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September 8, 2009

On Atwood's new novel

I won’t be reading Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood, and I tell you this now in order to promote the book, actually. Because Atwood is a certain kind of author, the kind who might be one of your very favourites (as she is one of mine), and you could decide to give her new one a miss. Her range is absolutely epic, which is why I’m always troubled by readers who claim not to like her work. Which work then, I wonder– The Robber Bride? The Blind Assassin? The Handmaid’s Tale? Because if you’re not partial to any of these, I’m not sure what else of literature is left, really.

I, however, am not really partial to sci-fi/genre fic/spec fic, or whatever you decide to call it. And this, I realize, is just as infuriating/limiting as claiming to dislike all Atwood, but that’s a blog post for another day. Today, however, I’ll just have you know that because I probably won’t be crazy about this one, it’s not taking priority among the to-be-reads. Which does not mean that the book sucks, because I probably will buy it for my husband for his birthday. But rather that ‘something for everyone’ means a boatload of stuff that’s not for me, which is just fine. Margaret Atwood’s flexibility and fictional experimentation have made her one of our country’s most fascinating writers for the past thirty years, and even if not in love with every book, you can’t help but admire that.

(I’ll also probably get to this one eventually, and enjoy it a great deal).

2 thoughts on “On Atwood's new novel”

  1. BabelBabe says:

    what's holding me back from reading it is that I feel like I need to reread Oryx & Crake (according to most reviews, they sort of overlap). And I really disliked Oryx & Crake.

    But I LOVED Blind Assassin, and may be the only person on the planet who adored and reread Alias Grace.

  2. Kerry says:

    I like Alias Grace too! And there are quite a few of us.

    Similarly, I LOVE Hilary Mantel, but will not be reading her Booker-nominated Wolf Hall due to my aversion to historical fiction. See, there's no point in making yourself miserable.

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