Today I finished listening to the audiobook version of Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin. Finished it during my morning commute in to work, in fact, and all day I’ve been pondering what to say about it.
I guess it boils down to this: it depressed the hell out of me.
It tells the story of two sisters, born just after World War I into a wealthy family in its decline. One of the sisters, now dead, is famous for having written The Blind Assassin and we get to read that book as well. A book within a book. And in that inner book, a narrator tells the actual story of The Blind Assassin so now you’re three levels deep and…really none of it has anything to do with the ‘real’ story being told.
And in that real story we listen to the life story of Iris, the older sister. And we watch her unhappiness unfold for 83 long years. Watch her body start to fail her. At least, that’s what I took away from it. Read the reader comments at the Amazon link and you’ll get a totally different take on it.
Its a good book, beautifully written…but I don’t know that I’d recommend it, unless you’re just feeling too darned happy and want something to bring you down. 🙂