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The Handmaid's Tale (1985)

by Margaret Atwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Handmaid's Tale (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
34,568102649 (4.11)2049
This look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.
Recently added byTsafos-Porter, Tashakayball, kriram, Hosker, private library, meapol, AanchalB, lajones, ephemeralmochi
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    sparemethecensor: The Handmaid's Tale is the classic forerunner to dystopic fiction of sexist futures. When She Woke picks up the mantel with a more modern version of a misogynistic theocracy taking over government. Both show terrifying futures for the state of women in society.… (more)
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(see all 64 recommendations)

1980s (1)
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» See also 2049 mentions

English (956)  Spanish (11)  French (7)  Catalan (5)  German (4)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (3)  Finnish (3)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Arabic (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (999)
Showing 1-5 of 956 (next | show all)
3.5 stars

I did really enjoy reading this book but I felt myself wanting more. But I'm thinking that was Atwood's intention. Offred had limited knowledge and then so did the reader. I'll post more soon! ( )
  booksforbrunch | May 4, 2021 |
This book was honestly not that good, I can imagine why it was made into a tv show but the storyline in itself is not crazy for a novel, and I didn't enjoy the author's writing that much... ( )
  jjeane | Apr 28, 2021 |
I loved the concept of this book, it's dark and troubling and has some excellent scenes. I struggled with it in parts, mostly due to it being a bit dry - still very worth the read and an excellent twist at the end - quite different in places to the TV Series. ( )
  Aetherson | Apr 26, 2021 |
pretty good!
  18cran | Apr 25, 2021 |
The Handmaid's Tale is yet another novel informing us how everything is going to suck in the future. Atwood explores the idea of freedom from's. As you'll find, that while "freedom from fear" or "freedom from pain" sound great, the reality is that "freedom from" is not the same as "freedom to."

It begins with Red Dawn and ends with a dig at historian's who make excuses for the sins of the past. ( )
  illmunkeys | Apr 22, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 956 (next | show all)
This was a good book, I liked it a lot. I would recommend this book to anyone. I suggest you join NovelStar’s writing competition right now until the end of May with a theme Werewolf. You can also publish your stories there. just email our editors hardy@novelstar.top, joye@novelstar.top, or lena@novelstar.top.
added by Nica.Samilin | editUSA Today
 

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, AnnaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Balbusso, ElenaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, FlorenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danes, ClaireNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, JoannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moss, ElisabethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pennati, CamilloTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
And when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said unto Jacob, Give me children, or else I die.

And Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in God’s stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?

And she said, Behold my maid Bihah, go in unto her, and she shall bear upon my knees, that I may also have children by her.
                              — Genesis 30:1–3
But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal . . .
                              — Jonathan Swift,
A Modest Proposal
In the desert there is no sign that says, Thou shalt not eat stones.
                              — Sufi proverb
Dedication
For Mary Webster and Perry Miller
First words
We slept in what had once been the gymnasium.
Quotations
As all historians know, the past is a great darkness, and filled with echoes. Voices may reach us from it; but what they say to us is imbued with the obscurity of the matrix out of which they come; and, try as we may, we cannot always decipher them precisely in the clearer light of our own day.
Time has not stood still. It has washed over me, washed me away, as if I’m nothing more than a woman of sand, left by a careless child too near the water.
The shell of the egg is smooth but also grained; small pebbles of calcium are defined by the sunlight, like craters on the moon. It’s a barren landscape, yet perfect; it’s the sort of desert the saints went into, so their minds would not be distracted by profusions. I think that this is what God must look like: an egg. The life of the moon may not be on the surface, but inside.
But remember that forgiveness too is a power. To beg for it is a power, and to withhold or bestow it is a power, perhaps the greatest. Maybe none of this is about control ... Maybe it’s about who can do what to whom and be forgiven for it. Never tell me it amounts to the same thing.
There is more than one kind of freedom, said Aunt Lydia, freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don’t underrate it.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
The Reading Guide Edition is the substantial equivalent the main Handmaid's Tale work, with a few additional pages of questions for groups to consider at the back. Please therefore leave these works combined together. Thank you
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Wikipedia in English (4)

This look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules.
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Average: (4.11)
0.5 17
1 137
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