- Taschenbuch: 336 Seiten
- Verlag: Anchor (16. März 1998)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 038549081X
- ISBN-13: 978-0385490818
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 1,9 x 20,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 212 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 72 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
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The Handmaid's Tale: A Novel (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 16. März 1998
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"A novel that brilliantly illuminates some of the darker interconnections between politics and sex . . . Just as the world of Orwell's 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood's handmaid!" —The Washington Post Book World
"The Handmaid's Tale deserves the highest praise." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Atwood takes many trends which exist today and stretches them to their logical and chilling conclusions . . . An excellent novel about the directions our lives are taking . . . Read it while it's still allowed." —Houston Chronicle
In the world of the near future, who will control women's bodies?
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 days 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.
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Even though Offred is the protagonist of this novel, she is not the typical heroine since she remains rather passive throughout the story: she appears to have accepted her fate as a handmaid for “her” high-ranked commander. While she does often think about her former family and also expresses her regret at missing out on her daughter’s childhood, she does not actively take action in order to change her situation. As far as her character traits are concerned, she has enough faults to appear human without them being such grave ones that the readers lose sympathy for her.
Despite being a dystopian novel, Margaret Atwood manages to deal with various thorny issues, one of which is the subject of power and control. In Gilead, everything is controlled by the regime: this becomes extremely perceptible when one looks at the handmaids’ names. Each of them starts with the prefix “of” followed by her Commander’s name – therefore, their names change with every move to another house, which is extremely offensive since this also takes a part of their identity away.
The author also deals with the topics of feminism and acceptance. One of the characters in the books, Moira, is definitely a strong representative of the former: not only is she a lesbian, but she also manages to escape the Red Centre where the future handmaids are schooled. This aspect will definitely appeal to readers who are looking for a more active figure. As far as acceptance is concerned, it soon becomes clear that quite a few women appear to remain indifferent to the loss of their rights as long as they still have some kind of power, even if it only consists of managing the households. This is underlined by the quotation: “Truly amazing, what people can get used to, as long as there are a few compensations.”
While reading this evocative story, one will soon discover that even seemingly banal thing such as magazines or games can be taken away from us and that we often underrate the importance of such little parts of our everyday lives.
The most shocking about the book is that it isn’t so surreal after all: some features actually exist in our world as well, for instance extreme religious movements or regions where women have no rights. Therefore, some may find this book too disturbing and fear-inducing or even consider it to be preposterous due to the way these negative occurrences are combined. I, however, consider it to be a riveting read, especially since the plot as well as the ending are far from being predictable.
In either way, when deciding to read this book, one should be prepared to be left haunted by a story that is unique in its own way and which may induce one to question our lifestyle as well: do we really appreciate the opportunities we have to live our lives to the fullest? Would we be prepared to fight for our rights if they were taken away from us or would we resign as well?
“A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.”
It took me a while to get into this book because the main character, Offred, felt so entirely different to the last protagonist I've read about. (click here to see my review on the last book I read, "The Bell Jar") The writing style was also quite different, which is why I needed some time to get used to it.
I really enjoyed te short paragraphs and short chapters because such a thing always fastens my reading speed.
I found the general plot very interesting but I was never too much a fan of dystopias, so it took me a while to get used to that "future world" and its system and everything that came with it.
The main character grew more and more on me, the more she opened herself towards the reader.
After approximately 50 pages I was really involved in the story and very much enjoyed reading it.
The narrator keeps flashing back to her past, sometimes within a single sentence, and that confused me a lot. It also made me question the narrator's reliability a bit.
I think that the concept of the system in that dystopian republic is very scary but also very interesting to read about. It's definitely something that demands you to think about it.
There is a tv series that is based on this novel, starring Joseph Fiennes and Samira Wiley (who played Poussey Washington in ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) and now, after I've finished this book, I'd really love to watch this series.
The cover of my edition of this book was quite simple but felt very fitting to the plot. I liked that it gave me as the reader an image of what the handmaids have looked like.
What really surprised me in this book, was how sexual it got at times. It was never actually explicit but left a lot to the imagination, which made it even more indecent in my opinion. And I really enjoyed that.
For me, there was really some chemistry between the Commander and Offred, which I would love to see outplayed in the tv series. I found the Commander to generally be a very layered and interesting character and would have loved to get to know more about him.
I wasn't too sure what to think of the ending though. And since I don't want to give anything away, I won't say too much more here. The ending just confused me a lot and sort of ripped me out of the story in a quite brutal way. I felt unprepared and therefore read the last pages with a distance to the book that I hadn't had before. Generally, the ending was a bit frustrating.
It took me approximately 50 pages to get into this book, but afterwards I really enjoyed it a lot. I found the plot to be very interesting and thought a lot about it. I found the writing style to be quite thrilling and always read a lot of pages in one sitting - also because the chapters were so wonderfully short. There were a lot of characters, mainly the narrator, Offred, and the Commander, that I found very interesting and layered. I wish there would have been even more information on both of them.
Still, I feel like the story could have been even more fascinating, and I'm not sure whether I like the ending, but it is nevertheless still a very good story that definitely encourages the reader to overthink society and gender roles.
I would definitely recommend this book if the plot seems interesting to you.
I award this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Mit "The Handmaid's Tale" gelingt ihr eine düstere Zukunftvision, die fast dreißig Jahre später angesichts des neuen Erstarkens von "neuen Rechten", religiösem Fundamentalismus und starren Genderrollen heute fast aktueller erscheint als in den frühen 1980ern, und damit ähnlich prophetisch wirkt wie Orwells und Huxleys Romane.
Atwood befindet sich hier noch in der Frühphase ihres Schaffens, aber dennoch gehört dieses Buch zum Besten, was sie geschrieben hat. Pflichtlektüre!
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Habe dieses Buch für den Englisch-LK bestellt, aber mir sagt es auch so sehr zu.Lesen Sie weiter