Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Bodily Harm (Atwood) 125

I started out by looking at reviews on Amazon when I came to write this blog about Bodily Harm by Margaret Atwood. I have a mixed relationship with Atwood - I find some of her more futuristic writing quite inaccessible, and some of her books are compelling whilst others I have struggled to get into at all. The consensus on Amazon was that this was a disappointing Atwood novel; I disagree as it was one that I found quite gripping. Whilst, from the synopsis, on the back of the book, you might expect it to be a thriller, it is more of a book about a woman and her life, cleverly building up a picture of her life with flashbacks from the present.

The principal character, Rennie, is a journalist, who, takes an assignment to a Carribean island in an attempt to get away from her life. In the early part of the book we learn about how her relationship with her boyfriend Jake has broken down, and how she has suffered a masectomy. But whilst in the Carribean she becomes heavily involved in some political upheaval and an attempted coup to overthrow the government. I was less interested in this story than in learning about Rennie's life, although the dark ending made me wish for a more uplifting conclusion.

It seems to have been published as a VMC twice, once in the original green edition with the wonderful abstract picture on the front (I just love those colours!) and once in a modern version.


  1. I bought it in Candem Town. It's impossible to find it here in Spain and I love all about Atwood's fiction.After having read your post, I'm sure I'm reading it immediately!

  2. I love Margaret Atwood, but I know what you mean about the futuristic stuff. I loved The Handmaid's Tale but I've sort of been avoiding Oryx and Crake for years. I've read most of her stuff but I don't think I've read Bodily Harm. Might give it a go. I loved Alias Grace, which I think is an unusual sort of an Atwood, since it's a historical one and I think based on a true story. Have you read it?