During Memorial Day Weekend, my husband and I roamed the city for a few essential shopping items. We went to Macy's and Best Buy among others. For some unknown reason, we ended up in Greenwich Village near Washington Square Park. I found this to be the best place on a weekend to find cheap books. There are books stands on every sidewalk and street corner with great used books for sale. I was in heaven. Obviously bring lots of cash. I'm assuming the plethora of books was due to the area's proximity to NYU. Who knows. But I snagged a copy of Margaret Atwood's book The Handmaid's Tale along with a pristine Hardcover edition of The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. Yay!
My husband bought Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck. I've been wanting to read it since the book is about Steinbeck's travels around the US with his dog Charley. I love traveling and my dog is named Charlie. I know...a bit sentimental.
I then proceeded to abandon all other books I was reading and read Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. Wow...what a book. It is one of those books that stick with you and make you think. It is justly compared to Orwell's 1984. The premise is that in a future not too far off, cash has become obsolete and everyone has CompuBank accounts. All of the sudden, women are no longer allowed to have bank accounts (the money is transferred to the nearest male relative), are no longer allowed to have jobs, and their basic job is to procreate. This is a back-lash from the decadent and lavish times where pornography is available everywhere and birth rates are on the decline. Women are forced to give up their proper names and some (like the handmaid's) are forced to become walking wombs and that is all. The government has completely taken over, even in the bedroom, and has become the all seeing all knowing "The Eye".
It was an amazing book but if you are looking for a light read, this is not it. However, Margaret Atwood's writing style is amazing and the book hooks you in to see how it all could have happened and what is going to happen next. There is an 1990's movie version out but I'm not sure I could handle some of the scene's on film. A definite must-read though!