Stef (firecat) wrote,

A non-answer to why I hated The Handmaid's Tale

Several people asked why I hated The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood.

I'm afraid I'm one of those people who tends to forget the details of books, movies, and such. As time passses, eventually I can only remember the mood I was in when I read/watched/listened to it and a general affection or dislike of it. The only thing I can remember about The Handmaid's Tale is that it depressed me in such a way that just depressed me.

To unpack that: A lot of books depress me but I like them anyway because I think the author has gotten at some essential truth that I don't often see gotten at, and the fact that we share this viewpoint gives me hope and makes me feel not-alone, even if it's a depressing viewpoint.

I didn't get that sense with The Handmaid's Tale - which isn't to say the author didn't get at any essential truth (given how many smart feminist people like the book, she must have), but just that I didn't pick up on it at the time I read it.
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