The Testamentsby Published 10 Sep 2019
|Publisher||Nan A. Talese|
The Testaments Ebook Description
The Testaments PDF Book has good rating based on 62289 votes and 8454 reviews, some of the reviews are displayed in the box below, read carefully for reference. Find other related book of "The Testaments" in the bottom area.
In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.
When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood's sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.
"Dear Readers: Everything you've ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we've been living in." --Margaret Atwood
The Testaments Reviews
“One mysterious box, when opened, so often conceals another.”
In relation to The Handmaid’s Tale Hulu series, I found The Testaments entertaining. As a follow up to the novel, I found it lacking.
I am holding off on a complete review until I have finished rereading The Handmaid's Tale.
More to come!
So I just found out about this, Margaret Atwood revealed it via twitter yesterday. I even had to create the book data myself on goodreads so I could write this update. I really did not see this coming. (did anyone?)
I'm excited and surprised. The Handmaid's Tale felt like such a closed book, so it will be real interesting to see where this one goes. I wonder if she decided to write this after the success of the television adaptation or the show was made because this book was being written.
Either way, I can't wait to read it.
It's set 15 years after the first book (which was published 33 years ago) and it has 3 female narrators. I hope it carries with it the same depth and power as the first one. So I will be reading and reviewing this one come September. It's certainly a release not to be missed!
Return to Gilead
Check your expectations at the door: The Testaments is a highly entertaining page turner, but it is also probably quite different from whatever you were anticipating.
It differs from its 1985 antecedent, The Handmaid's Tale, in tone, voice and literary heft. That earlier book had a power and a gravitas that is not recaptured here. For me the most striking thing about The Handmaid’s Tale has always been Atwood’s choice of narrator. Offred (in the book she has no other name) is so confined by her circumstances; her isolation is claustrophobic. She is essentially passive, keeping her head down and daring to aim only for survival, while other characters have more agency (Moira and Ofglen both find proactive ways to thwart the Gilead regime, either would have been a more natural choice for a protagonist). Offred is an Everywoman – with her passivity she confronts the reader: Well, what would you do in my place? And don't kid yourself. It's bleak, but the novel's power is in its intimate portrait of powerlessness.
The Testaments is more action-driven, more hopeful, and by extension, less realistic. We follow three characters who are prepared to buck the system, to risk everything to crush the patriarchy. That two of them are teenagers feeds the sense of buoyancy, you get the feeling that Atwood too thinks the kids are gonna save us.
The shift in tone will be familiar to viewers of Hulu's TV series — perhaps both Atwood and the showrunners 'read the room' and recognised that the catharsis of a feelgood fightback is what we crave and need most right now. If the idea of a book set in Gilead being entertaining — even fun — dismays you, best skip this one.
Indeed The Testaments, rather shrewdly on Atwood's part, functions as a sequel to both the first book AND the TV adaptation — deftly combining elements from each, while avoiding the show's most glaring faults (eg its over-reliance on a single character, and tendency to get bogged down plot-wise).
This novel isn't flawless either. One of the narrative voices is by far more compelling than the others (no prizes for guessing that it's the mature, morally compromised Aunt Lydia, not one of the idealistic teenagers). It's a little too TV-ready in the way the characters intersect. Certain plot twists are loudly telegraphed and the narratives don't always jive with the historical documents they purport to be. And my eyes rolled more than once (Underground Femaleroad, really?).
Still there's much to enjoy. The conniving duplicity and monstrous ambivalence of Aunt Lydia makes for thrilling reading. Atwood's prose and story-spinning have lost none of their magic, and for an 80 year old she writes teenage voices surprisingly well! Most importantly, it's compulsively readable.
The Testaments is unlikely to become a perennially relevant classic like its predecessor, and it's unreasonable to expect that kind of greatness from it. As an expansion of the Gilead mythos though, it more than satisfies.
I guess I'll have to be the one who says what nobody else is willing to say. This novel is terrible, and Booker judges are starstruck, hype-driven sellouts. I can't decide which work Atwood should be embarrassed for more - Angel Catbird, Vol. 1 or The Testaments. The book doesn't read like a novel written by one of the most lauded authors of the 20st century. The Testaments reads like a standard-issue feminist YA dystopia, filled with every overused dystopian trope and every stereotype, penned by an author who writes for teen audience, and is published by Harper Teen. As such, it undoubtedly has some appeal to a part of Atwood's readership, but literary merit The Testaments has none. If this book had a different name on it, I would have DNFed it after 50 pages for its lack of originality, predictability and mediocre writing style. I’ve read a fair number of similar novels, I am not opposed to them, I enjoyed some of them, and some of them (for example the upcoming The Grace Year) held my attention much better. As an Atwood novel, The Testaments gets one disappointed, angry, heart-broken star from me.
Why did the publishers embargo Atwood's new creation, I wonder? Surely there is nothing to spoil. Maybe to conceal its poor execution, or its transparent, shallow, simplistic, and ridiculous plot?
The story is told from 3 POVs - Aunt Lydia's and two teen girls' - one growing up in Gilead and another - in Canada. Oh my, who those girls might be? Twist!
You can only glimpse Atwood's former brilliance in Aunt Lydia's POV, but just for a few moments here and there. If the whole novel was written about Aunt Lydia, maybe Atwood would have made her journey more convincing, but alas. The other two girls are quintessential YA dystopian heroines - one abused by an evil oppressive regime, and the other - a bratty teen on the run from bad people, but who nevertheless has time for some romance. Yum! Like I said, these POVs are so similar to what's been regurgitated over and over in teen publishing, it's uncanny. Has The Testaments been partially ghost-written by Lauren Oliver? I am not trying to dump on Oliver, she has her fans and her place in the industry, but I expected something infinitely more sophisticated from Margaret Atwood.
The new information about Gilead Atwood promised? Well, new details of Gilead made the regime more nonsensical and less plausible than ever before. Who benefits from living in Gilead becomes unfathomable in this book, thus making the entire concept pointless (kind of like in Wither). Totalitarian regimes work, at least temporarily, because they are supported by a mass of true believers. Where are they in this book? But if you yearn for some more torture porn in addition to that supplied by the 3 seasons of the TV show, then sure. Rapists, molesters, killers, suicide victims galore, plus solitary confinement - there is an overabundance of that. All of it written bluntly, rashly, exploitatively and without any kind of nuance. There is no overarching theme in The Testaments except GILEAD IS BAD. The plot to overthrow it is a joke.
If you are looking for a clever, thoughtful, well-written companion to The Handmaid's Tale, you are out of luck. If you want a bland, basic TV show fanfic ripe with action adventure and genre tropes, enjoy! The Testaments was written just for you.
This was my most anticipated book for 2019.
Wait... I should amend that statement...
THIS WAS THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF MY MISERABLE FRIGGIN LIFE!
And much like my life, it was an epic disappointment.
The Handmaid's Tale is on my Top 10 shelf. It is, in my opinion, the greatest dystopian novel of all time. It is everything you expect from the genre and more. Shocking, terrifying, an unflinching account of a fucking nightmarish scenario that could actually happen.
At the end of The Handmaid's Tale I was left devastated and bereft of words. I loved the ambiguity and found myself never wanting to know what happened to June. I consider this decision by Atwood to be the crowning achievement of the novel.
With The Testaments Atwood took that crown and crushed it beneath her pen.
And nearly took The Handmaid's Tale with it.