Book Reviews of The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin
The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
ISBN-13: 9780385475723
ISBN-10: 0385475721
Publication Date: 9/5/2000
Pages: 544
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 62

3.9 stars, based on 62 ratings
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

63 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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 + 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
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 + 100 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Excellent book! Little slow in the middle but keep reading, it's worth it. The prose is beautiful.
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!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Three stories in one book. Somewhat heavy in terms of the themes and storyline. Atwood's stories are subtle and hold the reader's attention very well as she blends them together. Throughout the book we look through the female perspective, a trademark of Atwood's works.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
Helpful Score: 1
The kind of book you can't wait to finish because you want to see how it turns out, and then you spend the next day or two re-reading certain parts. Superb storytelling.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 216 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Unusual story, worth reading.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. A classic Margaret Atwood! I'll bet you love it too!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was such a lovely, dreamy read. Highly recommended!!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The Booker Prize-winning sensation from the incomparable Margaret Atwood - a novel that combines elements of gothic drama, romantice suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding narrative.

The Bline Assasin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris Chase Griffen, sole surviving descendant of a once rich and influential Ontario family, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 os fp;;pwed bu am omqiest 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 Assassi, it is a science fiction story improvised by two unamed 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 distinguised industrialist.

What makes this novel the author's strongest and most profoundly entertaining is the way in which the three wonderfully rich stories weave together, gradually revealing through teir interplay the secrets surrounding the entire chase family - and most particulary the fascinating and tangled lies of the two sisters. The Blind Assasin is a brilliant and entralling book by a writed at the top of her form.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was a great read.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
SLOW GOING - not sure why everyone thinks this is such a great book. It plods along, and the characters were not easy to get along with.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was good, but an extremely slow read for me. It took me about 2 months to get through. I couldn't just pick it up and read it just whenever, I had to be able to have quiet so I could concentrate on it to really get anything from it. But don't get me wrong- it was a very interesting story.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful Atwood has class and verve, works magic with words a natural story teller.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is an amazing book- focusing on the lives of two sisters who grow up priveliged and then the war comes and everything changes. Highly recommended.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoy Atwood, and I loved the characters and their interrelationships here. I especially enjoyed the sideplot with the outlandish science fiction story running through it. I found that very Ursula K. LeGuin.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 31 more book reviews
Unusal story
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
The author's style in this book took me a while to get used to, but once you figure out which of the 3 stories is which, it's really very well done. An interesting read, for sure.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 281 more book reviews
Perhaps the reviews printed on the cover misled me and I expected too much, but overall I was disappointed in this book. It was well-written, but the characters did not interest me. The ending was predictable yet still somehow satisfying. Definite mixed feelings about recommending this book.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 66 more book reviews
This book won the "Booker Prize" for Margaret Atwood. It is a novel that combines elements of gothic drama, romantic suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding narrative.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 47 more book reviews
"Combined elements of gothic drama, romantic suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding narrative."
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
(from back)

The Booker Prize-winning sensation from the incomparable Margaret Atwood--a novel that combines elements of gothic drama, romantic suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding narrative.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 14 more book reviews
Amazon.com
The Blind Assassin is a tale of two sisters, one of whom dies under ambiguous circumstances in the opening pages. The survivor, Iris Chase Griffen, initially seems a little cold-blooded about this death in the family. But as Margaret Atwood's most ambitious work unfolds--a tricky process, in fact, with several nested narratives and even an entire novel-within-a-novel--we're reminded of just how complicated the familial game of hide-and-seek can be
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 29 more book reviews
Great book.Three stories in a story . Great timepiece centering around sisters,a lover, rough marriage, manipulation. Had a very hard time putting it down.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
A story within a story, within a story.

This book is ideal for someone looking for an intricate and sophisticated love story.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 48 more book reviews
Nicely done; three story lines interweaved.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
This book has three story lines that are woven together very well. Atwood is one of my favorite authors, and she did not disappoint me this time. I especially liked the ending, which was unexpected!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 12 more book reviews
I had a hard time getting into the story - stories actually. It is really two stories being told at the same time. It bounced back and forth too much for my interest.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 5 more book reviews
Another great Atwood.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 10 more book reviews
Another personal favorite. I just read this one this past Spring and loved it. It keeps you entertained and gripped to the storyline.
Tells the story of two sisters growing up in Ticonderoga, Canada before WWI. One sister kills herself by driving her car over a cliff and the other sister is left to pick up the pieces and unravel the mystery of her Sister's death.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
Excellent story.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 133 more book reviews
A mesmerizing story combining gothic drama and romantic suspense. Margaret Atwood has written a fascinating novel about the tangled lives of two sisters. Brilliant!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 100 more book reviews
Very well read by Margot Dionne. Good story.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 216 more book reviews
Very interesting read, alternating between the story of one sister's death and the novel she has written.

From Amazon.com
The Blind Assassin is a tale of two sisters, one of whom dies under ambiguous circumstances in the opening pages. The survivor, Iris Chase Griffen, initially seems a little cold-blooded about this death in the family. But as Margaret Atwood's most ambitious work unfolds--a tricky process, in fact, with several nested narratives and even an entire novel-within-a-novel--we're reminded of just how complicated the familial game of hide-and-seek can be:

What had she been thinking of as the car sailed off the bridge, then hung suspended in the afternoon sunlight, glinting like a dragonfly, for that one instant of held breath before the plummet? Of Alex, of Richard, of bad faith, of our father and his wreckage; of God, perhaps, and her fatal, triangular bargain.

Meanwhile, Atwood immediately launches into an excerpt from Laura Chase's novel, The Blind Assassin, posthumously published in 1947. In this double-decker concoction, a wealthy woman dabbles in blue-collar passion, even as her lover regales her with a series of science-fictional parables. Complicated? You bet. But the author puts all this variegation to good use, taking expert measure of our capacity for self-delusion and complicity, not to mention desolation. Almost everybody in her sprawling narrative manages to--or prefers to--overlook what's in plain sight. And memory isn't much of a salve either, as Iris points out: "Nothing is more difficult than to understand the dead, I've found; but nothing is more dangerous than to ignore them." Yet Atwood never succumbs to postmodern cynicism, or modish contempt for her characters. On the contrary, she's capable of great tenderness, and as we immerse ourselves in Iris's spliced-in memoir, it's clear that this buttoned-up socialite has been anything but blind to the chaos surrounding her.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 7 more book reviews
This was one of the best books I've ever read.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 3 more book reviews
Very good read
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 2 more book reviews
Absolute loved it. Well-written, and convincing.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 57 more book reviews
A fairly interesting story, but WAAAAAAY drawn out.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 19 more book reviews
Atwood is a remarkable storyteller. She weaves words into a beautiful tapestry with intricate patterns and hidden threads. There are two interwoven tales in The Blind Assassin, maybe even three, depending on how you look at it. It took me a while to work through it, Atwood does not write lightly, but I was glad I stuck with it.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 26 more book reviews
"Grand storytelling on a grand scale....Sheerly enjoyable." --The Washington Post Book World

"Absorbing....Expertly rendered....Virtuosic storytelling." --The New York Times

From the back cover:

The Booker Prize-winning selection from the incomparable Margaret Atwood--a novel that combines elements of gothic drama, romantic suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding narrative.

The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris Chase Griffen, sole surviving descendant of a once rich and influential Ontario family, whose terse account of her sister'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 improvised 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.

What makes this novel Margaret Atwood's strongest and most profoundly entertaining is the way in which the 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 brillant and enthralling book by a writer at the top of her form.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 153 more book reviews
UNABRIDGED, 18 HOURS

I almost gave up on this book because I found the beginning too slow and convoluted, but I stuck with it and by the end, I couldn't stop listening to it.

Yes, there are times that Atwood is too in love with her own words and goes on and on, over-stuffing the prose with far too many similes. I doubt if I would have READ the print version, but the narrator did such a marvelous job that I enjoyed just listening to her read, and appreciated most of Atwood's language.

The story itself is interesting, with stories within stories and several well developed characters, with an ending that may or may not surprise you, but is very satisfying.

By the way, ignore the "tags" someone put on this book that describe the box and the tapes. Some people still don't understand that those comments don't necessarily apply to the book being offered!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
Excellent. I thought I saw the ending coming, and then I didn't and then I did. Listened to it while treadmilling
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 51 more book reviews
A story within a story... and both are great!
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 24 more book reviews
Disparate threads woven into a story with great skill.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 12 more book reviews
Loved the book
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
VERY good. Another great Atwood story-within-a-story. Full characters, interesting setting, and sexy! I think this will be my favorite book this year.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 9 more book reviews
I love Margaret Atwood but really couldn't get into this one.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 13 more book reviews
I liked the way it jumped back and forth between the stories and the way they became one.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on
I loved this story- it crept up on me and soon I was engrossed
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 72 more book reviews
wonderfully complicated as atwood always is and well worth reading... two books in one really
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 4 more book reviews
Winner of the Booker Prize , the book weaves 3 stories of the Chase family together into one.

"Absorbing...Expertly rendered...virtuosic storytelling."--The New York Times
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 25 more book reviews
Good storytelling. Provoked thoughtful discussion in mature woman's book discussion group. Not really sci-fi; classified accurately as Fiction/Literature.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 30 more book reviews
Really. I was supposed to read this book for my book club and got to page 168 and just decided to skip it. Margaret Atwood writes beautifully, she is a gorgeous wordsmith, but the story? Ack. I'd rather spit up a hairball.
I really wanted to like this book but instead it has wound up on the very short list of books throughout my life that I simply couldn't finish.
Oh yeah, and if anyone wants my copy, don't say I didn't warn you.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 66 more book reviews
Atwood unpeals the story like an onion. Slowly she reveals what is happening, yet keeps the reader guessing what the truth is with subtle clues woven into the chapters.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 13 more book reviews
I read it for book club. Twists and turns, I never could get into it.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 3 more book reviews
This book won the Booker Prize and is extremely absorbing.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 203 more book reviews
I absolutely detested the characters in this book. I don't see how anyone could care for the "oh woe is me, I'm a poor little rich girl and so misunderstood" story.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 8 more book reviews
sister is pitted against sister to find love
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 23 more book reviews
Winner of the Booker Prize.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 13 more book reviews
I couldn't get into the book. It's not my style.
reviewed The Blind Assassin on + 404 more book reviews
Best seller. I did not read.
Note: All my books are first registered at bookcrossing.com and bear stickers inside with BC number.