The Blind Assassin, Part 2 and Weekly Geeks

As I said in post prior: I don’t read reviews immediately before* reading and never after – or not until after I write my own review. Why?   Because I would probably never write a review if I did.

For example, let’s consider Nymeth at Things Mean a Lot.   You can read her review of The Blind Assassin and you’d have everything you need:    just enough of plot outline to know who the characters are, some samples of the beautiful writing, and plenty of curiosity to go get the book forthwith.    She also provides a tremendous resource to click and read other reviews.  And although my review gives just hint of a hint of a plot, and doesn’t tell as much as Nymeth’s, I do think we are in 100% agreement!     (And it’s not like this is supposed to be a competition…)

I did start with Nymeth’s and then went looking for others, just in case.    Which also happens to be the theme of Weekly Geeks this week!     Encouragement to seek out other reviews to books you’ve reviewed AND comment on other blogs and highlighting your own reviews that they might have missed. 


But first, a big shout out to Fyrefly for creating a blog search just for such an occasion and she wants our help to make sure all book review blogs are included.   Click here to check for yours and your favorites and let her know if any are missing.     

Her Google blog search service returned this list of reviews:     Result List for The Blind Assassin  and of these, I now offer  any I found that are not already  at Nymeth’s.

Belle of the Books – she, too, felt that something unknown was ‘missed’ and that the book begs for discussion (is that right?)

and she also points us to a review at Farm Lane Books – another admission of being let down at the end…

Did I miss anyone?


Notes from The Blind Assassin
Notes from The Blind Assassin

p.16  They’re sitting on a park bench, not to close together;  a maple tree with exhausted leaves above them, cracked dirt under their feet, sere grass around.    SERE – dried-up: (used especially of vegetation) having lost all moisture.

p.36  He’s a large man, Walter – square-edged, like a plinth, with a neck that is not so much a neck as an extra shoulder…   PLINTH – pedestal: an architectural support or base.

p.53  These last two materials could be obtained for next to nothing from the several abattoirs in the vicinity…   ABBATTOIR – slaugherhouse.

p.60  …, the cheese, the fruit, hothouse grapes draped over the etched-glass epergne.   EPERGNE – A large table centerpiece consisting of a frame with extended arms or branches supporting holders.

p.249  On the epicene white and gold desk there’s a radio the size and shape of half a loaf of bread.   EPICENE – Effeminate; unmanly.

INTERESTING QUOTES  (the first two remind me of JOURNALLING)
p.95  At the very least, we want a witness.  We can’t stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down.

p.283  The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read.  Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date.  Otherwise you begin excusing yourself.  You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.   
Impossible, of course.
I pay out my line, I pay out my line, this black thread I’m spinning across the page.

p.308  Lose your temper and you lose the fight.

p.434    An unearned income encourages self-pity in those already prone to it.



* I don’t like spoilers before reading a book – sometimes I don’t mind spoilers for movies, but I don’t like to open a book and having any expectations or knowing too much.    Especially, and Atwood book!   However, I do wonder if it would matter – she packs a lot of intrigue and suspense just in her writing style that even knowing everything,  I would probably still love the experience.


9 thoughts on “The Blind Assassin, Part 2 and Weekly Geeks

  1. Thanks for plugging the book blog search! I’m so glad people are finding it useful!

    I like your vocab words, too – most I’d heard before, but some (epergne, especially) I’ve never heard of.

    You bet – thank YOU! it’s a great help except – and I’m very guilty of this – those bloggers who list books to read someday, make weeding through the list difficult to find the real reviews! That’s not your fault – it’s just tough to find all the reviews sometimes!

  2. Thank you for linking to me. I’m pleased to discover I’m not the only one who was let down by the end of this book. I’m hoping her others are a bit better.

    I think I like her writing style more than you do, but that’s OK. I have Oryx & Crake next to read of hers.

  3. You are too kind, dear Care 😀 I agree that Atwood is probably not spoilable (the writing! oh, the writing) but I love going into books not knowing much too. A good thing is that I tend to forget any info about the plot I come across previously, so I never quite know what to expect. The ending left me thinking, that’s for sure. Let me add those reviews you found to my list now 😛

    The beauty of book blogging is that I can read a review, add to my tbr, forget exactly why I want to read it and thus enjoy it spoiler-free. I’m still reading through all the reviews – you do an awesome job keeping up all the links.

  4. i’m with you–i never read reviews of books i’m reviewing before i read them. i’m afraid i’ll be swayed into liking a book more or less than i already do if the other reviewer makes valid points that i didn’t consider!

    One reason I read The Blind Assassin was because the title was intriguing and yet clashed with the cover of the book. If I had read it had other planets in it, I’m not sure I would have even considered it. Another reason that Atwood is so cool, imo.

  5. I’m guilty of that too! I used the search engine to find links for my latest review, and almost all of the hits were my own site – the post when the book came in to my TBR pile, the listing of my TBR pile, talking about what I was going to read next, etc.

    Still, it should rank results based on regular Google rules, so the posts with the book title in the post title (which are more likely to be real reviews) should float to (at least nearish) the top.

    Ah, right. Good to know. Thanks so much for this – a tremendous service.

  6. I love that first quote you included in your post and it also reminds me of journalling. Atwood is so talented and her voice so strong.

    I agree. I think Atwood is moving into a spot as one of my top five authors and I don’t really have favorites.

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