The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

the handmaid's tale

I don’t remember the last time I read a book that I totally did not want to put down. Probably Room, which I finished a couple of years ago in 7-8 hours plane ride, and I would say The Handmaid’s Tale is a better book (though completely different, so I don’t know why I made the comparison). Considering how long it takes for me to finish one book these days, I finished this one in a breeze! I spent a couple of weekends just reading for hours, which I also don’t remember the last time that happened.

I’ve read only read Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood before this one, which I wasn’t too impressed of. I’m still not sure if I like her writing style from reading The Handmaid’s Tale. I found it a bit… choppy at times. And it’s not like I’m a fan of dystopian stories, which seems to be the topic she embraces the most. I would really like to read Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin though. I also have Cat’s Eye somewhere in my piles.

All in all, I really liked The Handmaid’s Tale. The way it is written by revealing a little at a time made me want to read more more more and faster. Now I feel like reading another dystopian book, and I’m thinking of Orwell’s 1984. We’ll see.

4.5 stars
1985, 395 pp

sunny reading at kensington garden
Sunny day reading at Kensington garden

The Handmaid’s Tale, 1990, rating: 5/10

As always I could not resist a movie adaptation of a book I just read. Unfortunately the movie is such a silly rendition of a good book. It lacks all the suspense, subtleties, and claustrophobic feeling that the book does so well. You can safely skip this.

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19 thoughts on “The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood”

    1. softdrink, yes many people mentioned Cat’s Eye too. Will have to read it in the future. I re-read your posts about The Handmaid’s Tale after I finished reading the book :)

  1. aahh… finally you read the book (in Kensington Garden as well and never knew there was sunshine, it’s been dark and gloomy past few days!). I didn’t quite like it that much but I know a lot of ppl rave about this!

    1. Jo, I think the sunny day was last last Sunday (1 April). After that the days have been mostly dreary yes -_-

      First I didn’t find your review of the book from my g-reader feed search, so I wasn’t sure if you’ve read the book until you commented – I thought you had. Found it with your site search now :)

  2. I’ve not read this one by Atwood, but I’ve enjoyed the other two books I’ve read by her (most recently, The Blind Assassin). I think she’s one of those authors who, even if I don’t LOVE the story or the characters, I can completely and absolutely see the genius of her writing and just how well she writes stories. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s amazing.

    1. Oh yes I totally understand what you mean. There are a couple more authors that I sort of feel the same way towards. I don’t absolutely love their books but in average I have quite a high opinion of them, if that makes sense.

  3. I just recently read this too! I used to have reservations calling Atwood a favourite author because there was something about her writing that I didn’t quite appreciate, though I recognized her brilliance. But I realised how everytime I read her novels I would become so absorbed with them and finally conceded to the fact that I in fact love to read her! Alias Grace is on standby on my shelf and I’m very much looking forward to it. My fave of her is The Blind Assassin but The Handmaid’s Tale made me realise how much I really do enjoy her.

    1. What a coincidence! I thought you had read it a while ago. I think Atwood is definitely a good storyteller. I’ll have to read one more of her books to be able to tell if I could consider her as favourite author or not. I’ll keep you all updated. My reaction and yours sound fairly similar so far.

  4. I’m so glad you said something about the movie. I read and loved the book, but haven’t seen the movie yet. I’d rather skip it if it’s that bad in comparison.

    1. Melissa, yes unfortunately the movie is not great. But you can always check it out for yourself if you’re curious like me!

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