The Heart Goes Last

  • by Margaret Atwood
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Mark Deakins
  • 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Good but Atwood has done better

I enjoyed this dystopian novel from Atwood. It was not as engaging as The Handmaid's Tale (in my opinion), but I enjoyed it and I cared about what happened to the characters.
I'd possibly go for 3.75 stars over four stars but I don't have that option!
Charmaine's piece is read as somewhat "airhead" or "dumb blonde". I think that was at least partly deliberate but it was only slightly annoying at times.
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- Reena Kumar

Atwood by numbers

I'm normally a big fan of Margaret Atwood but this latest really didn't grab me at all. the characters were unlikeable, which in itself isn't a problem, but they were also quite dim and boring. other than a bit of sexual intrigue they are concerned with practically nothing and don't really give us much of an insight into the distopian near future USA that Atwood tries to invoke. this left me feeling that the conceptual world was quite half baked and didnt really bring any new themes or ideas to the table. I stead we are presented fairly well regarded tropes- organ harvesting, sexbots, faux 1950s suburbiana etc.

the narrators do ab ok job but overplay the characters. it's as though they want to make sure you are 100% clear on the emotional state of the characters at all times.

overall, I had to persist to get to the end, and wasn't particularly rewarded upon getting there.
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- Matt Cape

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-09-2015
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd