three plot lines, Atwood's inventiveness achieves a tensile energy. The alternating stories never slacken the pace; on the contrary, one reads each section breathlessly, eager to get back to the other. In sheer storytelling bravado, Atwood here surpasses even The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"The Blind Assassin has enough mysteries to keep even a casual reader engaged, and with respect to solutions, it is less scrupulously committed to ambiguity than Ms. Atwood's 1997 novel, Alias Grace. As with all of Ms. Atwood's recent fiction, The Blind Assassin, despite what sounds like a romantic plot, has been scoured free of any trace of sentimentality. There is a steely quality to Ms. Atwood's writing that's a bit scary but also exhilarating; no one gets away with anything, especially not her female narrators — and they know better than to try." Wall Street Journal

Review:

“An example of a writer at the very peak of her performance.…As it delves into the kinds of relationships that can exist between men and women and the rich and poor, it becomes a compassionate and utterly honest book. It is profound and touching. It is to be treasured.” Edmonton Journal

Review:

“Atwood is a dazzling storyteller with a distinctive voice and an ear attuned to irony.” London Free Press

Review:

"Atwood does not mess around in her riveting new tale: by the end of the first sentence, we know that the narrator's sister is dead, and after just 18 pages we learn that the narrator's husband died on a boat, that her daughter died in a fall, and that her dead husband's sister raised her granddaughter....Atwood brilliantly overlays a second story, an sf novel-within-a-novel, credited to Laura Chasen, that features nameless lovers trysting in squalor. Some readers may figure out Atwood's wrap-up before book's end. Worry not — nothing will dampen the pleasure of getting there. Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Margaret Atwood is one of the greatest writers alive...Her new work is so assured, so elegant and so incandescently intelligent, she casts her contemporaries in the shade." Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Review:

The Blind Assassin is the kind of story so full of intrigue and desperation that you take it to bed with you simply because you can’t bear to put it down.…It’s one thing to write an accomplished novel; it’s another entirely to spin a tale so brilliantly that the reader internalizes it.” Harper’s Bazaar

Review:

"The first great novel of the new millennium." Newsday

Review:

"Absorbing...expertly rendered...Virtuosic storytelling [is] on display." New York Times

Review:

"Brilliant...Opulent...Atwood is a poet....as well as a contriver of fiction, and scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work, adding to a picture that becomes enormous." John Updike, The New Yorker

Review:

"Chilling...Lyrical...[Atwood's] most ambitious work to date." Boston Globe

Review:

"Grand storytelling on a grand scale...Sheerly enjoyable." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Bewitching...A killer novel....Atwood's crisp wit and steely realism are reminiscent of Edith Wharton...A wonderfully complex narrative. " The Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"A tour de force." Chicago Tribune

Synopsis:

The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.

About the Author

Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. She is the author of more than thirty books – novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children. Atwood’s work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid’s Tale and Cat's Eye – both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize. She is the recipient of numerous honors, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

gentanishku, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by gentanishku)
Love this book!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Nikki Dodd, January 4, 2010 (view all comments by Nikki Dodd)
I not only had one of those rare 'I don't want this to end' kind of experiences when reading this book, but it also introduced and caused me to fall in love with Margaret Atwood. She is one of those authors that are important to actually understanding what literature really is. The Blind Assassin is my favorite, but I have never read a book by Atwood that I didn't actually love.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
cariola119, November 29, 2009 (view all comments by cariola119)
I could have done without the sci fi story embedded in the novel (yes, I know it relates to the main story, but I just found it really annoying). Nevertheless, I did enjoy reading about the troubled, intertwined lives of sisters Laura and Iris. Atwood did a fine job of recreating the world of a small Canadian town in the Depression and World War II eras, especially that of the narrator, Iris Chase Griffin, who marries a wealthy older man in order to provide for her sister and finds herself controlled by her ambitious, high society husband and his snooty sister. Secrets and lies--family dysfunction at its finest!
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(3 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385720953
Author:
Atwood, Margaret
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Author:
Atwood, Margaret
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Death
Subject:
Sisters
Subject:
Widows
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st. pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
135
Publication Date:
August 2001
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
544
Dimensions:
8.00x5.28x.90 in. .85 lbs.

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Related Subjects

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Featured Titles » General
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Blind Assassin Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.50 In Stock
Product details 544 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780385720953 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "As she adroitly juggles three plot lines, Atwood's inventiveness achieves a tensile energy. The alternating stories never slacken the pace; on the contrary, one reads each section breathlessly, eager to get back to the other. In sheer storytelling bravado, Atwood here surpasses even The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace." Publishers Weekly
"Review" by , "The Blind Assassin has enough mysteries to keep even a casual reader engaged, and with respect to solutions, it is less scrupulously committed to ambiguity than Ms. Atwood's 1997 novel, Alias Grace. As with all of Ms. Atwood's recent fiction, The Blind Assassin, despite what sounds like a romantic plot, has been scoured free of any trace of sentimentality. There is a steely quality to Ms. Atwood's writing that's a bit scary but also exhilarating; no one gets away with anything, especially not her female narrators — and they know better than to try."
"Review" by , “An example of a writer at the very peak of her performance.…As it delves into the kinds of relationships that can exist between men and women and the rich and poor, it becomes a compassionate and utterly honest book. It is profound and touching. It is to be treasured.”
"Review" by , “Atwood is a dazzling storyteller with a distinctive voice and an ear attuned to irony.”
"Review" by , "Atwood does not mess around in her riveting new tale: by the end of the first sentence, we know that the narrator's sister is dead, and after just 18 pages we learn that the narrator's husband died on a boat, that her daughter died in a fall, and that her dead husband's sister raised her granddaughter....Atwood brilliantly overlays a second story, an sf novel-within-a-novel, credited to Laura Chasen, that features nameless lovers trysting in squalor. Some readers may figure out Atwood's wrap-up before book's end. Worry not — nothing will dampen the pleasure of getting there. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Margaret Atwood is one of the greatest writers alive...Her new work is so assured, so elegant and so incandescently intelligent, she casts her contemporaries in the shade."
"Review" by , The Blind Assassin is the kind of story so full of intrigue and desperation that you take it to bed with you simply because you can’t bear to put it down.…It’s one thing to write an accomplished novel; it’s another entirely to spin a tale so brilliantly that the reader internalizes it.”
"Review" by , "The first great novel of the new millennium."
"Review" by , "Absorbing...expertly rendered...Virtuosic storytelling [is] on display."
"Review" by , "Brilliant...Opulent...Atwood is a poet....as well as a contriver of fiction, and scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work, adding to a picture that becomes enormous."
"Review" by , "Chilling...Lyrical...[Atwood's] most ambitious work to date."
"Review" by , "Grand storytelling on a grand scale...Sheerly enjoyable."
"Review" by , "Bewitching...A killer novel....Atwood's crisp wit and steely realism are reminiscent of Edith Wharton...A wonderfully complex narrative. "
"Review" by , "A tour de force."
"Synopsis" by , The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.
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