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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall
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  • Story

Couldn't take it.

What disappointed you about The Blind Assassin?

Disjointed and dull. Perhaps I'll try and pick it up in print, some books to translate well to audio.

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Book is great.

The book itself is pretty slow burning, but absolutely enjoyable and captivating enough all the way though.

My main complaint with this audiobook is the horrid recording quality of the narrator. I'm by no means an audiophile, but the constant hiss and crackle of background noise had me ready to quit the book almost the whole time.

Which, I guess, is a testament to how good the story is anyway.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Ignore the bad audio for the multifaceted story

I thought of quitting due to the poor quality of the recording, but I'm so glad I didn't. If you like Margaret Atwood's other books, you should definitely check this out; there are more plot threads and surprises than usual.

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Masterful storytelling

The storytelling was captivating, the actor captured the tone and attitude of the main character beautifully with all the complexity, mystery, irony and pride of the character, The story itself was compelling, in the telling of an elusive truth remembered, slipping easily in and out of past and present. it is rich in descriptive detail with out becoming bogged down in it. this book ranks among my all time favorites, up there with Tolstoy. There was some trouble in the middle of the audio with a squeaking background noise, however, i contacted the tech people at audible who helped me resolve this. This book is not to be passed up due to a little squeaking. Margaret Atwood can tell an intricate story from a woman's perspective like no other. its worth listening to again, and again.

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Random bird squeaking

Annoying periodic bird chirping/squeaking sound throughout. The story and performance is good but that noise is obnoxious.

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One of the Best Audio Books I've Heard!

Would you listen to The Blind Assassin again? Why?

Yes! The narration was fantastic! I almost returned this because of the hissing, but I am SO HAPPY I didn't. It eventually went away or became part of the ambiance of this beautifully written book. The story was very good, as was the story within the story. One of my favorite audio books!

Have you listened to any of Margot Dionne’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first Margot Dionne audio book, but I would definitely listen to her again. She has a very pleasant voice that was perfect for the main character and did a seamless job transitioning between characters. I am torn between purchasing another book by Margaret Atwood or looking for a book narrated by Margot Dionne.

Any additional comments?

Don't give up because of the hissing - it will fade away!

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Laborious and Inconsistent Audio

Laborious story. Still confused about some connections. Audio quality not consistent. I am now annoyed that I need to add words to meet 20 minimum.

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Glad I read it.

This book is pretty graphic for quite awhile but I am glad I stuck with it.

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Snooze

I just couldn't get into this story. I kept asking myself what the point was. Not a fan this time.

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Rambling!

What was most disappointing about Margaret Atwood’s story?

This book rambles on without any direction! Boring as a thriller!

What didn’t you like about Margot Dionne’s performance?

Margot Dionne's performance was fine.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Mostly confusion and boredom

Any additional comments?

none