The Blind Assassin
opens with these simple, resonant words: "Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge." They are spoken by Iris, whose terse account of her sister's death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura?s story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin,
it is a science fiction story told by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist. Brilliantly weaving together such seemingly disparate elements, Atwood creates a world of astonishing vision and unforgettable impact.
"The first great novel of the new millennium."
"Absorbing... expertly rendered... Virtuosic storytelling [is] on display."
--The New York Times
"Brilliant... Opulent... Atwood is a poet.... as well as a contriver of fiction, and scarcely a sentence of her quick, dry yet avid prose fails to do useful work, adding to a picture that becomes enormous."
--John Updike, The New Yorker
"Chilling... Lyrical... [Atwood's] most ambitious work to date."
--The Boston Globe
"Hauntingly powerful.... A novel of luminous prose, scalpel-precise insights and fierce characters... Atwood's new work is so assured, so elegant and so incandescently intelligent, she casts her contemporaries in the shade."
--The Atlanta Journal--Constitution
"Grand storytelling on a grand scale... Sheerly enjoyable."
--The Washington Post Book World
"Bewitching... A killer novel.... Atwood's crisp wit and steely realism are reminiscent of Edith Wharton... A wonderfully complex narrative."
--The Christian Science Monitor
"A tour de force."