View Full Version : The Handmaid's Tale

Squishi Wench
07-14-2004, 04:30 PM
I don't know if anyone has ever posted about this before, so sorry if it's something you already heard about.

I just finished reading this book, and I gotta say.....it scared the bejeebers outta me.

It's not a scary/horor type book.....what's scary about it is that the events leading up to "the Handmaid's" seems so possible. Margaret Atwood outdid herself on this one.

Here is a blurb from B&N about the book:

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. -

It's not a large book, the hardcover copy I read has only 311 pages. B&N also has a reader's guide for the book.

I'd love to know if anyone else has read it and what you thought about it.....


Lady D
07-14-2004, 04:34 PM
I read the book in HS, and the only way we were permitted to read it--even as seniors, mind you!--was because our teacher was also the head of the english department. My school had that many issues with the concepts in it!

I loved it to death, think it's very well-written and reccomend it to those who haven't read it. Just... keep your mind open. :)

07-14-2004, 05:27 PM
I really like Handmaid's Tale, but if you want a GREAT one by her, try the Edible Woman!!
It's amazing!!

The Edible Woman is the first published novel by Margaret Atwood. Rich in metaphor, deliciously comic, and glittering with insight, the story chronicles the fantastic and dramatic ego disintegration of Marian McAlprin, who seems at first to be a perfectly conventional young woman, with friends, a successful and attractive man in her life, and a reasonably good job working for a market research company. Everything in her life seems to fly out of control with her engagement, just as Marian seems ready to fulfill "every woman's" dream of trading in her troublesome job for marriage and a new life at home with children. The manner of her collapse and the startling ending make for often hilarious reading.
This brilliant and witty early work by one of the most admired novelist of our time contains the hallmark themes in the body of work that inspired Vogue magazine to call Atwood "one of the most intelligent and talented writers to set herself the task of deciphering life in the late twentieth century."

07-14-2004, 06:08 PM
I just finished reading this book, and I gotta say.....it scared the bejeebers outta me.

I'd love to know if anyone else has read it and what you thought about it.....


Scared me, too. How easily it all fell apart for the lead character. I keep thinking I need to re-read it - since I read it so long ago.

07-14-2004, 07:04 PM
omg! i loved this book... scared the crap out of me too. a friend of mine was reading it fot a college class and lent it to me. i actually found out they made it into a movie. it wasn't as good as the book of course, but not bad.


Absinthe d'Accalia
07-14-2004, 08:00 PM
Ditto on having the bejeezus scared out of me when I read this book. I think what scared me so, is that it is within the realm of possibility that this could happen - especially with the theocratic wranglings that have been happening in our Government as of late.

07-15-2004, 05:22 PM
This is a wonderful book for making you think. I saw the movie first and it pushed me to the book which I liked better. Well, except that Aidan Quinn is in the movie and I like him just fine.

One thing if you ever watch the movie.... they show the government symbol rotating on the television during the news reports and it is uncomfortable similar to my rotating AOL symbol at the top of my screen right now. :shock:

Squishi Wench
07-15-2004, 05:38 PM
there was a movie????????????

07-15-2004, 06:47 PM
I read the book and watched the movie both years ago...very creepy--especially given how computer-dependent we're becoming upon everything, and that had a LOT to do with how They (the religious group in question is never positively identified) managed to get the jump on everybody.

If you could get a group coherent enough to stick together and not fell prey to petty inside squabbling, it could possibly be done. Maybe it could anyway, but didn't they establish at the end of the book that the new regime toppled soon because of too much corruption/inside fighting/finger-pointing?

07-15-2004, 10:37 PM
Yep, there was a movie and it is a favorite of mine though I would not say it is a well made movie as movies go. But the story is powerful enough to carry it. It is not as complete as the book by far, but it disturbing in it's own way, to see the bizarre practices carried out on screen. And the fact that it COULD be made into a movie, just made it seem all the more plausible in real life.

My suggestion is to read the book first, then watch the movie.

07-25-2004, 03:32 PM
Read this a while ago... stayed up all night reading it, in fact.
All I can say is YIKES :shock: :shock: :shock:

08-17-2004, 10:05 PM
Actually, I got the chance to read that book this summer. I was terrified a year or two ago, by the movie. One of the things about the movie was that they kept trying to use Biblical scripture to reference their actions. I was intrigued because some of it was wrong or didn't exist. In the book the author acknowledged that the regime were at the point of making up or adding or cutting the scripture to their own purposes, because no one could check them due to female ban of reading.
Oh please ladies let us never let our right to vote, read, or take care of ourselves be wasted. Remember you use it or you lose it!

08-24-2004, 04:42 PM
I checked this book out yesterday from the library. I started it this morning on the tred mill. I don' t suggest reading while on a tred mill to anyone. I will read more tonight while sitting down. And I will find something else visual on a larger screen while on the tred mill.

08-25-2004, 12:55 AM
I love that book. And sadly recent government actions really make me think of it more and more.

I'm glad that at least one of us read it in high school, i read it in college, but i think it's the sort of book more young people ought to be exposed to.

I will say it makes me thankful for the rights we do have!

08-27-2004, 03:46 PM
I finished the book yesterday. I enjoyed reading it and it was neat to see how a few people want and enforce their views on others without looking at how it will really affect society and the public. I do have to say that I found the ending to be a little bit of a let down and slightly madning. (at the same time)

09-02-2004, 09:41 AM
Read this a while ago... stayed up all night reading it, in fact.
All I can say is YIKES :shock: :shock: :shock:

Same here. Started it and didn't eat or sleep till I finished. Then had a LONG hot shower and lots of chocolate icecream as I recall. Wow. that was YEARS ago. Talk about a book leaving an impression!