Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Blind Assassian by Margaret Atwood

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.

I have always meant to pick up a Margaret Atwood title but never got around to it. There are plenty of titles to choose from but I thought I'd start with this one as it won the Booker Prize in 2000. I couldn't put it down. Even though I had guessed the ending and had come to the correct conclusion on certain events I did enjoy this book.
I did have my issues with the relationship between the sisters. Mainly because I feel close to mine and wouldn't have made some of the decisions that Iris had. Despite not liking her decisions, being a middle sister I understand what it's like to be an older and younger sister, therefore I could relate to both sisters and their roles.
I also related to the being helpless in a situation you feel you have no control. If only you were looking at it from the outside you'd see how to regain control. In those instances the solution is never easy and takes a certain amount of risk. Which is why some of Iris's decisions are unforgivable because she was just scared. Although there are times I truly felt like she, Iris, thought her choices were the best possible ones. Sometimes in life people truly try their best and their best just isn't good enough.
I would give this book 4 stars and would recommend it most fellow readers!
~ LiSa


  1. For review, Dirty Old Town by Nigel Bird, or . Many great reviews so far from some amazing people. Soft noir.


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