Laura Chase's older sister Iris, married at eighteen to a politically prominent industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, is living in Port Ticonderoga, a town dominated by their once-prosperous family before the First War. While coping with her unreliable body, Iris reflects on her far from exemplary life, in particular the events surrounding her sister's tragic death. Chief among these was the publication of The Blind Assassin, a novel which earned the dead Laura Chase not only notoriety but also a devoted cult following.
Sexually explicit for its time, The Blind Assassin describes a risky affair in the turbulent thirties between a wealthy young woman and a man on the run. During their secret meetings in rented rooms, the lovers concoct a pulp fantasy set on Planet Zycron. As the invented story twists through love and sacrifice and betrayal, so does the real one; while events in both move closer to war and catastrophe.
By turns lyrical, outrageous, formidable, compelling and funny, this is a novel filled with deep humour and dark drama.
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Comments about The Blind Assassin:
This book came highly recommended but failed to live up to expectations. At 600+ pages it was overly long and it took at least 200 pages to get into it - would not have persevered if it hadn't been for book club. The narrative, change of time periods and the science fiction 'story within the story' all made for a confusing read. Atwood has an interesting - rather cynical - descriptive style which was at first quite novel but combined with the abundance of unusual similes, it became tedious. The book became rather repetitive and the language overworked. The basic story is quite interesting - an historical perspective on the role, trearment and lives of two young women but Atwood made it unnecessarily complex and challenging to read.
Atwood has never written with more flair and versatility than in this multidimensional novel. Adding sardonic wit and characterisation that takes you into the ambivalent intricacies of a personality, this is a novel of extraordinary variety and reach. A brilliant accomplishment - Peter Kemp, SUNDAY TIMESThe fertility of Atwood's imagination is something extraordinary...The only thing familiar about The Blind Assassin is its technical accomplishment and exhilarating emotional power. Everything else is sparkling new. This is Margaret Atwood at her remarkabl - Kathryn Hughes, SUNDAY TELEGRAPHMargaret Atwood is one of the most brilliant and unpredictable novelists alive. - Kate Kellaway, LITERARY REVIEWWith every year and every novel, Atwood's subjects get bigger...her new novel is so rich thematically and so convincing psychologically... THE BLIND ASSASSIN may indeed prove to be that most elusive of literary unicorns: the woman's novel. - Elaine Showalter, NEW STATESMAN
Number Of Pages: 656
Published: October 2009
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.6 x 4.2
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1