The Blind Assassin | Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood is a story about love and regret told over a period of several years.

“Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge”

More than fifty years on, Iris Chase is remembering Laura’s mysterious death. And so begins an extraordinary and compelling story of two sisters and their secrets. Set against a panoramic backdrop of twentieth-century history, The Blind Assassin is an epic tale of memory, intrigue and betrayal…

I can see how a book like this could be divisive. I can see how Margaret Atwood as a writer could cause a wild variety of opinions. But I can’t help it – I love her, and her writing.

Atwoods writing is what so many people try to do in their work. Only it falls flat, and feels artificial and pretentious in their hands. Atwood writes likeit’s effortless. The prose is almost pure poetry.

It’s actually quite hard to review an excellent novel. Most of my reveiwing style is based on analysing the text, and it is much, much easier to analyse faults and flaws than successes. There are only so many ways I can say ‘this works!’.

So, this works. The language, description and story all knit together to create a sense of creeping tragedy, of horrors that can’t change, of the loss of innocence.

One flaw I can point out (In the whole thick books) is that the revelation towards the end was obvious to me from about a third of the way through. That could be a deliberate choice to pinpoint the futility of Iris’s struggles against the inevitable, or to show her willfull blindness, but it meant a lot of the freshness and surprise of a good book was absent for me.

So, um, yeah. This is kind of brilliant. Read it.

5 stars.

We are on one review a week till I’ve caught up with my backdated reading list.

2 comments on “The Blind Assassin | Margaret Atwood

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