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The Heart Goes Last Audiobook

The Heart Goes Last

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Publisher's Summary

Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid's Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around - and fast.

The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed, and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in...for six months out of the year.

On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their 'civilian' homes.

At first, this doesn't seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one's head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan's life in danger.

With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

©2015 O.W. Toad Ltd (P)2015 Penguin Random House LLC

What the Critics Say

"The outstanding novelist of our age." (The Sunday Times)

"Atwood makes it look so easy, doing what she does best: tenderly dissecting the human heart . A marvellous writer." (The Daily Mail)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (356 )
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3.9 (329 )
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4.3 (329 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Wras 26/09/2015
    Wras 26/09/2015 Member Since 2016

    Kildonan by the sea

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A saccharin, bitter, sexual satire"

    Gay Elvis impersonators, a Marilyn Monroe lookalike in heat with a soft blue teddy bear and a talking head in a box

    This book started as a four part publication of ebook segments, similar to the way The Green Mile was published, but it lacks the cohesion of The Green Mile or the soul.
    Stan and Charmaine the main characters have fallen in hard times and are living in their car, in constant fear of roaming gangs, rape and murders, they take solace in an offer by a Positron project, that gives them the use of a house one month but the next they become prisoners while the prisoners become the inhabitants of the house, no outside communication is allowed, no outside contact, you come in you stay and you question nothing. You would think that this would be enough for A dystopia, but no, sexual politics, sexual desires, infidelity, bestiality, sexual robots of all kinds, and love potion operations that imprint a person to the first thing they see with two eye, and tons of other shenanigans take over the story and turn it into a not very humorous satire, that feels more like sitcom than a novel. To make matters worse none of the characters are likable, so I could not feel for them.
    This is a Canadian author writing a satire of americana pastiches that are superfluous cliches, that do not add but diminish the story with buffoonery, we have a town in the near future that only play music and movies from the fifties, that is american fifties, Elvis Presley impersonators, Marilyn Monroe impersonators as a kind of entertainers come escorts, or hospital fantasies for the elderly, also robot versions that can be rented to have sex. I know it is supposed to be funny, but I just found it irritating.
    The plot is easy to follow but you never know what are the motivations, for those manipulating until the end, but by then it is just feels banal.
    The prose is agile and expert like I would expect from Margaret Atwood but the humor never really took me over, and I could not see the point of this saccharin bitter story.

    The narration was excellent and using two actors when you have two distinct characters telling the story works very well.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Bookworm UK 16/12/2015
    K Bookworm UK 16/12/2015 Member Since 2012

    K Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Under par Attwood"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Not sure, it starts so badly.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Not sure.


    What aspect of Cassandra Campbell and Mark Deakins ’s performance might you have changed?

    Not their fault.


    If this book were a film would you go see it?

    Certainly not


    Any additional comments?

    Am an ardent fan of Margaret Atwood and her recent Oryx & Crake trilogy - so this latest book came as rather a disappointment.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Caroline A. Wilde 09/10/2015

    Cazzer the Catlover

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If Barbie & Ken could speak..."

    ...they'd sound like the narrators of this book. Gets irritating very quickly. Set in a dystopian America (which Atwood conjured up so well in A Handmaid's Tale) the story disintegrates into farce, with shallow, unlikeable central characters. I hung grimly on until the end, but this isn't Atwood at her best.

    12 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 12/05/2016
    Kim 12/05/2016 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved this book"

    I couldn't put this book down, the more I got into it, the more I found interesting. Good read from start to finish

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aisling 09/05/2016
    Aisling 09/05/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it"

    Margaret Atwood is a great writer and the story was performed brilliantly. It starts off quite sinisterly but by the time it had reached the 'Elvis' bit the tone had changed completely. I listen to these books on my phone as I'm walking. I had to take out the head phones and hold the phone to my ear so that people around me would think I was talking on the phone, because I was laughing our loud.
    I would recommend this book to a friend

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Edan London 08/05/2016
    Andrea Edan London 08/05/2016 Member Since 2014

    jajabinx

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantasy or futuristic?"
    What made the experience of listening to The Heart Goes Last the most enjoyable?

    A typical Margaret Atwood, at once futuristic but also highly plausible.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heart Goes Last?

    That last few sentences which question how much our life is influenced by our beliefs.


    What about Cassandra Campbell and Mark Deakins ’s performance did you like?

    Divided the story well into 2 points of view


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The final words


    Any additional comments?

    As usual Margaret Atwood tells a compelling story with a message to society

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henny 08/05/2016
    Henny 08/05/2016
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    "Engaging from the moment you start"

    Excellent. enjoyable and thought provoking. Small chapters worked well with the 2 protagonists, easy to read.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cate 02/05/2016
    Cate 02/05/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Brilliant and disturbing in equal measure!"

    A thought provoking listen with an original take on the narrative voice. The acting from the readers was engaging and powerful.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kerrie Young Goosemoor, England 01/05/2016
    Kerrie Young Goosemoor, England 01/05/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "Good"

    The story itself was good although it was a little slow n hard to follow at first.
    I found the character voice of Charmaine rather simpering and annoying at times but the male voice of Stan was much easier to listen to.
    Overall the storyline was interesting and punchy with a bit of fantasy thrown in for good measure. A good, if implausible, story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wan Leicestershire 30/04/2016
    Wan Leicestershire 30/04/2016 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What is this all about??"

    I have read a few of Margaret Attwood's books in the past and never noticed a chaotic story line in any of them... But this is hard to listen to, to follow or to gauge where the story is taking you. You need to go with the flow to get through this!
    Characters do not present with realistic with blurred emotions and contradictions in their own values and localities. Sorry but it's a tough one!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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