1.Title: The Blind Assassin
3.Published by :Virago Press.
4.Copyright:@ O.W.Toad Ltd. 2000
This novel by Margaret Atwood is dark but a page turner. It is the story set in
of two sisters –Laura Chase and Iris Chase Griffin . Laura dies
mysteriously in a car accident and
Iris writes fifty years after about their story , secrets and betrayals. Ontario, Canada
The novel is set against the panoramic backdrop of twentieth century history. The story moves through the first World War , the maiden voyage of Queen Mary, the Depression ,the Spanish Civil War , the second World War and several years thereafter. Against a broad social backdrop , Atwood has the ability to suggest the complexity of individual lives. Final tragedy is the result of human frailty, greed and passion .The novel also shows the ways women are used by men , especially if they also have wealth.
The novel is told by Iris Chase Griffin , who is now 83 years old .Iris is writing a biography of her early life with her family , particularly her sister Laura.
The novel unfolds layer by layer ,and there is also a novel within novel. This novel , published by Iris in Laura’s name after her death is also called The Blind Assassin .In this novel ,the hero tells his lover pulp fiction stories in the dingy rooms where they meet. He is a leftist on the run , convenient scapegoat for a factory fire that was presumably an insurance fraud while she is a privileged person , sneaking away from her watchers , for a few risky hours of pleasure.
The Blind assassin is more than a mere fictional character ,as told to a lover .In stead , it is an apt description of a character that sometimes irresponsibly chooses not to see and at other times is nasty and vengeful .It is a story of tragedy , corruption and crucial manipulation. There are promises and betrayals, losses and regrets, memories and yearning .
Each word , phrase , sentence and paragraph in the book is beautifully written and they are all appropriate for the mood of the story. Atwood weaves so many layers that each part remains interesting as a story , but the big picture is only revealed in the end. Each of the characters had their own quirks, own dark sides, their own edges , which made them very real. It is a gripping story . It is a grand story told in a grand way ,on a grand scale. It also shows that Atwood deeply understands the human condition , and she describes it beautifully.
I recommend you to read this great work of fiction .Incidentally , it also won the 2000 Booker Prize .