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The Handmaid's Tale
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The Handmaid's Tale (1985)

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27,89877835 (4.11)1753
Member:masonk1
Title:The Handmaid's Tale
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Info:Virago Press Ltd (date?), Paperback, 324 pages
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The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (Author) (1985)

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    krazy4katz: An upside down recommendation, as this is an "all-women" utopia rather than a dystopia, but a fun read.
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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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    Kaelkivial: Both stories of strong women who resist (in one form or another) the system that holds them down. Both books fairly fast paced and gripping; acts of violence and loss scattered throughout.
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(see all 57 recommendations)

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» See also 1753 mentions

English (745)  Spanish (7)  French (3)  Catalan (3)  Dutch (3)  Italian (2)  German (2)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (771)
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I had a harder time getting into this book than I thought I would. The premise is interesting and very tongue-in-cheek, Atwood's goal of demonstrating what could have happened if history had taken an opposite turn was well appreciated.
  Lorem | May 21, 2018 |
I'm not sure what I can add that hasn't already been said about The Handmaid's Tale. Just that I wish I had read this sooner -- Atwood is a fantastic writer (this is also the first Atwood for me).

I don't think this would have appealed to me, or meant as much to me, when this novel first came out in 1985. I was a young college student back then. So, perhaps, now was the right time for me to read this. We see all around us in this world how women's rights are suppressed and/or taken away. Therefore, The Handmaid's Tale is an excellent cautionary tale. And wow, Atwood sure can write! I'm glad to say I have three others of hers in my TBR and I'm sure I'll be on the lookout for more of her backlist.

"Nolite te bastardes carborundorum", indeed!! ( )
  ValerieAndBooks | May 21, 2018 |
Startled to realize that I had Not read this book before as it's certainly well know as at the same level as "1984" or "Brave New World." Glad to have finally listened to it in preparation for watching the Hulu limited series. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
Explosions d'usines atomiques et pollution ont gravement endommagé la capacité humaine à se reproduire, le Président des Etats-Unis a été assassiné, les militaires et les religieux ont pris le pouvoir. Gilead, une nouvelle société de classes patriarcale et dictatoriale est instaurée, dans laquelle chacun a un rôle à jouer. Defred fait partie des servantes écarlates dont la tâche unique est d'enfanter. Un roman dystopique publié en 1986, dont le réalisme et la précision descriptive, encore accentués par l'usage de la première personne et des retours en arrière, font frémir.
  Steph. | May 10, 2018 |
I’d read this in high school, but with the world as it is now, and the tv show so popular, I decided to read it again. There’s a reason this book has lasted over the years... the devaluing of truth, restrictions on information, preservation of the environment being sacrificed for capitalism, and especially women’s rights and family planning being reversed, this dystopian book definitely gives pause. A quick read, but one worth rereading if you haven’t in a while! ( )
  asawyer | May 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 745 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (28 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, MargaretAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyd, FlorenceCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Danes, ClaireNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, JoannaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Marcellino, FredCover artistsecondary 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.)
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)

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 038549081X, Paperback)

In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.

Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now....

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:22 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A 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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 20 descriptions

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