Friday, March 2, 2018

The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood




Hardback: 320 pages                                                                                                 
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Nan. A.Talese 2015                                                                                                                 Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: Sleeping in the car is cramped!
Review Quote: The best selling author who shot to fame thirty years ago with The Handmaid's Tale is still at her darkly comic best.
Main Characters: Stan and Charmaine
Literary Awards: The Kitschies for Red Tentacle (Novel) (2015)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Science Fiction (2015)
My Opinion: A very strange read, entertaining but also disturbing. Disturbing in that it will at times send chills down your spine, yet  a few pages later you will be laughing at some of the bizarre events!
The future is bleak for Stan and Charmaine who at the beginning of the novel are living in their car, in a desperate state. They apply to become part of a social experiment that offers them both work and a home, which although it rescues them, in return they become part of something very sinister. One month in prison working alternates with one month in their own home. A home which by the way they share with another couple, swapping from prison to home with this other couple. They develop an obsession with their counterparts and life becomes rather complicated.  Scary in a way as though this is far from reality it so easily could be!


Précis Courtesy of Goodreads:

Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in... for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their "civilian" homes.

At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.



Video Trailer for 'The Heart Goes Last' Courtesy of YouTube


Author Profile


Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, and grew up in northern Ontario and Quebec, and in Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master’s degree from Radcliffe College.

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her latest book of short stories is Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014).  Her MaddAddam trilogy – the Giller and Booker prize-nominated Oryx and Crake (2003), The Year of the Flood (2009), and MaddAddam (2013) – is currently being adapted for HBO. The Door is her latest volume of poetry (2007). Her most recent non-fiction books are Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008) and In Other Worlds: SF and the Human Imagination (2011). Her novels include The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; and The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale – coming soon as a TV series with MGM and Hulu – and The Penelopiad. Her new novel, The Heart Goes Last, was published in September 2015. Forthcoming in 2016 are Hag-Seed, a novel revisitation of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, for the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, and Angel Catbird – with a cat-bird superhero – a graphic novel with co-creator Johnnie Christmas. (Dark Horse.) Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

A full bibliography may be found HERE

Margaret Atwood currently lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Born: 18 November, 1939. Ottawa, Ontario.

Education: Victoria College, University of Toronto, B.A., 1961; Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Mass., A.M., 1962; Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 1962-63, 1965-67.

Places of Residence: Ottawa, 1939-45; Sault Ste. Marie, 1945; Toronto, 1946-61; Boston, Mass., 1961-63; Toronto, 1963-64; Vancouver, 1964-65; Boston, Mass.1965-67; Montreal, 1967-68; Edmonton, 1968-70; England (London), France, Italy, 1970-71; Toronto, 1971-73; Alliston, Ontario, 1973-80; Toronto, 1980-83; England, Germany, 1983-84; Alabama, 1985; Toronto, 1986-91; France, 1992; Toronto, 1992-present.

Employment: Lecturer in English, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 1964-65; Instructor in English, Sir George Williams University, Montreal, 1967-68; University of Alberta, 1969-70; Assistant Professor of English, York University, Toronto, 1971-72; Writer-In-Residence, University of Toronto, 1972-73; M.F.A. Honorary Chair, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1985; Berg Chair, New York University, 1986; Writer-In-Residence, Macquarie Univ., Australia, 1987; Writer-In-Residence, Trinity Univ., San Antonio, Texas, 1989.

Associations: Margaret Atwood was President of the Writers’ Union of Canada from May 1981 to May 1982, and was President of International P.E.N., Canadian Centre (English Speaking) from 1984-1986. She and Graeme Gibson are the Joint Honourary Presidents of the Rare Bird Society within BirdLife International. Ms. Atwood is also a current Vice-President of PEN International.


Photographs, Trailer and Biographical Information courtesy of the following sites.


You Tube Interview   Twitter Profile    Margaret Atwood - Facebook   

 Author's Official Website     Amazon Author Page       Goodreads Author Page


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