The Blind Assassin

Written by:
Margaret Atwood
Narrated by:
Margot Dionne

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
September 2000
18 hours 19 minutes
Margaret Atwood takes the art of storytelling to new heights in a dazzling new novel that unfolds layer by astonishing layer and concludes in a brilliant and wonderfully satisfying twist.

For the past twenty-five years, Margaret Atwood has written works of striking originality and imagination. In The Blind Assassin, she stretches the limits of her accomplishments as never before, creating a novel that is entertaining and profoundly serious.

The novel opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister drove a car off the bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister Laura's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura's story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a- novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.

Told in a style that magnificently captures the colloquialisms and clichés of the 1930s and 1940s, The Blind Assassin is a richly layered and uniquely rewarding experience. The novel has many threads and a series of events that follow one another at a breathtaking pace. As everything comes together, readers will discover that the story Atwood is telling is not only what it seems to be--but, in fact, much more.

The Blind Assassin proves once again that Atwood is one of the most talented, daring, and exciting writers of our time. Like The Handmaid's Tale, it is destined to become a classic.
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Leah T.

As many others did, I found this book nearly impossible to "get in to". I could never find the compelling character or hook to inspire me to keep listening. Over the past four years I have listened to well over 300 books and this is one of only two that I given up on.

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Sharon S

I guess I expected more - or for it to make sense and somehow grab my attention. It was slow and very difficult to understand the story. I gave up after 2 disks.

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I rarely fail to finish a book but this just never lit any fire. I tried restarting it twice, thinking it might be my own lack of concentration but there is something about it left me uninspired to load the next disk. I would not condemn it based on my review as it is possible I gave up too easily, however, through disk four I was looking for a good moment to ignite some feelings. Perhaps I will try again some day.

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I enjoy a lot of Margaret Atwood's work but this one just didn't do it for me. It didn't seem to have a point. The story went on too long. The woman's life wasn't that compelling. It was written in a time period that doesn't interest me. The revelation was predictable. Try The Hand Maiden or Oryx and Crake instead.

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Atwood is a master. Plain and simple. The way she weaves together the different threads of the story is like a complex painting that, when fully revealed is even more beautiful than the sum of its parts.

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Jeff C.

I'm half-way through and enjoying the novel within a novel within a novel. My only complaint seems to be one that has not been voiced yet. In order to hear the narrator over the traffic and my own engine I have to turn it up. Now, I've been a member over a year now and have listened to well over 50 different audio books. This is the first book that has degraded as you turn up the volume (I'm suggests the engineering, the actual recording, was dreadful). The narrator either spoke too close to the mic or the it just doesn't survive the volume knob for whatever reason. Otherwise, no complaints. Looking forward to a satisfying ending.

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This book bored me so badly that after 3 hrs of listening I gave up. Everything about this book was depressing, from the characters to the narrator. The constant endless detailed family history was so tedious that I found my mind wandering, only to come back to the story and find that still, nothing was happening. Nothing about this book captured my attention. The only spark of interest in what I heard was the strange story being told by somebody's lover, (whose I wasn't quite sure) but even that was so disjointed and choppy that I couldn't follow it. After 3 hours I expected at least to know who the characters were and what they were up to, to some degree. But I just felt like I couldn't wait for it to end.

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Cheryl Slover

UGH, Too flippin' tedious! I ended up sending it back.

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Lisa David

I've tried to listen to this book twice now and still haven't made it through. It's very difficult to get into the story, and the reader doesn't help things (she's very hard to hear). I like Atwood but I just can't seem to get through this one.

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This is clearly a very good book, but has some complex issues of gender relations that are a bit difficult to deal with in the audio form.

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This novel was beautifully written and read; it held my interest even when I was away and distracted me until I could get back to listening to it. The story was moving and also unique, imaginative and artful. I liked the ending, though I cried like a ninny driving down the freeway. This was my first but I will absolutely "read" all of Atwood's books!

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Donna Gerard

The Blind Assassin is comprised of three narrations: old and bitter Iris telling us how her life ended up, objective Iris telling her life story without bias, apology, or self-sympathy, and the novel The Blind Assassin, a novel within a novel, within a novel. It was interestingly composed and surprising in the end. The narrator was excellent.

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one of the best I have listened to. Engaging. Attwood should win a nobel prize for literature.

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Barbara Holst

I have been a Margaret Atwood fan for several years, but this book is in a whole other dimension. She proves herself, once again, as a masterful storyteller, but her ability to create characters and poetically describe scenes is unsurpassed. This work is skillfully read by the reader. Highly recommended!

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