The Handmaid's Tale (BOOKRING)

by Margaret Eleanor Atwood | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0770422632 Global Overview for this book
Registered by boutish on 7/5/2003
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by boutish on Saturday, July 5, 2003
One of the best books I've ever read! So good I decided to share it with people and to make a bookring out of it.

1) psychjo UK
2) Sarabeth Texas
3) AngelKitty Colorado
4) Tamster33 California
5) caligula03 California
6) ALIVE Florida - to be send to LilPatoodle
7) LilPatoodle Maryland
8) Wandeca Ontario, Canada

#) boutish Québec, Canada

You would like to join? Send me a PM!

Journal Entry 2 by boutish on Wednesday, July 9, 2003
I'm gonna post it tomorrow (July 10th) to psychjo. Sorry for the post office appears to be close every time I can get there!

Journal Entry 3 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Monday, July 21, 2003
I've just received this from Boutish - thanks! Will start on it as soon as I finish my current read, which I am almost through.

Journal Entry 4 by psychjo from Portsmouth, Hampshire United Kingdom on Sunday, July 27, 2003
I finished this last night, after devouring it every night before going to bed. Absolutely brilliant. Completely agree with Boutish this is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

I heard Margaret Attwood interviewed recently (BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs I think) and she was talking about how everything that she has in her books has either happened or the technology is around for it to be able to happen soon. Pretty horrifying. As you read it the story definitely feels as if its in the realm of fiction - but then you remember that this stuff has gone on in the world.

Will send on to Sarabeth as soon as I's on it's way....

Journal Entry 5 by Sarabeth from Houston, Texas USA on Tuesday, August 5, 2003
Book Received!
Thanks so much to Jo for the beautiful postcard of Portsmouth, a really sweet touch :) This is my first bookring, so looking forward to reading this and passing it on...

Journal Entry 6 by Sarabeth from Houston, Texas USA on Tuesday, September 2, 2003
(Apologies for latency...)

This book was fantastic! Thanks to Jo for the beautiful Porstmouth postcard.

I received this book a fateful evening- the night before an overseas trip! Yes, so instead of packing, I spent all afternoon and night reading it all the way through. Fantastic! A quick, entertaining read; the story is on a much more personal scope than 1984 or Brave New World. What made this book particularly eerie and poignant is that the heroine could still remember her modern-day past... This book could happen!

So, I received this book in Houston, but am now sending it off from my new college in Massachusetts.

Journal Entry 7 by AngelKitty from Denver, Colorado USA on Thursday, October 2, 2003
I've got to agree with Sarabeth on this one: one of the creepiest parts of this is that the protagonist can still remember her normal past. That, and her mother had been part of the Women's Lib movement, and had warned her time after time that if she didn't appreciate what her mother had fought for, it would all be lost.

Definitely putting this on my Wish List for Christmas. Maybe I'm being simplistic, but I want to know what really happened on the end. Sure, the uncertainty is supposed to be part of the point, but after getting so attached to the protagonist, I want to know.

Off to Tamster33

Journal Entry 8 by silver-halcyon from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Hi! I received this book in the mail recently, but I'm not really sure how it came to be in my possession. I don't recall requesting to be a part of this bookring, but I'll read the book and take care of it until I am told where it must be sent next.


Journal Entry 9 by silver-halcyon from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Saturday, January 10, 2004
Sometimes, its not what you say, but how you say it. Story lines and plots are constantly recycled, but what sets them apart is how the author takes the idea and journey and makes it his/her own. Thus, Handmaid's Tale should not be taken for granted over Orwell's 1984. Atwood is too proud of a woman to let such raw energy slip past her fingers and she has proven to be quite a versatile writer by producing a surplus of immaculate novels.

To me, the protagonist, Offred, is a timeless character - a submissive woman, who is so secretly rebellious, that she doesn't even realize it herself until half-way through the novel. Atwood puts Offred in the beginning years of the Republic of Gilead (formerly the United States), in which religion has taken over as an oppressive totalitarian government. It is an age of decline births, as few women and men are left fertile. Women's stations in the society have been reduced to roles that would make the medieval wives cringe in fear. A commander of a household would possess several women: his wife (the abstinent head of household), his Marthas (sterile women who act as servants and workers) and his Handmaids (the women designated for procreation purposes). Offred, acts as our tour guide through this horrific world, while carrying the burden of her lost liberties and her separation from her husband and daughter.

Through grace and tortured language, Atwood gives us a sociology lessen about a world that could possibly become our reality. Readers cannot help but be spellbound by the unique voice of Offred, who must adapt to a world where women are not allowed to read and are no longer allotted any simplistic comforts, such as make-up, photo albums and the freedom to speak and think openly. This book grabs you from the first page and the reader must succumb to the feeling of hopelessness that is embedded in almost every figure of society.

I think that's why I kept reading though - there is a chance for change and hope. All of the characters, no matter what their position in the caste system, seem to hate the society. Special moments, such as the commander inviting Offred to play scrabble with him. The gesture seems like a modest act of sympathy from a man who seems to resent his own superiority. Every character is worth exploring until Offred makes her own decisions to involve herself with a man who could either be a member of the rebel resistance movement or the secret police.

The Handmaids Tale has the storytelling quality of Anne Rice and the literary qualities and social criticism that one would expect to find from an Adrian Rich collection. I won't lie, this story is an epic journey and has been told before by other writers, set in different worlds with different voices. But I have yet been able to find one that touches every emotion the way that Atwood does. Good stories should always be treasured, but the one's that make you think are true gems.

Journal Entry 10 by silver-halcyon at -- Controlled Release in Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Saturday, January 10, 2004
Released on Saturday, January 10, 2004 at Another BookCrossing Member in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.

Mailing this one out to Tamster in San Fransisco later on today!

Journal Entry 11 by Tamster33 from San Francisco, California USA on Thursday, January 29, 2004
Received a few days ago. Really looking forward to reading this one. I've heard a lot about it. Will write more when I'm done. Thanks!

Journal Entry 12 by Tamster33 from San Francisco, California USA on Tuesday, May 31, 2005
I want to apologize profusely for keeping this book so long, especially because I still haven't read it. I'm so sorry - I'm not usually such a flake. I thought I sent it on months ago, but I found it a month or so ago under my bed when I was cleaning. I meant to send it off then, but my life has taken a hectic turn and I never got around to it.

I am mailing it off to Caligula03 today, so this ring is back on its way.

Thanks for the opportunity. Just wish I'd made more of it.

Journal Entry 13 by Tamster33 at on Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Released 17 yrs ago (5/31/2005 UTC) at



Sent to Caligula03 via media mail

Journal Entry 14 by caligula03 from Hayward, California USA on Wednesday, June 1, 2005
My goodness! The book has arrived.

Journal Entry 15 by caligula03 from Hayward, California USA on Sunday, June 26, 2005
I'm glad I finally got a chance to finish the book. I started reading this about 17 years ago and then didn't get to finish. I don't recall why or what happened to my copy of the book.

I enjoyed this book as much as Oryx and Crake. Atwood is best at describing the aftermath of a society going horribly wrong. I like that in this one she does let the reader know that life goes on outside of Gilead even if her characters are unaware of things have remained the same outside of their immediate existence. Most authors of this type of story neglect the bigger picture and I'm glad that she didn't.

Journal Entry 16 by caligula03 at on Monday, June 27, 2005

Released 17 yrs ago (7/16/2005 UTC) at



Mailing to Alive.

Journal Entry 17 by Alive from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Saturday, July 30, 2005
I received this book as a part of a bookring Wednesday from caligula03.


Journal Entry 18 by Alive from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Wednesday, August 17, 2005
This book is superb in every sense of the word.

Powerful images and superb writing. This is one of the best books I've read in a long, long time.

Thanks again for including me in this bookring.

Journal Entry 19 by Alive from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Sunday, January 15, 2006
I have just sent a pm to LilPatoodle,to send this book along.
Sorry for the delay.

Journal Entry 20 by Alive from St. Petersburg, Florida USA on Thursday, August 23, 2007
I have held this book far to long. I am very sorry to those that were waiting next on the list.
I will try to pm LilPatoodle one more time. Then I will go to the next person.

The Handmaids Tale is brilliant!

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