Claire Danes does a fantastic job in reading this book. She's in turns hysterical, majestic, terrified, determined, etc., and completely convincing at all of them. She doesn't try to masculinize the male characters' voices, but it isn't needed.
The book itself is a mixed bag. It's a horrible vision of a world gone crazy and as such gets to be a little disturbing after a while. There is no plot for the first quarter of the book, but then it starts to get going. The epilogue salvaged this from a 2 to a 3-star, and it's absolutely brilliant plus it makes some sense out of the preceding narrative. The writing is jerky, never eloquent, mostly pedestrian; there are few linguistic flourishes to lighten the mood, but perhaps that was a deliberate tactic. But the book does raise some important issues about not taking our liberties for granted.
This book is a study in relationships, power, and sexuality in a dystopian society. The setting is the near future where man has polluted the planet so much that fertility rates are extremely low. Young women are forced into subservient domestic roles to keep the society from dying off. I found it thought provoking because the female protagonist has to negotiate the reality of a society that has backslid form the progress of twentieth century feminism. She has to make decisions to balance her short term and long term sanity very similar to women today but with a little more constraints and drama.
The narration and story were great. The story got only 4 stars because the ending was somewhat anti-climatic but acceptable for a parable type story.
I'm a serial audible reader. Since I walk 20 miles a week, I listen 20 miles a week! It's great to be able to listen to so many books :)
Baffling and sobering
The summaries at the end made it all come into focus for me. I didn't really understand what was going on until I heard the scientific descriptions after the fact in the epilogue. The sobering part was realizing that all the handmaid went through was really just a few years of a "regime" that was short lived in the scheme of things.
I take things too literal, as I see so much of this happening in today's politics. When will this sort of thing begin in our world? or has it already started?
The main character. I loved her insights and the things she resisted remembering. Like she never ever mentions or remembers her daughter's name.
Like I said before, the epilogue was the most poignant. To see history through hindsight is very thought provoking.
I was hooked from the beginning, however as I kept listening I was becoming bored with her repetitive situation. I kept hoping for something more exciting to happen..and it never came. The lack of a conclusive ending was disapointing but overall I'm glad I chose it. I loved Claire Danes as the narrator.
Horse trainer by day, super hero by night, book lover all the time.
Despite brainwashing, the women of the story cling to their last posession: memories.
Shock, relief, and a craving for more detail. It was the perfect ending to this novel
Offred has a wonderful voice, tinged with sarcasm.
No. Although I enjoyed it, it had its slow moments. It worked well as a device in the story, but made it plodding at times.
Not the typical "end of the world" story. I was slightly disappointed in societies overall apathy
The first half of the book lacked tension or interest for me but once I understood the monotony was a setup for what comes in the second half I appreciated the slow burn.
I usually don't say the movie is better this is one of the few times that i can definately say that. It was hard to keep track of charachters as the narrater didnt do a great job with differet voices.