ClassicThe Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood


Is it acceptable to admit that I read this *after* I watched the series? I wouldn’t normally advocate for doing things that way round — books are best and (usually) always first for me — but there you go. This time it was different.

Though I loved the show (*loved* does however seem a strange word to use in reference to it) and I think it is a brilliant adaptation, for me, the power of Atwood’s written word is impossible to fully convey on screen. The structure of her sentences, the pacing of her narrative, the vividness of her similes, the way her metaphors make you prickle with recognition because you just *know* exactly what she means; you may have somehow wondered how to convey it and never known how but yet there she goes again, observing it and nailing it with unparalleled skill. Every. Damn. Time.

As a reader who loves a dystopian world, I’ve watched many interviews with Margaret Atwood, always fascinated by what inspires her, by where her ideas come from. When it comes to the masterpiece that is The Handmaid’s Tale, she has said many times that there is nothing in the book that isn’t true. Flicking through her newspaper cuttings and research at the time of writing, she always makes clear that nothing was put in that hadn’t happened in some way, at some point, somewhere in the world. Perhaps it is that — more than the ‘story’ — that is the scariest thing of all.

Praise be.

~ Sophie 

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