Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Heart Goes Last

I have read so many Margaret Atwood novels over the years (The Handmaid's Tale, The Robber Bride, Surfacing, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, Cat's Eye...) and have always found them intelligent and engrossing.  Some I enjoyed a lot more than others, but all of them held my attention. The characters were smart and complex, the writing skilled, the plots unique.

I'm afraid to say The Heart Goes Last is TERRIBLE. It is hoaky, goofy, and sloppy. The characters are incredibly underdeveloped, mere sketches, and their one-dimensionality is at times almost infuriating. The plot is so ridiculous and so full of holes that I don't know what to make of it.  In a dystopian near future, a couple impoverished by a national financial crisis agrees to enter heavily closed community where they alternate months in a generic middle class house and a clean well-run prison. In both they have jobs. The project developers are working on nefarious projects that include euthanasia, sex dolls, and operations to make women fall in love and lust with just one man. Although there is a sort of interesting twist at the very end, The Heart Goes Last is the silliest thing I have read in a long time, and Atwood must have written it in one night of insomnia.

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