Title : The Heart Goes Last
Author : Margaret Atwood
ISBN : 9780385540353
Publisher : Nan A. Talese
Genre : Fiction
Pages : 308
Source : Self
Rating : 3 stars
Stan and Charmaine are a couple forced to live in a car due to the unfortunate circumstances perpetuated by recession in the country.
They seem too afraid to leave their car most of the time in the beginning. There were rapists and thieves wandering the streets. Stan usually slept sitting behind the wheel as he wanted to be ready to drive off quickly if danger was near.
While they both struggle to make their ends meet, they come to know about the “Positron” project in the town of Consilience- It is a social experiment that offers home and job stability in return of a few favors. They both sign up for it without giving it a second thought and thrown into an entirely new world- a world that looks all hunky-dory in the beginning but gradually turns dystopic as they find out what exactly goes around in Consilience.
The book has a contemporary feel to it. A medicine that goes down smooth and delicious, with little burbles of laughter and giggles and snorts along the way.
The author has a lot to say about the human sexuality too and the nature of love – both romantic and lustful. This is, at heart, a cautionary tale – a be careful what you wish for narrative.
Through her beautiful narration, Atwood shows us at our most selfish and self-indulgent, revealing our perpetual hunger for assurance and we are in the right place, doing the right thing, sleeping with the right person and that whatever we are doing and whoever we are doing it to, it’s by our choice. We’ve chosen it today and we might choose it again tomorrow.
The book could be bipolar. On one side – the worst of human atrocities and on the other side – dry and emotionless language in which it all was presented.
The book makes you both cringe and laugh. It seems like Atwood’s strength is taking events from the current scenario and spinning a future world where the implications of these stories are fully realized.
I have neither read Atwood before nor read any book from the dystopian genre and hence it was quite an experience reading this one. I wasn’t thoroughly amazed but this book is definitely a page turner at various points of time.