“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

3/5 stars

I started this classic once before but got distracted and didn’t pick it up again for a couple of years. I admit, the only reason I tried reading it again is because Hulu is producing a TV series based on this book (premiering this month on the 26th).


Image taken from Goodreads.com

One of my favorite genres is dystopian and the last couple years have proved difficult to find an original novel in this category. Although this book was published in 1985, the social issues are still relevant and presented in a unique manner.

With the recent rise in feminism, I think a lot of people are sick of this book and its viewpoints. Men are tired of being told they are sexist pigs while women are fighting to be valued as more than objects of sex. This book exaggerates both of these concepts, showcasing that both sexes are more than their stereotype.

My problems lay in the writing style though, not the world-building.

Atwood uses run-on sentences. On more than one occasion I was lost in a sentence, just waiting for it to end so I could move on. She doesn’t use quotations all the time, but this is to help the reader distinguish between past and present.

The thing that annoyed me the most is the lack of plot. I loved reading about the world and its customs, but the entire time I was waiting for something to happen and it didn’t until the last couple of pages. It was unfulfilling to connect with a character, and then just be left hanging.

The plot also had holes in it. Some things in the world just don’t make sense. One example is if this culture fears infertility and declining birthrates, wouldn’t free sex be encouraged rather than abolished? Also, how is it possible this world came to be?

Despite these problems, I still recommend that everyone read this book once in their life. Whether you agree or disagree with the viewpoints in this novel, the goal is to get you fired up, and it definitely accomplishes that.


4 thoughts on ““The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

  1. rachel says:

    Great review, I completely agree with this (even a bit more critically, I think I gave it 2 stars). It’s such an important book thematically, but I found the prose to be ridiculously frustrating, and I hated how much information was deliberately kept from the reader. I was also left with too many questions to have found it a particularly fulfilling read. I really wanted to love it, but definitely struggled with it.


    • taradactylll says:

      So glad you agree! Like you said, I wanted to love it and immediately after reading it, I thought I did. Then I actually thought about it from a critical perspective and it was just very underdeveloped. Hope you have a great day Rachel!

      Liked by 1 person

      • rachel says:

        Same here. I felt a bit let down given how much everyone else loves it, and at first I felt like I must be missing something. But it was a really frustrating reading experience, and I agree, I found it rather underdeveloped.

        And thank you, you as well!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s