The Blind Assassin

The Blind Assassin
by: Margaret Atwood

Challenges: What's in a Name?

Published: 2000

# of pages: 521

I don't really know what to say about this book. I didn't really like it most of the way through. For awhile in the middle I was interested, then it seemed slow again, but after reading the very last part I kind of liked it. I think that reading it in bits and pieces over a long period of time was not the way to go. However, I just couldn't motivate myself to read more and when I received the opportunity to read The Hunger Games, I took time off to read that. So perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I read it all at once. That's definitely what I recommend others do!

The story is told by Iris Chase Griffin, an old lady who is looking back over her life at the age of about 82. She remembers her family and the tragedies that occurred when she and her sister were young. It's all very tangled because she tells about her current life and her past while there are also articles from the local paper and chapters from the book (a book within a book) The Blind Assassin. Everything comes together at the end and I was pleased that I solved all of the mysteries ahead of time. That's one reason why I liked it at the end. I finally completely understood everything and my suspicions were all correct!

The novel is very dark and it made me sad that so many of the characters in the book go through life without ever experiencing true love. Not just romantic love - true love in general. A couple of the characters think they are in love...or maybe they are really in love, but it's just not what love should be. Not only is the story dark in this way, there are many other disturbing things that crop up such as suicide, death, manipulation, lies, insane asylums (this seems to be a theme in many books I've read recently - The Woman in White & The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox), affairs, incest, etc.

I recommend this book to fans of Atwood (I don't think I am a fan...I liked The Handmaid's Tale, but didn't care for Cat's Eye) and "deep" thought provoking novels. I only recommend this for adults, there's a fair amount of bad language and sexual descriptions.

Other reviews:
things mean a lot

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.


Myckyee said...

I haven't reviewed this book, but I did read and really liked it. I'm sorry you didn't find it an enjoyable read. I admit I'm an Atwood fan though and usually like what she writes. I think I was really impressed with how she seemed to write one story inside of another (if that makes any sense). I'm looking forward to her next one.

Nymeth said...

It really is a very sad book. And I've been meaning to read The Woman in White and Esme Lennox.

Kim L said...

I did read this one about a year ago. Atwood is a really, really interesting author. I can't say I'm a huge fangirl, but I do think her books are hard work, but very rewarding at the end. By the time I've closed the last page, I feel like I do admire her writing quite a bit, but I need a bit of a break before I take one of her books up again.

It's funny, though, this book has stood out in my mind because of the vivid characters she describes.

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