In this mesmerizing dramatization of Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel, Iris Chase reflects on her privileged yet troubled youth in 1930s Toronto and the events leading up to the car crash that killed her younger sister. A spine-tingling mystery nested within a tragic love story, The Blind Assassin interweaves Iris's confessional memoir with excerpts from a posthumously published erotic novel that earned dead Laura a cult following. The tension between these alternating storylines coils ever tighter until the last of the Chase family secrets is released in a stunning twist. The Blind Assassin is dramatized by Michael O'Brien, who also adapted Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale. O'Brien's brilliantly paced production features a cast of 20 and stars Patricia Hamilton, Amy Rutherford and Anick Obonsawin as Iris at different stages of her life. Tom McCamus plays the mysterious "He" of the steamy novel-within-the-novel, while Robert Bockstael and Fiona Reid are memorably vicious as Iris's wealthy husband and sister-in-law. The Blind Assassin was a finalist in the 2005 New York Festivals Radio Awards.
"Atwood's Booker Prize-winning novel, with its 1930s setting and stories within stories, is well suited to audio dramatization . . . Abundant sound effects make the production much richer than many audiobooks; it sometimes seems like a movie without the visuals, with chirping birds, clinking silverware and the murmur of crowds filling in the background. Music that alternates between a lovely, slightly melancholy theme and an ominous one, helps highlight the shifts from the protagonist Iris's personal history to her retelling of the novel. The skills of the cast almost make such extras unnecessary: the three women who play Iris at different ages capture her brilliant but frustrated spirit perfectly, while the actresses for her troubled younger sister, Laura, find just the right blend of dreaminess and defiance." — Publishers Weekly starred review