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.
I’m guessing that if you have found our blog that you are probably a book reader. And if you are a book reader that uses the internet to find new books to read then you have probably visited Book Riot. Book Riot is famous for it’s posts about the most bookish places in the world and a lot of podcasts. Last weekend, they hosted their first get together, Book Riot Live in New York City. My friend Melissa decided that she wanted to come and since she was going I thought I would go with her. I’ve never been to a convention of any kind before so I didn’t really know what to expect. It was held in the Metropolitan West in Hells Kitchen and not a big center so that was comforting. Also nice that it would be all about books. My people! It felt good to be surrounded by like minded people. I read a lot but I could tell I was with people who were much more well read that I was and it was inspiring. Panels ranged from the serious like “How to write what you don’t know” featuring Margaret Atwood and N.K. Jemisin and fun panels like a live playing of the game Slash. A truly nerdy game of one person pick a character from a set of cards, setting up a scenario and then have the other players pick characters from their set of cards on why they would be in the situation. Like matching Chewbucca with Marie Antoinette. I’m not sure where you find this game but it’s a must for your nerdy friend. Also live recordings of their podcasts. It was nice to get a face to the voice you’ve been listening too. I should written this review last week when it was all still fresh in my mind but I had so much fun it left me exhausted. Things I did learn, that Book Riot staff rarely wears pants. Understandable they mostly work from home. Margaret Atwood is badass but that I already know. It’s possible to hold a convention where all different points of views, race, gender, and sexuality can be represented and included. Book people are really cool people. (also something I already knew) It’s also time for a new tattoo.
Can’t wait to again next year to Book Riot Live. Here again are some of photos they I took from last week.