The Blind Assassin: Early Spring 2009 Reading Group

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The word is a flame burning in a dark glass.
-- Sheila Watson

The Highly-Rated Book Group is pleased to present its Early Spring Book Read: The Blind Assassin: A Fiction Novel by Margaret Atwood winner of the Booker Prize. We will begin reading this book March 9th 2009. The reading schedule is posted below.

Do you take like your mysteries with a sense of Drama? Fashion? Clever characters? Film Noir settings? Golden Age period influences?

The Highly-Rated Book Group welcomes all detectives and detective-in-training to our group with equal pleasure. We seek the truth with you; who among us will piece together the puzzle of a plot with a clever mind and open eyes?

Your moderator: vintage_books. Favorite Golden Age influence: Cloche Hats
Your mysterious detective, high thinker and solver of mysteries: TheTortoise. Favorite Golden Age influence: _______

Our Sponsor
We are so lucky to have this coffee sponsor! With each sip of delicious coffee from the Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company, you can enjoy their fantastic Coffee, whether it be their Fair Trade or Organic Beans. Santa Cruz Coffee Roasting Company has generously donated a gift certificate to shop their online store to one of our lucky Book Group Readers.


Our Sponsor
An anonymous donor donated a bag of freshly roasted gourmet coffee + shipping to a USA LibraryThing Highly-Rated Book Group member.Thank you for your generous

Our Sponsor is a great website run by the smiling and tea-expert Kam in Hong Kong. He scours the tea shops in Hong Kong and tastes teas for you, bringing the best tea and Chinese artifacts to your door. FunAlliance has generously donated 2 bags of Melon Seed 100 gram packages to two lucky winners in the US!

Our Sponsor
Estate Sales by Lin has donated a wonderful music jewelry box to a lucky US Book Group member! (Picture coming soon). Lin Hoffman offers her services in the Merced, California and surrounding areas: With over 15 years experience, Lin settles your estate, personal or business possessions with professionalism and courtesy.
About this book
From Publishers Weekly
Family secrets, sibling rivalry, political chicanery and social unrest, promises and betrayals, "loss and regret and memory and yearning" are the themes of Atwood's brilliant new novel, whose subtitle might read: The Fall of the House of Chase. Justly praised for her ability to suggest the complexity of individual lives against the backdrop of Canadian history, Atwood here plays out a spellbinding family saga intimately affected by WWI, the Depression and Communist witch-hunts, but the final tragedy is equally the result of human frailty, greed and passion. Octogenarian narrator Iris Chase Griffen is moribund from a heart ailment as she reflects on the events following the suicide in 1945 of her fey, unworldly 25-year-old sister, Laura, and of the posthumous publication of Laura's novel, called "The Blind Assassin." Iris's voiceDacerbic, irreverent, witty and cynicalDis mesmerizingly immediate. When her narration gives way to conversations between two people collaborating on a science fiction novel, we assume that we are reading the genesis of Laura's tale. The voices are those of an unidentified young woman from a wealthy family and her lover, a hack writer and socialist agitator on the run from the law; the lurid fantasy they concoct between bouts of lovemaking constitutes a novel-within-a-novel. Issues of sexual obsession, political tyranny, social justice and class disparity are addressed within the potboiler SF, which features gruesome sacrifices, mutilated body parts and corrupt, barbaric leaders. Despite subtle clues, the reader is more than halfway through Atwood's tour de force before it becomes clear that things are not what they seem. Meanwhile, flashbacks illuminate the Chase family history. In addition to being psychically burdened at age nine by her mother's deathbed adjuration to take care of her younger sibling, na ve Iris at age 18 is literally sold into marriage to a ruthless 35-year-old industrialist by her father, a woolly-minded idealist who thinks more about saving the family name and protecting the workers in his button factories than his daughter's happiness. Atwood's pungent social commentary rings chords on the ways women are used by men, and how the power that wealth confers can be used as a deadly weapon. Her microscopic observation transforms details into arresting metaphors, often infused with wry, pithy humor. As she adroitly juggles three plot lines, Atwood's inventiveness achieves a tensile energy. The alternating stories never slacken the pace; on the contrary, one reads each segment breathlessly, eager to get back to the other. In sheer storytelling bravado, Atwood here surpasses even The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace.

Paperback: 544 pages
Publisher: Anchor (August 28, 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385720955
ISBN-13: 978-0385720953
Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces

You can choose to purchase the book on and give a small bit of change to LibraryThing here.

Sit back, take out your magniifying glass, fedora amd trenchcoat and prepare to begin a great Online Group Read with friends.

TopicTopicMessagesLast Message 
Week Four: Sections VIII – IX: Pages 417 – 4884 unread / 4Sebazzel, August 2009
Question #2 Week Four: Sections VIII – IX: Pages 417 – 4886 unread / 6Sebazzel, August 2009
Question for Week Two: Sections IV – V: Pages 129 – 3026 unread / 6Sebazzel, August 2009
Question #2 Week Five: Sections X – XII: Pages 489 – 5764 unread / 4PaperbackPirate, May 2009
Final comments?7 unread / 7billiejean, April 2009
Week Five: Sections X – XII: Pages 489 – 5763 unread / 3Cait86, April 2009
Question #3 Week Four: Sections VIII – IX: Pages 417 – 4883 unread / 3Cait86, April 2009
Questions for Week One: Sections I – III: Pages 3 – 1286 unread / 6Cait86, April 2009
Post your reviews HERE!4 unread / 4Cait86, April 2009
Question #3 Week Six: Sections XIII – XV: Pages 577 – 6372 unread / 2billiejean, April 2009
Question #2 Week Six: Sections XIII – XV: Pages 577 – 6372 unread / 2billiejean, April 2009
Week Six: Sections XIII – XV: Pages 577 – 6372 unread / 2billiejean, April 2009
Question #3 Week Five: Sections X – XII: Pages 489 – 5762 unread / 2billiejean, April 2009
Post your prizes HERE!3 unread / 3billiejean, April 2009
The Blind Assassin: Suggested Reading Schedule4 unread / 4vintage_books, April 2009
This part from section VII made me laugh out loud!4 unread / 4billiejean, April 2009
Question #3 Week Three: Sections VI – VII: Pages 303 – 4164 unread / 4billiejean, April 2009
Question #2 Week Three: Sections VI – VII: Pages 303 – 4167 unread / 7billiejean, April 2009
Week Three: Sections VI – VII: Pages 303 – 4165 unread / 5billiejean, April 2009
The Book Quiz10 unread / 10TheTortoise, April 2009
Question #2 for Week One: Sections I – III: Pages 3 – 1286 unread / 6jhedlund, April 2009
*~WELCOME~* to our newest Book Group Readers!23 unread / 23callen610, March 2009
Visit our Sponsor's Websites4 unread / 4vintage_books, March 2009
How to post images and links1 unread / 1vintage_books, March 2009
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