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Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood review


   Yes, I'm going to be one of those people.  You know, the "the book was way better" type of people, except it's in reverse for me.  It was definitely a first for me; I actually liked the show better than the book.  In the show, I related a lot more to Offred, but in the book she just seems weak.  Would I have done the same things if put in the same situations? Probably, but I'm one of those people who also hates myself for my weaknesses so that's to be expected.
     In the show, I was rooting for Offred to succeed in getting away from this horrible place but after reading the story, I felt kind of bitter that she is the one who escaped rather than Ofglen, who was actually taking the initiative to help the women stuck in Gilead while Offred was trying to avoid it and just have her fun with Nick.
     The story with Moira is also much more intricate in the show so I was really disappointed to see that both she and Luke are hardly mentioned in the novel.
     I will say one thing for the book, the world-building is very good.  You feel like you are there with Offred as she walks past what used to be major landmarks but are now reduced to only abandoned or military outpost buildings, and you feel her suffering as she looks at those hanged or forced into servitude.
     I do also appreciate the fact that in the book the Commanders and their wives are painted as older couples.  I understand why the show picked "beautiful people" to play the parts for better ratings, but it did feel more realistic that Offred was forced to be a surrogate for someone she wouldn't willingly be with if things were different.
    Again, if I had read the book before seeing the show I would probably be right there with the others in rating it as a 4 to 5 star book, but having seen how much the show expanded on the idea of Gilead I have to only give it about a 3 now.

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