Sunday, September 26, 2010
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Who is the Blind Assassin?
I liked this so much that when I got to the end, I started right up again on page one. I needed to figure out the puzzle. Even though during the second go round, the story grew a little creaky and some squashed bunnies and doves were visible. This novel works on many levels. A love story, a puzzle, a history of Canada between the wars, an study of old age, a science fiction novel, and a really funny satire of many different types of public communication – PTA notes, obituaries, political speeches, the social pages. It’s a story about storytelling and it never grew boring for me as I found the sentences and the words themselves endlessly inventive.
It a story about Iris and her sister Laura, two poor little rich girls and their involvement with two rather thinly sketched out men – one a revolutionary, one an industrialist. The puzzle part is that we have to piece the story together from little chunks, a few pages of narrative. Many many characters – for the most part, fully realized. At heart Atwood is a poet, as the engine of the story is sentimental claptrap. But the story is driven by the narrator’s great yearning - for her lover, for her sister. I am going to read it again.