the heart goes last
You make the dystopia you deserve. It’s the near future, and finance capitalism has pushed itself over the edge. The US is a rustbelt. Charmaine and Stan – we never learn their surname, which encourages a slightly patronising relationship with them – started out well: she worked for Ruby Slippers Retirement Homes and Clinics; he was in quality control at Dimple Robotics. Now they live in their car, just two ordinary Americans down on their luck. Charmaine maintains a “lightly positive tone” but misses her flowered throw pillows; Stan, though he “can lean to the mean when he’s irritated”, is a good man underneath, and feels he has let her down. They’re used to the smell, they’re used to being hungry. They have each other. They seem a little naive in the way they maintain their love as a bulwark against the world; and it is this naivety that makes them vulnerable when, in desperation, they join Positron, a socioeconomic experiment based around a privately funded postmodern prison… Read the rest of my review of Margaret Atwood’s savage new satire, The Heart Goes Last, in the Guardian
Oh fucking dear. Until the last sentence, I thought this was another imaginary review, and was going to say it sounded like a cheap satire of my fears.
Those quote-marks cut deep.
“Charmaine”? I never pegged Atwood as a Bachelors fan. Maybe the name’s more widely known in Canada.
Rather than an imaginary review, it seemed a summary of a lost John Sladek novel. And “earworm of sex” really is bad enough for Morrissey, I’m afraid.
Still, we’ll check it out.