The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, book  » Books  »
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  • I thought the novel was a brilliant demonstration of Atwood's enormous talent as a writer, and the Booker Prize was well-deserved
  • A good book, in my opinion, should have an interesting hook, because if the beginning isn't interesting, how can I stay focused enough to read until the end
  • I was impressed with the beginning of the novel, so I decided to purchase it at my local Barnes and Nobles for about fifteen dollars
  • Unfortunately, I found that after the first few chapters, the novel got a little slow
  • Although it was a little slow in the beginning and middle, the end result proved worth it, and I will definitely be reading this book again in the future

    • by Kelairyy
      TRUSTWORTHY

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      I had heard good things about Margaret Atwood’s works and decided to read The Blind Assassin, which was the winner of the 2000 Booker Prize. I thought the novel was a brilliant demonstration of Atwood’s enormous talent as a writer, and the Booker Prize was well-deserved. The Blind Assassin incorporates mise-en-abyme, or a mirroring of characters, setting, and events (essentially a story-within-a-story). The main focus is on 82-year-old Iris Chase, who reflects on her childhood and adult life leading up to her sister Laura’s suicide, and along the way, Iris exposes family secrets that have been hidden for over five decades and tries to pinpoint her role in causing her sister to commit suicide. There is also a story-within-a-story, which is Laura’s posthumous novel, also titled The Blind Assassin, which is about an unnamed couple partaking in an illicit affair, during which the man regales the woman with science-fiction parables to keep her attention.

      When I am


      at the bookstore trying to find a book to purchase, I usually skim the first few pages of the novel to see if it captures my attention. A good book, in my opinion, should have an interesting hook, because if the beginning isn’t interesting, how can I stay focused enough to read until the end? I found The Blind Assassin’s beginning to be very interesting because it starts off with the dramatic words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” A few pages later, there are several newspaper clippings of other dramatic events that take place through Iris’s life, so you start off knowing all the major events that occur, and the rest of the novel explains their implications. I was impressed with the beginning of the novel, so I decided to purchase it at my local Barnes and Nobles for about fifteen dollars. Unfortunately, I found that after the first few chapters, the novel got a little slow. Because there are essentially three stories within The Blind Assassin (Iris’s memoir, Laura’s The Blind Assassin novel, and the science fiction stories that the man in Laura’s novel tells the woman), I was confused with how those three were related to each other. The Blind Assassin jumps from Iris’s memoir to excerpts from Laura’s fictional novel without a good transition, so I found myself trying to separate what happened in “real life,” or Iris’s memoir, with what Laura’s fictional writing. The plots seemed to be entirely different, because Iris’s memoir started off talking about her family’s history and her childhood with her sister Laura, while later, the novel would jump to Laura’s novel, which was about a man and a woman participating in an affair. It was almost too confusing that I had to force myself to keep reading.

      However, I am definitely glad that I continued to ...


      • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, book
      read past the beginning half of the novel where I was a little confused, because slowly, the pieces start fitting together. Atwood expertly created a novel made out of several puzzle pieces that slowly fit together to allow readers a complete understanding of what happens. As I read toward the middle of the novel, I noticed there were several events and settings that were very similar from Laura’s novel and Iris’s memoir, and even though Laura’s novel was supposed to be fictional, because of the extremely close similarities, I slowly began to understand that Laura’s novel was based off of true events, and that it was another version of the truth. The man and woman in her novel represented Iris and Alex, a man that had connections with both Iris and Laura. This expert use of mise-en-abyme allowed readers to have a better understanding of what really occurred in Iris and Laura’s lives because as the narrator,
      Iris skimmed over certain events of her life that she was ashamed of or omitted details simply because she couldn’t remember them anymore, so Laura’s novel offered details that Iris missed. Even the science-fictional stories that the man in Laura’s novel told were representations of events and characters in Iris and Laura’s lives. As a novel, this was very skillful because Atwood blended three stories to give a more complete account of the events in Iris’s life. As a Canadian writer, Atwood also incorporated a lot of Canadian history along with allusions to other notable works by Tennyson, Shakespeare, Greek mythology, etc.

      Overall, The Blind Assassin was a great, enriching read. Although it was a little slow in the beginning and middle, the end result proved worth it, and I will definitely be reading this book again in the future. To the average reader, this may be a little difficult, but someone who enjoys literature will appreciate Atwood’s novel.




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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in November, 2013. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 1722111621810930/k2311a1122/11.22.13
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