I often say Maggie A is my home girl, so it was an amazing day for me when I got to hear her speak live in Manchester last autumn. It was around the time that her book ‘The Heart Goes Last’ was released and we all queued up for signed copies of the book! I’ve finally got around to reading it so here is what I thought:
As a huge fan of Atwood I’m always excited to read anything of hers and THGL was definitely classic Atwood. A combination of dark dystopian warnings and simultaneously silly and clever humour, this novel certainly isn’t lacking. Atwood manages to absolutely slay in her depictions of dystopia, no one manipulates technological concepts the way she does. This story first came to life online and has recently been developed into a full novel, which whilst lighter then some of her more recent work still strikes you with fear for our own future.
The novel follows Charmaine and Stan as they swap their life of poverty and danger for the security of the part-time prison system of Positron/Consilience. In Consilience residents are given homes and jobs and an allowance to allow them to live comfortably, but every other month they have to swap this comfortable life for the prison town of Positron. As any fan of dystopian fiction will know utopic lives are always far from reality. The threats of sexual violence, lack of free will and mysterious disappearances highlight the corruption that lies behind the project.
I never find it necessary to like the characters in a novel to enjoy the story and this was definitely the case here. Atwood’s characters are wonderfully flawed and under the dystopian guise she manages to discuss all to relevant themes of consent and sexual entitlement.
A great read for those who aren’t into heavy dystopia and enjoy a good robot sex slave.
Have you read the novel? What are your thoughts? Hit me up!