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The Heart Goes Last, originally written as an ebook serial, is a jarring, rewardingly strange piece of work. At first a classic Atwood dystopia, rationally imagined and developed, it relaxes suddenly into a kind of surrealist adventure. The satirical impulse foregrounds itself. Narrative drive ramps up, but in the service of something less like a novel than a political cartoon, in which raw inventiveness undercuts the very idea of story, revealing it to have been a fairly flimsy disguise all along. Atwood allows her sense of the absurd its full elbow room; her cheerfully caustic contempt – bestowed even-handedly on contemporary economics, retro culture, and the social and neurological determination of identity – goes unrestrained. The result, reminiscent of Russian author Victor Pelevin’s superficially chaotic but linguistically controlled satires, is populated by gay Elvis impersonators, a Marilyn Monroe lookalike in love with a soft toy and a talking head in a box. It features mass production, in the Positron prison factories, of animatronic sex dolls, or “prostibots”.
M John Harrison
Margaret Attwood is one of my favorite authors. She is best known for her 1985 book, The Handmaid's Tale, a dystopian novel, which is enjoying a new audience since it has been the basis of Hulu's Emmy nominated television series.
** If you think the prison system in this book is crazy, check out this site on how it really works in the U.S.A.
This site is old but is worth noting the # of people emplyed by the Criminal Justice System and the amount spent.