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The Resource The blind assassin, Margaret Atwood

The blind assassin, Margaret Atwood

Label
The blind assassin
Title
The blind assassin
Statement of responsibility
Margaret Atwood
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
A multi-layered story of the death of a woman's sister and husband in the 1940s, with a novel-within-a-novel as a background. Iris Chase Griffen, married at eighteen to a wealthy industrialist but now poor and eighty-two, recalls her far from exemplary life, and the events leading up to her sisters death, who drove a car off a bridge ten days after the war ended, gradually revealing the carefully guarded Chase family secrets
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • ALA Notable Book, 2001.
  • Booker Prize, 2000.
  • Booklist Editors' Choice, 2000.
Review
  • Atwood does not mess around in her riveting new tale: by the end of the first sentence, we know that the narrator's sister is dead, and after just 18 pages we learn that the narrator's husband died on a boat, that her daughter died in a fall, and that her dead husband's sister raised her granddaughter. Dying octogenarian Iris Chasen's narration of the past carefully unravels a haunting story of tragedy, corruption, and cruel manipulation. Iris and her younger sister, Laura, are born into the privileged Canadian world of Port Ticonderoga in the early part of the 20th century. At 18, Iris is the marital pawn in a business deal between her financially desperate father and the ruthless, much-older industrialist Richard Griffen. When the father dies, the rebellious Laura is forced to move into Richard's controlling household, accelerating the tangled mess of relentless tragedy. At this point, Atwood brilliantly overlays a second story, an sf novel-within-a-novel, credited to Laura Chasen, that features nameless lovers trysting in squalor. Some readers may figure out Atwood's wrap-up before book's end. Worry not--nothing will dampen the pleasure of getting there. Highly recommended. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/00.]--Beth E. Andersen, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
  • /* Starred Review */ Atwood's skillfully woven tenth novel is her most ambitious and challenging work to date, and a worthy successor to her recent triumph, Alias Grace (1996).It tells two absorbing stories that cast an initially enigmatic, ultimately pitilessly revealing light on each other. The central one is octogenarian Iris Griffen's bitter reminiscence of her life as the privileged daughter of a prosperous Ontario family, the Chases, and later as wife to Richard Griffen, the businessman who effectively inherits and firmly directs the Chase fortunes. The counterpart story, The Blind Assassin, is a strange futuristic tale that dramatizes in unusual (faux-Oriental) fashion a nameless woman's obsession with a science-fiction writer whose imaginings blithely mirror and exploit his "power" over her. This latter tale is published as the work of Iris's younger sister Laura, whose death in a 1945 automobile accident is judged by all who knew the sisters "as close to suicide as damn is to swearing." Newspaper items reporting notable events in the lives of the Chases and Griffens over a period of more than sixty years further enrich a many-leveled, smartly paced narrative that gradually discloses the nature and root causes of Laura's unconventionality and "madness," the full extent of Richard's compulsive aggrandizement and isolationism, and the price exacted from Iris for the "convenience" of her marriage. Intermittent echoes of Forster's Howards End sound throughout this bleak saga of political, social, and gender conflict. And Atwood keeps our attention riveted by rendering her increasingly dramatic story in a fluent style distinguished by precise sensory description ("the thin, abstemious rain of early April") and thought-provoking metaphor ("Laura was flint in a nest of thistledown"). Furthermore, a bombshell of a climactic surprise (which we probably should have seen coming) lurks in the stunning final pages.Boldly imagined and brilliantly executed. (Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2000)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
013456
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1939-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Atwood, Margaret
Dewey number
813/.54
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR9199.3.A8
LC item number
B55 2000
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Sisters
  • Widows
  • Family secrets
  • Reminiscing in old age
Target audience
adult
Label
The blind assassin, Margaret Atwood
Link
https://bfgb.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/629/
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition in the U.S.A.
Extent
xiii, 521 pages
Isbn
9780965034906
Lccn
99462109
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
Imprint varies.
System control number
  • 43287739
  • 345664
Label
The blind assassin, Margaret Atwood
Link
https://bfgb.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/629/
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition in the U.S.A.
Extent
xiii, 521 pages
Isbn
9780965034906
Lccn
99462109
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Note
Imprint varies.
System control number
  • 43287739
  • 345664

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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