I finished another book for the year. Book #26: The Handmaid's Tale, which is one of the most depressing books I have ever read. Dark book? Yay! Dystopian novel? Woot! But a book where nothing but bad is heaped upon bad upon bad upon more bad? That is way, way, way too possible to happen RL? I worried this book was going to make me kill myself before I could finish it.
It started with a staged terrorist attack to kill off the president and most of the congress (all happened off-screen in the past and just got a one-line mention), and a new theocratic government was formed. Slowly rights were taken away from women until they had none at all, they were property and nothing else, to be used or killed as men saw fit.
What made the book so depressing was how reasonable each step was, believable, all this could easily happen in our country.
I never recaptured that one time I heard the "music" of the book, either. So too soon it started to annoy me how there could be page after page of literally nothing happening, page after page of talking about word choice or some meaningless memory or pages about a shade of red or arg!
By the time I was three-quarters through the book, it felt like we had had about a chapter of plot progress (which is too bad, as I was interested in the world and where the story would go). It's almost like she was challenging herself to write as much as possible about nothing.
The book made me want to tear my hair out, because the story wasn't bad, the world building was too real and believable, and she did write in some clever tricks, but it was just so damned endlessly depressing. There was not one bright spot in 300+ pages (except maybe once when she was looking at a flower... but even then it was all darkness and depressingess around it).
With the subject matter, I don't expect sunshine and unicorns, but there's no way I'd recommend this book to anyone other than someone I hope would kill themself. ;)
'Themself' should be a word. I hate that it isn't.
In any other book, I'd be fine with an open ending. But after 310 pages of nothing but darkness, we get a glimpse of possible light... and then no idea if it happens. I made an annoyed sound out loud!
And then the second ending, from the future? That annoyed me and was rather pointless, other than to get out a few 'clever' tricks from the story (I missed where the Aunts' names came from until then).
I did like how the women got their name ('Ofglen', for example), and I caught that one myself.
It didn't help that I wanted a light book. Sometimes picking your next book to read by randomly pulling from your To Read pile doesn't work out.