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The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale Description:

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 valued only if their ovaries are viable Offred can remember the years 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

Rating: 3.74 out of 5

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)

Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) Description:

b Oryx and Crake b is at once an unforgettable love story and a compelling vision of the future Snowman known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human and mourning the loss of his best friend Crake and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved In search of answers Snowman embarks on a journey with the help of the green eyed Children of Crake through the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining

Rating: 3.40 out of 5

The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin Description:

Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clich s of the s and s The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience br br It opens with these simple resonant words Ten days after the war ended my sister drove a car off the bridge They are spoken by Iris whose terse account of her sister Laura s death in is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura s story Atwood introduces a novel within a novel Entitled The Blind Assassin it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms When we return to Iris it is through a newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband a distinguished industrialist br br For the past twenty five years Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination In The Blind Assassin she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious The Blind Assassin proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented daring and exciting writers of our time Like The Handmaid s Tale it is destined to become a classic

Rating: 3.79 out of 5

The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2)

The Year of the Flood  (MaddAddam, #2) Description:

The times and species have been changing at a rapid rate and the social compact is wearing as thin as environmental stability Adam One the kindly leader of the God s Gardeners a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it Now it has occurred obliterating most human life Two women have survived Ren a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high end sex club Scales and Tails and Toby a God s Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible br br Have others survived Ren s bioartist friend Amanda Zeb her eco fighter stepfather Her onetime lover Jimmy Or the murderous Painballers survivors of the mutual elimination Painball prison Not to mention the shadowy corrupt policing force of the ruling powers br br Meanwhile gene spliced life forms are proliferating the lion lamb blends the Mo hair sheep with human hair the pigs with human brain tissue As Adam One and his intrepid hemp clad band make their way through this strange new world Ren and Toby will have to decide on their next move They can t stay locked away br br By turns dark tender violent thoughtful and uneasily hilarious The Year of the Flood is Atwood at her most brilliant and inventive

Rating: 3.30 out of 5

Alias Grace

Alias Grace Description:

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery his housekeeper and mistress Some believe Grace is innocent others think her evil or insane Now serving a life sentence Grace claims to have no memory of the murders br br Dr Simon Jordan an up and coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories Is Grace a female fiend A bloodthirsty femme fatale Or is she the victim of circumstances

Rating: 3.26 out of 5

Cat's Eye

Cat's Eye Description:

Cat s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley a controversial painter who returns to Toronto the city of her youth for a retrospective of her art Engulfed by vivid images of the past she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship longing and betrayal Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter a lover and artist and woman but above all she must seek release from her haunting memories Disturbing hilarious and compassionate Cat s Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knots of her life

Rating: 3.73 out of 5

MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3)

MaddAddam (MaddAddam, #3) Description:

A man made plague has swept the earth but a small group survives along with the green eyed Crakers a gentle species bio engineered to replace humans Toby onetime member of the Gods Gardeners and expert in mushrooms and bees is still in love with street smart Zeb who has an interesting past The Crakers reluctant prophet Snowman the Jimmy is hallucinating Amanda is in shock from a Painballer attack and Ivory Bill yearns for the provocative Swift Fox who is flirting with Zeb Meanwhile giant Pigoons and malevolent Painballers threaten to attack br br Told with wit dizzying imagination and dark humour Booker Prize winning Margaret Atwood s unpredictable chilling and hilarious MaddAddam takes us further into a challenging dystopian world and holds up a skewed mirror to our own possible future

Rating: 3.34 out of 5

The Robber Bride

The Robber Bride Description:

Margaret Atwood s i The Robber Bride i is inspired by The Robber Bridegroom a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them one by one But in her version Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia a villainess of demonic proportions and sets her loose in the lives of three friends Tony Charis and Roz All three have lost men spirit money and time to their old college acquaintance Zenia At various times and in various emotional disguises Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them To Tony who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career Zenia is a lurking enemy commando To Roz who did lose her husband and almost her magazine Zenia is a cold and treacherous bitch To Charis who lost a boyfriend quarts of vegetable juice and some pet chickens Zenia is a kind of zombie maybe soulless Lorrie Moore i New York Times Book Review i In love and war illusion and deceit Zenia s subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies pasts

Rating: 3.33 out of 5

The Heart Goes Last

The Heart Goes Last Description:

Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid s Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin br br Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse Job loss has forced them to live in their car leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs They desperately need to turn their situation around and fast The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable clean house to live in for six months out of the year On alternating months residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system Once their month of service in the prison is completed they can return to their civilian homes br br At first this doesn t seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one s head and food to eat But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison a series of troubling events unfolds putting Stan s life in danger With each passing day Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled

Rating: 3.46 out of 5

The Penelopiad

The Penelopiad Description:

b Now that all the others have run out of air it s my turn to do a little story making b p In Homer s account in i The Odyssey i Penelope wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife her story a salutary lesson through the ages Left alone for twenty years when Odysseus goes off to fight in the Trojan War after the abduction of Helen Penelope manages in the face of scandalous rumors to maintain the kingdom of Ithaca bring up her wayward son and keep over a hundred suitors at bay simultaneously When Odysseus finally comes home after enduring hardships overcoming monsters and sleeping with goddesses he kills her suitors and curiously twelve of her maids p p In a splendid contemporary twist to the ancient story Margaret Atwood has chosen to give the telling of it to Penelope and to her twelve hanged maids asking What led to the hanging of the maids and what was Penelope i really i up to In Atwood s dazzling playful retelling the story becomes as wise and compassionate as it is haunting and as wildly entertaining as it is disturbing With wit and verve drawing on the story telling and poetic talent for which she herself is renowned she gives Penelope new life and reality and sets out to provide an answer to an ancient mystery p

Rating: 3.62 out of 5