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January Newsletter: Movies and Books

Movies and Books By Richard McGee

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood was published in 1985 and I first heard about it shortly afterward when an employee of mine spent her lunch hour read- ing it each day. I did not read it myself until twenty years later but have read it twice now. I had never seen the film released in 1990 and because I had enjoyed the book, I decided to watch the movie recently.

The book is an excellent read and I believe it will be enjoyed for many years as another dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell has been.

I found the movie to be disappointing.

The film changed the story in several instances without cause. The changes were not an improvement and were not natural actions by the characters. Of course, any movie must be a condensed version of the book . A normal book will take six to eight hours of screen time to portray. But this movie failed to carry the sense of angst and paranoia felt by the protagonist portrayed so strongly in the book. In the book, I saw a woman ripped away from her family and forced into a life totally alien to her. The movie did not provide me a sense of how dysfunctional her new society was.

Written well by an author, a book can provide intense suspense to its reader and give great insights into the human soul. Movies just cannot peer into a person’s thoughts as well. So, enjoy your movies, I do in many instances. But pick up a book to enjoy a real journey into the unknown.

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