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Just Started ďThe Handmaidís TaleĒ
Old 01-07-2021, 08:51 PM
  #1

Now that Iím in sick leave, Iíve got time to fill. Iíve started watching The Handmaidís Tale on Netflix. DH watched one episode with me a long time ago, and he was a firm NO on continuing the show. (Heís still traumatized by watching part of The Keepers with me. )

Who has read the book and watched the series?

I read the book when it first came out. I was in high school. I donít remember thinking it was completely messed up, but the series is completely messed up. Is the series really different than the book, or am I just forgetting the book since it has been more than 30 years since I read it. I might have been too naive to have gotten exactly how messed up the whole scenario is, too. I was reading adult fiction by early middle school, so I know I read outside my maturity level a lot.

Iíve got the book reserved at the library to read again. I need to compare.


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Old 01-07-2021, 09:03 PM
  #2

I think The Handmaid's Tale is one of those polarizing books.
You either love it or hate it.

It has taken me years to be a Canadian brave enough to say I don't like Margaret Atwood's book.

1000's of others love the book. I like some of the other stuff she has written.

There is no chance I will ever watch the tv series.
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Old 01-07-2021, 09:05 PM
  #3

I read the book (several times) and watched just the first season. I thought the first season (at least) was pretty true to the feeling of the book, but there's something extra freaky about watching it acted out.

I didn't watch later seasons, though. Towards the end of the first season, I felt like it was taking more liberty but I might be mistaken.
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Old 01-07-2021, 10:12 PM
  #4

This Canadian is on the "hated it" side. The story was fine, if very bleak, until the epilogue which I thought ruined the entire book. It's the book that made me hate epilogues with every fibre of my being and also the book that's made me refuse to read anything else written by her.

And (gasp) I'm also not a big fan because of Emily Carr. Yes, that's right. I'm dissing two Canadian cultural icons!
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Old 01-07-2021, 11:16 PM
  #5

I read the book and watched the series. I really enjoyed both. The book is somewhat frustrating as it has a cliffhanger ending, but the great thing about the series is that it continues the story! There is also a newer Margaret Atwood book (the name escapes me, but I'm sure you could google) set many years later that basically finishes the story. I read that one this past year and really enjoyed it as well.

The first season follows the book pretty much exactly, so yes, it was that gruesome! I've read a couple of interviews with Margaret Atwood where she stated it's 100% based on real life. Every atrocity within it has really happened to women in some part of the world sometime in real history. What a scary thought right there. As much as I enjoy the episodes it's not a "bingeable" series for me- too intense! The Hulu thing of releasing one episode every week actually works well for this series, IMO.

The first season ends where the book ends, and then the second season continues the series beyond the book. Margaret Atwood consults. I will say it was getting to a point where it was getting too dark/depressing and nothing hopeful was happening (a common complaint, not just my view). IMO they did a better job of bringing in some "good" things in the 3rd season.

We're WELL past when the 4th season should have released; of course this is another thing ruined by covid! At one point I heard they were going for 10 seasons; not sure if they can really keep it going that long or how much covid impacts that as well. If I'm remembering correctly, the 2nd book starts some 15 years later, so they could theoretically go on and on with it if they plan to make the ending the same as the second book.


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Handmaids Tale
Old 01-08-2021, 02:06 AM
  #6

Haley did a great job pf explaining it. I liked the book (read many years ago). And the first season is intense. Like others, it is not exactly binge worthy because it is. It gets you thinking though! The following seasons are not as good in my opinion.
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:04 AM
  #7

I think both the book and the series are brilliant. I did think the situation in the book was completely messed up when I read it, but then that's sort of the definition of dystopian literature. The sequel is called The Testaments.
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:40 AM
  #8

I have not read the book, but I LOVED the series! When a show is that thought provoking you know it is good. I understand that it is too intense for some, but I was completely hook after the first episode. With everything that is going on in politics right now, it was hard not to think, "what if".
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Old 01-08-2021, 04:51 AM
  #9

i read the book and watched the whole series.
Both gave me nightmares and severe anxiety.
Yet I still want to watch the next season 🙄
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Old 01-08-2021, 06:10 AM
  #10

The book was plenty messed up, but the series really amped up the violence, imho.


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Old 01-08-2021, 10:30 AM
  #11

As others have said the first season is very true to the book but actually seeing it acted out can get much more disturbing. I loved the show and found it so hard to watch at the same time. I could definitely only handle one episode at a time and would think about it a lot afterward. What I ended up having to do to get through the show was read recaps with spoilers before each episode so I would know what to expect and could fast forward through a few of the worst torture scenes.
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Old 01-08-2021, 10:48 AM
  #12

Quote:
With everything that is going on in politics right now, it was hard not to think, "what if".
Right. It's a cautionary tale about what misogynistic religion could lead to. And, at the time that Atwood wrote it, birth rates had really plunged in the western world. Good dystopian literature always has some basis in fact.
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Old 01-08-2021, 12:49 PM
  #13

Quote:
It has taken me years to be a Canadian brave enough to say I don't like Margaret Atwood's book.
Me too! Iím not a fan of any Atwood books. I tried. I really did. I do like listening to her, though.

I do like Emily Carr.
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Old 01-08-2021, 07:14 PM
  #14

I remember reading the book in high school, and it's one of the books that has always stayed with me. It was really my first taste of dystopian fiction and it packed a punch! I think the show is brilliant, but it is so disturbing and depressing that I can't binge it at all. One episode, maybe two at the most (luckily I usually watch when it's released a week at a time).

I would highly suggest reading it again and reading The Testaments, which I really enjoyed. It won't ruin the series at all because it's set in a completely different time frame and the show is going it's own direction.
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Old 01-09-2021, 06:55 AM
  #15

I've read the books and also watched the series. I liked both, even though the situations are totally bizarre.
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