The Handmaid's Tale (Contemporary Classics)

by Margaret Atwood | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 0099740915 Global Overview for this book
Registered by 4evagreen of Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on 9/18/2013
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12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by 4evagreen from Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Received as a BookMooch.

Journal Entry 2 by 4evagreen at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
“There is more than one kind of freedom," said Aunt Lydia. "Freedom to and freedom from. In the days of anarchy, it was freedom to. Now you are being given freedom from. Don't underrate it.”

I left doing this review for a few days to give me time to think how I felt about this book.Personally I'm n o real fan of sci-fi but had heard great things about this one.

The book is supposedly set in the future in a nation called Gilead which is a theocracy where religion and authority have become closely intertwined. Due to a drastic drop in the birth rate the society is based around trying to correct this. The story is told by Offred, a woman stripped of all all her rights and family and is now a sexual slave kept merely because she has previously borne a healthy child.All women in the society have been stripped of their individual identities and are nor either handmaids, wives, Marthas, Aunts or Unwomen whereas men are referred to by their ranks. However, many women are also complicit with this system by their silence. Offred however is a first generation of this new society and as such has memories of a happier more carefree past so rebels against this new society if only by thought alone.

The book is full of symbolism ranging from language used by the authorities to the red clothing that Offred and the other housemaids must wear.The colour of this clothing is particularly important. Red is the colour of a woman's menstrual period and therefore fertility but is also seen as the sign of sexual sin and certainly references to rape and other sexual crimes are prevalent throughout and are used as justification by the theocracy for its actions. Certainly sex within Gilead is closely controlled.

The final chapter left me with mixed feelings. Certainly it gives a slightly different viewpoint on what went before however given that the book is written in the first person am not totally convinced that it was necessary.

On the whole I enjoyed this book and it certainly made me think about what it would be like to be stripped of all control of one's own life. However, at times I did find it hard work and am not a fan of this stream of conscious writing. Thus the book fails to get top marks but would still recommend it.

Journal Entry 3 by 4evagreen at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom on Monday, November 16, 2015

Released 3 yrs ago (11/16/2015 UTC) at Furness Vale, Derbyshire United Kingdom

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Going out as a RABCK. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 4 by Cfreckle at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 19, 2015
The postman delivered this book this morning. Thank you! What a really lovely surprise. - And thank you for your postcard message too x

Journal Entry 5 by Cfreckle at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 24, 2018
I really enjoyed reading this - if you can say you enjoy reading this sort of subject!

This is the second Margaret Atwood book I have read and I've decided that so far I really like her writing style.

I'm now going to send it on a bookray for other people to hopefully enjoy.

Journal Entry 6 by Cfreckle at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (1/25/2018 UTC) at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom

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Sending to the first person on a new bookray -

Ythan - UK - UK
Silver-Greece - UK - UK/EU
Mankyi - Switzerland - EU
iiwi - Netherlands -
mysteriousmummy - UK
Bookworm-lady - Spain - International
JosefinJ - Sweden - International
Femke85 - Sweden - International
dutch-book - Netherlands - International
LysMibo - Ireland - EU/Int
estelle1806 - Ireland - International<---Here
LilyKlip - Germany - International
merrymari - USA - USA/Canada

Hope you all enjoy reading it xx

forum post - http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/20/548841
If this list changes for any reason, I will update this journal entry as well as the forum.

Journal Entry 7 by Ythan at Ellon, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, January 28, 2018
Arrived on Saturday along with another bookray on Friday, I'm popular!

Can't wait to get started. :)

Journal Entry 8 by Ythan at Ellon, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, February 25, 2018
I saw the TV series version first which really helped me to imagine the characters and the situations they were in better. Found it a mostly quick and easy read. The only bit I would change would be a more obvious title/different font style when changing from talking about the present to remembering about the past. Got a bit lost at times as it wasn't immediately obvious that she had switched from the present to the past.

I'm happy to say that Margaret Atwood is one of the 1001 authors I look forward to reading in the future.

Journal Entry 9 by Ythan at A BOOKRAY , -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, March 05, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (3/5/2018 UTC) at A BOOKRAY , -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

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Silver-Greece has already read this.

Now on its way to Mankyi in Switzerland.

Journal Entry 10 by wingMankyiwing at Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Found this book in my mailbox today - thank you! I've already read "Wilderness tips" by Atwood and was struck by the boldness and the precision of her word. My expectations are high.

Journal Entry 11 by wingMankyiwing at Zürich, Zürich Switzerland on Thursday, March 29, 2018

Released 1 yr ago (3/29/2018 UTC) at Zürich, Zürich Switzerland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

I really loved the book! Atwood's style of writing is truly amazing! I couldn't stop!!

The book is now on its way to the next participant in the Netherlands. Safe journey, little book!:)


If you aren't familiar with Bookcrossing, take a few minutes to check out this very cool site. Bookcrossers LOVE books, and more than anything, they love to read books and then set them free for other people to find and enjoy. I would love it if you would leave a journal entry -- you can say where you found the book or how you liked it when you read it.


Journal Entry 12 by wingiiwiwing at Zeist, Utrecht Netherlands on Sunday, April 08, 2018
I received the book today, with vegan chocolate and and an artsy butterfly Thank you!

Journal Entry 13 by wingiiwiwing at Zeist, Utrecht Netherlands on Sunday, May 27, 2018
Where in the last book of Margaret Atwood I read, Oryx and Crake, the world is very vast, in this book the world is the opposite, very tiny. Offred lives in her room, and out shopping in the small town, that is her world, and our world while reading. There is a world outside this, colonies where people are banned to do slavery work, and a world where there is a war raging, but other then some newsclips you never see anything of this, and how this world and that world combine (what is outside the wall?) you never really see, as Offred never really sees anymore. This book is the written account of Offred, making it even smaller.
This is a distopian world . 'I remember the rules, rules that were never spelled out, but that every woman knew: don't open you door to a stranger, even if he says it is the police. Make him slide his ID under the door. Don't stop on the road to help a motorist pretending to be in trouble. Keep the locks and keep going. If anyone whistles, don't turn and look. Don't go in the laundromat, by yourself, at night.' But! This is what this distopian world says about the world before, about our world!

(I have been to laundromats by myself at night by the way).

Names are evidence. Offred, Ofglen. Woman are not more than the property of certain men. That is I think why it feels so important, in this day and age (having been written in another world altogether, in 1985, when the USSR was still existing, the wall and the towers had not fallen).

Journal Entry 14 by wingiiwiwing at Zeist, Utrecht Netherlands on Thursday, May 31, 2018
Sent of to mysteriousmummy today.

One thing I forgot to mention; The thing that caught me was that everything in this world was restricted, except smoking!

Journal Entry 15 by mysteriousmummy at Shefford, Bedfordshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 05, 2018
I will read asap thank you for sharing

Released 9 mos ago (7/24/2018 UTC) at Book ring, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

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On its way to bookworm lady

Journal Entry 17 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Saturday, August 04, 2018
And the book is here, with a travelling companion and the loveliest postcard.
I read it a long time ago, when it first appeared; I used to read TIMES magazine to practice my English, and I found the review really intriguing.

Since then, I have watched the 1990 film with Natasha Richardson, and the HBO series. Having recently re-visited the earlier film, I must say it was much better in my opinion, but this is just me...

As I said, thanks for making it available, I don't think it will take a long time for me to read it... ;)

Journal Entry 18 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Friday, September 28, 2018
Currently reading it; I don't think I will take long, so I will contact the next in line.
Thanks for making it available, Cfreckle!

Journal Entry 19 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Wow! This novel really takes you in an emotional rollercoaster! As fresh today as back when it was written, in 1985.
What is frightening is that everything done in Gilead has indeed happened (or is still happening) in our real world.
Even though divided into strict classes, no women are really happy in Gilead, and must remain within their strict boundaries.

A quote that will stay with me:
"Humanity is so adaptable, my mother would say. Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations."

I agree with 4evagreen about the need for the "Historical Notes" as last chapter, assuming that Gilead has failed as a society (no wonder!) and is currently the object of study by historians; certainly the end is open, and through this we may have some perception of what happened to the character telling the story... There is a possible option offered in the film, and the story is stretched in the TV series... Apparently, Ms Atwood preferred to keep it open: "stepping into darkness, or into the light"...
Thanks for sharing, Cfreckle; I have JosefinJ's address, and the book will soon continue its travels.
Let me share a photo of the late Ms Richardson as Ofglen in the 1990 film.

Journal Entry 20 by wingBookworm-ladywing at Madrid, Madrid Spain on Friday, October 26, 2018

Released 6 mos ago (10/26/2018 UTC) at Madrid, Madrid Spain

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sent today to JosefinJ, who is next in the bookray.
Enjoy! :)

Journal Entry 21 by JosefinJ at Kristinehamn, Värmland Sweden on Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Got the book today. Thank you! I will begin to read it asap. :)

Journal Entry 22 by JosefinJ at Kristinehamn, Värmland Sweden on Monday, December 31, 2018

Released 4 mos ago (12/31/2018 UTC) at Kristinehamn, Värmland Sweden

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Away know to the next person on the list!
Wishing you a Happy new year! :-)

Journal Entry 23 by wingFemke85wing at Uppsala, Uppland Sweden on Thursday, January 03, 2019
This book was waiting for me when I got back from holidays. Thanks cfreckle for sharing and JosefinJ for sending it my way. I’ve saved your stamps for the winner(s) of the stamps sweeps

Journal Entry 24 by wingFemke85wing at Uppsala, Uppland Sweden on Friday, January 11, 2019
What a book! I saw the tv series, so I knew what to expect. But still. Wow.

First of all, If you are looking for a happy feelgood story, stay away from this book! It’s a story that makes you feel nauseated at times. lots of times, actually. It gets under your skin and I have the feeling it will linger for a while now that i finished. Not just because of what happens in the story, but because it is just so close to reality. Quotes from current extreme right, conservative politicians can easily fit within the Handmaid’s tale regime, Gilead.

Margaret Atwood is excellent at setting an atmosphere, which of course for this book is very dark and depressing. It gives you the worst kind of goosebumps.

I contacted the next person on the bookray list and hope to get this book traveling again after the weekend.

Journal Entry 25 by wingFemke85wing at a Bookcrosser, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Monday, January 14, 2019

Released 4 mos ago (1/14/2019 UTC) at a Bookcrosser, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

This great piece of literature continues its journey. Off to The Netherlands you go, little book!

I always try to post my controlled releases with real stamps. If you are not a collector yourself, you might want to check out this post on the forum about a stamps sweeps that I’m currently organising or this one about Bookcrossers who collect stamps. A lot of Bookcrossers collect stamps for charity, so it’s nice to find them a good home!

Journal Entry 26 by dutch-book at Heerenveen, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Wednesday, January 16, 2019
There it is. I have watched a good part of the series, but haven't finished it yet. Did enjoy the series and loved Oryx and Crake, so I'm looking forward to this one.

Journal Entry 27 by dutch-book at Heerenveen, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Sunday, March 10, 2019
Finished it today. I found the story intriguing and it makes you think about today's world and who I am. It's definitely something to mull over.

I had the expectation to finish it a bit sooner, but life got in the way.
I've already asked and received Lysmibo's address, so this will travel on shorter, after I have put some tape on the spine and joints of the book to strenghten it.

Journal Entry 28 by dutch-book at Heerenveen, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Released 2 mos ago (3/16/2019 UTC) at Heerenveen, Fryslân (Friesland) Netherlands

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Traveling to Lysmibo in Ireland.

Journal Entry 29 by LysMibo at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Thursday, March 21, 2019
Just received the book. Thanks for sharing it!

Journal Entry 30 by LysMibo at Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Monday, April 15, 2019
A tremendous good book that everyone should read. Thanks a million for sharing this book.

I'll send it to the next reader as soon as I get the address.

Journal Entry 31 by wingestelle1806wing at Clonsilla, Co. Dublin Ireland on Thursday, April 25, 2019
Received today, thanks LysMibo.

Journal Entry 32 by wingestelle1806wing at Clonsilla, Co. Dublin Ireland on Friday, May 17, 2019
A good book, but not as good as everyone says... I thought it lacked depth and details in the story and left too much to the imagination of the reader - isn't it the author's job to create a thorough story?
An interesting topic, though, and still current after 35 years.
I will post very soon to the next reader, in Germany.
Thanks for sharing!

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