The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood | Science Fiction & Fantasy |
ISBN: 038549081x Global Overview for this book
Registered by Semioticghost of Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on 5/14/2003
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12 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Semioticghost from Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 14, 2003
One of my all-time-favourite dystopian novels, right up there with 1984, Brave New World and a Clockwork Orange.
Bought for bookcrossing because I hope more people will get to read it this way.

This book is currently travelling as a Bookray, mostly organised geographically, with later joiners at the end. So far on the list are:

1. LisaJane [UK] [done]
2. Healer [UK] [done]
3. merlynreid [UK] [done]
4. Tigger79 [UK][done]
5. Heavy-P [UK] [done]
6. Loopy1 [UK] [done]
7. Talkland [UK] [done]
8. Gyd [Spain] [done]
9. Xanapeq [Portugal] [done]
10. Letra [Portugal][done]
11. Fio-dagua [Portugal] [done]
14. Redhouse [UK][done]
12. PurpleHeather [UK] [not responding]
13. EHW [UK]{soon to be reading}
[please try PurpleHeather again before oblivious1980]
XX. oblivious1980 inserted here as last stop in the UK, because she asked nicely!
15. Tembo [Germany]
16. Quorcester [MA, USA]
17. Janbur [USA]
18. JeriOwl [USA]
19. Nmarshall88 [USA]
20. RlyLv2Rd [Minnesota]
21. outofreach [Australia]


A bookray means that each participant receives the book form the previous participant, via mail. The idea is to receive it, journal that you've got it, and read it as soon as possible. The last person on the ray gets to choose where to release it. So everybody who is interested in reading this novel will be contacted by the bookcrosser above them in the list for their mailing address details and so on. If this doesn't make sense, please tell me - it's the first time I'm explaining a bookray!

Released on Friday, June 20, 2003 at by Royal Mail, to a friend in London, England United Kingdom.

This Book Ray is starting today - I have just put the book in the post to LisaJane. Please get in touch with me if you'd like to be added to the list!

Journal Entry 3 by Hexa on Monday, June 23, 2003
Received in the post from SemioticGhost - thank you! And thank you for the goodies accompanying it. I'll post again once I've read it...

Journal Entry 4 by Hexa on Friday, July 4, 2003
I loved this book, I can't believe I'd never read it before. Definately one of the great dystopian novels, right wing christian capitalism gone mad. It's very bleak and yet the imagery is so strong, I will be pondering it for weeks to come I think.

Sending on to Healer - enjoy.

Journal Entry 5 by Healer from Rendlesham, Suffolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, August 19, 2003
A thought provoking story, in a way disturbing. It tickles the hidden parts of the mind. Not to be taken lightly!

I'm about to send it to Merlynreid, have a good read!

Journal Entry 6 by merlynreid from Manchester, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Monday, September 8, 2003
Hmm, interesting tale. rather reminescent of John Wyndham's 'Consider her ways'. I found it interesting and depressing at the same time, but the tale held my interest to the end.

I'll be sending it onto the next reader as soon as I have an address!!

Journal Entry 7 by KenseyRiver from Brightlingsea, Essex United Kingdom on Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Thanks to Merlynreid for sending this and thanks to Semiotic ghost for setting up this ray. I'll try and read it quickly...

Journal Entry 8 by KenseyRiver from Brightlingsea, Essex United Kingdom on Sunday, September 14, 2003
Amazing book, though disturbingly possible. Is it me or do we seem to edging ever closer to this kind of thing? I think this book will stay in my thoughts for a long time yet.

Journal Entry 9 by KenseyRiver at -- Controlled Release 🤝 in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, September 19, 2003
Released on Friday, September 19, 2003 at In the post to fellow bookcrosser in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom.

Journal Entry 10 by Heavy-P from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, September 25, 2003
This book was mailed to me as part of a book ray.
With a few changes this could almost be a sequel to The Day of the Triffids. An insular nation suffering from a near-constant war that treats women as property. It reminded me of the news reports a few years ago, exposing the treatment of women by the Taliban, only translated into a 20th-century Christian context. An interesting idea, well portraid. Unfortunately, while atmospheric, I found it a slow, heavy read and it never really engaged my imagination. I'm glad I read it, but I wouldn't need to keep it and read it over and over like many other books.

Journal Entry 11 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, October 4, 2003
The book arrived safely this morning, thank you. I look forward to reading it :-)

Journal Entry 12 by loopy1 from Herne Bay, Kent United Kingdom on Friday, October 10, 2003
I loved this book! I loved the style of narration. I loved the way it hinted at the normal world just beyond.
I told myself that it could never happen, that no-one could just take over with that kind of power, and then I thought about the apathy in politics today, and there's just that pinch of doubt in my mind...
Reasonably short chapters, just the length to keep thinking well just one more then, a story that tantalizes, and then the last bit at the end :-)
Thanks for sharing this, I'm really glad I read it, and I'm sure it will stay with me. And now I might go back and finish Cat's Eyes by Margaret Atwood, that I'd temporarily given up on.
Meantime, this one travels on :-)


Journal Entry 13 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Friday, October 17, 2003
Thanks Loopy for sending this on. Would you believe it but I am in the fortunate position of only having this bookray to read!!! I have finally reading my way through the stack I accumulated in September, woohoo! I read this years ago and I am looking forward to re-read it.

Journal Entry 14 by talkland from Eastbourne, East Sussex United Kingdom on Friday, October 24, 2003
'The Handmaid's Tale' is one woman's story set in a modern America where some religious nutters have taken power. It is a powerful book. Women have been stripped of their rights and are treated as chattel. Religious, political, sexual freedoms are swept away and in place are draconian methods to keep the general populous terrified and cowed. The scary thing about this book is I could see how something like this could happen.

A massacre by terrorists of the ruling body, forces thorough emergency powers where the constitution is suspended [in the interests of national security] and before the general populace knows it they are living in a police terror state. Against this background Offred [the narrator] tells her story of how she loses her husband, child and even her name in a world where her only function is to be breeding machine for the new elite. The rituals and justifications of the brutality and dehumanisation is something with has happen time and again all over the world. A truly chilling tale of how fragile our world is and how easy it is for society to lose its freedoms and choices.


Journal Entry 15 by talkland at on Monday, November 3, 2003
Released on Monday, November 03, 2003 at the post office to a fellow BookCrosser mailed in Eastbourne, England United Kingdom.

Forgot to post this before my holiday, sorry for the delay.

Journal Entry 16 by Gyd from Barcelona, Barcelona Spain on Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Received :). Thanks Talkland.
Starting my reading this weekend (I'm currently finishing another one). Thanks Semioticghost for setting up this ray :).

Journal Entry 17 by Gyd from Barcelona, Barcelona Spain on Saturday, November 22, 2003
First of all: I absolutely love the illustration in the cover (by Fred Marcellino). Ten stars. Everytime I picked up the book I just looked for some seconds to the cover to get into the story.


And I really enjoyed the book :)!
This one has been my second Atwood's and at the beginning it kept reminding me of 'Surfacing' (1st person narrator as well). But I really need to own a copy of this one :)!- and got 'Cat's eye' in my TBR pile, yay!
I actually finished my reading yesterday but I didn't start another book immediately because I didn't want to loose the connection with the story. I love when this happens.

I will be passing it on to Xanapeq as soon as I get her address.

Update 25th/Nov: Book on its way!

Journal Entry 18 by xanapeq from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Friday, November 28, 2003
Hi, fellow bookcrossers!
Just to let you know I received the book yesterday from Barcelona, from Gyd. And I started it right away!! I am looking forward to this one: the 1st time I "read" the story was through the BBC worldservice in "Off The Shelf", and even though it was abridged, I was quite struck by the story. Recently I saw the movie on TV, and those images keep coming back. Well, this is the real thing this time, so let's see if it can still impress me.

A special thanks to semioticghost who organised this ray!!

Journal Entry 19 by xanapeq from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, December 25, 2003
This book was great. Extremely compelling from beginning to end... And so thought provoking. Definitely a MUST BE READ for everyone.
Have sent it this week to letra.

All the best for 2004 for all the fellow bookcrossers out here!! My warmest wishes directly from the city that will host the opening game of the Euro 2004 (Porto).


Journal Entry 20 by letra on Tuesday, December 30, 2003
It's here! Thanks Xanapeq for a lovely Christmas envelope. I have two books to finish before I read this but promise to get to it ASAP.

Journal Entry 21 by letra on Wednesday, February 25, 2004
I can't remember why I signed up for this bookring. I'm really glad I did, though. It's been a long time since a book impressed me as much as this one did. I found myself thinking of it at times when I wasn't reading and always felt a little scarred after reading anoher chapter.

Thanks Semioticghost for sharing and sorry everybody for taking so much time to finish it. It'll be off to fio-dagua as soon as she sends me her address.

PS: this is Margaret Atwood's official website.

Journal Entry 22 by letra on Monday, March 8, 2004
Fio-dagua received another copy of this book. PurpleHeather and EHW didn't answer my PMs... I'm mailing The Handmaid's Tale to Redhouse today.

Journal Entry 23 by lellie from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Arrived this morning.Thanks letra.
Will be reading this as soon as I have finished my current bookring

Journal Entry 24 by lellie from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Okay, like letra I can't remember why I signed up for this and I have to admit I struggled.
I read a lot of this kind of thing when I was much younger and perhaps I've just outgrown the genre. I did find it thought provoking and disturbing and also quite depressing.
Perhaps this book just came at the wrong time for me, we're selling our family home and moving on and it's all a bit stressful, I don't really need to be depressed as well!
I do thank you for sharing it with me and I realise from previous journal entries that I am in a minority. Maybe I'll come back to it when things have settled down, meanwhile I'll send it on to PurpleHeather as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 25 by lellie from Trimley St Mary, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, April 8, 2004
PurpleHeather not answering PM's , so I mailed this to EHW this morning.

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