Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2000
For the past 25 years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishment as never before, creating a novel that is both entertaining and profoundly serious.
The novel opens with these simple resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as you expect to settle into Laura's 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 you 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.
Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience. The novel has many threads and a series of events that follow one another at a breathtaking pace. As everything comes together, you will discover that the story Atwood is telling is not only what it seems to be - but is, in fact, much more.
Cover Photograph: Courtesy of © The Advertising Archive, London; ©2000 by O.W. Toad, Ltd.; (P)Random House, Inc. Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Fiction, 2001
"Listeners will find themselves piecing together the clues, guessing at truths, but the rewards are to be found in the layering of details and the skill of the storytelling." (AudioFile)
Just finished listening to this book for the second time. I didn't have the problem others have reported regarding sound quality, perhaps it was the equipment they were using. Atwood's perspectives on life, where it has meaning and where perhaps we expect too much meaning, moved me the second time as much as the first. And Dionne's personification of the characters brought the story to life. One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to, and I'm certain will listen to again.
... Because the narration was simply unbearable.
Margaret Atwood is a favorite of mine, and I think her genius is such that it would be quite difficult to eclipse or distill it by narration. Unfortunately the narrator succeeded in that, and not in a good way. In short I could not listen to this insufferable reading.
Two stars only because I cannot in good conscience give the venerable Atwood a one-star review.
Biomedical entrepreneur. Lifelong Libertarian. Yoga enthusiast.
A very fine book: prose, reader, plot. Keeps you thinking and guessing ahead. Wrapped in all the sadness, you stay hooked in thinking about how life moves ahead one way or another.
This was my first Audible book and I highly recommend it. The story has everything; intrigue, romance, history, humor, and sadness. The plot twists and turns; I couldn't put it down. Margaret Atwood has outdone herself -- again!
This is the first Margret Atwood book I have read. I'll give you the bottom line first. It was a good to great book, but it took me a while to realize it.
The book starts out in a somewhat confusing fashion, but with time, events, places, characters and sub-plots sort themselves out and I was left wondering and anticipating what is going to happen next. The reader's voice is a little off-putting at the beginning and it takes a while to get used to it. By the middle of the book her voice fits the times and the story quite well.
Although by the middle of the book it was hard to put down, I must say that within the first quarter of the book I was tempted to erase the file and admit that I had wasted my money. I am now glad that I didn't because I would have missed out on an interesting and well written story.
I am now intrigued enough to try some of Atwood's other novels.
I typically enjoy Atwood. However, this was too distracting. I literally had to work my way through this book. While Alias Grace started slow (Unabridged), it gained momentum and you eventually became involved. I never reached that point with this book. I do have high hopes for the new Sci Fi though.
I REALLY wanted to listen to this book, so, apprehensive of the bad sound quality reviews, gave it a shot. Mistake,,, I make it about 10 mins into it without giving up. Thanks tho, to Audible, and their great return policy. I sincerely hope it's re-mastered or re-recorded.
You can tell that this book was originally a cassette tape. Could really use a new recording with a new narrator.
Margot Dionne was fine as a narrator, but the sound on this audiobook is absolutely terrible. I couldn't listen after the first chapter. This either needs to be remastered or completely re-recorded.
This is a brilliant book by one of my absolute favorite authors - and it deserves a quality audiobook version.
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