Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

This week’s classic is Margaret Atwood’s 1985 classic about the creepiest possible future imaginable: The Handmaid’s tale. There’s a new TV series coming up based on this, so might be worth checking out.

Set in a not-too-distant future, Atwood has conjured an image of the future that is frightening because it seems all too plausible: religious nuts (the Christian variety rather than Muslim) have overthrown the government, and replaced the social order with some weird new set up, where women have almost no value, and everyone spies on everyone else. To top it all off most men are sterile, so there’s a whole class of women who are kept just for the purpose of breeding.

See what I mean? Creepy, right?

Atwood is some writer – managing to make this world both harrowing and hilarious. Like when there is so little freedom in the future just playing scrabble is the a massive act of rebellion:

Handmaids Tale Quote

Context is all indeed.

I can’t recommend this book enough. You’ll love it.

So what do you think? Have you read it? Did you like it? Would you recommend it?

Let me know in the comments!


Oh, one more thing. I borrowed this book from a friend at work, who bought it with a postcard of an Alsatian. On the back of the postcard is this inscription:

Zelda says, “What a dog!”

Which is just marvellous, right?


8 thoughts on “Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

  1. I actually studied this for my final year of highschool english. We read the entire novel out loud and ugh, you can only imagine the awkwardness when we read through the baby-making scene 😦 but great novel! Planning to return to it sometime this year

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you enjoy this novel, I recommend reading Suzy McKee Charnas’ Walk to the End of the World (1974) — written a decade earlier. Similar premise although Charnas takes it in different directions… A fixation of cultural memory, song as rebellion, song as force of social oppression. I wish Charnas’ novel had a larger readership…. desperately…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This has been on my bookshelf for years and I continually pass it over. I feel like a terrible Canadian in that I have never read a Margaret Atwood novel, but The Handmaid’s Tale is now top of my (way too big) TBR pile.

    Liked by 1 person

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