The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret AtwoodThe Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

byMargaret Atwood

Paperback | September 6, 2011

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In this multi-award-winning, bestselling novel, Margaret Atwood has created a stunning Orwellian vision of the near future. This is the story of Offred, one of the unfortunate “Handmaids” under the new social order who have only one purpose: to breed. In Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships, Offred’s persistent memories of life in the “time before” and her will to survive are acts of rebellion. Provocative, startling, prophetic, and with Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit, and acute perceptive powers in full force, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once a mordant satire and a dire warning.
MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in more than forty-five countries, is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. In addition to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series, her novels include Cat’s Eye, short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which wo...
Title:The Handmaid's TaleFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:368 pages, 7.98 × 5.19 × 0.98 inShipping dimensions:7.98 × 5.19 × 0.98 inPublished:September 6, 2011Publisher:McClelland & StewartLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0771008791

ISBN - 13:9780771008795

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood


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Available in stores

Alias Grace: A Novel
Alias Grace: A Novel

by Margaret Atwood


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Rated 5 out of 5 by from gripping page turner! I finally got around to reading this novel and I was definitely impressed. The book is a page turner and gripping, an interesting concept that seems to in many ways reflect the dystopian world we live in, in reality. Some parts are tedious but overall the novel had me on the edge of my seat
Date published: 2019-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting. The philosophy of this book really resonates with today’s culture. It has lead me to an interest in dystopic fiction. I’ve also purchased ‘Something Wicked this way Comes’, looking forward to reading that one as well.
Date published: 2019-04-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing! But.... Incredible story, themes, and characters. I only wish that more of my endless questions were answered!
Date published: 2018-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing but Scary Twisted but amazing! Ending is the mystery! #plumpoints
Date published: 2018-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book The world created in this book was so interesting to read about. I also loved this book because of the way it played out. Would recommend!
Date published: 2018-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from OMG This was the 2nd dystopian novel we had to read in school. I enjoyed it so much and it's scary how (with everything going on in the world) this seems like it's something that could actually happen. I can't imagine having to burn all my books...
Date published: 2018-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic A dystopian classic. A world without books is my idea of a nightmare
Date published: 2018-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent dystopian thriller! A scary and thrilling tale; a warning of where we could end up if we keep down the same political path. #indigoemployee
Date published: 2018-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creative and brilliant! I enjoyed reading this more than once. Beautifully written. Loved it!
Date published: 2018-08-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark and Brilliant This was written in the 1980s and yet somehow, is so apropos of today, it's chilling. Again, Atwood's language, captivating visuals and striking characters make it impossible to put the book down. And though it's written over 30 years ago, Atwood brilliantly leaves distinguishing time-markers out, making this reality all the more unsettling for the unknowing of how far - or close - a reality it could be.
Date published: 2018-08-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from lackluster The plot sounded extremely interesting and I thought it would be stellar due to the hype. After reading it, I found the execution and writing a little lackluster and it was almost boring.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A beautiful story! I enjoyed reading this classic story, for the second time, it is popular for being an attention grabber and page turner. It is not an easy read for everyone, but it worked out well for me.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I though i would love this book That was just not for me. I loved part of it, but it frustrated me how slow it was and i feel like i'm missing half of the book. It's such a vivid book and critical book about society but at the end of the day i didn't enjoy reading it.
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intense This novel was for sure a page turner and had my attention grabbed the entire time
Date published: 2018-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it i can't say i liked the ending. but this is definitely a great thought-provoking novel. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A thought-provoking read! Bought it, loved it and talked about it with friends a ton! A great, thought-provoking novel #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not What I Was Expecting I purchased this book knowing it is a classic in literature and was highly spoken of. When I read it, I was sorely disappointed with what I received. Was hoping for something closer to 1984 or another similar dystopian classic, but didn't get the same reaction. #PlumReview
Date published: 2018-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my favourites! This novel is an interesting depiction of how our current actions may sway our future. It is a wild journey from start to finish following the life of handmaid Offred and her mission to stay alive. At times it made me cry, and other times it made me laugh. In the end I am thoroughly happy I was able to read it.
Date published: 2018-08-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must-read brilliant, timely, eye-opening, disturbing, thought-provoking. Essential read.
Date published: 2018-08-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Typical Dystopian story this novel is only your typical dystopian story, although I liked it it was most definitely not my favourite novel. Terrible ending..
Date published: 2018-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Great dystopian novel, with an important overall message. Meanders at times, but really eye-opening
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly recommended. My initial thoughts about this book were a bit wishy-washy, and I was turned off of reading anything Margaret Atwood for the longest time, as most who read her and recommended her books weren't the nicest group of people... the kind who sat in the front row of an lecture in english literature, puffing up their chest, and belittling those who didn't have a constant rotation of books on the go or know nearly enough knowledge about feminist utopia literature. I thought Margaret Atwood was an asshole. Anywho, I ran into Ms. Atwood a couple of years back and she's one of the nicest women I've met. I couldn't get enough of the conversation we were having.. it led to me this book and to her others. I ate it up and would do it again. So good!
Date published: 2018-08-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it, not what I was expecting I have been told many times that if 1984 had a sequel Fahrenheit 451 would be it. The book has a different twist than I was expecting and there were some parts that I found hard to follow because it seemed too fantastic. Great book overall and definitely a worthwhile read. It really is a look into the future at times.
Date published: 2018-08-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Read this way back in high school and just recently re-read it. Great book!
Date published: 2018-08-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolute favourite book This dystopian novel was everything I needed it to be but didn't know I wanted when I read it. I learned so much through a different view of society. One of those that when you reread you learn something new again.
Date published: 2018-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Lit. (And eye-opening) An amazing classic that I'd recommend to all avid readers, this dystopian story delves into what happens when books lose their significance, and Ray Bradbury does an amazing job at showing how tragic this potential future is. Thus, we're reminded of how essential books and stories are in our lives, and as a book-lover myself, this is one that I treasure.
Date published: 2018-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic I first read this book in high school but have come back to it every year since. Everytime I am greatly astounded by how revelant this book is.
Date published: 2018-07-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overrated The overall message of the book was interesting and important, but I found the book rambled in some parts. I'd heard all the hype about this book, and how you HAVE to read it, but I've read much more interesting books that manage to convey the same thing: put down your screen and read a book! Knowledge is power.
Date published: 2018-07-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it again Loved it the first time and now read it the second time. A must read!
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Classic! This was an amazing book! They are just releasing a Netflix series on it! Deff must read before you watch the show!! #plumrewards
Date published: 2018-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Book I liked reading this book but was disappointed in the ending. The Handmaid's Tale had an intriguing concept and the little segment after the story ends was interesting.
Date published: 2018-07-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from captivating story It was really interesting reading this book, however, the ending was a little bit of a let down. i was expecting a little more. maybe there should be a second book. other than the ending, i loved everything about this book, couldn't put it down. everyone should read it.
Date published: 2018-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my fav all time books!!! Any book lover will likely have a love/hate relationship with this book. I can read it over and over again and this book made me also watch the movie, over and over. I love it. It's so unsettling, everything from the pill popping wife to the entire story on censorship, it's just such a strong warning of why we all need to be real and live authentic lives!
Date published: 2018-07-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected more I had seen commercials for the show and thought that a book would be better, they usually are. The book wasn’t as much of a page-turner as I had expected. It was still an ok read. I also didn’t really enjoy the way the author ended the story.
Date published: 2018-07-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Story I read this for school and found it so creative and incredible. The symbolism was astounding.
Date published: 2018-07-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Overrated A fire metaphor filled look at what could happen if we continue to focus more on Netflix and phones and less on the written word. A bit unfocused and rambly at times but overall Bradbury was startlingly accurate in his vision of the future.
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing Twisted but amazing! Utopian society that shows how women are treated just for reproductive purposes.
Date published: 2018-07-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very thoughtful read I like to read this novel at least once a year as I find I'm able to see similarities in today's society and it gives me a new perspective on some issues. I highly recommend this novel, especially if you want to understand just how easily the State can take over and impact every second of people's lives.
Date published: 2018-07-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely fantastic! I really enjoyed reading this book. What an amazing story and the writing was just beautiful. I wanted more!
Date published: 2018-07-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Everyone should read this one. Show is great as well.
Date published: 2018-07-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Favorite Who didn't read this in school?! I have read this one 2x. Love it very much.
Date published: 2018-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book, strange ending I really liked this book! Compelling narrative, great characters, and an amazing idea that was well executed. The ending kind of drops off out of nowhere. I expected it to keep going, it was a little abrupt. But other than that I loved it.
Date published: 2018-06-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Kind of interesting I am a fast reader but this book was so slow and so dull. I didn't want to finish it but I forced myself to. The beginning and middle were boring but the end picked up a bit. I wish it was more like the end of the book than the beginning. I didn't really care for how the book ended either.
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Cool Concept, Weird Execution I appreciate this book for the topics it touched upon. However, the writing was dry and I found myself extremely bored reading the book because of the writing.
Date published: 2018-06-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book! Wow! From start to finish this book will keep you enticed!
Date published: 2018-06-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Relevant I am such a Ray Bradbury fan. This book is political and relevant especially for the modern times.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from loved it Atwood is an incredible writer!!! Shockingly a little bit too close in reality for comfort in certain regions of the world. Use it as a lesson of what to not restrain our women like.
Date published: 2018-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best An imaginative story of a terrifyingly possible future that will leave you wanting more
Date published: 2018-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My favourite Atwood book Love this book. The story is amazing and one you could read over and over again. You would see something new each time it was read and it would capture you each time with it’s incredible tale.
Date published: 2018-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good! I've read this book a few times and each time I always pick up something new and I'm always surprised. I definitely recommend this book and check out the tv show!
Date published: 2018-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing Read Great book, always keeps you on your toes, surprises at every turn
Date published: 2018-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Read This A book like this won't have some spectacular ending that'll leave you wanting more, instead it's supposed to make you think and it does this by guiding you to draw comparisons from your own life to a world that is unimaginable.
Date published: 2018-05-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from interesting read interesting book and concept. Probably revolutionary when it came out.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting A fascinating look into a not-so-far-off future. where knowledge is frowned upon and mindlessness is valued. What we used to think was a society that seemed far-fetched, turns out to be closer to the truth than we think. If we're not careful, we might end up a society that burns books and finds thrills in the numbing chatter of television.
Date published: 2018-05-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ok I was very excited to finally read this book after all the wonderful things I had heard about it but I have to admit that this book was not nearly as good as what I had expected. By the way people were raving about, I could've sworn that it was gonna be some life changing experience but it wasn't. Instead, I found the book to be boring and kind of confusing. Definitely wouldn't pick up this book again.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from very good I listened to the special edition audiobook, with Claire Danes as narrator, I quite liked it. I think it’s my favourite audiobook so far, very disturbing and good. I found nick role smaller then I thought it would be listening to all the spoilers around.
Date published: 2018-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Daddy, what a good one Guy Montag is a fireman. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out.
Date published: 2018-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Kept me thinking the whole time I have never been crazy about Margaret Atwood; besides the first two books in the Madd Adam series I've always stayed away from her work. However, after hearing how great the TV show is I figured I should give the book a try before I watched it. I was SO surprised by how much I loved this book! It kept me thinking the entire time I was reading it; what is going on? how did it get to this? I couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from trash I thought that this book was over hyped but the plo was interesting
Date published: 2018-04-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thought provoking but nothing life changing Lots of people talk about this book as an 'essential' read, and while it is very thought provoking about the evolution of human societies, there are many other classic reads like 1984 or Brave New World that blow this out of the water
Date published: 2018-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Favourite book of all time Bradbury wrote it in fervour and passion and that comes across in the pages. A page turner and thought-provoking
Date published: 2018-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely terrifying Quite scary, I must admit. Gave me the heebyjeebies
Date published: 2018-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Must Read Very powerful insight on the knowledge that books can bring to one person, and the power of free will and choice.
Date published: 2018-03-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, terrifying This book was an amazing read, but also a terrifying portrayal of different societies’ oppression of women and control over their bodies.
Date published: 2018-03-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You've heard about it, and yes, it's worth the read. When I picked up Fahrenheit 451 and after reading the synopsis, I though, "Firemen who are paid to burn books? What blasphemy is this?!". So I skimmed through the beginning and couldn't put it down! This book is one of the very few I've read that kept me guessing. I had no idea what was coming next! The only thing I would say is a negative, is that some parts of the book are hard to follow. You need to rely on context and you're own imagination. Also the book is political and deals with topics that are very relevant to the going on's of today's society, so if you don't enjoy stories with a message, read at your own discretion. Overall, worth the read!
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best book ever The more you read it, the more you wonder how could Bradbury write such an accurate book 60 years ago. It is totally impressive how he managed to describe a reality full of predictions about how would the World be nowadays, he did that formidably!
Date published: 2018-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Classic Well written and thoughtful. This book is a classic.
Date published: 2018-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing This book left me speechless, I could not put it down. Definitely not a light read though, but everyone should read this at some point in their lives.
Date published: 2018-03-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good good overall but the lecture about books kills the story a bit
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Philosophically Perfect **taken from my Goodreads review** This was a really well-written novel and I can certainly see why it was (and still is) a very popular book. There's a lot to say about it, but, rather than linger on any specifics, I'd just like to give a broad idea of what really stood out to me about it and why I liked it so much: 1. The writing was very sophisticated, descriptive, poetic, and enjoyable You know how writing styles stick out for some writers but not for others? Well, Bradbury's writing style definitely sticks out, and, as an exposition to his writing, it definitely made me curious to read more. He has talent, as well as imagination. Honestly though, you need to read for yourself in order to determine what I mean by any high praise given to the writing--all of which it deserves. 2. This book is chock-full of philosophy in the best way possible Again, I myself can't describe this. But this is a book written way before its time, foreshadowing a lot of what remains true today. The timelessness of a book from 1953 still being relevant sixty-four years later is definitely something that gives a sense of how good and universal the philosophy is. Just read it. 3. The first few pages immediately draw you in This, for me, is a rare occurrence in literature, since even some of the best novels build up to something before any of it gets exciting. Maybe it's because the entire story takes place over the course of only 158 pages that each one is just dripping with intrigue and piques the reader's interest, but, in any case, it made for an excellent start-to-finish experience. 4. Some of the events are kind of predictable, but in a good way in which you're satisfied that what you expected to happen happened, and just adore the author more for making it that way No cliches, I promise you. In fact, not everyone might've guessed the events that took place (esp. at the end of Part II and beginning of Part III, which was the breakthrough for what my expectations were from the get-go), but for me, having read a select few novels in my time, I expected it. But, boy oh boy, was I sure satisfied with reading it! So...meets expectations in a superb way, is what I'd say, and not in that "pathetically predictable" manner that a lot of books sadly follow. 5. The world that the novel takes place in is just incredible and original Definitely inspired by Orwell, I would say. And while I detested the actual storyline of "1984" because I hated the protagonist a lot, I did think that the world that Orwell imagined was really interesting, and would have liked to see it in different context. With this novel, that's exactly what you get, as well as better characters (in similar roles as in "1984"--Montag as Winston, Mildred as Katharine, Clarisse as Julia, and Beatty as O'Brien). Overall, I highly recommend it as a read to anyone who's looking for something quick and captivating. 158 pages of pure genius, both in style and in idea--R.E.A.D. I.T.! (And don't worry, no one will come and smash down your door to burn it.)
Date published: 2018-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic for a Reason Fahrenheit 451 is a superb. Bradbury takes the question of "what if books were illegal?" and turns it into a gripping novel about isolation vs community, critical thought and what it means to lead a rich, fulfilling life.
Date published: 2018-02-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read One of the most interesting concepts I've read so far. Gives me a different aspect on technology and our influence by it.
Date published: 2018-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thank you Ms. Margaret Atwood, thank you for your genius mind. I feel like I should not even be attempting to review The Handmaid’s Tale. Atwood is beyond words. She is a fierce writer who can attract a reader deeply and intensely. You feel the book as your heart skips a beat. Your hands grab the pages as if you are about to rip them. Your eyes follow the lines rapidly and it is late and you need to get your sleep for the next day, but you cannot let it go.
Date published: 2018-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the hype Bought this a couple of weeks ago, read it in less than a week. Disturbing but addictive read....heard so much about the series on tv, thought I would read the book first. Interested to see how the show depicts these complicated characters.
Date published: 2018-02-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it then ... love it now Read this book when it was first written and was both horrified and captivated by it. Couldn't put it down. Picked it up again after seeing both the opera (don't bother with) and the HBO series (well done) and found it as good a read as I did thirty or so years ago!
Date published: 2018-01-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I couldn't put the book down! Well-written story! Once you start reading, you don't want to stop. It didn't disappoint. I love it!
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from True modern classic So glad I finally took the time to read this one. Not sure about the ending though.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic As he often does, Bradbury paints a horrid world not so distant from our own.
Date published: 2018-01-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Should be on everyone's list Not a light read by any stretch of the imagination, but one that everyone should read at some point. Thought-provoking and elegantly written.
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read!! A true classic and a must read for every book lover!
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic! One of Ray Bradbury best. Don't miss it.
Date published: 2018-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Classic. I remember reading the Handmaid's Tale in high school & falling in love. Recently purchased by own copy of the book and it's just as amazing as I remember it. Truly a modern classic.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book of literature This is a fantastic book, mandatory for all high school students.
Date published: 2018-01-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from There is a trend amongst these dystopian novels written by white authors While they're brilliant stories they're nothing new. It's almost as though white authors look at the history of slaves, the oppression of marginalized people, etc, repackage and sell to white audiences so they can digest it better and feel less guilty.
Date published: 2018-01-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Great Read! The story sucks you in! Disturbing and wonderfully written! One to read in front of the fire with a nice cup of something hot!
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from MUST Read This book should be mandatory for ALL to read. Just amazing. Once I started, I just couldn't put it down. There was a lot of hype around this book and it did not disappoint!
Date published: 2018-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 20th Century Literature at its BEST!!! A MUST READ and MUST OWN!!! Leaves an impact to value over a lifetime!
Date published: 2018-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read! I wasn't expecting to really enjoy this book, but I absolutely loved it. I wish it were longer. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Should Be Read By Everyone This book is one of the most incredible works of fiction I've ever read. Truly a modern classic. Everyone should read this. I love this edition of the book, it is my second favorite modern edition of this novel. The story and the writing is absolutely amazing. This is a modern classic that everyone should read. It gives you insight, makes you question the world around, it inspires you to think differently. Atwood is one of the most talented writers of time. After reading the book, and then watching the show based on it, I have a whole new appreciation for the delicate way she handles such a difficult and challenging world. It is innately real and inherently terrifying to realize that as she put it, she only writes about things that have already happened. And, this could very well happen, which adds a terrifying level of reality to this book. It can be difficult to read if you've experienced certain things or had to deal with certain things but it is still so worth the read if you can. The vast majority of people would have a hard time handling the content. But, it is as amazing as it is horrifying. So, I still highly recommend this book to everyone I can. Of course, I also recommend most of her books to people. So, read it.
Date published: 2017-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from On Fire Love this book. The movie was great too back in the day. Too bad shepard didn't do a cover for this one too as he did for Orwells.
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book I read this in class, and I have to say it was a really hard book to get into but the message the the reader was given at the end of the novel made it all worth it.
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from different and intriguing style of writing i really liked the unique story and character
Date published: 2017-12-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good 60th anniversary edition is a great gift for a book collector #plumreview
Date published: 2017-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent book one of the best books, definitely recommend it to everyone
Date published: 2017-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from CLASSIC A must read! First came across it in grade 10 (14 years ago) and haven't put it down since.
Date published: 2017-12-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing! I absolutely loved this book!
Date published: 2017-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye-opener I seriously cannot imagine a world without books. This book has opened my eyes about how important books are in the world and how much of an impact it can put on you and the world. Not going to lie, the way it was written was kind of confusing for me because of the 50's slang used but I truly enjoyed this book!
Date published: 2017-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Completely enthralling This book definitely lives up to the expectations. If you haven't read Atwood yet, this is the one to read!
Date published: 2017-12-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A World Without Books Can't imagine a world without books. In true dystopic fashion, Bradbury shows us what could become of a world that no longer saw books as a necessity. A more optimistic ending than other dystopic novels I've read. Very fast-paced and thoughtful.
Date published: 2017-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great dystopian read A book that make you go "Hmmmmm"
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great A literary and modern classic. The book did live up to its hype. Immersive storyline.
Date published: 2017-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic This is a classic book. Must read
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Beautifully Disturbing Treasure Such an amazing novel, by such an amazing writer!
Date published: 2017-11-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely AMAZING! I read it for my English ISU about dystopian societies and I loved it! Atwood is an excellent writer!
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Bought this in the spring, finally got to read it, definitely demonstrates what an excellent writer Atwood is, and I thoroughly enjoyed the dark plot.
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from nice edition of a vital CanLit classic nice edition of a vital CanLit classic
Date published: 2017-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Such a good book! For me this book lived up to its hype. I really enjoyed the story, and the way that it was written. It was
Date published: 2017-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fast paced I read Fahrenheit 451 as part of my 2017 Reading Challenge in the category of a banned book. It is very fast paced. You can really feel the urgency.
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Atwood is a great writer but I definately did not like the dark plot
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! A must read for many if only for its political commentary and social poignancy.
Date published: 2017-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Couldn't put this book down. Some say it is the female version of 1984. I highly recommend! Truly amazing story.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Atwood at her best Fantastic novel. A truly dystopian suggestion of what life would be like if women didn't have control of their reproduction. Atwood is a Canadian treasure, and her voice is a valued one. Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A true classic A superb concept to be appreciated and enjoyed by many generations to come.
Date published: 2017-10-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read! This was a really great read and it made you think a lot. I would have loved to see even more detail of this world though!
Date published: 2017-10-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from liked it grabbed this book after a friend recommended it to me. was not dissapointed
Date published: 2017-10-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Classic but still relevant!! A must read for everyone
Date published: 2017-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I read quite a bit over the last few days. The plot-twists left me shocked and confused in the best way. It left me thinking hard, pondering every detail of the book. I would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absorbing Before reading it, I thought the topic was a bit overdone (banning books a clique extreme to ne overanalyzed in school) but the execution was so well done that I ended up really enjoying this book. After reading this, I sought out more Bradbury novels to read and he quickly became a favourite. He is a staple being taught in school for a reason.
Date published: 2017-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I never knew this book existed until it was announced that there was going to be a television series. I obviously ran out and purchased the novel so I could get my hands onto the story before I watched it on television. The story was scary, gloomy, interesting, and sometimes infuriating, but a stellar read.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Important I first read this book in high school, and it always stuck with me. I recently purchased and was reminded how much this book influenced me. It's an important story that I think everyone should read at least once in their life. Truly an amazing, thought provoking, and impactful story.
Date published: 2017-10-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful book! Amazing plot! This book will keep you reading day and night, one of the finest!
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic I found it very dry in high school, but have since found a new appreciation for the book revisiting it.
Date published: 2017-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I love Margaret Atwood so I thought it was amazing!
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love the book even better than the TV show.
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Started watching the show so I decided to read the book, the book is so much better
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully, interesting tale A very interesting tale that is so relevant to the modern world. Really makes one think about what could easily happen to life today and how easily it appears that human rites and opportunities can be removed from people.
Date published: 2017-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read A great read, the tv show did a good job on there adaptation
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply Amazing! I had heard so much about this book and the new TV show, so I had high expectations when I started. It was more than I could have ever expected. So beautifully written, it was a pleasure to read.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting Read I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend! It was fascinating to read about this dystopian society that felt like it could become a reality.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting This was a very interesting book. It was short, enjoyable, and easy to read. I just wish that more about the world was explained. You as the reader don't really know what's going on. I wish there was more history given.
Date published: 2017-09-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Read, Great Themes! I read this book as part of a high school English project, and I'm quite glad that I picked it! This book was incredibly fascinating as there were so many mysteries within it. I had so many questions throughout the book, not all of which were answered, and I think that's part of the beauty of it. This book can be harder to get into at first, as it started off a bit confusing. However, as the story goes on, the reader develops a better sense of this dystopian society and can't help but continue reading it.
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic read! Couldn't put it down! Shocking but beautifully written.
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book I loved this book from start to finish. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Black Mirror of its Time... Read it in highschool and with the recent renewed interest, I wondered what took me so long. After all these years, it still has that near-future distopian uncomfortable feel. It was a book ahead of its time.
Date published: 2017-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty Good I've never been a fan of Atwood's writing, but the themes in this book are extremely relevant to today. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating and relevant Beautiful book! Margaret Atwood's finest, everyone should read (especially young people).
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Classic Timeless and always relevant, much like Orwell's books.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Everyone should read this book! I had heard excellent things about this book and they were right. Although you spend much of the book wondering what exactly is happening, when you do find out you are left astounded.
Date published: 2017-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating Read This book was originally written in 1985 but even today it is relevant.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Timeless Strong themes, especially for today. Do not read if pregnant.
Date published: 2017-09-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic Modern sci-fi classic. The political commentary is more relevant today than ever
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Atwood is Queen An amazing plot and of course turned into a fantastic Bravo series! Definitely a novel I will reread in the near future!
Date published: 2017-09-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Really good A wonderful read, highly enjoyable
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read This book is extremely captivating. It deals with real issues such as rape, patriarchy, end times, etc. I would highly recommend this book to young adults and adults. It has a science fiction vibe to it.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Margaret Atwood is my mom Amazing read, the after effects of reading a great Atwood novel is that she appears behind me chanting "male fantasies, male fantasies" every time I am reading a mediocre novel written by a male author. It does help my critique skills though.
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Classic In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury creates a world in which books and reading have become obsolete, and television reigns supreme. A must-read.
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting A heart wrenching plot with strong characters.
Date published: 2017-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good read. Well written. Good read. I found some chapters to be a bit slow paced, but overall a good book. Well written. Note: If you are a fan of the show and are looking to read the book after you have watched the series, I would not. The book is much different and it does not offer any insight to where the show left off season 1.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Boring beginning I have tried reading this novel more than once. I never make it past the beginning because I find it very boring.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of My New Favourites This book is bone-chilling and frighteningly topical. For some reason I had a preconceived idea that it would be a slow/dry read but I could not put it down! It's made its way into my list of favourite books.
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A master class in speculative dystopian fiction The Handmaid's Tale was on the syllabus for a dystopian literature class I took in college, and it was easily the best book I read that semester. Atwood is a remarkable storyteller and the novel is a compelling read from start to finish. What's more incredible is that it was written in the mid-1980s but its criticisms still ring true in today's society. Definitely worth reading and conducting some additional research into the debates about its themes.
Date published: 2017-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Read I couldn't put this book down and I'm sorry it took me this long to read it! It will be on my shelf to be reread in the future.
Date published: 2017-08-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from meh I started. I put it down, I never picked it up again. Its just slow
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Unexpected Tried to read other works by this author and couldn't get through them, but this one was interesting and I had to finish
Date published: 2017-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great and creepy read This will have you thinking about the world in a whole new way. A must read!
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Obviously Good ATWOOD? Of course it will be epic. And it was. Loved the story. It haunted my dreams a bit, but it was well worth it.
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from love it is so good and am waiting for the show to come on demand
Date published: 2017-08-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic. Had to read it for school. Loved it.
Date published: 2017-08-18

Read from the Book

1We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. The floor was of varnished wood, with stripes and circles painted on it, for the games that were formerly played there; the hoops for the basketball nets were still in place, though the nets were gone. A balcony ran around the room, for the spectators, and I thought I could smell, faintly like an afterimage, the pungent scent of sweat, shot through with the sweet taint of chewing gum and perfume from the watching girls, felt-skirted as I knew from pictures, later in miniskirts, then pants, then in one earring, spiky green-streaked hair. Dances would have been held there; the music lingered, a palimpsest of unheard sound, style upon style, an undercurrent of drums, a forlorn wail, garlands made of tissue-paper flowers, cardboard devils, a revolving ball of mirrors, powdering the dancers with a snow of light.There was old sex in the room and loneliness, and expectation, of something without a shape or name. I remember that yearning, for something that was always about to happen and was never the same as the hands that were on us there and then, in the small of the back, or out back, in the parking lot, or in the television room with the sound turned down and only the pictures flickering over lifting flesh.We yearned for the future. How did we learn it, that talent for insatiability? It was in the air; and it was still in the air, an afterthought, as we tried to sleep, in the army cots that had been set up in rows, with spaces between so we could not talk. We had flannelette sheets, like children's, and army-issue blankets, old ones that still said U.S. We folded our clothes neatly and laid them on the stools at the ends of the beds. The lights were turned down but not out. Aunt Sara and Aunt Elizabeth patrolled; they had electric cattle prods slung on thongs from their leather belts.No guns though, even they could not be trusted with guns. Guns were for the guards, specially picked from the Angels. The guards weren't allowed inside the building except when called, and we weren't allowed out, except for our walks, twice daily, two by two around the football field, which was enclosed now by a chain-link fence topped with barbed wire. The Angels stood outside it with their backs to us. They were objects of fear to us, but of something else as well. If only they would look. If only we could talk to them. Something could be exchanged, we thought, some deal made, some tradeoff, we still had our bodies. That was our fantasy.We learned to whisper almost without sound. In the semidarkness we could stretch out our arms, when the Aunts weren't looking, and touch each other's hands across space. We learned to lip-read, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other's mouths. In this way we exchanged names, from bed to bed:Alma. Janine. Dolores. Moira. June.IIShopping2A chair, a table, a lamp. Above, on the white ceiling, a relief ornament in the shape of a wreath, and in the center of it a blank space, plastered over, like the place in a face where the eye has been taken out. There must have been a chandelier, once. They've removed anything you could tie a rope to.A window, two white curtains. Under the window, a window seat with a little cushion. When the window is partly open--it only opens partly--the air can come in and make the curtains move. I can sit in the chair, or on the window seat, hands folded, and watch this. Sunlight comes in through the window too, and falls on the floor, which is made of wood, in narrow strips, highly polished. I can smell the polish. There's a rug on the floor, oval, of braided rags. This is the kind of touch they like: folk art, archaic, made by women, in their spare time, from things that have no further use. A return to traditional values. Waste not want not. I am not being wasted. Why do I want?On the wall above the chair, a picture, framed but with no glass: a print of flowers, blue irises, watercolor. Flowers are still allowed. Does each of us have the same print, the same chair, the same white curtains, I wonder? Government issue?Think of it as being in the army, said Aunt Lydia.A bed. Single, mattress medium-hard, covered with a flocked white spread. Nothing takes place in the bed but sleep; or no sleep. I try not to think too much. Like other things now, thought must be rationed. There's a lot that doesn't bear thinking about. Thinking can hurt your chances, and I intend to last. I know why there is no glass, in front of the watercolor picture of blue irises, and why the window opens only partly and why the glass in it is shatterproof. It isn't running away they're afraid of. We wouldn't get far. It's those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself, given a cutting edge.So. Apart from these details, this could be a college guest room, for the less distinguished visitors; or a room in a rooming house, of former times, for ladies in reduced circumstances. That is what we are now. The circumstances have been reduced; for those of us who still have circumstances.But a chair, sunlight, flowers: these are not to be dismissed. I am alive, I live, I breathe, I put my hand out, unfolded, into the sunlight. Where I am is not a prison but a privilege, as Aunt Lydia said, who was in love with either/or.The bell that measures time is ringing. Time here is measured by bells, as once in nunneries. As in a nunnery too, there are few mirrors.I get up out of the chair, advance my feet into the sunlight, in their red shoes, flat-heeled to save the spine and not for dancing. The red gloves are lying on the bed. I pick them up, pull them onto my hands, finger by finger. Everything except the wings around my face is red: the color of blood, which defines us. The skirt is ankle-length, full, gathered to a flat yoke that extends over the breasts, the sleeves are full. The white wings too are prescribed issue; they are to keep us from seeing, but also from being seen. I never looked good in red, it's not my color. I pick up the shopping basket, put it over my arm.The door of the room--not my room, I refuse to say my--is not locked. In fact it doesn't shut properly. I go out into the polished hallway, which has a runner down the center, dusty pink. Like a path through the forest, like a carpet for royalty, it shows me the way.The carpet bends and goes down the front staircase and I go with it, one hand on the banister, once a tree, turned in another century, rubbed to a warm gloss. Late Victorian, the house is, a family house, built for a large rich family. There's a grandfather clock in the hallway, which doles out time, and then the door to the motherly front sitting room, with its flesh tones and hints. A sitting room in which I never sit, but stand or kneel only. At the end of the hallway, above the front door, is a fanlight of colored glass: flowers, red and blue.There remains a mirror, on the hall wall. If I turn my head so that the white wings framing my face direct my vision towards it, I can see it as I go down the stairs, round, convex, a pier glass, like the eye of a fish, and myself in it like a distorted shadow, a parody of something, some fairy-tale figure in a red cloak, descending towards a moment of carelessness that is the same as danger. A Sister, dipped in blood.At the bottom of the stairs there's a hat-and-umbrella stand, the bentwood kind, long rounded rungs of wood curving gently up into hooks shaped like the opening fronds of a fern. There are several umbrellas in it: black, for the Commander, blue, for the Commander's Wife, and the one assigned to me, which is red. I leave the red umbrella where it is, because I know from the window that the day is sunny. I wonder whether or not the Commander's Wife is in the sitting room. She doesn't always sit. Sometimes I can hear her pacing back and forth, a heavy step and then a light one, and the soft tap of her cane on the dusty-rose carpet.I walk along the hallway, past the sitting room door and the door that leads into the dining room, and open the door at the end of the hall and go through into the kitchen. Here the smell is no longer of furniture polish. Rita is in here, standing at the kitchen table, which has a top of chipped white enamel. She's in her usual Martha's dress, which is dull green, like a surgeon's gown of the time before. The dress is much like mine in shape, long and concealing, but with a bib apron over it and without the white wings and the veil. She puts on the veil to go outside, but nobody much cares who sees the face of a Martha. Her sleeves are rolled to the elbow, showing her brown arms. She's making bread, throwing the loaves for the final brief kneading and then the shaping.Rita sees me and nods, whether in greeting or in simple acknowledgment of my presence it's hard to say, and wipes her floury hands on her apron and rummages in the kitchen drawer for the token book. Frowning, she tears out three tokens and hands them to me. Her face might be kindly if she would smile. But the frown isn't personal: it's the red dress she disapproves of, and what it stands for. She thinks I may be catching, like a disease or any form of bad luck.Sometimes I listen outside closed doors, a thing I never would have done in the time before. I don't listen long, because I don't want to be caught doing it. Once, though, I heard Rita say to Cora that she wouldn't debase herself like that.Nobody asking you, Cora said. Anyways, what could you do, supposing?Go to the Colonies, Rita said. They have the choice.With the Unwomen, and starve to death and Lord knows what all? said Cora. Catch you.They were shelling peas; even through the almost-closed door I could hear the light clink of the hard peas falling into the metal bowl. I heard Rita, a grunt or a sigh, of protest or agreement.Anyways, they're doing it for us all, said Cora, or so they say. If I hadn't of got my tubes tied, it could of been me, say I was ten years younger. It's not that bad. It's not what you'd call hard work.Better her than me, Rita said, and I opened the door. Their faces were the way women's faces are when they've been talking about you behind your back and they think you've heard: embarrassed, but also a little defiant, as if it were their right. That day, Cora was more pleasant to me than usual, Rita more surly.Today, despite Rita's closed face and pressed lips, I would like to stay here, in the kitchen. Cora might come in, from somewhere else in the house, carrying her bottle of lemon oil and her duster, and Rita would make coffee--in the houses of the Commanders there is still real coffee--and we would sit at Rita's kitchen table, which is not Rita's any more than my table is mine, and we would talk, about aches and pains, illnesses, our feet, our backs, all the different kinds of mischief that our bodies, like unruly children, can get into. We would nod our heads as punctuation to each other's voices, signaling that yes, we know all about it. We would exchange remedies and try to outdo each other in the recital of our physical miseries; gently we would complain, our voices soft and minor key and mournful as pigeons in the eaves troughs. I know what you mean, we'd say. Or, a quaint expression you sometimes hear, still, from older people: I hear where you're coming from, as if the voice itself were a traveler, arriving from a distant place. Which it would be, which it is.How I used to despise such talk. Now I long for it. At least it was talk. An exchange, of sorts.Or we would gossip. The Marthas know things, they talk among themselves, passing the unofficial news from house to house. Like me, they listen at doors, no doubt, and see things even with their eyes averted. I've heard them at it sometimes, caught whiffs of their private conversations. Stillborn, it was. Or, Stabbed her with a knitting needle, right in the belly. Jealousy, it must have been, eating her up. Or, tantalizingly, It was toilet cleaner she used. Worked like a charm, though you'd think he'd of tasted it. Must've been that drunk; but they found her out all right.Or I would help Rita make the bread, sinking my hands into that soft resistant warmth which is so much like flesh. I hunger to touch something, other than cloth or wood. I hunger to commit the act of touch.But even if I were to ask, even if I were to violate decorum to that extent, Rita would not allow it. She would be too afraid. The Marthas are not supposed to fraternize with us.Fraternize means to behave like a brother. Luke told me that. He said there was no corresponding word that meant to behave like a sister. Sororize, it would have to be, he said. From the Latin. He liked knowing about such details. The derivations of words, curious usages. I used to tease him about being pedantic.I take the tokens from Rita's outstretched hand. They have pictures on them, of the things they can be exchanged for: twelve eggs, a piece of cheese, a brown thing that's supposed to be a steak. I place them in the zippered pocket in my sleeve, where I keep my pass."Tell them fresh, for the eggs," she says. "Not like last time. And a chicken, tell them, not a hen. Tell them who it's for and then they won't mess around.""All right," I say. I don't smile. Why tempt her to friendship?3I go out by the back door, into the garden, which is large and tidy: a lawn in the middle, a willow, weeping catkins; around the edges, the flower borders, in which the daffodils are now fading and the tulips are opening their cups, spilling out color. The tulips are red, a darker crimson towards the stem, as if they have been cut and are beginning to heal there.This garden is the domain of the Commander's Wife. Looking out through my shatterproof window I've often seen her in it, her knees on a cushion, a light blue veil thrown over her wide gardening hat, a basket at her side with shears in it and pieces of string for tying the flowers into place. A Guardian detailed to the Commander does the heavy digging; the Commander's Wife directs, pointing with her stick. Many of the Wives have such gardens, it's something for them to order and maintain and care for.I once had a garden. I can remember the smell of the turned earth, the plump shapes of bulbs held in the hands, fullness, the dry rustle of seeds through the fingers. Time could pass more swiftly that way. Sometimes the Commander's Wife has a chair brought out, and just sits in it, in her garden. From a distance it looks like peace.She isn't here now, and I start to wonder where she is: I don't like to come upon the Commander's Wife unexpectedly. Perhaps she's sewing, in the sitting room, with her left foot on the footstool, because of her arthritis. Or knitting scarves, for the Angels at the front lines. I can hardly believe the Angels have a need for such scarves; anyway, the ones made by the Commander's Wife are too elaborate. She doesn't bother with the cross-and-star pattern used by many of the other Wives, it's not a challenge. Fir trees march across the ends of her scarves, or eagles, or stiff humanoid figures, boy and girl, boy and girl. They aren't scarves for grown men but for children.

Editorial Reviews

“A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex...just as the world of Orwell’s 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood’s handmaid!” Washington Post Book World"Margaret Atwood's novels tickle our deepest sexual and psychological fears. The Handmaid's Tale is a sly and beautifully crafted story about the fate of an ordinary woman caught off guard by extraordinary events.... A compelling fable of our time." Glamour"This visionary novel, in which God and Government are joined, and America is run as a Puritanical Theocracy, can be read as a companion volume to Orwell's 1984--its verso, in fact. It gives you the same degree of chill, even as it suggests the varieties of tyrannical experience; it evokes the same kind of horror even as its mordant wit makes you smile." E. L. Doctorow