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BOOK CLUB – "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Cap Cap 2 days, 22 hours ago.

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  • #53627
    Profile photo of Cap
    Cap
    Keymaster

    Announcing our next Book Club title, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It’s a dystopian journey into a bleak American future. As announced in Book Club episode 13!

    Share your feelings on the book here. Our target for the release of the next Book Club is late September, so be sure to shoot us your thoughts in time to be included on the episode.

    • This topic was modified 10 months ago by Profile photo of Cap Cap.
    #53645
    Profile photo of Delphi
    Delphi
    Participant

    Got to be honest, I’m really not looking forward to this one. I actually read Handmaid’s Tale for a unit on dystopian literature in high school, and though all the selections were pretty dull, Handmaid’s Tale had been particularly bad. The morals it was trying to instill were just too heavy handed in my opinion. Maybe it’s just because anything where religion or societal norms are used as an excuse for oppression is really off putting for me. Nonetheless, I’m willing to give it another shot for the sake of book club, or at least go over a cliff notes version of it before the next episode. Given that it’s been almost a decade since then, I may find it more tolerable now than I had as a teenage girl.

    #53777
    Profile photo of Nonamer
    Nonamer
    Participant

    I remember reading this one in high school. It’s not the best dystopian fiction out there, but I think it still has a place in serving as a warning against assuming authoritarian doctrines as fact.

    Also, there’s a movie based on this book: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099731/

    • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of Nonamer Nonamer.
    #54365
    Profile photo of Nathaniel
    Nathaniel
    Participant

    I’m about 58% done with the book. (I’ve been reading on my new, Kindle Paperwhite, checked out from my local library… trying something new, as we’ve about run out of space in our house for books).

    I’ve read one other Margaret Atwood book, years ago, and I’ve always wanted to read more. The book was “Oryx and Crake,” and apparently has been turned into a something called the “MadAddam Trilogy.” “Oryx and Crake” and its sequels are also dystopian science-fiction, and “Oryx and Crake” was a fantastic read. In that book, Atwood does what any great master of science-fiction does — takes modern concepts, things that are breaking news in the sciences, and takes them to some of their logical conclusions… and the results are disastrous. It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, but I have been wanting to re-read it, and finally read its sequels.

    Because I had been so taken with that book, I’ve long had other Atwood books on my list to read. NSBC was a great excuse to finally read “The Handmaid’s Tale.” So, thank you 🙂

    This one has taken me some time to get through. But that’s mostly on me, having less time to read lately. Atwood, IMO, has her skills as a great writer on full display here. Her subtle but powerful phrasings often make me pause. In addition, its impossible not to empathize with our protagonist. I’m finally to the part of the book where the actual revolution that leads to all these awful societal changes is being discussed, and its unsettling. Especially given our current cultural climate.

    For me, its been a difficult book to get through at times because it is so bleak. In that way, it really does remind me of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” or Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake” (or even The Walking Dead). Society has mutated into something so ugly, its hard to dwell in these pages. But I’m dying to see what becomes of our hero in this situation. I have daughters of my own, and the image of this character being torn from her child and forced into this crazed form of slavery is gut-wrenching.

    I’m looking forward to finishing this one… hopefully in time for the show and your discussion (this would be my first, with the odd exception of “Ocean at the End of the Lane”).

    #54366
    Profile photo of Cap
    Cap
    Keymaster

    @kraftybasterd Thanks so much for all the feedback on the book. I’ve got some good(?) news. We’re running late! Hopefully just a teeny bit late. It’s entirely my fault. I didn’t order the book soon enough and it got delivered the day after I left for the big summer travel. After that I’ve had next to no free time for reading. Might be recording within the week and then will have the episode out asap.

    #55550
    Profile photo of Armadon
    Armadon
    Participant

    I dont know the criteria for giving a vote for the next book, but i just got Brandon sanderson’s the Reckeners trilogy for Christmas, the first book is steelheart was gonna read it thought of you guys and wanted to see if you were interested.
    Dystopian future, people with superpowers, and people who want those people dead.

    Hand maidens tale was interesting by the way. Good too, just more interesting

    #56365
    Profile photo of Nathaniel
    Nathaniel
    Participant

    Ermagrd. What happened?

    I finished “The Handmaid’s Tale” a few months ago. It was a gripping read, if emotionally difficult at times. Atwood truly thinks through the angles. And I have to say, the time at which I finished the book– October 2016 — felt eerie and significant, with the election happening the way it did.

    I’ve been seeing the ads on Hulu for their adaption. I can honestly say, while I have no doubt the production and acting will be terrific (Elisabeth Moss, of “Mad Men” fame, feels like a brilliant casting for the lead), I have little stomach for watching the show after reading the book. Maybe when some more time has passed and I can handle the stomach churning again induced by the book.

    If you’ve not read other Atwood, I really recommend “Oryx and Crake.” I left some notes about it in my previous comment.

    I know Cap and the crew are keeping crazy busy these days, so I bear no grudges about Book Club going off schedule/on hiatus. That said, I really do enjoy this particular line-up of Nerdy Show contributors, and I’d ask that maybe, during one of the regular Nerdy Show episodes, that line-up can get together and just talk books in general every two months or something. It might be a more maintainable alternative.

    #56374
    Profile photo of Cap
    Cap
    Keymaster

    @kraftybasterd We have a plan! Alas, I’ve been so busy lately we haven’t had a chance to implement it. It’s a real crime this isn’t out yet.

    #56944
    Profile photo of Blangno
    Blangno
    Participant

    I totally get it. Life happens. But is there an estimate on when the Hand Made Tails episode will come out?

    #56947
    Profile photo of Cap
    Cap
    Keymaster

    I would’ve had it out this past week, but the summer con/ travel madness has already started. Maybe June. I hope June. It’s driving me nuts.

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