The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin

Book - 2001
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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Handmaid's Tale

WINNER OF THE BOOKER PRIZE

In The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood weaves together strands of gothic suspense, romance, and science fiction into one utterly spellbinding narrative. The novel begins with the mysterious death--a possible suicide--of a young woman named Laura Chase in 1945. Decades later, Laura's sister Iris recounts her memories of their childhood, and of the dramatic deaths that have punctuated their wealthy, eccentric family's history. Intertwined with Iris's account are chapters from the scandalous novel that made Laura famous, in which two illicit lovers amuse each other by spinning a tale of a blind killer on a distant planet. These richly layered stories-within-stories gradually illuminate the secrets that have long haunted the Chase family, coming together in a brilliant and astonishing final twist.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2001, c2000
Edition: 1st pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780385720953
0385720955
Characteristics: 521 p. ; 20 cm

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Leafpeeper May 20, 2018

This is the book for those who appreciate descriptive writing and unpredictable plots. Word choice is flawless. Questions linger until the absolute end.

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LadyDi52
Mar 02, 2018

I was disappointed in the plodding pace of this book, it reminded me a lot of Alice Hoffman's family tree style of writing. Set in small town Ontario, maybe if you're from a place like that you might enjoy it, but it didn't live up to the "fascinating" reviews it has been given.

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fpsutka
Nov 07, 2017

I found it confusing a first but once I figured out that the story was flipping back and forth in time I got into it! It really is a novel within a novel!

d
darcyhudjik
Jul 12, 2017

Awesome characters and an intriguing plot by Atwood.

s
SarahDormat
Dec 28, 2016

It's a slow burn, but it's really worth sticking with this book to the end. I ended up loving it.

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notacentaur
Jun 20, 2016

Absolutely my favorite book by Ms. Atwood.

m
martha_w
Dec 01, 2015

This is going to sound flip, and I don't mean it to, but: you know the emoji with the heart eyes? That was me, the entire time I was reading this spectacular book. It's just as feminist as Atwood's other works like "The Handmaid's Tale", but in a different and more subtle way. It is a delicate balancing act of a book, featuring a story within a story within a story (phew!), as well as an intriguing puzzle at its heart. The further readers venture into the book, the more they realize that they don't know about the book, and they come to realize that key assumptions they made are wrong. It's a heartbreaking book, and the two women at its heart -- sisters Iris and Laura -- are not always likable. They lead hard lives in which awful things happen to them, and this is because they are women born into a society at a time when women were expected to be merely decorative objects and nothing more. And yet, the book is still not entirely bleak -- it's sad, and the ending isn't happy, but it feels too meaningful and insightful to be written off as merely a depressing read. The writing is beautiful -- there were passages I read multiple times, just to savor them -- and the characterization is so razor sharp and insightful that I half-expected the characters to leap off the page and into the real world and start speaking to me. It's an incredible, beautiful gem of a book, and it deserves the Booker Prize that it won, and every other word of praise that came its way. Reading this was one of the most moving reading experiences I've had all year. A difficult, challenging read -- but worth it, more so than I can possibly express. It's one of those books that makes you feel privileged, as a reader, to get to experience the joy of reading it. Lovely from start to finish.

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LaurenNagel
Jun 30, 2015

Book Club 8/26/15

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Eosos
Jun 05, 2014

Somehow I always find my favorite books the hardest to write reviews on. I don’t want to gush but there are no negatives to discuss.
The story isn’t fast or action packed, it lets one woman tell the story of her life in a calm and ordinary way. Stories within stories create an interesting flavour to the tale. Retrospection and thoughtfulness rule the story while you slowly learn of her sister and parents and lover and husband.
I absolutely adored this book, from characters to setting and everything in between. Atwood has such a fabulous way with words that I want to savour all of them.

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finn75
May 31, 2013

Loved this book of a woman looking back at her past and her relationship with her much more glamorous sister. Great twist.

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SPL_STARR Jun 16, 2015

"Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge."

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