Review | The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

Mother of modern classic literature, Margaret Atwood, makes waves with her latest release, The Heart Goes Last.  This psychosexual thriller/dystopian comedy is a cutting social critique – a smart book that will captivate a large range of readers. 

9780385540353Stan and Charmaine are a young, married couple who swap poverty for a second chance at life in the twin cities of Positron and Consilience.  They sign their lives away to be a part of its unique social experiment: do gaol time now and buy time for your future.  While Stan and Charmaine serve their prison sentence every second month, their home is occupied by their ‘alternates’.  Growing obsession with their counterparts and whispers of sinister truths undermine the cities’  façade of perfection.

While Atwood’s famous social critique The Handmaid’s Tale is dark and disturbing, The Heart Goes Last offers an equally compelling view of the modern world through biting humour and action-packed plot.  From the first sentence, you are launched into her world.  She keeps the pace tight and the tone light, even when the stakes are extremely high.  The Heart Goes Last is a smart and fun addition to the dystopian narrative as established by Orwell, Huxley, and Burgess – by nature, not as hard-hitting as those classics, but an enjoyable and accessible new take.

This book is super fun and easy to read.  It’s a great introduction to Atwood’s writing if you think one of her heavier books looks daunting.  Her versatility and skill as a writer in many genres amazes me.  If this is your first taste of Margaret Atwood, please go read The Handmaid’s Tale next.  That stuff will knock your socks off.  

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