The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I came at this excellently crafted novel from a different angle than most readers, I guess, and with different or no pre-conceptions.

 

Flicking through Netflix, I came across the series, downloaded and watched half of the first episode, knew vaguely that there was a novel, found it on Amazon and downloaded it onto my Kindle App (what did we do before such technology?)

 

Also differently, I suspect, I never, ever, read an introduction. To me a novel should stand on its own and an introduction should sit at the back of a novel and, obviously, be called something else.

 

Bearing the two items above, I settled in to the futuristic mind of a woman, (as a male reader) in a time when most women were treated like cattle to be bred from.

 

The plot and story are not for the telling here and have to be experienced rather than just read. In my update on Goodreads, while about half way through, I stated that I was enjoying but could see no way that a film or tv series could be made of the novel. I still don't.

 

Did my non-reading of the introduction have an effect? Yes, very much so. My reading of the novel was that the author was writing in the present day, about a possible future, in America, where the right wing government of today, becomes even more right wing and full of religious zeal, until it breaks down into a dystopian nightmare, with nobody trusting anyone else and the powerful being able to flout their own rules. In a nutshell I saw it as a warning to the author's country to not become even more right wing than Trump.

 

My surprise came from skipping back to the Introduction, after finishing the novel to find it was started in 1984 and written in various parts of the soviet block, mainly in East Berlin. It got me pondering on the closeness in policy of the far left and the far right.

 

"Readers who bought this novel also purchased -" gave me a number of study guides so I assume this novel is on school curriculums. Not for me such study, I'm way past that age but jealous of the fact that we had Lord Of The Flies when I was in school and would have much preferred The Handmaid's Tale.

 

Do I go on to watch the series? I'm sure you have an opinion.

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