Ok, now that @1book140 is officially over for the month of June, I can safely go ahead and post my thoughts on The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. Not that I’m going to give anything away, it’s too good of a book to ruin it for everyone else on the Interweb. Instead, I will just give you a little description of the basic plot, and from there you are on your own Reader.
Let me just interject really quick to say that you have to read this book. This is my first Atwood, so I am not sure if it’s any better than her others, or any worse, but nonetheless I loved it. Love it. No past tense needed there – I will continue to love it.
Anyway, this novel is about the Chase sisters – Iris and Laura. The novel opens up with an elderly Iris telling the reader that her sister drove a car off a bridge and died – nothing left but “charred smithereens”. The book goes through the Chase family tree from Grandmother Adelia, to Iris and Laura’s mother and father, to Laura and Iris, to Iris (including snippets of Iris’ daughter Aimee), to Iris’ granddaughter Sabrina.
So, needless to say, when I closed the book after the last page, I had this strange empty feeling like I was missing Iris. I was missing Laura. I was missing the Chase household. I was missing all of this history that had just been dumped on me. It was a very strange sensation.
In between Iris’ account of her family history - with its mysteries and loves and deceptions, there is a novel-within-a-novel, The Blind Assassin. It’s the account of two unnamed lovers, who must surreptitiously meet in various seedy motels and rented rooms, where they fabricate a science fiction story of the planet Zycron.
I putzed out on the @1book140 discussion, not because I disliked it, but because I all of a sudden got so far behind on the reading it was RIDICULOUS. Then, when I had got myself all caught up, I felt like it was too late to join back into the races. So, I sat on the sidelines and watched as the discussions unfurled. I’m not sure a “mystery” novel like this was such a good choice for the discussion, most of the time I felt like we were trying to guess what was what and who was who, but alas, what can you do? We are just curious people I guess.
I truly do recommend this book though. Like I said, I’m left with this sort of empty-sadness thing in my stomach. It’s like I am sad to see the Chase story come to an end, but I’m glad that I got to be a part of it. Because that’s what I felt like, I felt like I was somehow a part of the whole story, Atwood mastered that.
I was also left with the thought of never ever wanting to get old because, well, it just doesn’t sound like much fun.
Anyway, check it out for reals.
On to reading!
(P.S. The new book in July for @1book140 is going to be Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Marukami. Just an FYI.)