Grittiness in Margaret Atwood's "The Blind Assassin"

Margaret Atwood writes some tight, gritty lines in The Blind Assassin (2000), which won the Booker Prize that year. I'm not familiar with her work outside of this novel, but I was really impressed by the quality of the prose (for the most part). Some lines are noir-ishly slick: 
It’s the first time they’ve done this and it’s a risk, but as soon as she sees the hotel she knows that no one in it would expect them to be anything but unmarried; or if married, not to each other. 
No need to describe the hotel here: the seediness of the place comes from an unexpected and fresh-sounding cliché (how does she do that!?).

Another aspect of her writing that leaves a favorable impression on me is her tendency to aphorize, which others might find annoying or pretentious, but which I think is tasteful and authoritative in this sci-fi noir-like context. On the inherited rich:
An unearned income encourages self-pity in those already prone to it. 
 And from the perspective of advanced age:
Outside the window it was grey, a uniform spiritless grey, the sky as well as the porous, aging snow. I plugged in the electric kettle; soon it began its lullaby of steam. Things have gone pretty far when you’ve come to feel that it’s your utensils that are taking care of you and not the other way around. Still, I was comforted. 
Although I wasn't necessarily moved or inspired by the plot, I think that I'd like other, more concise works by Atwood; this one felt just a bit long, a bit stretched. I wouldn't mind writing like her, either; at one point, she describes a sunset as "the chilly lemon-coloured sunset," which are the exact words I'd never found to describe something I've seen many times. Maybe my issue with this particular novel is that it isn't raw enough—that it's a bit too polished in some respects while lacking some editorial restraint elsewhere. As Atwood herself writes:
What people remember isn’t the book itself, so much as the furor…Back at home they drew the curtains and read, with disapproval, with relish, with avidity and glee – even the ones who’d never thought of opening a novel before. There’s nothing like a shovelful of dirt to encourage literacy. 
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One more Atwood-ism for the road. This one rings true in particular, I think:
There is nothing more onerous than enforced gratitude.