Read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood Online

The Handmaid's Tale

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Hand...

Title : The Handmaid's Tale
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Number of Pages : 311 pages
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The Handmaid's Tale Reviews

  • Samadrita

    Consider this not a ground-breaking work of literature. Consider this not a piece of fiction boasting an avant-garde mode of narration.

    Consider it not a commentary on the concept of subjugation of the weak by the ones holding the reins. Consider it not a thinly veiled feminist diatribe either.

    Instead, consider The Handmaid's Tale an almost physical experience. Consider Margaret Atwood a fearless deliverer of unpleasant news - a messenger unafraid of dishing out the bone-chilling, cruel, unalter
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  • Michael Finocchiaro

    Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a tale of terror as well as a warning. The dystopian future she describes in "Gilead" which appears to be centered in Boston (due to the reference to Mass Ave and the town of Salem) is chillingly misogynistic where women are reduced to strict categories: Martha for housework and cooking, Jezebels (easy to guess, right?), Eyes, Angels (soldiers for the state), infertile Wives and potentially fertile Handmaids. It is beautifully written with lots of flashba ...more

  • Fabian

    A true dystopian classic. This is incredibly well written, & I think that is why it's fan base is so enormous & faithful. It made Entertainment Weekly's "Top 25 Best Books of the Last 25 Years" several years ago.

    The account reminds me of, and is probably written trying to somehow emulate, "The Diary of Anne Frank." This new vision of the future is one devoid the female mystique, with only one sex becoming triumphant &) dominating the other. This is misogyny to the nth degree. It is a
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  • Simona Bartolotta

    EDIT 02/06/2016: Lowering the rating to two. I finished it more than a week ago and now I realized I haven't thought of it once. It really left me nothing.

    "Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some."

    I used to think of my reading taste as predictable. Well, at least a very specific part of my reading taste: namely, there are very few things in the world that I love more than I love dyostopias in the style of 1984 and, above any other, Brave New World (se

    "...a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith."
    In the majority of cases, we don't even realize we're granting the author and the story our suspension of disbelief. We just believe, because we are prepared to, because we know that if we don't, then reading is no use, especially if what we are dealing with is a fantasy or sci-fi book. Lo and behold, this book made me struggle to grant it my suspension of disbelief. I still have not decided if it was due to the writing, or the story in itself, or something else yet, but that is what happened, and it totally ruined it for me.

    •In my defense, the lack of explanations, or better, the fact that they are given only when we are well into the story, practically towards the end, did not help. Most of the time, I just felt like I was groping around in the dark, and honestly, it was annoying, annoying, annoying. Besides, we are supposed to believe that this full-scale change that swept across the society happened in approximately eight or ten years at most, (we don't know the chronological details) and I found I just couldn't believe it. It's too radical a transformation, and according to the book the mentality it brought about is already well-implanted into the citizens -not everyone, naturally, but generally it is. It's par for the course for a dictatorship to establish itself in a matter of years, but it requires nonetheless the long-standing presence of a certain set of ideas that justifies and forms the basis of the building of an ideology. What we see in The Handmaid's Tale is the cause, the ultimate effect, and none of the passages in between. I need the in-between. I need the whole picture.

    •This lack of "background", if you can call it so, made it impossible for me to lose myself int he story. The narrative voice, the protagonist's, is ineffective, bland, not nearly as trenchant as such a strong story requires. She should be able to heighten our disgust for the situation out of sympathy towards her and her circumstances, but to me, and you are allowed to call me heartless, nothing of this happened. I was horrified by what she and the whole female population have to suffer, but it was only an objective aversion due to an objective state of affairs, and not even partly to the empathy I should have felt for the character. I read stories to connect with the people in them; otherwise, I would read nonfiction.

    •The plot is uneventful, almost literally. Usually this is not something I consider a priori as a flaw, but in this case it felt like one.

    ➽ On balance, I did not enjoy it. I acknowledge its value, but it was quite an effort for me to get through it.

    Now that I think of it, probably it's kind of a 2.5 instead of a full 3. ...more

  • Miranda Reads

    We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
    Set in the not-so-distant future, Offred is designated as a Handmaid. Meaning her fertile womb "allows" her to stay in the house of Fred as his legal consort.

    (Hence the name "Of Fred" and the not-so-subtle foreshadowing "offered".)

    Her alternative? Working in the radioactive wastelands (which would undoubtedly lead to her de ...more

  • Dan Schwent

    In the near future, the rights of women have been stripped away and the fertile ones become Handmaids and are assigned to upper class men. Offred remembers the time before and knows there must be a way out of the hell men have created...

    Once upon a time, I dated a woman whose favorite writer was Margaret Atwood and she passed along this book for me to read. Frankly, I was pretty impressed with the dystopian tale but found it a little far-fetched at the time. Now, in the later part of 2017, it fe
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  • Pollopicu

    I guess Atwood doesn't believe in quotation marks.. I don't think I've ever come across a novel yet in which there is no distinction between the narrator and the character. It took me quite a while to get used to that type of style of writing. I had to go back and re-read sentences again and again, which doesn't really lend itself to a relaxing reading experience, and it slowed me down quite a bit..

    First 100 pages:

    Really annoying..why? well because I felt like a juicy bone was being waved in fro
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  • Lyn

    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is a brilliant, endearing, scary as hell book.

    Told with simplistic prose and stark attention to detail, Atwood describes life in the not too distant future where the United States has been transformed through military coup into a totalitarian theocracy. This dystopian horror story is made all the more real by the bridge Atwood has created between the world we know now and the world that could be – the story’s protagonist remembers the time before the chang
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