Shades Of Words

The Blind Assasin – Margaret Atwood


510CJNJ597L-full;init_I always have very high expectations from award-winning books and I am usually not disappointed. The Blind Assassin was an exception.

The novel traces the story of Iris & Laura Chase, two sisters, born into a rich but fading household in a small industrial town in Canada. The narrative is mostly from the point of view of Iris Chase, the elder sister, as she unravels her life history as a message to her enstranged granddaughter. It begins with the death of Laura Chase from where we go back into the memories of Iris, which take us through their childhood to the day Laura died.

In process, we learn of deep dark family secrets and dysfunctionalities. We learn of crudeness and evilness of human nature. An interesting aspect to the book is the novel within the novel approach – where a parallel thread of story is woven – moving the narrative forward.

I think it is definitely a challenge to write in this way, to have so many threads, and not make any chronological mistakes.The narrative is almost like a mystery – the author throws up clues as you read along- and you have to collect them and fit them together as you move towards the end of the book

What I really liked about the book was the language and the narrative. What I disliked was that it was a tad too long. Also, The Blind Assassin is a great book for someone who has not read these family dramas earlier. Unfortunately for me, I read this book when I have had my share of novels about self discovery and repentance and revelations.

Also, I was constantly irritated with the weakness of Iris’s character. Her failure to take life in her own hands – submission to her father, her husband,  her sister-in-law and then to her daughter. Its very hard to like a book where you cant respect the main character.

Verdict: Borrow but don’t buy


Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

3 thoughts on “The Blind Assasin – Margaret Atwood

  1. I finally found a free ebook of Blind Assassin and remembered that you had mentioned it in your blog 🙂 Took me a bit to understand the narrative…still going thro. hope to get to the end successfully!

  2. Pingback: Lost in Translation – Canada ,France and US « Shades Of Words

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