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Search tags: npr-top-100-scifi-fantasy-books
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review 2016-05-22 01:06
The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

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.

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text 2015-10-18 05:49
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

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?)?

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review 2015-05-18 00:41
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

I liked this, but I just don't see what all the fuss is about.


This was fast-paced and funny in that "something unexpected happens and it is super zany!" way, and it was a very quick read for that reason. It feels very Monty Python-esque in terms of the way the humor is handled, which can certainly be fun and was interesting in a book.


Arthur is easy to empathize with given he is the only character that seems to understand what the reader is going through--we are thrust into a universe that makes absolutely no sense to us and does not appear to follow the laws we are used to. Everything is turned on its head and every other character is insanely, grotesquely larger-than-life. Arthur is the touchstone so that we don't end up completely lost in this place, and through his voice we get to voice our own concerns over the destruction of the planet and the suddenness of the change in his life.


It's hard to take almost anything in this book seriously, and that is clearly the way it is meant to be read. I did enjoy every moment of reading it, but I'm honestly unlikely to pick up the sequels, or at least I am not in any great rush. It was a good afternoon's amusement and definitely worth the read, if only so you understand pretty much any geek culture from the last few decades. I have heard the audio book version, read by the author himself, is quite fantastic, and from the little I have heard of it I would agree, although I don't do audiobooks. It has been built up to be such a cornerstone of science fiction, though, I felt let down; I was expecting more, somehow. Had I not gone in with those expectations (or had I been a teenager, perhaps), I might have really loved this. 

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text 2015-04-14 04:07
Reading progress update: I've read 39%.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams

"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"


Well, no, it's totally not. That doesn't sound like any fun at all.


When in doubt, I always believe in the fairies.


That is why life is interesting.


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text 2015-03-19 04:22
Reading progress update: I've read 56%.
Mistborn: The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson

"Plots behind plots, plans beyond plans.

There was always another secret."


This is my kind of book, for sure.


This book is great. These people are interesting, there are plots afoot, there are mysteries to be solved, I still feel like I am reading something set in Vvardenfell, and I'm having a grand time.

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