The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 038549081x Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingNancyNovawing of Lansdale, Pennsylvania USA on 7/23/2016
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingNancyNovawing from Lansdale, Pennsylvania USA on Saturday, July 23, 2016
from the Jacob's Woods book shelf

Journal Entry 2 by wingNancyNovawing at ~ RABCK ~, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Sunday, July 24, 2016

Released 2 yrs ago (7/26/2016 UTC) at ~ RABCK ~, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

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. Then, when you are ready, pass it along for someone else to enjoy! Thanks and happy reading!

Journal Entry 3 by wingFiregirlwing at Annandale, Virginia USA on Saturday, July 30, 2016
Arrived safe and sound. Thank you for the lovely RABCK!

Journal Entry 4 by emmejo at Trumansburg, New York USA on Monday, October 17, 2016
This arrived in NY on Saturday, but I forgot to make a JE. Sorry! Thank you for sending it.

Journal Entry 5 by wingFiregirlwing at Annandale, Virginia USA on Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Oi! I didn't realize I'd sent this on without making either a journal entry or release notes! I know how frustrating that is, especially when the book is sent out as a RABCK. The sender is left wondering "but did they like it?" So here I am, a little late, to make a review. It's a shame we can't somehow backdate entries so they fit in chronologically. Also, I know this will make the book look like it's back in my hands, which it is not, as I continued it's life as a RABCK and sent it on to Emmejo.

So, the book. I have read a fair amount of dystopia at this point, some good, some bad. Most have shown the world in a chaotic light and/or with an active and present counter-culture/revolutionary group. This one is a little different. The world is very orderly and almost Puritanical in standards and what is "appropriate". A fertile female is a hot commodity due to increased infertility and, what sounds to be most-nuclear-type unhealthy, non-viable babies. Powerful men hold most of the power, and fertile young women, the "handmaids" are given to them as walking wombs. They are not to wed, they are to be silent and obedient and bred.

In the book, we as readers are fairly new in the history. The main character remembers before the change, when she had a husband and daughter and a normal life. The impetus for the change is hinted at but never outright explained, leaving the reader to come to their own decisions. There is perpetually a war going on, as we know by those soldiers who return from it and the threat of sending infertile or disobedient handmaids out to the wilds to work the fields and suffer what sounds like radiation sickness. This change seems to be isolated to the US, as the main character talks about attempting to flee to Canada. As the story progresses, we learn about the resistance and see how people, even those in power, are fighting the system.

This is a quiet book; no Hunger Games, no running gauntlets or fighting the authorities head-on with guns or bows or whatever. The revolution is underground and, seemingly in its infancy. This is not a story about one woman toppling in the new regime. It is about one woman, trying to navigate a new world (or country) order. There is not a ton of action, or too much dialogue, really. It is more descriptive and thought-oriented.

This is one of those books that can (and has) been read in schools and studied for deeper meanings and social commentary. I stopped reading books for that purpose when I stopped being a literature major. Now I read books for pleasure. And I did enjoy this one. I like when books are quiet and thought-provoking, as this one was.

Thank you so much for sharing!

Journal Entry 6 by emmejo at Trumansburg, New York USA on Wednesday, May 31, 2017
I can see why this book has become a classic of feminist sci-fi. It was very interesting, although I frequently found myself wondering how things might be different if this apocalyptic event had occurred to cause changes starting from our current society, since there have been a lot of cultural changes since the mid-80's when this book was published, and I sometimes encountered things I thought would be different. Forbidding reading was one, since our Western culture seems to have a bit of an obsession with patting ourselves on the back for educating all genders (at least in elementary school, after that, plenty of folks generally still seem to be of the opinion that they don't need more to be housewives) and blasting countries where women don't get a chance for those basic skills. I could easily see certain topics being withheld, with just as dire consequences, but I suspect that similar society changes working from our current point would involve more propaganda-type material.

I agree with Firegirl that this is a very different revolution than the kind of action-soaked tales we typically see, but I think it is a more realistic image of lasting changes. It reminds me of the lyrics in Tracy Chapman's song "Revolution": "talking about a revolution/sounds like a whisper."

Journal Entry 7 by emmejo at Trumansburg, New York USA on Friday, June 02, 2017

Released 1 yr ago (6/2/2017 UTC) at Trumansburg, New York USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Added to the Sci-Fi Bookbox

Journal Entry 8 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, June 28, 2017
I claimed this book from the SF bookbox.

I first read "The Handmaid's Tale" long,long ago, not long after it came out, and was both chilled and infuriated by the society that it depicted. Things have changed for the better since this book was written, but current events, especially regarding government interference in reproductive and marital choices, suggest that the book's still all too relevant. I admit that I've avoided the current mini-series adaptation because the story made me too angry to want to go through it again {rueful grin}.

[There's a TV Tropes page on the novel and on its adaptation, with some interesting tidbits.]

Released 1 yr ago (6/29/2017 UTC) at Derry Rail Trail (see notes for details) in Derry, New Hampshire USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left this book, bagged against the elements, on a tree near the bike-trail flower-garden at around 3:30; hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2017 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2017 I'll Drink To That release challenge, for the embedded "ale" in the title. ***

*** Released for the 2017 Canada Days release challenge. ***

*** Released for the 2017 TV Series release challenge. ***

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