The Handmaid's Tale -BOOKRAY

by Margaret Atwood | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 038549081x Global Overview for this book
Registered by nelka35 of New York City, New York USA on 6/12/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
20 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by nelka35 from New York City, New York USA on Thursday, June 12, 2003
Ex-library book. The cover is missing a large corner..but what does it matter, since the book is intact.:)

This book is going out on a bookray journey this week. The members are:
gawdess (Maine, USA)
zmrzlina (Massachusetts, USA)
carlissa (Florida, USA)
pchemphd (Florida, USA)
RealBookWorm (Canada)
Sherria (Connecticut, USA )
gategrl (Connecticut, USA)

Please journal the book as soon as you get it and PM the next person after you for their address, so you would have it available. Then read it as soon as possible - preferably within 3 weeks, and send it on, and post/edit a journal entry that it is traveling on. Enjoy! :)

If you want to join this bookray while it's already traveling, you may be added at the end of the list if you are willing to mail internationally or pay for international shipping to you if the last member is unable to do so.

Journal Entry 2 by nelka35 at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Rabck in Brooklyn, New York USA on Monday, June 30, 2003
Release planned for Tuesday, July 01, 2003 at Bookray in BROOKLYN, New York USA.

Sent to Gawdess in Maine as part of a bookray. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by gawdess from Portland, Maine USA on Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Got this one in the mail...Will read it this week and then send on..

Journal Entry 4 by gawdess from Portland, Maine USA on Friday, July 11, 2003
Once again I was up until 2:30 in the morning reading a bookcrossing book on a worknight.
This book was amazing. It brought out every feminazi feeling I have ever had multiplied by ten. I know I will never think twice about standing up for women's rights. I think the book explored some deeper meanings to life as well. Perhaps that although we are sexual beings and it is a part of our need as humans, deep down what we need most is intimacy and love...Anyhow enough deep though for this morning. A wonderful book , glad I signed up for this ring. I will email zmrzlina for addy info!

Released on Thursday, August 07, 2003 at controlled release to another BookCrosser in Portland, Maine USA.

Sending on....A wonderful read...I read it twice

Journal Entry 6 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, August 12, 2003
My goodness, this book shows the marks of being much read which I suppose is the sign of all former library books. Will be a pleasure to add my eyes to the many who have come before. Thank you!

Journal Entry 7 by Zmrzlina from Abington, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Enjoying this so much that I went out and bought my own copy. This is the first Atwood I have read, and won't be the last. Not quite finished so I will post a final entry when I do. Thank you nelka35!

Journal Entry 8 by carlissa from Gainesville, Florida USA on Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Just received in the mail. Will read as soon as I can.

10/7/03: I read the first few chapters, but I really couldn't get into this book. Will be sending it off today.

Journal Entry 9 by pchemphd from Deland, Florida USA on Saturday, October 11, 2003
This one is obviously well-loved. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Journal Entry 10 by pchemphd from Deland, Florida USA on Sunday, October 19, 2003
This is the second time I have read this wonderful book. It is not a pleasant tale, but it is a great read. (And the book brings back memories of graduate school at Duke. The movie was filmed on campus, and we used to try to sneak out and watch them film instead of working in the chemistry lab.)

Journal Entry 11 by RealBookWorm on Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Received this book today. It sure looks like it's been well read! :-)

I have one other bookring book to read then I'll read this one. I look forward to it.

Journal Entry 12 by RealBookWorm on Monday, November 10, 2003
Finished the book this morning while waiting for the final intravenous antibiotic to drip into my system. What good timing. Then I was discharged from the hospital and came home.

The first thing I want to do before saying what I thought of the story is to type in the descriptive blurb from the back cover:

"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 Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now ...

Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force."

End of blurb. Now my opinion:

Okay, I'd like to have a chance to talk with whoever the idiot is who wrote that blurb! I did not see one trace of humour in this story. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I think it was very well written, interesting, horrifying in parts, and an all around great book ... BUT ... it wasn't FUNNY! I also did not recognize any satire as I know it.

I'll definitely recommend this book to others. I sincerely appreciate being on this bookring and I'll mail this book on to Sherria within the next couple of days.

Journal Entry 13 by Sherria from Bethel, Connecticut USA on Thursday, December 25, 2003
Ah, what a great holiday gift! I'm really looking forward to reading this book. I have a couple of rings/rays ahead of it, but I'll get to it ASAP.

Journal Entry 14 by Sherria from Bethel, Connecticut USA on Friday, January 02, 2004
Thank you for sharing this book nelka35! It's been several years since I read it, and once again the story touched me.

I've read several Atwood novels, and while I don't lover her writing style, her stories suck me in. Her characters are so well developed, and wonderfully human that I feel like I know them, and struggle along with them throughout the stories. This story in particular always grabs me - the movie as well as the book - the possibility that this could happen is vaguely frightening. The ending in particular always seems appropriate to me - no closure, no way of knowing what happened to the narrator, just as would seem natural in such unsure times.

This book is definitely worth sharing! Waiting to hear from nelka35 as to how she wants it to carry on, since the last two participants in the ray have gotten copies of their own since signing up.

Update: I'm offering this book up for a new bookray if anyone is interested. Please PM me.

Journal Entry 15 by Sherria from Bethel, Connecticut USA on Friday, January 16, 2004
This book is going to continue it's journeys as a bookray. The participants so far are:

KarinAlyssa Canada
mysteryfan03 Missouri
midwinter Arizona
vicki9170 Florida
itsmejudy Australia
hawkette Australia

I'm happy to add new participants if anyone else is interested, but please be willing to ship anywhere. I'll try to accomodate your preferences, but it's not always possible.

Please journal or PM me when you receive the book as well as when you send it out, so I have an idea of where it is. Also, please journal your thoughts after reading it.

When you're ready to ship it to the next person, PM for his/her address. If you get no response, please try a couple of times, as sometimes PM's don't get through. If you still can't contact the person, let me know and PM the next on the list.

I hope everyone enjoys this wonderful Atwood novel! Thanks for participating.

***** UPDATE******
I screwed up and put this book in the wrong envelope. It accidentally went to Europe instead of Canada. Sorry! The BXer said she will send it to KarinAlyssa when it arrives. *sigh* That's what I get for doing mass mailings in a rush.

Journal Entry 16 by Kirlepigen from København K - City, København Amt Denmark on Monday, April 05, 2004
Hi :0D

Got this book by a mistake ;0) in the mail. I'll be sending it on to KarinAlyssa as soon as possible as however tempted I am to pick up the book I just don't have the time for reading it this time :0/

I hope you all enjoy the book though ;0)

Journal Entry 17 by KarinAlyssa on Monday, May 03, 2004
After the slight mix-up of books, I finally received the book, many thanks to Sherria and Kirsten for mailing the right book. I have another bookring at home, so I'll finish it before Margaret Atwood.

Journal Entry 18 by KarinAlyssa on Thursday, May 27, 2004
This book was sublime. I usually have difficulty with Atwood's stlye because
it's really elaborate and English isn't my first language. But, this one
was totally different.

It made me think of Georges Orwell's 1984 and Aldous Huxley's Animal Farm but it was different. She created a world where women have no rights, where everyone is in a cast: Wifes, Econowifes, Marthas, Handmaids, Aunts, Unwomen, Daughters and then you have the male world with Commanders, Angels, Guardians, etc. It is a scary world, but even worse when you think that it comes from the Bible, maybe one day, the world would be like that, who knows? ?? Being Catholic and having read the Bible, I knew that some of the things said in the Tale was written in the Bible, but never in my life I would have thought that people could really take it litteraly especially not in our days.

Offred as she is now known touched me profoundly. I like her ordinary life and the way she explains how everything happened. All those terrible things seems almost normal for her after a while. This book saddened me, but her story will probably stay with me for a long time.

Thank you nelka to share this book and Sherria to keep it as a ray. I'm mailing it tonight to mysteryfan03

Journal Entry 19 by mysteryfan03 from Moberly, Missouri USA on Monday, June 07, 2004
Got this book in the mail today! Thanks! I have a couple of rings in front of it and will re-journal when I finish.....

Journal Entry 20 by mysteryfan03 from Moberly, Missouri USA on Monday, June 28, 2004
Finally started reading this book over the weekend. I read about a fourth of it, but just couldn't get into the flow of the book. I had a hard time with the style of writing. I am going to pass this on soon to midwinter. Thanks for passing this around!!

Journal Entry 21 by midwinter from Tucson, Arizona USA on Saturday, July 10, 2004
The Handmaid's Tale is here now. I've got one bookring book ahead of it, but I should be finishing that this weekend, and will get to this shortly!

Journal Entry 22 by midwinter from Tucson, Arizona USA on Thursday, September 16, 2004
Sorry for stalling this so long! Life has really gotten away from me the past couple of months.

Where to begin? I recently finished another Atwood book, Oryx & Crake, and mentioned in my notes that it was like a social critique blown all out of proportion to the point where it was so out of touch with reality that the satire was lost in the exaggeration. Handmaid's Tale is the exact same kind of social critique, but done *exactly* right. It's just the right tone to chill you, make you smile wryly, raise your ire, and make you think long and hard about how closely the book skirts the line between fact and fiction.
Given the current state of world affairs, this book was doubly frightening.

Quickly passing on to vicki9170 before I hoard it any longer :)

Journal Entry 23 by vicki9170 from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Friday, September 24, 2004
received :)

Journal Entry 24 by vicki9170 from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Monday, December 20, 2004
starting this today, will probably mail out after christmas (sometime next week) in the meantime PM'ing Itsmejudy for her address :)

Journal Entry 25 by vicki9170 from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Tuesday, December 21, 2004
got a pm back from Itsmejudy, she's asking to be skipped so i'm pm'ing hawkette :)

Journal Entry 26 by vicki9170 from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Friday, December 31, 2004
finished last night, mailing on monday to hawkette

Journal Entry 27 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Monday, May 09, 2005
Has arrived at my Australian address. Will be waiting for me when I next visit home - since I am the last on the bookray list...

Journal Entry 28 by Hawkette from Sydney, New South Wales Australia on Friday, August 05, 2005
I picked this up on my recent trip home, and have a recipient for it, an addition to the bookray.

Atwood writes the kind of stories that you feel you can crawl into, roll yourself up in the story and the character's world, and are completely obsessed with until it's finished! This one is one of those! So good. Such an enjoyable read.

This particular copy is so well loved, and read-worn! So fitting for the novel.

I love the way Atwood throws you bits of what is happening, enough to get your mind racing, and hanging to read on to find out how it all come about, and how it all works. And then to see what happens. Hanging on every word - not all authors can create that!

The themes in this tale are so rich - equality: the fear and exploration of what could happen if it was lost, sexuality and love, getting by, and doing what you can to get by. Loss. Fertility. There is so much here.

Atwood does it so well. I never want her books to end!

Journal Entry 29 by anthonybairdis from Hebburn, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Friday, August 12, 2005
Recieved the book yesterday from Hawkette. Will read this as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 30 by anthonybairdis from Hebburn, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Monday, September 05, 2005
I finished this book yesterday.

Well, what can I say... I actually found the book quite scary because I didn't think that the concept was that far fetched. I could see the events in the book happening in a country quite easily. I think that the book is very much a cautionary tale as to what can happen when a state inposes a religion (or any set of beliefs, such as communism, capitalism, or fascism) on such a fundamental level that the rights of almost everyone except the very elite few are lost.

As to the style of the writing, I quite enjoyed the almost dreamy quality to the writing. It had an air of nostalgia and remembrance to it that I liked. I wanted to comment on the ending but I decided not to as it may be noticed by people planning to read the book in the future and I don't want to spoil their enjoyment of the book. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the ending as well as the rest of the book.

I have decided to offer this book up as a bookray. Anyone who is interested please PM me. I will also offer it up formally on the bookring/bookray forum.

Journal Entry 31 by anthonybairdis from Hebburn, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 28, 2005
I have finally got the bookray organised (they are a lot harder to organise than I thought!) and I sent it to the first person on the list today. The list is:

breeze144 (Canada)
vivaria (Canada)
pashmak (USA)
maatkare (USA)
fluffy-owl (UK)
chrisim (Finland)
teacher-trudy (Australia)

Please journal the book when you receive it and PM the next person for their address. Anyone who wants to join can still be added. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 32 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Will be read soon!

Journal Entry 33 by Breeze144 from Ajax, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Oh wow I loved this book! First of all, I always love receiving a book that has been enjoyed by so many people! Second, I think I love Atwood's writing style. The only other book I've read of her's is Oryx and Crake and I loved that one too!

Stories like this captivate me because I enjoy piecing together parts of the story to find out what happened. What totally gave me chills about this story was when she found her bank account was frozen and her husband would control her money. That seems so...possible or something to me. I could totally feel the panic that would set in if someone told me that was happening to me.

Anyway, an incredible book, and as another poster said, I'll defiantly take more of a stand on women's rights from now on!

Finally heard from pashmack; turns out they are powerless/waterless due to hurricane Wilma! Will be sending the book there this week!

Journal Entry 34 by Breeze144 at -- Controlled Release in Windsor, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Released 13 yrs ago (11/1/2005 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in Windsor, Ontario Canada



Sent along to continue the ray!

Journal Entry 35 by pashmack from Lake Worth, Florida USA on Tuesday, November 08, 2005
This well-traveled book arrived in today's mail--right on time, as I'd just finished my current read this morning. I see that this is the third time the book has visited the Sunshine State! I'll get started reading it this evening. Thank you, Breeze144, for your patience and persistence in contacting me.

Journal Entry 36 by pashmack from Lake Worth, Florida USA on Saturday, November 12, 2005
What a compelling read! I am so glad that I didn't miss out on this hard to put down book. Right from the start I felt drawn into the story- into Offred's world, and even more interesting, into her mind. While she had little (if any) freedom in Gilead's totalitarian and theocratic society, her mind was free to roam, to perceive beauty where she could find it- in the flowers, in folds of cloth, in the surface of an eggshell. Beauty amidst the horror. Definitely a cautionary tale! Thanks for sharing :-)

This will go out in Monday's mail to maatkare.

Journal Entry 37 by maatkare from Easthampton, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, November 24, 2005
Arrived a day or so ago, but today is the first day I could sit here and journal it.

Will post when I'm done!

Journal Entry 38 by maatkare from Easthampton, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, April 08, 2006
Hey everybody! I just wanted to let you know I did finish, and mail this out last month. Unfortunately, I lost track of the book for awhile. (My dog likes to eat books, and I hid this copy EXCEPTIONALLY well. OOPS.)

I tried to track the book through USPS but all it will tell me is that it left the country. Hopefully the next person will get it soon.

Apologies again about the wait!

Journal Entry 39 by anthonybairdis from Hebburn, Tyne and Wear United Kingdom on Sunday, June 11, 2006
Unfortunately the bookray got a bit stalled, so I have replaced the book and I'm sending it onto fluffy-owl on Monday. Sorry it took so long to get things sorted again, and thanks to Maatkare and Nelka35 for their help! Hope you enjoy this fluffy-owl!

Journal Entry 40 by Fluffy-Owl from Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Caught safe and sound! Thank you!

Journal Entry 41 by Fluffy-Owl from Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom on Sunday, June 25, 2006
Absolutely excellent. One of the better Atwood books I've read.

Will go off to chrisim in Finland early next week.

Journal Entry 42 by chrisim from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Thursday, June 29, 2006
I got the book in today's mail. Thanks! I'll start reading right away.

11th July
Thanks so much for sharing this book! I loved it and couldn't put it down. Putting all the clues together in step by step to find out what had happened and what will happen to Offred was so intriguing. I only wish the story had continued more. Atwood really has charm in her writing style.

I'll contact teacher-trudy and send the book ahead.

Journal Entry 43 by chrisim from Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Book has been sent to Australia!

Journal Entry 44 by Teacher-Trudy from Rockhampton, Queensland Australia on Friday, August 04, 2006
Received in the mail this week. With many thanks. I have a few more rings and rays ahead of this, but from what I can see I'm last on the list so no one is waiting for it.

Journal Entry 45 by Teacher-Trudy from Rockhampton, Queensland Australia on Monday, October 09, 2006
This book has taken longer than usual for me to get through. Work and social commitments had a little to do with it, however it was probably more that the story didn't suck me in to a point where I just had to finish it. It did however sustain my interest enough that I continued to plod my way to the end. I too, could find no humour. I particularly enjoyed the central character.

I'm not sure what I'll do with the book next, but it is likely that I'll release it at the hospital with JJsBooksProject for Australia's Greatest One Day Release.

Released 12 yrs ago (10/20/2006 UTC) at Going to release with JJsBooksProject in Rockhampton, RABCK to OBCZ -- Controlled Releases



EDIT: Given to my sister to give to Mossy81 instead.

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