The Heart Goes Last
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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
© Publishers Weekly
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.
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!