i dont think it is difficult to picture a doom future. The difficult part is to draw the reason it has become such a future, the steps and reasoning why and if this can be.
This book does, in my opinion, the easy step only - picturing a tragedy future of the US. After the first 30 minutes, you get the picture and then there is more and more of the life in this regime.
must say i did not finish the book... (first time this happens to be in Audible, hope its the last)
I had wanted to read this book for many years, knowing a bit about it but never getting around to it. Then with the 2016 election looming, our puritanical and patriarchical society showing its jealousy of progress in civil rights matters, the feminism cries for respect, and the hints at another Hitler in the making, I had to read this story at last. I wasn't disappointed, nor was I relieved that our own so-called modern society might be beyond something like this. Fiction is often closer to reality than we think. In any case, the author led me on a mentally harrowing ride, that felt like a real firsthand account, and I worried for Offred, the lead character's life, and fascinated by the relationships among not only the women and men, but among the women. I think this story will stay with me a long time.
This is the story of a conquered United States, that has been taken over by a radical religious government. Within this new nation, women have lost their identity except for a few. Those few reign above other women, thus keeping the masses in line. Offred is a handmaid, her healthy body in this toxic world has one purpose, to reproduce for the sterile women of the ruling government. Her story is of this oppressive existence and how it came to be.
The narration of Claire Danes was brilliant. She was able to create a subtle enough difference between the character voices to be effective but not distracting, A+. Her portrayal of emotion was also perfectly appropriate and natural without intruding on my own interpretation of the story. The production team could have done a better job with smoothing out some of the strong "s" sounds, but that is my only issue with the audio. I would give it 4.5 stars for the listen.
Read the book.
You might have the same lifetime reading experience that I have. There are books I have read, some I recall from childhood (Where the Red Fern Grows, for example) that have a definite Before and After effect on my life. There is life before reading, and an unmistakable demarcation of life after reading them. I get to the end and can feel myself slipping the book onto my inner "After" shelf. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood, is, for me, one of these books.
Wow...where to begin. Words to describe this story: Brilliant. Terrifying. Brutal. Hopeful. Hopeless. Bleak. Disturbing. Intimate. Believable.
As I progressed through the story and my relationship with Offred developed, through Atwood's very effective first-person perspective, I became more and more aware of just how easily we could find ourselves in Offred's situation under the same circumstances. The empathy that Atwood was able to create and stimulate was chilling. There was an almost palpable sense of Atwood's struggle in Offred's story. She was very effective in staying true to the narration perspective of the character. She didn't deviate from what Offred experienced and saw. I could feel the struggle in Offred's psyche; her shock, her hopelessness, her disgust, and then her acceptance, and then her shame.
This is probably the most powerful and well written book about what it means to be a woman, and our human vulnerability to oppression and fear, that I have ever read. When Offred loses her job and then has her bank account frozen, and her husband comes home and she tells him about it, and he says "we'll be okay." Offred's reaction, where she realizes that he not only doesn't get it from her pespective, and doesn't seem to be "upset enough," but that it almost seems as if he could maybe like it a little bit...that was magnificent. I want my friend to read this book. I've been talking about it all week. My friend is a man. I'm not sure if a man can truly appreciate the depth and affect of this story. I hope so.
The ending... I thought it was absolutely perfect. I won't spoil it, but it is what pushed it over the edge to definitely be a "Before and After" book. And I will point out that I mean this for both endings...the story ending and the "historical note" ending. Both perfect.
No time to read, so love the audio books!
I read this book years ago and could not resist getting the audio to experience it in a different medium. Wonderful. Loved the narration by Ms Danes. The story is still as powerful to hear as to read.
This is the perfect book for a casual reader or a literary connoisseur. It's beautifully composed with an engaging and occasionally frustrating unreliable narrator. I think the title doesn't do the novel justice. It's compelling and modern, while possessing great depth and a timeliness that's almost frightening. Danes as the narrator is simply icing on an already rich and complex cake.
Regular Amazon shopper
I selected this book based on three things (in this order): 1) It was a recommendation by Audibel. 2) It had a high star rating. 3). It was narrated by Claire Danes. I knew nothing else about it, which is probably a good thing as I had no expectations.
The Handmaid's Tale was gripping. I couldn't wait to get back to the story to see what would happen next, each and every time I had to turn it off. I was obsessed! And Claire Danes was spectacular. Sadly, she has spoiled me, as I now hold every other narrator to her impeccable standard of storytelling.
Looking for complex, believable characters, an engaging storyline, and good narration! Fan of sci-fi, fantasy, adventure, and horror.
This story really put me in a dark place. I've had a bad string of listens lately and even though this book is very well written and had excellent narration by Claire Danes, it was not the best experience for me. Maybe I'm too sensitive? I really felt like I was a prisoner in a religious dictatorship, so kudos to Margaret Atwood for transporting me to this world, even though its not a nice place to be.
The handmaid is telling her story in her head. It is rambling and jumps around from memory to memory, as if she is going over details so that she doesn't forget them. After some time it becomes apparent that she is a basically a slave with no rights and having no access to pen and paper, she is fine tuning her tale in her mind in the hopes of recording it one day. She doesn't want to forget one single detail. So sometimes she muses on flowers, or the ceiling above her head. Her confinement and feelings of helplessness come across so clearly that it made it hard for me to finish. Not having a name, not being allowed to speak, not being able to touch another person unless directed to do so, are things that have worn this woman down to a nub and all she has left is the voice in her head.
Why is she a prisoner? What happened to society? These answers unfold very slowly and not in a linear manner. Warning! This story is very depressing with hardly any pay off in the end!! But at the end you will have a greater appreciation for the small freedoms in life.
I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
This was a great story of a Dystopian future where women are basically slaves. It all starts when the military kills congress and the president, then blames it on muslim extremists and institutes measure to keep every one "safe". Such as outlawing protesting and most basic rights we have.
This was written in the 80s, but the pretext of muslim extremists used to take away civil liberties, somehow makes me wonder of the author could see the future.
A well-written and interesting dystopian novel. Given how famous it is, I was a bit disappointed. But I tend to be a little impatient with the method of narration that keeps many things mysterious and leaks out what's going on bit by bit. Still, it's an impressive feat of imagination. The narration was decent, but somewhat lacking in variety of voice or tone.