Review: Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Everyone, I have a confession to make. I don’t think I like Margaret Atwood’s writing. (Although, I’ve been told I’ve only read the meh ones). I’ve read Oryx and Crake and The Penelopiad and now the(I think I may have also read The Handmaid’s Tale in high school but I don’t remember how it ends so I’m not counting it.) And, I’ve not been super enthused about any of them.


The Blind Assassin seems to be going for a certain kind of style and I think it succeeds. So, I can recognize that it is technically a good piece of writing. But, the main narrative which was focused on the lives of two sisters, did not keep my interest at all. The story is told by Iris, an old woman recounting her life in letters. She tells the story of her childhood as the daughter of button magnate in Ontario. World War I happens. The business booms. the depression happens. The business fails. She and her sister fall in love with a communist or anarchist or writer or artist. Iris marries another manufacturing giant to help the family stay afloat. Her sister Laura publishes a book called The Blind Assassin that becomes a huge scandal and therefore a huge hit.

The sub-plot (sub-story?) about the Blind Assassin was awesome. I wanted to read the Blind Assassin. More of that, please. But, the main narrative itself…well, I could see where it was going and I wasn’t interested enough to be excited that as the plot revealed itself and I was right in my guesses.

So, there you have it. I feel like I should have loved this. And, I didn’t. It wasn’t terrible. But, it also wasn’t life-changing. I don’t recommend it but I also don’t not recommend it.

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