June 2017 Book Club Book: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by LKRFN88jp, Jun 2, 2017.

  1. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38447.The_Handmaid_s_Tale

    (btw, for Prime folks, you can borrow this book for free, which is what I did)
     
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  2. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Should get started Monday or Tuesday. Audiobook is narrated by Claire Danes.
     
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  3. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Just ok so far. Really taking her time to set up this world. One thing I can't nail down is the timeline. She was at least college age when things were normal. And she still knows how to read despite writing being outlawed. However speaks of the normal times before as if they were generations ago and she can barely remember. Yet she said one of her fellow maidens was 60 as if that were super old. If she's just supposed to be a baby producer - she cant be much more than 30. But it's confusing because she speaks of the normal times as if they were ancient history. Im guessing brainwashed or something? :idk:
     
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  4. LKRFN88jp

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    I'm through chapter 12. It's established over the next two for you.
     
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  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Hell yeah Moira. Cool to see someone escape. Hope she's safe.

    As far as the rest of the book. Even though Im about halfway through, Im still feeling this out. Im not really attached to any of the characters, even the main one. Everything feels so monotone from her. Perhaps that's by design. Perhaps because she's dead on the inside, or is being drugged like she suspects.

    More than anything, Im just curious how this current situation came to be. Learn more about this war, ect. Getting it in bits and pieces, but Im getting impatient lol.
     
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  6. LKRFN88jp

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    Through chapter 23
    It's interesting bc most of the time "the book is better". But almost halfway in, I like the show more. And I'm sure part of that is that I watched it first, read second. But idk. I agree with what Truman said about it being monotone. Which I'm sure is the point. But even the "I will not be here forever" seems forced at this point. On the show, it's amazing how much strong the character comes off, how she actually is willing herself to get out someday. Idk.

    Birth scene is so weird. It's like who the fuck thought that up? And why? So odd. Like, don't love, the book through 45%.
     
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  7. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Finished 6.5/10

    I dont really have anything to add past my earlier comments. This book just never got going for me, never felt attached to any of the characters. Maybe Moira a little. No sense of urgency from Offred.

    This book falls into the category of cool premise, meh story. I'll check out the TV show, because, as I said - some interest themes. I think it could be a cool show despite not loving the book. I had similar thoughts about American Gods and Man in the High Castle. Cool world/set up, but the delivery fell flat for me
     
  8. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Through ch 16

    No real update. Just find it kind of dull so far. Hope it picks up soon.
     
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  9. BayouMafia

    BayouMafia slowly learning that life is ok
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    Read the first 25 chapters on a flight tonight. Wife listened to the audio book and really liked it. I have had a bit of trouble getting engaged in the story reading it.

    As was said above, I'm really interested in the war and how all that came about. Hope we get a little more backstory on that in the second half. The Commander is obviously aiming to turn her into more of a mistress; my guess is that she gets caught by Serena and either Nick or Cora help her escape.
     
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  10. LKRFN88jp

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    I'm through chapter 33/70% in. Hoping to finish it tonight by reading before/after the game. If not, I'll definitely be done by the weekend.
    Like others, still lukewarm on everything. Though I will say that the part where the women got fired/things changed seemingly overnight was really damn good. I took a screenshot and sent it to my friend because it was just amazing to see "temporary" written out but things never changing back to how it was

    [​IMG]

    I actually am two eps behind on the show because I didn't want to see where things were going before I finish the book. No real idea on the endgame. I don't think she escapes and I think she's stuck in this world forever. But with the show getting (at least) another season, the TV show seems like that won't be the case. Interested to see what happens in both cases, but I definitely like the show more.
     
  11. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I'm at the same point. Still find it pretty slow.
     
  12. LKRFN88jp

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    Done. Certainly good, but it's not among my favorites of all time. 6/10
    Posting what I did on Goodreads, even though it hit on similar things I said itt before:

    It's odd - I went into this having seen six or seven episodes of the TV series on Hulu. Which I think is great, a truly excellent TV series. So in a way, I know the world way better than someone who has only read the book, because the show goes away from Offred's POV a lot throughout, as a TV show has to do. And you rarely ever hear people say something like this but - the TV show is better than the book.

    Idk how much of that opinion is because I watched, then read. I imagine some. But I generally think the TV show is better. I enjoyed the book, thought it tackled some incredible subjects, etc. But it just didn't do it for me in the way I expected/hoped it would.

    The epilogue was probably my favorite part of the book and that didn't even involve any of the main characters.

    Also, on top of what I said there about the epilogue, I wanted to expand more since I can spoil on here: I generally thought that was great. It's close to 200 years later, it's 10ish pages, but I was riveted. And when it ended I was disappointed. I would love more from that world. And I think it kind of explained to me why I like the show more. It expands and shows other parts of the world, not just Offred.

    Would love to know if Offred died or not. I think she got away and was able to record those thoughts because she was free.
     
  13. BayouMafia

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    Finished today. Didn't find it particularly engaging. I found the world pretty intriguing and wished they had expounded on that in the story, rather than in the epilogue.

    6/10
     
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  14. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I finished this morning.

    I'm in the same boat as most everyone else. Cool concept, interesting world, meh plot. The epilogue was the most interesting part of the novel for me. I'd give it a 5.5/10.

    I'll still watch the show, mostly because LKRFN88jp says it's great.
     
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  15. LKRFN88jp

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    Disappointed this recommendation didn't catch on for the board, myself included. Sorry gents.
     
  16. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Ugh youre just the worst.

    No biggie. At least it was a short read. The real kick in the nuts are the long slogs that never pay off.
     
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  17. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I'm still glad I read it
     
  18. BayouMafia

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    Not sure how many of you read the Afterword, but since I was in the middle of yard work when the book ended I left it on. I found it pretty interesting how Atwood says that she wrote the book while living in West Berlin and took a lot of her inspiration from travel to Eastern Bloc countries and how paranoid people acted on a daily basis, and on how fragile the thought of "It could never happen here" really is. Just underscored to me how the idea was so much better than the execution.

    my wife loved it and highly recommended it to me, so maybe you just do a good job of tapping into your feminine side...
     
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  19. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I binged the show this week. I'll put thoughts in spoilers

    Stuck pretty close to the book. Always cool to see how you picture things and how someone else that creates the show does. As Ive said, the world beyond Offred's POV was always more interesting than her, and the show explores that. Hopefully there's a next season because it looks like we'll get more.
     
  20. billdozer

    billdozer Well-Known Member
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    Already approved for Season 2.
     
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  21. Fecta23

    Fecta23 Well-Known Member
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    This book made it seem like their would be a sequel. Is that the case ?
     
  22. LKRFN88jp

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  23. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I'll read this but I probably wont like it. lol
     
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