The Handmaid's Tale

Hardcover, 311 pages

English language

Published Aug. 14, 1986 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ISBN:
9780395404256
OCLC Number:
12558693

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (35 reviews)

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 โ€ฆ

40 editions

The Handmaid's Tale

4 stars

The Republic of Gilead is a military regime based on fundamentalist Christian values. There's no place for freedom, for choice, for self determination. Women in particular have been stripped of all their rights and are divided into castes. The narrator and main character, Offred, is a Handmaid and her only function is to breed. This is a very good novel, and a pretty scary one, considering how the rights of women, particularly reproductive rights, are constantly under attack by the religious fundamentalists and right-wing politicians. The dystopian society depicted in this book is far too plausible, at least in some of its elements...

Review of "The Handmaid's Tale" on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

Started off a little slow.... but the book really grabbed me about halfway through. I think I read the last 150 pages of the book in one sitting. Really interesting exploration of mono-theocracies and the social implications they bring. Not quite sci-fi, but definitely dystopian. I really enjoyed piecing together the new world of 'Gilead' based upon the bits of information Offred knew. Very unique twist to the 1984 and Brave New World versions of the future we've seen over and over again.

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Subjects

  • Man-woman relationships
  • Misogyny
  • Fiction
  • Women