I will always have a fond spot in my heart for this particular book; it was my introduction to the wonder that is Atwood. It’s a Booker-winning play on genre that twists gothic romance with pulpy science fiction, populated by astonishingly vivid characters and scenery. When I finished it I found myself torn between reading it again and grabbing one of her many other masterpieces.
Is there anything Margaret Atwood can’t do? Part sci-fi, part romance, part mystery, part social commentary, and part historical fiction, The Blind Assassin is a heartbreaking page-turner. It’s also a matryoshka doll of sorts; there’s a story within a story within a story, and somehow all three merge together with a twist that’s both surprising and extremely satisfying.
"Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." These words are spoken by Iris Chase Griffen, married at eighteen to a wealthy industrialist but now poor and eighty-two. Iris recalls her far from exemplary life, and the events leading up to her sister's death, gradually revealing the carefully guarded Chase family secrets. Among these is "The Blind Assassin," a novel that earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following. Sexually explicit for its time, it was a pulp fantasy improvised by two unnamed lovers who meet secretly in rented rooms and seedy cafes. As this novel-within-a-novel twists and turns through love and jealousy, self-sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real narrative, as both move closer to war and catastrophe. Margaret Atwood's Booker Prize-winning sensation combines elements of gothic drama, romantic suspense, and science fiction fantasy in a spellbinding tale. From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Margaret Atwood was born in Ottawa in 1939, and grew up in northern Quebec and Ontario, and later in Toronto. She has lived in numerous cities in Canada, the U.S., and Europe. She is the author of more than forty books -- novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children. Atwood's work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye -- both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride, winner of the Trillium Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Governor General's Award, the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Oryx and Crake, a finalist for The Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Orange Prize, and the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent books of fiction are The Penelopiad, The Tent, and Moral Disorder. She is the recipient of numerous honours, such as The Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence in the U.K., the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature in the U.S., Le Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, and she was the first winner of the London Literary Prize. She has received honorary degrees from universities across Canada, and one from Oxford University in England. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson. From the Hardcover edition.
“The first great novel of the new millennium.” –Newsday
“Margaret Atwood is one of the most brilliant and unpredictable novelists alive.” –Literary Review (U.K.)
“An example of a writer at the very peak of her performance.…As it delves into the kinds of relationships that can exist between men and women and the rich and poor, it becomes a compassionate and utterly honest book. It is profound and touching. It is to be treasured.” –Edmonton Journal
“Atwood performs a spectacular sleight of hand, fashioning a bewitching, brilliantly layered story of how people see only what they wish to.” –Entertainment Weekly
“Dazzling and entertaining.…” –Globe and Mail
“The Blind Assassin is quite simply Atwood’s most emotional, yearning, heartfelt, sexy, and elegiac book ever.” –Quill & Quire
“Atwood has never written with more flair and versatility than in this multidimensional novel. A brilliant accomplishment.” –Sunday Times (U.K.)
“Boldly imagined and brilliantly executed.” –Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“There is no presence more formidably protean than Margaret Atwood’s in Canadian culture.…[The Blind Assassin] will alternately charm and beguile its readers.” –Winnipeg Free Press
“Stories spin within stories in this spellbinding novel of avarice, love, and revenge.…” –Booklist (U.S.) (starred review)
“A tour de force.” –Chicago Tribune
“Sumptuous and compelling.….” –Toronto Star
“The Blind Assassin is the kind of story so full of intrigue and desperation that you take it to bed with you simply because you can’t bear to put it down.…It’s one thing to write an accomplished novel; it’s another entirely to spin a tale so brilliantly that the reader internalizes it.” –Harper’s Bazaar
“Atwood is a dazzling storyteller with a distinctive voice and an ear attuned to irony.” –London Free Press
“Margaret Atwood is one of the greatest writers alive.…A novel of luminous prose, scalpel-precise insights and fierce characters.…[The Blind Assassin] is so assured, so elegant and so incandescently intelligent, she casts her contemporaries in the shade.” –Atlanta Journal-Constitution