[Book Review] The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood

15 Oct 2017
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Reviewer says: A compelling book that keeps the the readers at the edge of their seats

How far will you go for food and safety?

11 20171015 The heart goes last MargeretAtwood2

The story is set in a world not too different from ours. A young married couple, Stan and Charmaine, lives in their third-hand Honda after having lost their home and jobs. The dearth of proper meals and lurking threats of lawless gang robbers are of no comfort to their pitiful plight. Things start to change when they chance upon Consilience, a town where everyone has a stable job and a decent home. Driven by their desperation and desires, they sign their freedom away to become residents on the town. Afterall, “you can’t eat your so-called individual liberties, and the human spirit pays no bills.” This ensues a series of love affairs, deceptive stunts and nail-biting encounters.

Atwood cleverly crafts the twisting plot, reeling her readers in with ludicrous references of Elvis and Marilyn’s impersonations to prostitute robots. It is a pity, however, that the story lacks character development and neglects the severity of the heinous crimes committed by the town’s organisers. Nevertheless, the story brings out ethical issues that we can ponder over. Is it right to sell one’s blood for money? Is it wrong to create a robot that resembles the man/woman of our dreams? And should human organ trades be legalised?

Recommended for: Adventurous story lovers with an appreciation for dark humour