Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0449212602 Global Overview for this book
Registered by MarciNYC of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA on 3/24/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
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13 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by MarciNYC from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA on Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Rescued from the West Windsor Library book sale.

Journal Entry 2 by MarciNYC at on Friday, March 26, 2004
Release planned for Sunday, March 28, 2004 at fellow bookcrosser in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.

Journal Entry 3 by apapsa from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Monday, May 24, 2004
I just received this book --it was a trade with MarciNYC. I'm eager to read it, so I'll finish a couple of others I started reading recently and then devour it...
Thank you MarciNYC for accepting this offer for a trade :)

Journal Entry 4 by apapsa from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Tuesday, September 7, 2004
I'll always remember reading this book.
It went straight up on the list of the best books I've ever read (only 3 more books on that list right now...).
Now I want to buy many copies of the greek translation to give to my friends who haven't read it yet...
Margaret Atwood is brilliant! How can she write so well? I'm speechless...

Journal Entry 5 by apapsa from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Wednesday, October 27, 2004
I'm starting a European bookray with this book.
The ray is still open for new participants :)

List of participants (final):
spiderchic --UK
Brujula --France
caffcaff --UK
Zoe1971 --Germany

Journal Entry 6 by spiderchic from Droylsden, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Tuesday, November 9, 2004
Received this book yesterday and have started reading it!


Journal Entry 7 by spiderchic from Droylsden, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Monday, November 15, 2004
Finished this book yesterday. I found it quite scary to be honest, to think something like that could actually happen?
Anyway thanks for sharing and shall pass on to Brujula.
Sent out today

Journal Entry 8 by Brujula from Valenciennes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais France on Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Found yesterday in the mail!

Thank you Spiderchic and Apapsa!

Journal Entry 9 by Brujula from Valenciennes, Nord-Pas-de-Calais France on Thursday, February 10, 2005
This is a great book! It is scary, because it could happen. The other book I've ever read by Margaret Atwood, Oryx and Crake, is scary because of the same reason. The scenarii imagined are not so unreal, they are plausible, and could happen (similar things have happened... just read Betty Mahmoody, never without my daughter, or Reading Lolita in Tehran, or think about what happened to women in Afghanistan, go watch the movie Kandahar...)

Thank you very much for letting me read this book, and for letting me keeping it so long!
I'll mail the book to caffcaff today!

Journal Entry 10 by AngelChild from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Monday, February 21, 2005
Received this morning as part of a Ray and what great timing..... i finished a book last night!

Will start this today and pass on as soon as im done.

Journal Entry 11 by AngelChild from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 1, 2005
Finished this book this morning.......

I did like it, but it left me with soooo many unanswered questions. I desperately wanted to know what happened to her Daughter (and Luke come to that!). The Historical Notes at the end did help a bit, but how did she put it all on Audio tape and how comes Nick managed to get her away......

Will PM Zoe1971 for her addy and post as soon as i get it..... Thanx apapsa

Released 17 yrs ago (3/2/2005 UTC) at To the next participant in Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



Sending to Zoe1971 in Germany as next person on this ray....

Journal Entry 13 by Zoe1971 from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Saturday, March 12, 2005
Received the book yesterday. I am looking forward very much to reading it, since the movie is one of my favourites. But it will take some time before I can start with this novel, because I've got 8 (eight!) bookrings and bookrays on my TBR-pile first.

But I promise, this book will have the chance to continue its travel.

Thank you very much, apapsa, for starting this ray. And thank you also, caffcaff, for sending it!

Journal Entry 14 by Zoe1971 from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Friday, October 14, 2005
Wow! This book is probably one of the best and certainly one of the most important books I've been reading within years! It left me speechless!

It's a MUST for everybody who cares about Human Rights.

It's not only - as it may seem - a tale about men regaining power over women, but also a description of how discrimination generally works, may it be gender discrimination, because of race, religion or political attitude.

The novel shows especially the power of vocabulary used, how a choice of words can create and manipulate our reality:
"Fraternize means to behave like a brother. [...] there was no corresponding word that meant behave like a sister. Sororize, it would have to be." (p. 15)
"'Most of those old guys can't make it anymore,' he says. 'Or they're sterile.'
I almost gasp: he's said a forbidden word. Sterile. There is no such thing as a sterile man anymore, not officially. There are only women who are fruitful and women who are barren, that's the law."
(p. 79)

Last, but not least, let me cite two wonderful quotations:
"But this is wrong, nobody dies from a lack of sex. It's a lack of love we die from." (p. 131 f)
"I said there was more than one way of living with your head in the sand and that if Moira thought she could create Utopia by shutting herself up in a women-only enclave ahe was sadly mistaken. Men were not just going to go away, I said. You couldn't just ignore them.
That's like saying you should go out and catch syphilis merely because it exists, Moira said."
(p. 223)

As for Utopia - wouldn't it be nice to think, we're far away from any state like the one described in 'A Handmaid's Tale'? But are we? Remember how the Gilead Regime achieved it's power:
"It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time." (p. 225)
That's not too far away from our time, or is it? We have to be aware that many countries in our so-called "Civilized World" have set up laws like the "Homeland Security Act" that would restrict people from travelling freely, would allow police to arrest you for several days just beacause you're suspected of anything, that would make data of your bank account or your telephone easily accessible to the authorities. It seems to be quite easy: - blame it on the Islamic terrorists! and "If you're not to hide anything, why not make your data accessible?!"

This novel has motivated me to get in contact with the local group of an international Human Rights NGO. I recommend it. Find one, for example amnesty international, Human Rights Watch, FIAN international or any local group...

p. s.: Did you know that Harold Pinter, this year's winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote the screenplay for the movie "The Handmaid's Tale"?

Journal Entry 15 by Zoe1971 from Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany on Saturday, October 15, 2005
The book travels on to:

- JohnSteed, CH - Zurzach
- urfin, D - Rostock (not before Nov. 20th, 2005!)
- trygvasson, D - Hamburg
- nypon, P - Porto
- Margih, FIN - Tampere (last participant)***

Journal Entry 16 by Zoe1971 at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, October 15, 2005

Released 17 yrs ago (10/15/2005 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



On its way to JohnSteed in Switzerland...

Journal Entry 17 by JohnSteed from Bad Zurzach, Aargau Switzerland on Wednesday, October 19, 2005
received it this morning - and started reading right away

btw: Zoe1971, you master a beautiful handwriting

Journal Entry 18 by JohnSteed from Bad Zurzach, Aargau Switzerland on Wednesday, November 2, 2005
What a great read !
First I was intrigued by the future setting, expecting a kind of scifi story. But soon I realized this is so much more.
It's a thriller the way the story moves on. Every bit of the story is revealed as you read on. Atwood uses a concise language since the story is "told" to us. It feels like the heroine is sitting next to you.
It's a political book the way it describes the mechanisms of a fascist society. Where the people are used to watch over their fellow citizens. Fear rules.Controlls.
It's a historical book the way it reminds one of the cruelties of the past (Nazis) and present (Taliban).
It's also a (kind of) romance the way it depicts feelings even in such a harsh world.

It's simply a great book. A wild ride. And food for thought.


>>>>>>>>>>>> urfin

Journal Entry 20 by wingUrfinwing from Wolfsburg, Niedersachsen Germany on Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Tale got here this morning. thanks, JohnSteed! It will be my first Margaret Atwood, and I'm rather curious.

21.Nov. So, yesterday, in the train, I started the book, and I read 165 pages in one go! (just to show how gripping I find it)
"Freedom to and freedom from" (p.33) Which is to be preferred?

7.Dec. Ok, after a longish pause, I managed to read the second half of the book. One of the most important books I've read this year, I'm sure!
Am going to check if our library has a copy, and if not, I'm going to donate one (not this copy here, of course ;o)

At one point, when Moira was describing her attempt to escape, it reminded me of the precautions that were undertaken near the wall/border of GDR and FRG to foil the very thing. It is rather interesting then to read on the last page that Atwood begun writing the Tale in West Berlin...

Also, I like this quote (apparently from the Playboy) in the blurb: "Read this novel - then contribute to your favourite liberal cause."
Bookcrossing is just one such cause!

Tomorrow, the book will travel on to trygvasson in Hamburg.

Feb.2006 I've since bought a copy in English (in German they already held it:) and donated it to my local library.

Journal Entry 21 by trygvasson from Hamburg - Hohenfelde, Hamburg Germany on Tuesday, December 20, 2005
I came back yesterday and picked up a stack of mail - I´ll take the book along on my next trip during the holiday season - way up north (to see Santa) and back again...
And by the way: Merry Christmas everybody - and a very happy new year...

Journal Entry 22 by trygvasson from Hamburg - Hohenfelde, Hamburg Germany on Wednesday, April 5, 2006
I had some difficulty getting into it - and because I didn´t want to give up too easily I have tried twice to get through it - and managed to on the second try. It´s kind of scary because the whole setup seems so real - and I couldn´t understand how I could put the book down on the first go.
The last two weeks a friend read it - she was visiting me and had to spend some time in hospital and desperately needed reading material. She got into very lively discussions with the hospital staff who are part of a reading circle and they had read the book in the German translation.
If a book is so gripping that it sends people talking - I´m all for it.

Sorry that it took me so long - I´ll send it on asap - as soon as I have the next address.

Elsita asked to be left out - so I´ll contact the next reader in line.


Travelling on to nypon

Journal Entry 24 by nypon from Porto - City, Porto Portugal on Sunday, May 14, 2006
Thanks Trygvasson for this book that I got about a month ago and has now started to read. At the time I got the book our spring was just as rainy as the one your postcard portrayed, but now one can sit outside and read. But I don't, since this is my before-going-to-sleep reading. Although sad, I like the way the story is slowly unravelling at a very low key.

Journal Entry 25 by nypon from Porto - City, Porto Portugal on Saturday, June 17, 2006
Apologies for taking so long to finish this. In a sense it feels like it took 20 years, since I remember very well hearing about this book when it first came in 1985. Unfortunately, it's just as relevant and actual as it was then. Scary to think of.

Journal Entry 26 by Margih from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, July 6, 2006
Thanks, nypon, the books have arrived to me :)

Stupid me, I just noticed when I got this book to my hands that I´ve received this same book as a RABCK some time ago. So, this one is ready to continue it´s traveling. As we have the highest holiday season here in Finland right now I´m gonna put this book in my shelf for a while and offer it first to my BC-friends here in Finland. But first, must enjoy the sunny Finnish summer :D

Of course, anyone, who is interested to join the ray, just PM with your shipping preferences.

Journal Entry 27 by Margih at Metso in Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Released 5 yrs ago (4/5/2017 UTC) at Metso in Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland


Will take this one to tonight´s meet-up.

Journal Entry 28 by Lukutoukka at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, April 5, 2017
I took this at our meeting today. :-)

Journal Entry 29 by Lukutoukka at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Tuesday, August 20, 2019
The cover seems to be a little torn, but the world the novel describes is broken, too. What a scary book, and, unfortunately, not so far from the reality I would like to believe. I take this to our Tampere meeting today.

Journal Entry 30 by LolaRobin at Oulu, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa / Norra Österbotten Finland on Friday, September 27, 2019
This book has had quite a journey! It is with me in Oulu, Finland right now and probably stays here for a while.

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