Regular price: $31.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    519
  • 4 Stars
    574
  • 3 Stars
    347
  • 2 Stars
    113
  • 1 Stars
    54

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    713
  • 4 Stars
    459
  • 3 Stars
    199
  • 2 Stars
    65
  • 1 Stars
    30

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    438
  • 4 Stars
    481
  • 3 Stars
    335
  • 2 Stars
    139
  • 1 Stars
    75
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoughtful and intriguing

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.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • MV
  • 12-23-15

Classic Atwood: an entertaining fantasy

What made the experience of listening to The Heart Goes Last the most enjoyable?

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.

Would you be willing to try another book from Margaret Atwood? Why or why not?

I am a fan of Margaret Atwood and was very much looking forward to hearing this.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

Not her best work

What disappointed you about The Heart Goes Last?

It just wasn't that good. I started reading this story when it was a short story series called Positron. I made it through the end of the book, but it wasn't one that I loved

What could Margaret Atwood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Atwood is great, though this wasn't her best.

Would you be willing to try another one of Cassandra Campbell and Mark Deakins ’s performances?

Probably so, even though Cassandra Campbell was quite annoying in her portrayal of Charmaine, I think it was intentional.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Heart Goes Last?

It's not that scenes need to be cut. The idea of the book is a great one, but the narrative just didn't do it for me.

Any additional comments?

My purpose of reviewing these novels is to help people interesting in a certain type of novel find great audio recordings without having to spend money on the bad ones. This one is not terrible, but there are much better options out there.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • jennifer
  • BROOKLYN, NY, United States
  • 05-10-16

Dystopian farce

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • L
  • 10-18-15

I didn't want to believe the negative reviews

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.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

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

Not her best

I normally love Atwood but this was hard to finish. She was trying to create an interesting world but it seemed to continually fall short with inconsistencies and boring dialogue. I finished it, but only because I wanted to give it a fair shot. I'm sure someone could love this book but it sure wasn't for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Charmaine is a sheep who's a sociopath

I found it hard to truly love this book because I have such disdain for Charmaine. She's a sheep, but also a sociopath and has very little conscience. I don't think I'd recommend this book to others; it's by far my least favorite of all of the Atwood books I've read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Atwood is having fun

Any additional comments?

Margret Atwood is angry at consumerist culture and capitalism leaving the American majority behind. She has chosen to channel her anger into a number of dystopian novels, of which The Heart Goes Last is the latest.

But The Heart Goes Last is also a light romance. And a comedy. Atwood is playful with the dystopian and her own critique-of-consumerism tropes. With tongue in cheek, she adds elements from classic romantic literature, such as the love potion, but gives them a futuristic, dystopian tweek.

A couple in their thirties struggles to survive after the American economy goes bust. Precarity haunts everyone in a country that still clings to consumerist ideals and polished surfaces. When they are offered house and jobs by a new, sinister company and its mysterious social project, they can't refuse. But things heat up when romance takes new, unexpected routes.

Yes, it is a nice and fun adventure. But the book compares unfavorably with Atwood's more serious novels in the same genre, such as Oryx and Crake (not to mention The Handmaid's Tale). Those other novels are grander, deeper and more haunting. Which is okay - this book is meant to be light and fun. Not light and fun in the consumerist, entertainment sort of way, mind you. But light and fun in the classical sense, as in using laughter and absurdity to impact its audience.

Still, if a dystopian novel can be too light, this is it. I had expected something with a little more depth than what the reader gets at the end of the novel. Readable and enjoyable though, and possibly suitable to a younger audience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Fun & thought provoking !

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Enjoyable

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.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful