The book deserves all the accolades you’ve heard.
I didn’t watch the TV series and I don’t intend to. The book left a powerful enough imprint on my brain as it is. I don’t need it spelled out any clearer and I don’t need the graphics of the violent parts.
Margaret Atwood is a master of the “how”, not only the “what”. The story progresses, is full of drama and tension in the here and now. Throughout it all, information relating to the past, to explaining how one earth did all of this come to pass, drips in, appears through the lonely single window of Offred’s room, slips through the closet and pops up all over her grocery shopping expeditions. From remarks on the lack of plastic bags, for example, the reader suddenly realizes that Offred (who once had another name, one which we do not know) had a daughter. The background and the backdrop literally grow in front of your eyes in a very subtle way.
And yes, it is scary. I read an edition with an interesting forward by the author. As she said, most of the events in the book have actually happened somewhere already. All the events are plausible and possible.
I’m glad they made a TV series out of it, even if I won’t watch it. More people will be exposed to this powerful tale. which is a good thing. All I can do is hope it will make people think.