Monday, February 24
Book Review: The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Summary: “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 cafés. 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.
My Rating: 9.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I loved this book, there's just something about the authors writing, where I can just lose myself in reading, and this book was no exception. There were multiple times while reading this book I was completely immersed in the story, forgetting everything around me, and just enjoying a spectacular read.
Iris, as a character was one I enjoyed a lot. She was bitter at times, but witty and I think her narrative was a very fitting one for the book. I enjoyed her a lot as a character, far more than I expected to. She was hard to like a times, but that worked for the book. She was a well written character, and she was one that was fully fleshed out. She was also a memorable character, even after you've finished the book, she's a character that sticks with you, and I think using Iris as the narrator, really helped make the book as good as it was.
The book was a long one, which covers a long period of time and often jumps around from past to present. It was also very complex on how all the components of the book are written and slowly pulled together, particularly with having the story within the story. But I think this aspect of the book was executed wonderfully. All aspects of the story flowed together nicely and naturally, and I think having the story within the story, something I was initially worried I wouldn't like, worked out amazingly. Although, I did prefer the main storyline, I think the author did fantastic job at creating the second plot, and merging into the main part of the book.
I also enjoyed just how complex the book became. With everything that was revealed at the end, some of which I had guessed at, some of which ended up being a clever twist, it all came together creating an excellent reading experience.
Overall, this was an absolutely stunning book, one that has me wanting more, and despite the size of the book, this is one I'd likely re-read again at some point in time.
Would I recommend it to read: I would, this book is one of the best by the author I've read.
What to read next: Clara Callan, more Margaret Atwood Books, Alias Grace is another favourite.
Challenges: 100+ Books, 2014 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Chunkster Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge