What I Read: The Blind Assassin
I finished this a couple weeks, and now I will post about it. It’s been a busy couple weeks of not being busy and doing things.
Title: The Blind Assassin
Author: Margaret Atwood
Completed?: Yes indeed.
Spoiler-free Opinions: I really really liked this. The beginning is a little slow; we’re given a lot of questions and very very few answers. It takes a lot of time to even get close to answers, but once the reader can start piecing things together it gets much more interesting. To say it’s a thriller is not very accurate; while we want to know the answers, it isn’t thrilling getting there. Intriguing, interesting, beautiful, yes. Thrilling, no.
I think Laura is one of the best characters I’ve ever read. For her I would read this over and over again. She’s such a strange being, and such a believable one. It’s hard to write such a strange character without it feeling over-the-top, but I think Atwood did a great job with her. She also did a great job with the narrator, Iris. Although I just read Water for Elephants and that also had a super old narrator sad about being old, this one was much more interesting and much less whiny.
Atwood’s writing style is great in this one, too. It’s much more poetic than in The Handmaid’s Tale, and as you may have gathered by now, I really like poetic language.
Favorite quotes and phrases:
“[…] they could smell the difference between a deep sleeper and one who was restlessly dreaming. They killed as softly as a moth brushing against your neck” (Loc. 442).
“The word torn apart, splayed open: the implacable topography of sex” (Loc. 502).
“There were lots of gods. Gods always come in handy, they justify almost anything, and the gods of Sakiel-Norn were no exception” (Loc. 520).
“Farewells can be shattering, but returns are surely worse. Solid flesh can never live up to the bright shadow cast by its absence” (Loc. 1303).
“[…] on the sidewalk my shadow crackles” (Loc. 1418).
“I never had a favourite letter that began my name – I is for Iris – because I was everybody’s letter” (Loc. 1526).
“I would have a little grey baby like a kitten and then I would die” (Loc. 2632).
“Which does a man prefer? Bacon and eggs, or worship? Sometimes one, sometimes the other, depending on how hungry he is” (Loc. 3671).
“The French are connoisseurs of sadness, they know all the kinds. This is why they have bidets” (Loc. 5124).
“All stories are about wolves” (Loc. 5832).
Stars: 4.5, for initial slowness. A beautiful read, that I would absolutely recommend.
The Golden Compass is next! I finished it a few days after I finished The Blind Assassin.