I just finished The Blind Assassin on my plane ride back from LA. Omg, what an effing AWESOME book.
I'll admit - in the beginning, I was kinda wondering where this was all going, how it would tie together, and I even found it the teensiest bit slow at times (only a little bit). I mean, the writing was always very good, but it was kinda like hmm, okay, so? Yes, it's a vast history of her life... so?
But by the end, it was like, oh DAMN. It makes me want to go back and reread everything else very carefully. Of course, I started to guess what was going on 2/3 of the way through, and yet my guess, while in the right direction, was still not completely right. It was like... maybe Laura wrote it about IRIS. Then: maybe Alex wrote it and Laura FOUND it and left it for Iris. Also, the big thing with Laura and Richard totally caught me by surprise. Yum.
My one (okay two) criticisms, if you can even call it that, is that 1) I wanted the story within a story to actually be about the blind assassin! I really liked that sci-fi world and I totally wanted the love story between the blind assassin and the mute girl to be played out 2) The newspaper clippings didn't always do it for me. They were marginally interesting, and gave you some hints of what was going on before they were mentioned, but I didn't know how necessary they were.
But other than that, I have to say, this book was really clever, well-crafted, well-written, etc, etc. And the story between Alex and Iris broke my heart by the end. Iris' predicament and how stuck she was in her life really hit home for me. When you get to the end and realize that she'd been writing this all along, it's so very sad, the idea of this poor woman, trying to record down the one thing that makes her happy. It was all so very tragic. Dark too, which isn't what I expected at all.
This book also totally makes me think about the things I could do with my book. Hmm hmm. I love books with separate pieces like this. Some people find it jarring, but I love piecing everything together.
Very very very good.
P.S. My story is up! It actually feels kind of... weird. Like in a creepy-I'm-second-guessing-myself sort of way.