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The Heart Goes Last Audio CD – Unabridged, September 24, 2015
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Audio CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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- Publisher : Bolinda audio; Unabridged edition (September 24, 2015)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1486299415
- ISBN-13 : 978-1486299416
- Item Weight : 1.41 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.55 x 4.8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #8,588,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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This isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's certainly a highly readable book—a pageturner of sorts. And it starts off with an interesting premise: Stan and Charmaine, a homeless couple living out of their car, accept an opportunity to take part in an experiment that promises to solve unemployment and crime and provide people with a meaningful life. Once they sign that contract, they'll live out the rest of their lives in a gated community with everything they need...the only catch is that they have to spend every other month in the community's prison system.
What begins as a compelling commentary on the prison industrial complex and the inevitable downsides of utopian societies goes completely off the rails halfway through and devolves into something else entirely. In fact, at times it's hard to believe you're still reading the same story.
It seems like Atwood came into this with lots of really interesting disparate ideas that she wasn't able to converge into a cohesive narrative. Or maybe not...maybe she just wanted to write something completely out there.
As a full novel, if didn't really work for me. And it didn't help that the final quarter was way too drawn out. Also worth mentioning is that the characters of Stan and Charmaine behaved in ways that were frustratingly inconsistent with my understanding of them.
I don't know. It's honestly amazing to me that the same person who wrote The Handmaid's Tale wrote this.
This book is quirky, odd, dark and sometimes funny. I would say it’s like Kurt Vonnegut wrote 1984.
If you want something that’s committed to a specific emotional theme (all dark and serious, totally lighthearted, etc.) this is not for you.
However, if you’re interested in a good writer telling an offbeat story well, you might really enjoy it.
A few words of caution: I was hooked by the free sample, but the introductory section is not indicative of the book, so be prepared for a major shift in the overall tone.
A wacked, absurd, comical novel that becomes obvious satire as the novel continues. As I read this book, I initially took it very seriously, trying to connect with the characters, understand motives, etc. However, by the end with the sexbots, possibilibots, Elvises and Marilyns it became obvious that the book is entirely satirical and meant to be comical. It also serves as a cautionary tale of “be careful what you wish for.” Having someone who loves you only because she has had the laser treatment may not be so fulfilling and rewarding in the end. Perhaps loving someone so completely is easier if you think you’ve had a brain surgery to make you do so.
I was so excited to embark on this novel after reading the premise: a couple destitute in this futuristic world decides to sign up for “Consilience,” a social experiment, where you spend alternate months in a prison and in a home with stable jobs within the confines of Positron. Their relationship becomes strange and a whole lot of sex ensues, none of which is really sexy. Their freedoms have been lost by joining this program and they have seemingly signed their own personalities away as well. They become different, much more superficial in their needs and wants. It’s almost as if having decisions made for them is appreciated, especially on Charmaine’s part.
In sum, I enjoyed the initial unravelling of the exciting premise. This segued to the drudgery of the mid-section where the characters are acting like robots and no one is very likable, and finally to the last portion which is an overwhelmingly satirical picture of the future where no one is happy having an ordinary relationship or partner, but instead seeks out a paid or modified companion.
I’m a big fan of Margaret Atwood. This is the 7th novel of hers that I’ve read and maybe my 6th or 7th favorite of them all. She’s an excellent writer and this is humorous/chilling social commentary, but I didn’t connect with it as well as I have some of her other novels.
For discussion questions, please see book-chatter.com.
Top reviews from other countries
Not wishing to sound prudish, I would still say there is too much shabby and loveless sex and too few characters to care about.