Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Baxlala’s #CBR4 Review #29: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Oh, hey, I finished this about a million years ago and then forgot to write about it, which has pretty much been the case for the past, oh, FOREVER.

Anyway, have you guys read this book? Because you should. Especially if you like dystopian novels and WHO DOESN’T, amiright? Yes, I’m right.

I first read this book before I even knew what dystopia meant and have read it about once a year since. I’m not sure what that says about me, but I find something comforting about reading stories in which really fucked up shit happens to people in the near or not-so-near future, as if by me reading it, I can STOP whatever it is from happening. Maybe that’s my superpower. YOU DON’T KNOW.

Anyway (again). The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the future, in a time of great unrest (standard). Things were getting super shitty for ladies, what with the violence and the rape and whatnot, PLUS ALSO everyone started having trouble getting knocked up, no matter how much sex they had, and the ones who DID get knocked up sometimes had monster babies (called “shredders” in the novel) because of CHEMICAL WARFARE or some junk, and so The Men In Charge decided what everyone really needed was order, in the form of a regimented system of sexytimes. And AS PER USUAL, women drew the short straw and had to live under the power of the men in their lives, called the Commanders (SERIOUSLY).

Offred, our narrator, is a Handmaid, living in the somewhat newly formed Republic of Gilead, in a home with her Commander, his Wife, a Maid, and a Cook. The Commander is the only Dude in the house (except for Nick, the Chauffeur, but he doesn’t count as a Dude because he doesn’t own any Womens yet) and is completely in charge of his harem of ladies. Only it’s not REALLY a harem because he can only have sex with his Handmaid and only at specific times and only under SUPER FUCKED UP CIRCUMSTANCES because sex is dirty and bad and degrades women and is only I REPEAT ONLY for the procreation of the species. Geez, pay attention.

Saying any more about this novel would rob you of the experience of reading it and I just won’t be party to that kind of spoilertude. But I cannot recommend The Handmaid’s Tale enough. I mean, I’ve read it at least 15 times and I just keep reading it because I NEVER WANT IT TO BE OVER. That’s how awesome it is.

Don’t get me wrong, this book is terrifying, but it’s like…a good terrifying? Where you’re happy that you’re not living in that world? I guess? Just read this? Please?

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12 thoughts on “Baxlala’s #CBR4 Review #29: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

  1. Here’s a fun story. The first time I read this book, I was taking Latin at the time, so I was way excited when Offred found the Latin inscription. Being the nerd that I am, when we had a test in Latin the next week, I showed up extra early to class and wrote on the board in HUGE letters Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. My professor gave me five bonus points on the test. SCORE.

  2. You are such a dork and I love you.

  3. This book is indeed awesome and the tone of the review delightful!

    Alias Grace is another great one by Atwood.

    • I don’t think I’ve read that one! I will definitely check it out, though. I read Oryx and Crake and all I remember about it was that it was super weird.

  4. I will read this just because I love your review. (I will then hold you personally responsible if I don’t like it. Just so you know..!)

  5. LOVE this book, and your review of it. Almost as much as Ashley’s awesome Latin story.

  6. One of my favourite books of all time is The Blind Assassin. I have yet to read The Handmaid’s Tale, because I keep hearing such mixed things about it, but your review makes me want to read it.

    • I’m pretty sure I once checked out The Blind Assassin from the library but it ended up being way overdue by the time I got around to reading it so I finally just returned it. True story. My point is, I still need to read it.

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