Review: The Handmaid’s Tale

Chronicles of Tania

The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A disturbing tale set in the future US, which is a totalitarian state and women are back to being oppressed in the new dark age. The handmaids are basically legalised prostitutes used to increase the population after the wars. The story is sympathetic to the narrator’s foibles and little subversive acts of rebellion. This was a good and quick read which I recommend to other readers. The author uses non-linear flashbacks to create the story like a jigsaw puzzle.

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Review: The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland

Chronicles of Tania

The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland
The White Rock: An Exploration of the Inca Heartland by Hugh Thomson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fascinating exploration into the Inca world. This book told me far more than any Peru guidebook. At times it was hilarious as the author mentions challenges on the journey encountering snakes and mosquitoes, tensions between explorers and archeologists, companions not bringing enough food or first aid, stubborn mules and locals insisting on listening to a certain type of music on the radio while trekking and of course plenty of dehydrated food all round!

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7:Part.03 Envy

Oh Envy
Oh Envy
What sin is sweet as thee,
So malicious,
So spiteful,
And self-righteously lovely

‘Today is
the day,
that the board will convene,
To pick
a new partner
(pft) I do mean me, obviously!’

‘Well me
and one other
but speaking quite frankly…
She’s in it
so it seems
there’s equal opportunity’

‘Oh don’t be
the criteria calls for me;
it’s not like
I’m jealous
or just trying to be bitchy’

Oh Envy
Good Golly
Sweet eggs, spuds and gravy
Yet bitter as bile
And each bite
Keeps you hungry

‘I’d readily cop to it
I so would
believe me,
But truthfully
The truth
is actually quite hazy’

‘I mean it’s totally not envy
or jealousy,
believe me…
who cares,
we all know it should be me’

‘I’m pretty
I’m friendly
and everyone likes me;
I’m smarter
It’s a no brainer
she can’t play in my league’

‘Ha, and here
I had fear
that I gave in to envy;
Guess it was insecurity
talk about
being plain silly’

Oh Envy
You slay me
Such slick ingenuity
Succumbing to ego
Though we know
We turn ugly

Oh finally,
I’ve waited patiently.
Did They Just Reveal
That It Really Is Not Me??’

‘She’s Dumb
Fat and Lazy
Why Pick Her Over Me?
I Mean Just Look At Her
And C’mon Just Look At Me;
I’m Gorgeous In My Selfies’

‘What A Rip?!
What A Cow!
I Mean This Is Completely—
Is She Really
Coming Over To Hug Me??’

“I knew you
could do it;
congrats to you sweetie”
‘I hope you
die screaming,
you flea-ridden fatty!’

Oh Envy
Sour Sundry
All vinegar and jealousy
Insidiously bitchy
For you
There’s no remedy

7:Part.02 The Bet

Good evening my friends…

I am well & truly sorry for my long & somewhat sombre silence.

This absence was due to the sacking of my spirit till the point it was almost sapped of all substance.

 I told you once of Sloth,

the 7th son of Sin; that sultry seductress of the 7 headed salamander.

I told you of how I woke within the pit with the dead dissolving around me…

 Of how I ran till I ran into Wrath & woke before falling into his flames…

 Now I am inspired to speak of what has transpired since I’ve been gone.

 Once when walking the realm all dreams come from,

I spied a memory born before my time or yours:

 The seven deadly offspring of sin sat round revelling in their spoils

& this led to boasts about who swayed souls the most.

 Thus a bet was contrived to be concluded at the end of all things;

He who held the majority of sinners within their domain would be crowned king of all sins.

 The siblings then set about sending their minions out to scheme, seduce & relentlessly ensnare the sons of man.

 All except sloth who sat & seethed with a miasma that has long since seeped into the world to snatch the souls of those most susceptible to seeking serenity or safety.

 If you are of this disposition then this should be a creed you heed,

as Sloth has sought to secure you through means most insidious.

 By breathing upon the place you lay your head,

he turns your weariness of the world into his hooks to pull you into his realm.

 So when you step into the chamber where you slumber,

you’re sleeping in a sanctum of sloth.

 For when you step outside, all the things you wish to accomplish are fresh in the forefront of your mind;

your future infinite & filled with possibilities,

 but when you step into that space, all slivers of salvation become nonexistent

& what slithers into you is a sound & severe sleep.

 Isn’t it sad when your sanctuary becomes the source of the sorrow you seek solace from?

 I can almost hear him now salivating & savouring the promise of such a succulent serving such as I;

his laborious breath seeping out slowly but steadily.

 & just as he tries tirelessly to trap me in my own tiredness,

you can be sure his siblings are snaking their way into your consciousness.

 So I say to you sweet citizens

if you feel the folly of your fragile existence fall fully upon you;

 Be it Wrath, Greed, Pride, Lust, Envy or Gluttony…

 Calm yourself, close your eyes,

take a deep breath, relax.

 Fall into the sense of security that has shackled slaves like me

& millions more like me.

 & perhaps you will join us in populating this putrescent pit that sloth call’s home;

bolstering his bounty with the boon of your broken dreams.

 & when you’re brought before the final judge you can place blame on this testament as the beacon that beckoned you to provide sloth with the bodies he needed to win this bet.

7:Part.01 Introduction

     Sloth has denied me my dreams; I have been partial to gluttony & entangled limbs with Succubi the daughters of lust on occasion, but Sloth is the laborious son of Sin that has pulled me into his domain…But I Will Be FREE.

As I rise, the haze of sleep does not rise from me; every movement that brings me to my feet is a battle against comfort & peace. But when I stand…I see.

I see the Pitt all around me; others who fell prey to the leisure that began by seeking a respite from a weary world. They have now become nothing but foundations in this abomination; their words of warning now nothing but whispers in the wind.

     I feel that rush of panic, fear & anger & it leads me to move my feet. & I run & climb, climb over those that fell before me, climb over the fear of what I will become if I do not leave.

The further I get from the Pitt the more my anger at the injustice grows & soon I am looking upon a great flame that fuels the fire inside me. I pause in the realisation that this is the Wrath of ages & if I were to fall into his eternal fire I would be lost in his blinding rage.

     From son of sin to son of sin; I am caught between their extremes of manipulation…Then I wake in the cold & feverish sweat of nightmares.