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I'll give a bit of background to my request. For many years (about 15 or so) I hardly read any books. Apart from not making the time to read, I was a slow and difficult reader.
This year, however, my New Year's Resolution was to read one book a month. By October, I had read 16 books and my average reading was rising from two to three books.
And then, along came Bodily Harm. The other part of my Resolution, was to finish every book I picked up. This book was so hard to read, so dull, that I very nearly lost my resolve.
I did finish it though, and now is the time to add it to my lists, to rate it and review it. My problem arises because I simply cannot write this book off as a complete failure. I can't give it 1 or 2 out of 5. There is something about this book, and it has remained on the edge of my consciousness for two days after I've read it - something that doesn't happen often.
So yeah - any takers?
p.s. I've read Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, Surfacing, The Edible Woman, Alias Grace and The Robber Bride by Atwood - I think that's all, so I really am a fan.
I first read this book years ago from the library. It mustn't have made much of an impression because when I joined LT and started to look at the Atwood titles I was missing I could not remember what this book was all about.
I bought a used paperback and I took it with me on holiday this September, and I too had a hard time getting through it, but made myself finish it once I got home before starting on Atwood's new book Moral Disorder. I am glad I reread it. There are lots of little things Atwood wrote about in Bodily Harm, about relationships etc. that she brings up again in the new book, so it was interesting to read the two books written years apart back to back this way.
Atwood keeps getting better and better, and funnier too.
With Bodily Harm though, I found Rennie's character to be so devoid of, well, character. She seemed to have floated along, a victim of her men and her disease alike. It seemed a far cry from the absolute power I had discovered in Edible Woman and The Handmaid's Tale.
:0) Maybe Rennie was just too human.
The writing is much drier and more stark than in her other books, and as other posters have said, the main character was a lot less interesting. There's this whole political subplot that I had a hard time understanding, and in the end just didn't care about that much.
Then again, it is one of Atwood's first novels, so maybe she was struggling to find a voice at the time. I also had mixed feelings about The Edible Woman... I enjoyed it more than Bodily Harm, but I just didn't find it as utterly captivating as the rest of Atwood's work.