by Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin: A Book Review
“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.“ – Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin,
Margaret Atwood does as she preaches in the quote above. The numerous awards that she has won, including the Booker Prize for this book, attest to her incredible mastery over words.
The book is dazzlingly brilliant. So much so that your mind gets tired and needs a visor for a respite from all the brilliance, but none comes along. Every page packs a punch, and the story has so many layers and nuances that I wanted to bury my head in sand and forget that I ever started reading it. Slipping in and out of multiple layers and keeping track of everything happening in the story does need focus, so it’s not an easy read by any means.
The book has two storylines from two different time periods. One is about Iris, who is writing a manuscript about her life and relationships. The other is a science fiction story called ‘The Blind Assasin’ written by her sister Laura which gets published after Laura dies. In the beginning, the two storylines don’t seem to connect at all, but eventually, with a lot of perseverance, things start connecting somewhat. Despite the challenging plot, the writing really is marvellous, and it kept me coming back. The dry, sarcastic humour and wit are so sharp that they can give you paper cuts. Absolutely fantastic.
This really deserves 5 stars. However, a book that you can’t wait to be done with, can’t be rated on par with books that you never want to end. So, 4 stars Ms Atwood. You are one smart gal!