In retrospect, it seems strange that I haven’t read Margaret Atwood until now. Somehow that name and the titles have escaped me on my reading journeys. Now, I have no idea how that could happen.
I stumbled across her works because of HBO. I’d seen commercials for the new TV-series and was curious. “The Handmaid’s Tale” seemed different, and since I love everything apocalyptic, I had to go have a look. And I wasn’t disappointed. The series left me out of breath as if a gigantic fist had taken a great blow to my abdomen. That’s what I call good writing – even on a screen.
Next logical step, of course, was to check out her writing. Was it just as good? Would it be as clever, as enthralling, as believable as the show?
As is often the case, it was even better …
Being the type of person who easily gets addicted, I now had to go read everything by Margaret Atwood. I began with The Handmaid’s Tale, continued with Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. Currently, I am reading, or rather listening to, Alias Grace. I am using Mofibo for all this, since my best reading time is when on the bus, walking the dog, running (yes, you can run while reading like this) or cleaning: this the the downside of being mother of twins and working full-time. (Luckily, all the upsides to it make it worth it all and more.)
Luckily, Atwood is a very diligent writer and there is a lot more to look forward to. Knowing my addicted self, it will be Atwood all the way to Christmas or longer. What worries me the most is that it seems as if Mofibo haven’t got all her books. I must write to them or something.
Atwood masters the skill of writing real people. People you can see, touch, smell, taste and feel as they pass through your mind. They are whole, deep and flawed in the way you and I are. And she masters telling tales that are as beautifully whole as are her people. Complete with details, no loose ends, color and smell, right there to touch.
I know her characters now as if they are past friend, someone I once knew, her stories like memories to me. They’re stuck to the inside of my skull like 3D-stickers: Jimmy, Glenn, Oryx. The half-crazy mother not knowing how to save Jimmy or herself, walking up and down the street in her bathrobe. Glenn without even the idea of empathy.
Having read as much as I have, you know good writing in an instant. I knew half a page down that I would fall in love with this work. And I am … I am crushing hard, longing to read on as you can crave for a certain food, or a touch from someone, the sound of a certain voice. That deep, physical need right there in your stomach or chest, makes you lose your breath, brings tears to your eyes.
I believe I have written about various authors before and on my thoughts on perfection. How sometimes, everything come together and create perfection. Margaret Atwood is perfection: the style, the stories, the morale, the cleverness.
My birthday is coming up. I know what books I wish for 🙂
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