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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2000

Even now, at the age of 82, Iris lives in the shadow cast by her younger sister, Laura. Now poor and trying to cope with a failing body, Iris reflects on her far-from-exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death.

©2001 Margaret Atwood (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    32
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    20
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    6

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    32
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    13
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    4
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    1
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha
  • Yarramalong, NSW, Australia
  • 01-25-10

Loved it

Oh I loved this story, didn't totally understand it after the end at the first read, so downloaded the study notes and listened to it again and it made more sense. Thank goodness for Audible, I don't have time to sit and read a book. Margaret Atwood is amazing.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My first Atwood

I loved it. The narration is spectacular. The story can be a bit long but every chapter has something for you to look forward to in the next chapter. This is the first time I have consumed any book by Atwood and I loved it. I love myself for pursuing through it. :)

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 05-19-13

Blinded by boredom

I am astonished that this book was published, utterly gob smacked that it won the Booker. It is badly written, has a plot as thin as a pancake, a "twist" that is hilariously predictable and a feeling of boredom that pervades both the narration of the protagonist and the mind of the reader. There are many books where there is a slight plot, but there is usually great writing that compensates for this. The Blind Assassin has neither.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anthony
  • 02-15-11

Compelling

A glorious book full of intrigue, secrets and the frailties of human relationships. The book was a litle difficult to get into but once the listener understands the elements of moving back and forth in time, it becomes unputdownable! At times the story seemed surreal reminding me of stories by Michael Cox another great novelist. The sister Laura is clearly much confused by her mothers untimely death which to all intents and purposes does much to shape her life during her teens and later years. Iris the main character hovers between timidness and strength in her unhappy and unfulfilled life and secretly harbours such anger against those who have become her intimate family.
The characters were well defined and believable and the story as a whole never became tedious or drawn-out.
Brilliant with a satisfactory ending!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • JC Niala
  • 02-02-16

Beautifully brutal

The secrets and lies behind a families story. A novel within a novel. This book with more layers than puff pastry slowly invites you to delve into what is inside. The ways in which sisters can love and hurt and what we choose to see or not to see in order to survive.

A few coincidences create a slight air of disbelief in what is otherwise an engaging and astonishingly descriptive book. Set against a backdrop of the wars that would make Canada a nation, it also provides great historical insight into a countries development alongside individual tragedy.

The perfectly pitched performance made it a pleasurable if uncomfortable listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • 01-26-11

serious literature

An excellent rendition by Lorelei King who produces an impressive range of voices and tones to make both the narration and the dialogue come alive. As perhaps one would expect, this is meaty, serious, multi-level literature exploring many different concepts, moving at a stately but inexorable pace. If you like Margaret Atwood I am sure you will love this audiobook. For me, the all-pervading dark gloom seems excessive at times - smiles are rare. But the language is often superb, and hearing it read out allows full appreciation of its riches, surprises and power.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joanna Lawn
  • 06-11-16

Love love love

Definitely one of Atwood's best
Similar structure to Cat's Eye if you like the back and forth in time

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • 06-13-15

Satisfying

If you could sum up The Blind Assassin in three words, what would they be?

Strong, original, rich.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Iris. i bought the book very cleverly illustrated in fine detail the life of someone who was written out of their own story in their own lifetime. A strong, thoughtful character.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, wise sounding, deep rooted and an even pace.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not really, it made me thoughtful and a little wistful.

Any additional comments?

It's a long book, and slow at times, but so brilliant by the end that I was glad of the slow pace. It felt satisfying and nutritious.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Puffin Face
  • 06-04-18

Good

Excellent character development and well written. One big negative is that between sections of the book there is this sudden, very loud, music. As many people listen prior to falling asleep, this repeatedly woke me from a near slumber with an absolute start and was a very annoying distraction.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • navarone
  • 05-03-18

Not the best of Margaret Atwood

Somehow this seems over long and although there are some twists built in you see them coming. The narrator does her best with passages and dialogues that just seem to go on too long, so even her pleasant voice becomes a bit tedious after a while. There are many much better novels by Margaret Atwood. The Audible version of bodily harm, for example, is really great.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lorna
  • 02-20-16

Struggled to get into it.

I found it really hard to get into to start with. And Lorelei King's voice is so soothing I kept falling asleep.
I don't think I would have finished it if I had read the paperback.
But actually it's quite a good story once the parts begin to come together. Even so I guessed the twists before they were revealed.
Nothing like as good as some of Margaret Atwood's other books.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • s
  • 10-17-12

Overlong and depressing

Laboured, repetitive, overlong and above all depressing. The story is told by an old woman, in the first person. She is old, ill and worn out by life. This might legitimately lead to a depressing story, but is isn't that; a sense of weariness, ineffectivness and uselessness pervades the whole story, seeping out of every pore. The characters are a worse crime- it's not that they are not likeable (which they aren't), or they they are uninteresting (which they are), but I just couldn't have cared less about them. The slings , arrows and injustices of life may have hurt, damaged and even killed the main characters, but it all left me cold.

And then there's the story within the story- a load of childish science fiction waffle.

As I say it is above all unnecessarily depressing- a sentence comes into my mind from the book which I paraphrase- 'The notices during the war said ''loose talk sinks ships''. But all ships sink eventually.' That is the tone of the book. We are born. We live. We die. Who cares?

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ali B
  • 10-15-11

Dreary

I really didn't enjoy this book. Although beautifully written I found I could not identify with the characters and I found it all really depressing, did these people never smile? I found the 'twist' was obvious and by the end of the book I really couldn't care less.

Not my cup of tea.

5 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Violet
  • 09-04-17

Well written but boring and uneventful

Bored me to tears... A shame because I like Margaret Atwood. Perhaps there is something to the story that I have missed but it feels incomplete .

1 of 2 people found this review helpful