Tuesday, June 20, 2017

*Review* The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Genre: Dystopian
Published: September 29, 2015
Pages: 308


Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around—and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in . . . for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes.
At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.


This is actually July’s book club book, but I’m pretending I’m on top of things and I’ve finished it a month early. It probably helps that I put a hold on it at the library and ended up getting it 2 weeks earlier than intended. I guess thank you to whomever had it right before me, and ended up finishing it in a day or two and returning it early.

First of all, when I read this I recognized the author but never thought to look up how I knew her. She’s the freaking writer of The Handmaid's Tale. I can be a bit slow at times. Anyway, holy shit balls. I just saw this was dystopian and assumed that meant it would be a YA. This is NOT a YA, and my life is a lie.

While reading this, I couldn’t help but think of Fallout. And that made me sad, because I messed up my leg and it really hurts to sit up. Which means I can’t actually play it, even though I totally bought the 4th one when it was half off last month. So this book brought up real life sadness.

But seriously, holy gawd damn.

I don’t even know how to word how I feel about this blasted thing. I know it was fascinating and compelling and hard to put down. It was much better than The Handmaid’s Tale, in my opinion. But it’s dystopian, and that means lots of sadness. And there is totally lots of it.

There’s also some amusing bits, mind you. Like… Elvis related amusing things. Also the ways of vindication of certain actions. But at the same time, the retaliation is also sad.


And made me miss fallout 4.

Also it made me think about a lot of things. And I can’t wait to discuss this at book club next month.

4/5 Platypires - Joood - Hooligan

Buy the Book

About the Author

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; and her most recent, Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

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