At the end of the book, all the strings are tied together and you find yourself grinning because the "blind assassin" really wins in the end. Difficult to start This one is worth the time. The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura? 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 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.
Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact. A vision of a terrible future in which women have become infertile, and those that are fertile are forced to become "handmaids" - referencing the bible story where a handmaid is given to the husband to bear a child. It's a pretty chilling little environment with the wives hating the handmaids, and the husbands secretly desiring them.
And it's revealed to be a hypocritical society too, with sex available freely to those in the upper stratum while morality is preached to everyone else. The Handmaid's Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast.
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Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.
The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment's calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.
It is Margaret Atwood at her best. When her former governess finds happiness as the bride of a local widower, the brilliant and beautiful Emma Woodhouse — one of Jane Austen's immortal creations — flatters herself that she alone has secured the marriage and that she possesses a special talent for bringing lovers together.
Beneath its considerable wit, the novel is also the story of a young woman's progress toward self-understanding. I loved the movie, and I loved this book. The characters in the book were perfectly played in the movie. How people entertained themselves before mass entertainments took hold. The character of Mr.
Bennet Lizzie's father is just as Donald Sutherland played him in the movie. So to was the character of Mr. I would recommend this book to anyone with even a slight interest in this time in history, or romance in general. Five daughters of a country gentleman who married for beauty and lived to regret it, are enticed by their foolish though a gentlewoman mother's announcement of two eligible bachelors in the neighborhood who are newly come down from London.
The meetings between the five daughters and these two, as well as other eligible bachelors, at balls result in hoped for love for one sister, disdain and infatuation and irritation from three separate bachelors for another sister, a dangerous elopement for a third sister, and nothing much more than scoldings for the other two sisters. Jane hopes for marriage with Mr.
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Bingley but her evenly bestowed smiles lead Darcy to convince Bingley that his love is not returned, while Darcy finds greater and greater attraction in Elizabeth whom he thought too unexceptional to dance with at the Meryton ball. Darcy's old enemy, Wickham, accidentally arrives on the scene and turns Elizabeth's head--and heart--with gossip about Darcy that steels Elizabeth's negative opinion against Darcy. When a visit to Rosings Park to visit Charlotte--Elizabeth's best friend who shocked her by marrying the cousin whom Elizabeth had strongly rejected--exposes Elizabeth to a proposal of marriage form Mr.
Darcy, Elizabeth begins a journey of self-discovery. When a holiday with her Aunt and Uncle surprises Elizabeth with a tour of Pemberley, Darcy's estate and manor house, and then surprises her with the unannounced presence of Darcy himself, Elizabeth's future begins to look brighter as Darcy seems to have taken some of her scathing insults to heart when she rejected his proposal and made himself into a kinder person. But news of Lydia's strange elopement with Darcy's enemy, Wickham, throws Elizabeth on Darcy's mercy and ends her newly sprung hopes of a renewal of his affections.
Darcy recognizes his fault of prideful silence in Wickham's being allowed to socialize with respectable families and immediately goes to set things right. After making amends for the harm his pride and ill-judged decisions had caused, Darcy and Bingley return to Netherfield Park and visit the Bennet home.
This time Bingley knows his affection is returned and Darcy knows, because of the outcome of Elizabeth's interview with Darcy's meddling aunt, Lady de Bourgh, that Elizabeth may no longer despise him. Both ladies and men receive their heart's desires when each couple finds a moment to be alone and two weddings are joyously celebrated.
There is no continuation of the story. Really, this needed a sequal, but I have not found it. Don't read this unless you want to be frustrated at an incomplete tale. A starship on a circuit to service earth's colonies is sabotaged and winds up irrevocably lost in space. The only option is to find a habitable planet to live on. Aboard the ship is a contingent of convicts bound for a prison planet, an army company rotating to one of the colony worlds, government officials and scientists going or coming from the colonies, a contingent of prospective colonists going out to pioneer and a miscellany of other passengers.
A crew of two hundred fifty is now responsible for a thousand people after they finally find a new world to settle on. Add in a mad captain, combative convicts and some unworldly aliens and it becomes all that acting Captain Travis Callahan can handle-and then some! If that is the case then James Baldwin faced tough times as a youth with an abusive father who was also a preacher with very fundamental Christian religious views.
No one could live up to his expectations, mostly because he suffered from his own secret sins. Or so he thought they were secret. An interesting look into the world of black fundamentalism in the 's this book explores religion, sin, self-loathing, racism and family relationships and abuse. It may or may not be an easy read, depending on your views on religion. But in any case, it is something one should read if one wants to explore religion and race in American history.
With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.
The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake.
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There could be no surrender. Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind.
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Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction. Labeled as a sex offender, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to live within 2, feet of anywhere children might gather.
One of the few places that remain for him is under a causeway with other convicted sex offenders. Enter the Professor, a bearded, overweight genius with secrets of his own. Has society, with its low tolerance and lack of compassion, created new victims? Banks has tackled a theme important to our welfare as a society. Sure to elicit a stimulating discussion for book groups. It really was a stupid mistake, but in a throw away society - who really cares. Disturbing and interesting. I'd recommend this. The acclaimed author of The Sweet Hereafter and Rule of the Bone returns with a provocative new novel that illuminates the shadowed edges of contemporary American culture with startling and unforgettable results.
Suspended in a strangely modern-day version of limbo, the young man at the center of Russell Banks's uncompromising and morally complex new novel must create a life for himself in the wake of incarceration. Known in his new identity only as the Kid, and on probation after doing time for a liaison with an underage girl, he is shackled to a GPS monitoring device and forbidden to live within 2, feet of anywhere children might gather.
With nowhere else to go, the Kid takes up residence under a south Florida causeway, in a makeshift encampment with other convicted sex offenders. Barely beyond childhood himself, the Kid, despite his crime, is in many ways an innocent, trapped by impulses and foolish choices he himself struggles to comprehend. Enter the Professor, a man who has built his own life on secrets and lies.
A university sociologist of enormous size and intellect, he finds in the Kid the perfect subject for his research on homelessness and recidivism among convicted sex offenders. The two men forge a tentative partnership, the Kid remaining wary of the Professor's motives even as he accepts the counsel and financial assistance of the older man. When the camp beneath the causeway is raided by the police, and later, when a hurricane all but destroys the settlement, the Professor tries to help the Kid in practical matters while trying to teach his young charge new ways of looking at, and understanding, what he has done.
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But when the Professor's past resurfaces and threatens to destroy his carefully constructed world, the balance in the two men's relationship shifts. Suddenly, the Kid must reconsider everything he has come to believe, and choose what course of action to take when faced with a new kind of moral decision. Long one of our most acute and insightful novelists, Russell Banks often examines the indistinct boundaries between our intentions and actions.
A mature and masterful work of contemporary fiction from one of our most accomplished storytellers, Lost Memory of Skin unfolds in language both powerful and beautifully lyrical, show-casing Banks at his most compelling, his reckless sense of humor and intense empathy at full bore. A fairly good read.