The Blind Assassin by Margaret AtwoodMargaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist. Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience.
It opens with these simple, resonant words: Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge. They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Lauras death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Lauras story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.
For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious. The Blind Assassin proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of our time. Like The Handmaids Tale, it is destined to become a classic.
Oryx and Crake Summary
Margaret Atwood's novel Oryx and Crake takes place in a future world where scientific achievements and particularly genetic experimentation are the focus of society. Mankind's obsession with science ultimately allows the ethically blind idealist Crake to destroy human society. The protagonist, Jimmy, is the only son of two genetic scientists. His mother quits working when he is young, due to an untreated nervous breakdown. Jimmy's father rises to prominence as a researcher but fails as a father.
The novel is split into two storylines. The novel opens with Snowman going through his daily routine. His mother used to work for the corporations like his father does, but she quits in disgust at corporate corruption and greed and experimentation on animals. She explains in a note that her conscience could bear it no longer. One game they play is called Extinctathon, and involves cataloguing the long list of extinct species. Jimmy and Crake go to separate colleges—Crake to a prestigious school for the sciences, and Jimmy to a dilapidated humanities school, where he studies rhetoric and advertising strategies. When Jimmy graduates he obtains a job writing pamphlets for a corporation called AnooYoo—he is bored and depressed by this work and begins drinking heavily and develops a sex addiction.