Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed, and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in...for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes.
At first this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.
©2015 Margaret Atwood (P)2015 Random House Audio
I love Atwood and all of her fiction. This book had a very interesting plot although less complex and less beautifully written than her usual style. More straight to the point. It was surprisingly plausible for a dystopian novel. My biggest complaint was the female narrator who was incredibly annoying. I don't think the female character herself is incredibly likable but it was impossible with this narrator. If you're considering the audiobook I might pick up the hard copy instead.
I enjoyed this book, though I have to admit that it is not my favorite of her books. It contains many of the elements that her other books have - Big Brother v. the little man, fantasy/sci-fi elements and a slight nihilistic look at the world. I found several elements in the book to be implausible - and yes, while I know the book is pure fantasy, I still expected her to tie them up a bit more neatly. The characters also felt less developed than her previous books - we don't know much about them before the book begins and the two leading characters seem to be rather naive and just plain dumb at times. It's almost as if Atwood had no respect for them herself, so it was hard for me to have respect for them as well.
Overall, it was entertaining and kept me interested even if it wasn't great literature.
I am a fan of Margaret Atwood and was very much looking forward to hearing this.
primarily, Charmaine's voice and up talking almost drove me to return the book in the first ten minutes.
I couldn't get used to that, it was obnoxious to me.
Charmaine's character in general was painfully bland and predictable. Part of this was written in, but she was honestly so boring I hoped for her to be killed off.
The book progressed and while I found it mildly enjoyable, it was predictable and even the plot twists were just meh.
I've read many many Atwood books and this was my least favorite by far.
Great premise compromised by unbearable characters and execution that falls short. She could have done so much more with the concept. But she decided instead to add a level of comedy that, while clever in itself, took away from the gravity of the dystopian setup. I'm not saying tongue-in-cheek humor has no place in dystopia; in this case it felt like two different novels at times. I'd have been more interested in the day-to-day of this exceptional lifestyle, and the psychological impact it has on the characters. But this element was missing from the novel. Instead we are treated to a few intriguing developments which held great promise yet were blunted by the comedic overtones. This could have been a very differently executed novel--- had she focused on the gravity of the situation and the impact it had on the characters I'd have enjoyed it more. But her choice to seemingly amuse herself with a parody was less to my liking. That said, this book is a solid choice for fans of Atwood's oddball side. It's got a lot of clever ideas and satisfying developments. My taste hoped for more of her serious side.
I have read the Oryx & Crake trilogy, The Handmaid's Tale, and more, but this is the first by Atwood that had me laughing. At first I thought the story was superficial, but that was deceptive. It was a deep tale about freedom versus security, in both the physical/economic and spiritual/ psychological/emotional domains. The audio voice actors were superb, the female actor was exceptionally adept at delivering comic lines in an earnest deadpan way. I highly recommend this book, and ALL Atwood's work!
It's OK but does not break new ground. Feels like a standard dystop with sex thrown in. Not Atwood's best. She is capable of really struggling with what the future might hold. Wish she had done it here.
I enjoyed this book because while parts of it were about the timeless nature of relationships other pArts were totally futuristic enough to make things interesting. Stan and his wife go from living in their car after losing everything in a national financial collapse. After spending what seems like an eternity struggling just to get by they are excepted in to a new program where they agree to live in absolute comfort in a pristine new home and one month in prison and that's when unsettling things begin to happen. The home is lovely... The prison not bad but then they are drawn in to a weird plot that each of them is only aware of from their own circumstances. Loved the bazzair twists and turns. A very different kind of story but very enjoyable.
It ranks in the upper quintile. Margaret Atwood is always a great story teller. That this one leaves you thinking about yourself at the end instead of the hopelessness of the future is a plus.
Charmaine's simple character covers a deep soul.
Charmaine and Stan. Especially Stan as an "Elvis"
It makes you think about how we live our lives is based on what we tell ourselves is true whether or not it is factual.
This book drew me in from the start. I couldn't wait to get back to it between listening sessions. The concept was interesting, as her books always are, and it was a simple easy listen as a bonus!
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