Margaret Atwood’s latest The Heart Goes Last is Atwood’s classic dystopian with a little added craziness. I really enjoy Atwood’s writing and always find it interesting to read about her dark dystopian worlds. Apparently this novel is the reworking of a serial where the first four books came out in sections. I hadn’t heard of them before but was very excited to read them all in full. As always when you enter the dystopian world that Atwood creates you are in a for a ride.
The Heart Goes Last is narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Mark Deakins and they were great. Cassandra Campbell is at the top of my list of favorite narrators and while I hadn’t listened to Mark Deakins before I found his voice very pleasant to listen to. Between the two of them they portrayed all of the various characters perfectly making this a very exciting listening experience for me.
Society is in a shambles – there are no jobs, people are going hungry, and violence is rampant. Stan and Charmaine have been living in their car and just getting through each day is a struggle. Then they spot an advertisement for a place called Consilience that promises food, a job, and a home all for the small price of having to go to prison every other month. Both Stan and Charmaine think it’s too good a deal to pass up considering they are all out of any other options for survival. Consilience seems to be everything they thought it would be and they settle into a life there. Soon enough though their thoughts of a perfect life begin to crumble as they both begin to secretly become obsessed with the alternate couple that lives in their home when they are in the prison. This leads them both into a world where nobody can be trusted and so much borders on a very strange reality.
Love it, Like it…Or not…
I liked it a lot especially on audio although I think I would have liked this one in print as well. However with Cassandra Campbell as one of the narrators the audio is hard to pass up and of course it’s so well done. For me it’s the imagination of Atwood that amazes me. So much of this novel is quite bizarre but that was part of the attraction for me and what kept me listening. I think that’s whats important when reading this book – you do need to suspend belief for a some of it and you know what that’s ok. That to me is what reading is all about. As a note to my readers – there is sexual content in this novel that may not appeal to all. Recommended for those who enjoy dystopian fiction ,with what I would say, is an added twist or two. I really enjoyed it!