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Book review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

How did Margaret Atwood know? In The Handmaid’s Tale, there are so many themes and ideas that seemed prescient that while I was reading, I had to check when it was written.

Before picking up Atwood’s classic I had watched the tv series and was worried that it would spoil the book. But I think the opposite was the case and the tv series enhanced my enjoyment of the book. If the series hadn’t been so good, perhaps this would have been the case, but as it was, the two complemented each other perfectly.

I was also so impressed by the cleverness of Atwood’s writing. Few pages didn’t hold a phrase or paragraph that was wise, surprising or though-provoking.

Interestingly, quite a few people I have spoken to about the book have said they enjoyed it more now than when they read it in the past. Apparently there are more similarities with our political and social system now than then. While that idea might make the book age well, it is not such a positive reflection of society today.

This book is fabulous and now I’m even more obsessed with Atwood … although my self esteem took a hit when I read how many books she has written. What on earth have I been doing with my life?! Now I’ve started The Testaments, which I hope to finish before I go to see Atwood in Melbourne. I can’t wait!

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