Thursday, December 14, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt fourteen)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

There’s a surge forward, like a crowd at a rock concert in the former time, when the doors opened, that urgency coming like a wave through us. The air is bright with adrenaline, we are permitted anything and this is freedom, in my body also, I’m reeling, red spreads everywhere, but before that tide of cloth and bodies hits him Ofglen is shoving through the women in front of us, propelling herself with her elbows, left, right, and running towards him. She pushes him down, sideways, then kicks his head viciously, one, two, three times, sharp painful jabs with the foot, well aimed. Now there are sounds, gasps, a low noise like growling, yells, and the red bodies tumble forward and I can no longer see, he’s obscured by arms, fists, feet. A high scream comes from somewhere, like a horse in terror.



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt thirteen)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

It’s a good look, slow and level. I’m a wreck. The mascara has smudged again, despite Moira’s repairs, the purplish lipstick has bled, hair trails aimlessly. The molting pink feathers are tawdry as carnival dolls and some of the starry sequins have come off. Probably they were off to begin with and I didn’t notice. I am a travesty, in bad make-up and someone else’s clothes, used glitz.

I wish I had a toothbrush.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt twelve)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

“It’s like walking into the past,” says the Commander. His voice sounds pleased, delighted even. “Don’t you think?”

I try to remember if the past was exactly like this. I’m not sure, now. I know it contained these things, but somehow the mix is different. A movie about the past is not the same as the past.



Monday, December 11, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt eleven)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, is what he says. We though we could do better.

Better? I say, in a small voice. How can he think this is better?

Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse, for some.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt ten)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

I was stunned. Everyone was, I know that. It was hard to believe. The entire government, gone like that. How did they get in, how did it happen?

That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.



Saturday, December 9, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt nine)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

Moira was out there somewhere. She was at large, or dead. What would she do? The thought of what she would do expanded till it filled the room. At any moment there might be a shattering explosion, the glass of the windows would fall inward, the doors swimg open. . . . Moira had power now, she’d been set loose, she’d set herself loose. She was now a loose woman.

I think we found this frightening.



Friday, December 8, 2017

the last book I ever read (Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, excerpt eight)

from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood:

“Was it all right?” he asks, anxious.

“Yes,” I say. By now I’m wrung out, exhausted. My breasts are painful, they’re leaking a little. Fake milk, it happens this way with some of us. We sit on our benches, facing one another, as we are transported; we’re without emotion now, almost without feeling, we might be bundles of red cloth. We ache. Each of us holds in her lap a phantom, a ghost baby. What confronts us, now the excitement’s over, is our own failure. Mother, I think. Wherever you may be. Can you hear me? You wanted a women’s culture. Well, now there is one. It isn’t what you meant, but it exists. Be thankful for small mercies.