The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: Spoilery Discussion

Power of the Pen

My non spoilery review of The Testaments is HERE. This post will comment on the book in detail and assumes readers have already finished reading it.

This is going to be a series of observations and analysis, in no particular order, rather than a straight review. I’d love to hear what everyone else thinks and if you agree or disagree with me. There are minor spoilers for the TV series The Handmaid’s Tale.

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Book Review- An Easy Death (Gunnie Rose Book 1) by Charlaine Harris

 

book cover of An Easy Death

The first thing Gunnie Rose does when she gets her own book series is get a makeover haircut, to show how her life is about to go through some drastic changes. Gunnie Rose, who is also known as Lizbeth, actually has multiple reasons for her new look. She’s a 19 year old woman who lives in what would be the southwestern US, if she lived in our world, and her work as an almost magical sharpshooter keeps her outdoors most of the time, so her long hair gets hot and sticky. Plus her hair grows in long ringlets, which her boyfriend paid more attention to than he did to the rest of her, so she figured it was time to remind him to pay more attention to the person underneath the hair. But probably most importantly of all, since she’s called Gunnie for a good reason, the ringlets are dragging down her job performance and her reputation. She’s NOT adorable, okay?

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Book Review- The Testaments: The Sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments Cover

“Only dead people are allowed to have statues, but I have been given one while still alive. Already I am petrified.”

These are the opening words of The Testaments, written by one of the book’s three narrators, each of whom is already known to readers of the original book, The Handmaid’s Tale, and the acclaimed Hulu series based on the book. The words were written by the author of books, of course, Margaret Atwood, who once made a cameo appearance in the series as an Aunt.

In Gilead, Aunts are the caste of middle aged women who are in charge of other women, especially the handmaids. They are the only women who are allowed to be educated, including learning to read and write and having access to books.

In the novel, the author of these words reveals herself to be Aunt Lydia, spirited enforcer of the rules with a tendency to play favorites. The self awareness, dry wit and double entendre involved in the comment are indicative of the journey Aunt Lydia and Margaret Atwood are about to take us on. Lydia is honest with herself, if no one else, and has no illusions about what her place in history will be. But, unlike most of the women in Gilead, she chose her own destiny with her eyes wide open.

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Altered Carbon Season 2: Production Begins & Other News

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Time for an update on Netflix’s cyberpunk bodyswapping series Altered Carbon, which got off to a slow start, but, according to Google Trends, ended up being the 2nd most searched for TV show title of 2018. Netflix has been slow in releasing news about season 2, with little known so far about the plot or returning cast, but, finally, tidbits of information are starting to appear.

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It Can’t Happen Here: Unless It’s Aliens or Has Orange Hair (Audio)/ Or Maybe It Can

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Update 10/28/18: This seems like a good day to repost this audio, based on Sinclair Lewis’ brilliant, prophetic novel that warns against how easily fascism and white supremacism can overcome a country when people fail to take action against it quickly enough. Violence is on the rise against anyone who doesn’t fit the current concept of the master race, and the policies of the president of the United States encourage the violence and separatism. This is exactly what happened in Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Please make sure you vote in this election cycle.


On October 24, 2016, 2 weeks before Election Day, we both attended a local staged reading of the play It Can’t Happen Here, based on the 1936 novel by Sinclair Lewis. The novel, and the play, describe the rise and rule of a charismatic, dogmatic, conservative politician who is eventually elected president. He promises a return to traditional values, but reneges on his promises soon after he takes office, turning the country into a totalitarian regime within a period of a few months. Anyone who doesn’t offer complete, unquestioning loyalty to the new regime is imprisoned or executed.

This may sound like a drastic scenario, something that “can’t happen here,” but Lewis wrote the novel originally because he was watching this very thing happen in Nazi Germany at the time. The original stage adaptation was created the following year. The original 1983 TV miniseries about an alien invasion,V, was also based on It Can’t Happen Here (and the later reboot series). V’s creator, Kenneth Johnson, was inspired by Lewis’ work, but the network executives at NBC thought the story would be more interesting if the American fascists from the book were turned into aliens for TV.

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The Glass Castle: Movie Review

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OMG, it’s a movie review!!! They do exist! I didn’t want to frighten y’all, so I put it over on WitchyRamblings, with the review of the book of the same name.

Excerpt:

(Not Spoiler Free)

The Glass Castle is a new film based on journalist Jeannette Walls 2005 memoir of the same name. It was directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, who also wrote the film along with Andrew Lanham, and Marti Noxon. Brie Larson stars as adult Jeannette, Woody Harrelson as her father, Rex Walls, and Naomi Watts plays her mother, Rose Mary Walls.

The film tells the story of the family life of the Walls, with a focus on Jeannette’s relationship with her father during her childhood and young adulthood. They begin as a close knit, but complicated, family who spent the first 10 years of Jeannette’s life constantly moving around the southwest.

Rex was a dreamer and nonconformist who loved his children, but was also an alcoholic and gambler who couldn’t hold a job. Rose Mary was an artist who saw the unique beauty in the world but was lacking in affection and the ability to care for her children on a day to day basis. Between them, they gave their children an early childhood filled with adventure and magic, as well as poverty and chaos…

Read more at The Glass Castle Movie Review

HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale Season 1 Analysis and Commentary

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They Should Never Have Given Us Uniforms If They Didn’t Want Us to Be an Army.

After watching the 2017 Emmy Awards, Metamaiden and I finally got around to our long-planned rewatch of HULU’s The Handmaid’s Tale. We watched it when it aired weekly in the spring, along with everyone else, and loved it. I didn’t write weekly recaps because I know the book, having read it in the 80s, and I haven’t figured out how to write about ongoing series based on a book that I already know.

So, after binge rewatching the entire season, we present to you the compromise post: our typical season ending discussion.

 

Review

I’m not going to bother with much of a review. This series has won 8 Primetime Emmy Awards, and every one of the winners for Handmaid’s Tale deserved it. There could have been multiple winners in the various outstanding actress categories. The acting, cinematography, production design, and direction all deserve the many accolades they’ve received.

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Forget Hugh Hefner: Helen Gurley Brown and Erica Jong Were the Real Feminist Sexual Revolutionaries

Or, Whatever Happened to the Cosmo Girl and the Zipless F*ck?

I’ve been sickened by the response to Playboy Hugh Hefner’s death this week. He’s been hailed as a feminist, a liberator of women, a liberal icon. The man was none of those things. He exploited, drugged, abused, raped, manipulated, degraded, and publicly humiliated women, and much more. If anything, the embrace of Hefner’s “philosophy” of treating women as objects and prostitutes set the women’s movement back. He was anything but sex positive for women. Hefner controlled the women in his orbit with little concern for their health or well-being, much less their sexual pleasure…

…Helen Gurley Brown gave young women permission to put themselves, their careers, and their own sexual desires first, and to put off marriage and caregiving for as long as they wanted. What is the role of women in Hugh Hefner’s world, if not another form of caregiver, this time as the ever-enthusiastic and willing sexual partner who fulfills the man’s every need with no thought to her own? That’s not Helen Gurley Brown’s Cosmo Girl, who takes care of herself and doesn’t depend on men. She loves to date men and look great when she goes out, but they don’t control or own her. This subtle difference gets missed a lot.

Read the rest of Metacrone’s post on our sister site, WitchyRamblings.com.