The Handmaid's Tale
February 17, 1986  /  324 pages  /  Fiction
Book of
the Week
The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

B
A
B
C
D
F
Writing Quality
Originality
Addictiveness
Re-readability
Movie Potential
Sequel Potential
My Rating
Major Themesautofill
Minor Themes
Fiction
Nonfiction
Writing Quality
Originality
Addictiveness
Re-readability
Movie Potential
Sequel Potential
Review  (optional)500 left
started
Month
Day
Year
finished
Month
Day
Year
Save Rating
Title
Author
Release Date
Page Count
Genre
Fiction
Nonfiction
Series
   # 
Cover Image
(Must be JPEG and less than 1 MB)
Synopsis