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The Blind Assassin

by Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2000, 544 pages
    Aug 2001, 544 pages

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There are currently 17 reader reviews for The Blind Assassin
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Karen (06/07/10)

Patience, please
When I first started reading this book I thought I wouldn't be able to finish it. The segments about the Blind Assassin and the news clips seemed to interrupt the story, and I couldn't put them together with the rest of the novel. Thank goodness I didn't stop there. The two sisters aren't totally likable people. Iris is cold-hearted and passive, while Laura is soft, irresponsible and self indulgent. Both are self focused women who pride themselves on their dishonesty and don't seem to relate well to the world around them. The book leaves some issues unresolved, like what did Laura know and when did she actually find out? We can guess, but we will never know for sure because Iris never does. Oh yes, and I loved Cat's Eye, Orynx and Crake, and the Handmaid's Tail. But I always think the last Atwood book I read was the best one yet.
yoda (02/08/09)

Ten days after the war ended,my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge
What I am about to do is very difficult. I really want to plug this book, so other people will pick it up and love it too. I don't know how to categorize it, much less what to put in this review. So here goes nothing.

When I first saw this book a few years ago in Wal-Mart, I immediately wrote it off as "chick lit." Mostly, because of the flapper girl on the cover. Then about a month ago, I saw her again looking at me straight in the eye, at the library. So I gave her another chance.

As as I read the first sentence which is the title for my review, I realized I had stumbled into something special.

The book is divided into two stories, a science fiction love story & and a sprawling epic.

The first story is told by an 83 year old woman, Iris Chase Griffin.She has lived an extraordinary life like marrying a business tycoon really young and sailing all around the world with him on the maiden voyage of The Queen Mary cruise liner ship in the thirties. But there also a lot of tragedies that occur in her life as well.

She is writing her memoirs for her estranged granddaughter,Sabrina that her drug addicted daughter and evil sister-in-law never let her see. Iris has kept tabs on Sabrina and knows all about her. She also knows with her heart condition this is her final chance to set the records straight for her granddaughter and let her know how special she was to Iris even thought have never really talked.

The other story is science fiction love saga supposedly written by Iris's obnoxious, irrepressible kid-sister Laura, which was published after she died in a freak car accident. The novel was called "The Blind Assassin". It is about these two unnamed lovers, that meet in secret and drink, make love and tell goofy science fiction stories to each other.

One of them ties in perfectly with Iris's story on many levels, and other one is a really silly comic book one about alien women who grow on trees and laugh and agree with whatever the men say, and satisfy every desire they want every minute of the day. But soon the men realize that this gets kind of boring after a while.

The Blind Assassin was my favorite part because it reminds of me of a graphic novel. I like that the author interspersed the stories together. It kept me craving more information from Iris's true story and the Blind Assassin gave me a break from Iris. She was a decent narrator. But she is a total snob at times, and has this very annoying "victim complex" that she carried around with her into her old age.

The one big complaint I have is that there too many characters and things going at the same time and it makes parts of this book extremely hard to shovel through. The parts where Iris blathers on and on about her entire family tree for at least fifty pages are a good example of what I am talking about. It was instances like this when I wanted to put the book down, but I kept reading it to see what happened in the end and it was rewarding and well worth it.
Anne Nguyen (12/21/04)

ok i started dwelving into this book because margaret atwoods reputation of being a great writer, and the numerous awards and the high esteem people have of her. I've started reading up to chapter 5, and it is very long and uncaptivating right now, is this book a very modernist type because it keeps changning in and out of different settings? i don't think i can perservere, esp if it has many feminist overtones, has anyone finished this book in under a week?
Sarah (12/13/04)

The architecture of this book is very well done, but that's all it really has. You'll have figured out the ending long before you get there, leaving you a story that's too long and dull with no reward. It really left me unsatisfied.
SMN (12/03/04)

This book rocks!! There are no words that can say how much I loved this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ashley Edmonds (12/01/04)

I loved the Book, This is the first novel by Margaret twood I have read and I think that it was great. I even chose to do my english report on it. This book also related to alot of what I was learning in my History class. This book really helped me to see what it was like to live in a time like this and helped to bring history to life.

The only thing I was a little confused with was the part about the secret couple getting together and making that put me a little off track from the rest.
ticeeblue (09/12/04)

i love margaret atwood
but i do kinda feel sorry for her, she seems so miserable, nothing ever has a happy ending, which is most people's lives of course. but at least she seems content in her misery.
also her writing style is AWESOME!
SMN (06/10/04)

This book is nothing short of a masterpiece! Atwood takes one book and it holds four storys and put them into one book. The story takes you to places you never could think of. The words of Atwood flow from the pen with easy. I loved this book!
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