Review The Blind Assassin, Part 1

Review  blndassin  The Blind Assassin  by Margaret Atwood, 2000, Winner of the Booker Prize, 521 pages

Family saga, story within a story,  fabulous riches and fearful poverty.    Lying, cheating, sibling rivalry and complicated sibling love.   Science fiction!?!?  (yes, but no), a book about a book?   somewhat.     totally fascinating?   Yes, again.

I really loved this book and yet, I’m only giving it 4 stars because the ending just left me a tiny bit unsatisfied.    I loved reading this book, I enjoyed the character descriptions and the mystery of who was who.   The Blind Assassin is actually the story inside a story which is inside the main story!  – – the book written by the young woman who committed suicide, invented by the young woman’s lover, published post-humously;  ignored at first, hated by some and catapulted to rousing success as the years roll by.      

The main book is narrated by the sister of the young woman while she is elderly and fighting to get this whole story  of her life out on paper on the chance that her granddaughter might want to know of it.    It’s her ‘truth’.    Ah, but is it!?    

I’m thoroughly convinced that I missed a lot of the symbolism and inferred meanings of a lot of this book…  oh well.   (part 2?!)


I am smitten with Atwood.   I think she writes masterfully.   This is my second work of the author’s (I read The Handmaid’s Tale last year.)   I read this for two challenges:   1% of the 1001 BTRBYD (I’m not officially signed up but get excited when I can cross any off that list) and Lu’s Women Author Challenge for March 2009.    This would qualify for the Chunkster Challenge but I’m not officially entered in that, either.

As you know, I don’t read reviews too near the time I start reading – I hate spoilers.   I also haven’t read any reviews that would intimidate me from writing THIS review.    So once I hit publish here, I’ll be off to go read and link and thus make this post a work in progress.

So ends part 1,  and begins part 2…

P.37   Then she hurried off, bum lolloping*, to make sure all was in order.




* lolloping – 1. To move with a bobbing motion.     2. Chiefly British To lounge about; loll.

9 thoughts on “Review The Blind Assassin, Part 1

  1. I love Margaret Atwood, but I’ve never heard of this book. Now I’m intrigued.

    Do you want it? I would be glad to mail it off to you as a belated birthday present. 🙂

  2. I’ve never read any Margaret Atwood and want to give it a try. This sounds like a good one to start with.

    Honestly, I suggest The Handmaid’s Tale before The Blind Assassin.

    1. I’d have to disagree. Blind Assassin first. I actually read Wilderness Tips first. It’s a collection of some of her short stories. I thought it was a nice intro to Atwood.

  3. This one is on my TBR shelf, but honestly, the size is sort of putting me off even though I’m excited about it. And all the reviews of people who say they feel like they don’t get it or are missing something. I want to have the time to really dig into it so I feel like I get it, but with all the stuff that’s going on I don’t have the time.

    Maybe a big “what we didn’t get about The Blind Assassin” discussion should happen sometime in the future (once I finish the book, of course 🙂 )

    OK! let’s do that! Ya know, the size didn’t intimidate me on this one, which is odd. I usually resist books over 400 pages.

  4. So, I’m assuming that she had a big fat butt that was bouncing up and down, right?

    Yep! You are too funny. Is that the only line of my post that you read!?

  5. I agree with you — I cannot read other reviews before writing my own or I feel like I get unduly influenced. And I love the quote you shared about if you want to write honestly, write as if no one will read it. Too true! And I’ll have to check out that book review link … it seems like a nice way to find other reviews to link too! Thanks!

    I love it when people agree with me, hehe.

  6. I had a love-hate relationship with this book. It just kept going and going and going. It’s not that I minded that it was a THICK book. I love big, fat books, but this one seemed so heavy and sad. And, like you, I do feel like I was missing something. That’s probably why it felt unsatisfying to me. I feel like I didn’t “get it” completely.

    I really do love Atwood’s writing though. She’s a clever and engaging writer and comes up with some great stories.

    Definitely agree with you on trying Handmaid’s Tale well before Blind Assassin. Or even Oryx and Crake which I loved. Have you read that one?

    Hi Wendy! Welcome. I have Oryx and Crake ‘in the house’ so it will be next but it’s far down the gotta-read list.

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