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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Great Wednesday Compare #4- The Handmaid's Tale VERSUS The Giver



The last week's Great Wednesday Compare ( The Handmaid's Tale vs. Oryx and Crake), with a final score of 8-2 was The Handmaid's Tale.

My two favourite Atwood books faced off last week. I'm an Atwood fan, but I really think she hits it out of the park when she does dystopian lit. I found the opening comments last week most intriguing. I found myself agreeing right away with Corey Redekop that "Oryx is a far more likely scenario for our future." When C.B. James wrote that "Reading [The Handmaid's Tale] one can't help but think of contemporary politics" and that "it hits most closer to home" my initial reaction was that surely he meant Oryx and Crake. However, when he qualified the statement by referring to the oppression of women and gays in Iraq and excommunications for abortions in Brazil, it made me rethink. The reader's perspective makes a huge difference with these two books and their respective fear factors. When considering James' scenarios, yes, The Handmaid's Tale seems to speak more loudly of such issues. (I think it might also be worth noting that James is from California.) But, if one is thinking more of the science side of the future (technology, pollution, etc), I'd say Oryx and Crake probably ruffles more feathers.

Running with a dystopian theme for a second week...

Remember, vote simply by adding your comment below, base it on whatever merit you choose, voting does not end until Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. (June 2nd, 2009), and if you want your book to get more votes, feel free to promote them here or on your blog!

Which is better?

13 comments:

August said...

I'm going to go with The Giver, even though I haven't read either, because I think Atwood is a horribly sloppy novelist who, though deserving of a certain degree of fame, is not nearly a good enough writer to deserve the fame she actually does have. It bothers me to the point of shame that she holds the place in our canon that she does.

Teddy Rose said...

Excellent comparison and both must reads in my opinion. They both deal with different issues but in the same kind of horrific society. It's really hard to pick one over the other. Both have stuck with me. The Giver, even though it's written with children in mind is excellent for adults as well. I like that this kind of topic can be introduced to a child and then as a older teen, it can be further explored through The Handmaids Tale.

I think that I will go with The Giver because it is a good introduction that parents and teachers can discuss with children.

C. B. James said...

This is a much more difficult choice. It would be easy if it were The Giver vs. Oryx and Crake because I think The Giver is the better book of those two by far. But, I think Handmaid's Tale is much better tha Oryx and Crake.

The Giver is among the best books for young adults and by far Lois Lowry's best work. I think she has undermined it's power some by putting out two much lesser sequels. Atwood has avoided doing this with The Handmaid's Tale.

But how fair is it to compare an adult book with a young adult one? I'm going with Atwood this time. But I may change my mind in an hour.

Historia said...

I'm gonna go with Atwood again - because I have read A Handmaids Tale and I have NOT even heard of the other book, let alone read it.

Chris said...

I haven't read The Giver so I'll stick with Handmaid's Tale.

Kate said...

I too am going to keep my vote with The Handmaid's Tale.

gautami tripathy said...

I too vote for The Handmaid's Tale. Again.

Nicola said...

The Giver!!! 'nough said.

For voters who haven't read The Giver, it'll only take you an hour or so.

Wendy said...

You've picked two excellent books which are very different from each other. I loved them both - but I'll give the nod to Atwood again because I am a huge fan of hers!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I've not read the Giver, although I have heard rave reviews about it. That said, I'll have to go with what I know - A Handmaid's Tale.

raidergirl3 said...

The Giver! What a great introduction to a different view of possible societies, and thus our own.
Plus, it is well written and a great tale for all ages.

Book Psmith said...

I have only read The Edible Woman by Atwood and it put me off reading her. I did like The Giver but I am going to have to disagree with C.B. James...I think Number the Stars is Lowry's best work. My vote is for The Giver.

Elaine Magliaro said...

I loved both books. It's hard to compare them--one was written for adults and one for children. I can't decide. I'll just leave the comment and have to pass on voting for one of the books.