The Handmaid's Tale

Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid's Tale Cover

A claustrophobic nightmare


A nightmare of claustrophobia with elements of absurd, yet realistic, humor. Some plot points go conveniently neglected (Wouldn't an Aunt monitor the INSIDE of the bathroom at the bunny hotel?) but the first-person element lends an unreliable quality that excuses the odd overlookings. A third-person focus would have been a better test against the reality of this world, which would be more satisfying for scifi fans, but Atwood's more interested in the interior workings and adaptive capabilities of a caged, frightened-to-paralysis woman with Stockholm syndrome.