I enjoyed this quite a bit, though I'm not sure I found it quite as revolutionary as it has been painted. Much of this is probably that it is a modern classic--I'm sure ideas from this have trickled down as time went on, and we are looking at a 30-year-old book. Despite that, it has aged well and is absolutely worth the read.
Part of the reason this works so well, given the plotline is really quite basic, is the way the information is presented. We get bits and pieces of things as we go along, all filtered through our narrator Offred, who does not always know herself what is true and what false, who to trust and who is lying.
I admit I have a huge soft spot for books where I have to piece things together. I require them to be done well (If I get the idea the author doesn't know where things are going, I'm out), but provided they are, I'm absolutely hooked.
I've always felt that with dystopian novels, you have to make allowances to accept the society, and this is no different. If you go into this with the mindset that how this society managed to form and evolve is going to be clearly explained and seem to rationally follow the state of the world...well, either you're going to be upset here, or you are a very glass-half-empty kind of person. I fully admit I don't buy the premise as something that really could ever happen (too fundamentalist-religious in some places, nowhere near fundamentalist-religious in others, though I also admit to being a glass-half-full person), it's a fascinating thought exercise, and once I had accepted the society, everything flowed smoothly enough from there.
This is a dark world, and Atwood does a fantastic job of making you feel Offred's fear and paranoia (is it paranoia when everyone really is out to get you?) throughout. It reminds me a bit of 1984 in that way, honestly; you're quite sure someone is going to crack down eventually and it is not going to be pretty, so you wait with bated breath for it to happen.
I'm glad I finally got around to reading this and I'll probably pick it back up again at some point, but this is something that needs to sit for a bit before I'm ready to dive back into it.
And down goes book number 3! I'm having a really great day of reading, here. Been reading a bunch of stuff that I've been putting off for absolutely no good reason that I just knew I would love. I was totally right. :)
How is everyone else doing on their reading road (reading rainbow? Is that too ridiculous sounding?)?