Shelf Control #127: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

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Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

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Title: The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Published: 2000
Length: 521 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist. Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience.

It opens with these simple, resonant words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge.” They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Laura’s death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects 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 we 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.

For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious. The Blind Assassin proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of our time. Like The Handmaid’s Tale, it is destined to become a classic.

How and when I got it:

I’ve had a paperback copy on my shelf for at least 10 years. At this point, I have no idea where I picked it up — but probably at my local used book store.

Why I want to read it:

Back when it won the Man Booker Prize, everyone was talking about The Blind Assassin! It’s been a long time for me since I read a Margaret Atwood novel, but those I’ve read, I’ve loved. With The Handmaid’s Tale on TV now (excellent), I’ve been prompted to revisit my shelves and see which of Atwood’s books I still need to read. This one moves to the top of the pile!

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Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments!
  • If you’d be so kind, I’d appreciate a link back from your own post.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

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4 thoughts on “Shelf Control #127: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

  1. It’s definitely a book that everyone has already read and you know you should read but never gotten round to… I listened to a sample of the audiobook and it sounds really interesting!

  2. I really liked this book. Margaret Atwood is such an excellent writer – she has a lot of depth, too. This book is so different from The Handmaid’s Tale – I thought both were terrific!

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