I had read and enjoyed The Handmaid's Tale
, and I was quite curious to read this booker prize winner book by the same author. The book definitely earned the award, Atwood is clearly a master of the craft, adroitly waving a complex, multilayered, story-within-a-story-within-a-story masterpiece.
While the book refuses an easy genre classification, the book is, among other things, a mystery novel, with clues and hints cleverly spread along the way to prepare for revelations / plot twists. Some of those clues are adroitly crafted so that, while true, they will misdirect you.
The book starts with a death: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge." They are spoken by Iris, one of the main characters and the main point of view of the entire book. After her sister Laura's death in 1945 an inquest report proclaims 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...
It's hard to say more or to comment without spoiling the story, so I will just say that this book proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of our time.
: Sep 29 2020 Finished:
Oct 28 2020