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Book Club: January

Apologies that my choice of books for October, November and December of my virtual book club all turned out to be a bit rubbish. But finally! January has come up trumps. I wasn’t bored once while listening to The Handmaid’s Tale. Thank goodness for that. I was beginning to think that I had stopped enjoying books.

I’m also sorry that I wasn’t able to write reviews for the November and December books. The combination of hospital and writing the October book review completely destroyed my arms, wrists and hands. They’re still very bad now. Writing this will probably take them out for another few months. It’s very frustrating, especially when I have so much to say. I love communicating my thoughts and reading others’ thoughts; not being able to do so never gets any easier. You don’t get used to it.

It turns out that I was overly optimistic in thinking that I would be able to write a book review each month. I’m just too ill. But I think it’s better to be optimistic and fail than to never try at all. I’ll attempt to put something up on here each month for the book club, even if it’s just giving the book a mark out of 10 and not a review, so that you can leave your thoughts and reviews in the comments if you’ve been listening/reading along to the book.

I have so many thoughts about The Handmaid’s Tale and it brings up some really interesting and important topics. I’m just sad that I’m unable to share them. I’ve given the book a mark out of 10 though (see below). I’d love to see your reviews/thoughts on the book in the comments.

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Audiobook: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Length of audiobook: 10 hours 26 minutes
Narrator: Joanna David (English accent)
Genre: Dystopian
Audiobook description on Audible:
The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one option: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like all dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Mark out of 10: 8
(It would have been a higher mark if not for the ending. I know that the author is making a point but I prefer more resolved, happier endings with all the loose ends neatly tied up.)

Narrator: Brilliant. Perfect speed and expression. Accent is a bit posh but not off-puttingly so.

A reminder of February’s book club book: Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

1 comment to Book Club: January

  • Simon

    Just about managed in time!

    I read this book a few year ago, and for the book club I was going to re-read it. However, January did not go very smoothly and so I didn’t re-read it. So…

    As I remember it is a book set in a dystopian future in what part of the USA becomes. It is a society in which only some women are able to give birth to children. These women are used like and treated as less than human – a sort of slavery. This book is the story of one woman’s attempt to escape the oppression and gain freedom.

    What I liked about this book…
    Is its penetrating and imaginative insights on the human condition, especially the place of women in society and the many ways that women have been (and are) oppressed in the world. Even in many small details, important points are being made.

    What I didn’t like so much…
    This book is definitely set in the future, and has something of a sci-fi feel to it. Yet despite that the world that is created doesn’t quite come into focus for me. On one hand this could be seen as intriguing – we don’t fully get to see everything. But at the same time it feels almost as if the story could have been set anywhere, and the setting is just incidental. For fans of dystopias/sci-fi/fantasy and the art of world-building (such as myself) this is a bit disappointing. It would have been good to see the hinted at first hand collapse of the Republic of Gilead rather than suggested in an epilogue.

    What is it really about?
    It is really about what it is actually about – feminism!

    Overall verdict: Hard-hitting speculative fiction 8/10