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The Heart Goes Last

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Jun 29, 2015 – In the dystopian landscape of the unflappable Atwood's (Stone Mattress) latest novel, there are "not enough jobs, and too many people," which drives married couple Stan and Charmaine to become interested in the Positron Project, a community that purports to have achieved harmony. There is a catch, as Positron leader Ed explains: citizens are required to share their home with other couples, alternating each month between time in prison and time at home. It's an odd arrangement, but one that temporarily satisfies Charmaine and Stan until they each fall in love with the alternates they're supposed to never see; their infatuations put the entire Positron arrangement into question. Atwood is fond of intricate plot work, and the novel takes a long time to set up the action, but once it hits the last third, it gains an unstoppable momentum. The novel is full of sly moments of peripeteia and lots of sex, which play alongside larger ideas about the hidden monsters lurking in facile totalitarianism, and, as implied by the title, the ability of the heart to keep fighting despite long odds.

Customer Reviews

Dumb

I mean the title, "Dumb," literally. I feel like I have been in the mind and company of low I.Q.s. Main characters are ridiculously stupid in thought and action. The story could have been interesting but lacked depth. What a waste of time and money!

Had potential, but didn't live up to it

The beginning of the book had potential. It was based on an intriguing concept, but by the middle it disintegrated into silly. By the end I was only reading in the hopes it might redeem itself, but it only got worse.

Cardiac Failure

I expected much more from Atwood than she delivers in this novel. A potentially interesting concept in the beginning quickly devolves into an opportunity wasted. Characters lack depth or interest, and plot is downright silly. Halfway through, the reader wishes for that injection we're supposed to find so ghastly. The concept, a future America, destroyed by market collapse, in which the ninety-nine percenters live among unspeakable horrors, might have borne better fruit than this. "Possibilibots"? Really? Unless Atwood's opinion of the 99% is that they're no more interesting than Stan and Charmaine. Injections for everyone!

The Heart Goes Last
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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Adventure
  • Published: Sep 29, 2015
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings