Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
With so many positive reviews and my newfound appreciation for the author's works, I expected the handmaid's tale to be an easy 'A'. I give it a C- overall. I thought Claire Danes did a decent job of narrating the story - her portrayal of the main character is what kept me from giving up 3/4 of the way through. The story hovered on the surface of the world changed by war and disease - society has rebuilt itself but there is no explanation of what really happened. The vague descriptions resulted in never having enough to really take hold of the reader - I felt like I was only being given half the story and the ending left many questions unanswered.
Audible Member Since 2003
I have long looked for this title on Audible and was very pleased when it finally arrived. The story is told in the first person and Claire Danes performs it perfectly with the voice, I believe, that the author intended when she wrote this story.
The progression of the Tale is gradual and engaging, requiring the reader/listener to gather up bits of of carefully placed images and information to put together the picture of this repressive nation. Imagine the Taliban in control of the US government and one gets an idea of the society described in this story. It is very interesting to me that Ms Atwood wrote this book in 1985, long before the world became acquainted with the Taliban, as some of the images are eerily reminiscent of some of their tactics witnessed on TV after the 9/11 attacks.
The Handmaid's Tale comes to a conclusion and the book wraps up with a brilliant epilogue, answering many questions in a surprising and unique fashion.
Certainly not a happy story nor action-packed, but nonetheless wonderful and captivating. Claire Danes' performance is flawless.
Clare Danes gave the Handmade credibility. I believed an intelligent young female might accept the dystopic circumstances of this novel in order to survive and overcome the craziness she faces. When the book was finished I immediately searched for Margaret Atwood's other books and more from Clare Dains.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
I'd heard about this book from another source. Here I read the summary and wasn't sure I would like it. After it started, I still wasn't sure because I couldn't really understand what was happening, but I kept listening. Before long I was hooked. This was one of the best stories I've heard, the best reader and I was overall very happy with this unusual story. Be careful what you ask for, you may get it! But you have to hear this story! The Handmaid's Tale will stay with you for a long long time.
If you enjoy negative utopian society books, you must read this novel. It was so enjoyable and interesting and thoughtful. It really delved deeply into the psyche of someone in her situation, and it made it feel so real!
Absolutely chilling. The combination of anger and helplessness that washed through me as I listened made me welcome the rare instances of hope. What a terrible world the author has created. And yes I definitely recommend you listen :-)
Made me feel blessed for the rights that I have as a woman and that I should never let those rights be violated, reduced, or taken away.
Petrifying how this novel's central thesis of history repeating itself is, well, presently repeating itself with such unabashed - and conspicuously masculine - candor. So many little tumblers are falling into place with the Trump administration's headlong race toward dictatorship. In the novel, Atwood fleetingly recalls the President's Day Massacre when all members of congress were machine gunned down. This Reichstag Fire in America was blamed on none other than "extremist Muslim terrorists". How soon till we see a marshall law inducing event like this in the real America, the one outside her Republic of Gilead, outside her reconstructed garden of evil with its blooms and decay of hope and conscience, outside the boundaries of the red cloaks and white wings, outside the wall where the flightless angels dance stiffly in the wind, outside the Handmaid's Tale, here in the darkening America we still live in. The premise of the book is this: faced with a nationwide dilemma of infertility brought on by the despoiling of the environment, a Christian Fundamentalist dictatorship seizes autocratic power of America to re-define the purpose of our nation, enslaving most in the name of faith based values and the continued hegemony of the ruling - male - elite. Today, Trump has vowed to demolish the EPA and give over all its funds to an expanded military budget. The echoes of totalitarian history and dystopian fiction are syncopating. Loudly.
Claire Dannes did a wonderful job! I have avoided the A-List because I enjoy the "professionals" that do so well reading Dickens, Tolstoy, Martin, etc. I wasn't sure if the crossover from screen acting would translate into interesting narration. It clearly does.
I loved the story, and the performance made it even more disturbing (in a good way). I highly recommend The Handmaid's Tale.
Audible Fan, Amazon Customer, Gardener, Quilter, Liberal and Activist. I'll read about anything!
Nor is every story meant to end with a Disneyland version of reality. All isn't well at the end of "The Handmaids Tale".
Thats the point, people...and I'm astounded at the reviews that complained there was "No Action" No Ending." Hollywood and most chick stories have forced us to believe that all will be well in the end. Happily ever after rules.
Well..no it doesn't. In "Handmaids Tale" the story simply ends and it's even more effective in that abrupt finish. Atwood knows her primary readership has the intelligence to realize that without it continuing to strive for equality all women will suffer in the end. For each Malala there are 100 more who don't live thru the fatwa. If you haven't read or listened to "I am Malala" and you need a encouraging story, I suggest you read/listen that that wonderful book. It's not "Handmaids Tale" however.
Or read Sherri S. Tepper's "Gate to Womans Country", a different take on a dystopian future and just as dramatic. That has a sort of happy ending, however I don't believe it's on Audible as of 2013..sadly.
Claire Danes is a wonderful, emotive narrator....she brought a much loved and reverred book to life for me. Thanks Ms. Danes for bringing OfFred to the world, for bringing Serena-Joy to the most sympathetic view possible and for bringing the Marthas into a reality I wouldn't want but would be compelled to live, were this to take place tomorrow...and it could. Thats the frightening thing. It could happen! And soon, if things change just a bit in our country. In the novel, OfFred remembers 'today' as we know it now but lives in a terrible 'tomorrow' with no change in sight.
Be you a woman or man..this is a wonderful novel to consider if literature is a than sci-fi viable part of your reading...not a lot of action..it isn't Stephen King. The end is abrupt and doesn't wind up in a bow like a pretty package..it isn't Nora Roberts. It's more sci-Fantasy than sic-fi but isn't werewolves or dragons. I'd compare it to 1984 more than Wind-Up Girl.
This is a horrible possibility for the work we live in should the word 'rights' come to mean something different than it does now.
Well worth your credit or purchase..on sale now!
Clare Danes was BRILLIANT narrating this story and what a story it is. I cannot recommend this tale enough and I was left wanting to know what happens next at the end of the story. The majority of the characters are loathsome and the main character, Offred, is so frustratingly naive that it breaks your heart.