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The Blind Assassin
The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Winner of the Booker Prize 2000, The Blind Assassin is a spellbinding novel that spans the decades between the First World War and the present, offering the sweep of an epic and the intimate focus of a family drama. — For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind ...  more », she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious.

The novel 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 1945 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 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.

Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience. The novel has many threads and a series of events that follow one another at a breathtaking pace. As everything comes together, readers will discover that the story Atwood is telling is not only what it seems to be—but, in fact, much more.
ISBN-13: 9781860498800
ISBN-10: 1860498809
Publication Date: 9/3/2001
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 33

4 stars, based on 33 ratings
Publisher: Time Warner Books Uk
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I just loved this book. There were times when it seemed it might get a little hard to follow, since, as many of the reviewers have noted, it really is (at least) 3 stories wound together. At first it may not seem clear what Atwood is getting at by intertwining these very different stories, particularly the science fiction-y one, but eventually I came to understand that each of the disparate pieces shed light on each other, and especially on the narrator. Without giving too much away - since part of what made the book so spellbinding was the various twists and revelations - I would say this is a classic example of an "unreliable narrator" story. The narrator is initially pretty unlikable, but as the story unfolds, you become aware of the events that have shaped her into what she is. I think I remember that the book started out a bit slow, but by the end, I was eating it up and trying hard to resist flipping to the last page. A wonderful book, beautifully written, and very unique. I would highly recommend it to book clubs, too, as I think people could have many different takes on what happens, and what they think of the various characters. I could see how some people might lose patience with it, but for me, it ended up being one of the best books I've read in awhile.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
In The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood presents her readers with a novel-within-a-novelor, more accurately, a story told within a novel within a novel. This complex interweaving of multiple narratives draws the reader forward through a dramatic and turbulent tale of love, betrayal, and death, while simultaneously using its structural puzzles to reconsider the act of storytelling itself. The effect is mesmerizing.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
Helpful Score: 4
This novel is considered Atwood's strongest and most profoundly entertaining work, in which three wonderfully rich stories weave together, gradually revealing through their interplay the secrets surrounding the entire Chase family -- and most particularly the fascinating and tangled lives of the two sisters. The Blind Assassin is a brilliant and enthralling book by a writer at the top of her form.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is a very unusual book. It is 3 plot lines woven into a single story. Plus there is a science fiction story to boot. It kept switching between modern times and the 30's and 40's. You would think it would get tiresome but it really was easy to stay attached. I really enjoyed the mystery of it. You really weren't sure of the outcome until right up to the very end. Hints were dropped throughout the book. But you still weren't sure. She was very good at weaving history into it too. It was a nice relaxing read.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 232 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I tredged through the first 1/4th and finally gave up. I guess the writting was good but I could care less about the people. What a bore, had to quit because life is too short!
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