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The Blind Assassin

A book by Margaret Atwood

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A Good Novel, Despite Some Flaws

  • Apr 16, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+4
The Blind Assassin is definitely worth reading but I did  not love it.
 
The story of Iris and Laura Chase is a rather sad one and in many ways pathetic. The characters are well drawn but they are all - including Iris, the narrator of the story, rather shallow (the characters themselves -- not the writing of them.) Iris, in the later stages of her life does become a more substantive person -- but too late. The novel is really her apologia for what she didn't do in her life, especially for sister and daughter.

The novel is well paced and there are many foreshadowings, if you pay close attention, that will clue the reader in to what would otherwise be a real kicker in the end. The "novel" within the novel worked well too, although I wonder if a more straightforward narrative approach wouldn't have worked better in telling the story.

I found "The Blind Assassin" -- the novel embedded in the story, rather repetitive -- it was the same scene and happenings over and over again. In some ways that was the point, but it bogged down the flow the events. But overall a definite thumbs up.

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April 16, 2009
The sci-fi aspect embedded in Blind Assassin was much more digestible than the romance story in her earlier work, The Edible Woman. ...which I found skipping over parts of. But Blind Assassin's sci fi portion is woven in quite nicely. In fact, Blind Assassin is almost like reading three novels with one book. Have you read Oryx & Crake?
April 16, 2009
Yes, I read Oryx & Crake...I have mixed feelings about it. Good topic but Atwood tends to an author who overwrites and tries to be a little too clever at times.
April 16, 2009
Aww... perhaps she is clever, but she does have a knack for creating a whole legacy of person's life in one book -- such as the protagonist in Cat's Eye.
 
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More The Blind Assassin reviews
Quick Tip by . July 15, 2010
This is a great read bu tdon't try to figure out the ending. You won't. be able to guess. It is one that you cannot read twice though as once you have gotten to the end, you cannot be shocked again.
About this book

Wiki

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, ...
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Details

ISBN-10: 0385475721
ISBN-13: 978-0385475723
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: Nan A. Talese; 1 edition (September 5, 2000)
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