The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed . If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs….
©2011 Margaret Atwood (P)2011 Random House Audio Go
This book, gripping and chilling, grabs you from an apocalyptic future and propels you through an intense narrative about a world where religion has become the cruel, sinister dictator we all secretly fear that it could.
"A great book to listen to :)"
Honestly this has been the best novel I've listened to so far on audible. I know some others have found the narrator didn't fit, and I must admit that I myself had to get used to her voice. But overall she narrated it beautifully. The storyline itself is very interesting and well-written. However, it does sometimes get confusing, as it jumps into flashbacks and flashforwards and becomes a bit difficult to keep track.
This is an excellent book and I can see myself listening to it again in the near future.
This was always one of my favorites from a young age. Listening to it was an absolute pleasure and took me back to the time when i first discovered this book.
Margaret Atwood's vision of this male dominated society in which women are segmented into their different roles for 'the good of whole' draws you in and doesn't let you go until the very end.
It hauntingly reflects attitudes that unfortunately exist in some cultures in our world today and makes you take a closer look at society in general.
I know this is a book i will listen to over and over again.
"Expertly written distopian fantasy... Or is it?"
It IS expertly written. Beautifully crafted, as if each word has been considered carefully, then checked for size, sound, cadence, and context, before being painstakingly positioned onto the page. Yet it has a lightness and freshness that such elegantly written pieces often lack. It has passages as lush and luxuriant as a bath full of feathers; and others that cut into you like a dagger.It truly is a masterpiece.
And it IS dystopian. My God it's dystopian! It is hard to digest some of the images that the book conjures, such is the disgust, revulsion, empathy, pathos, helplessness and complete hopelessness that it instills. The amazing storytelling of Margaret Atwood, make you feel that you are there. This book will be alive in my consciousness for as long as I live. I have been rocked to the core by it.
So why the "Or is it?"?
Well, without giving the game away, I felt as if I was being transported to a caricature of the 'now' world of ISIS/IS, or the extremes of Taliban Afghanistan. This did feel like dystopian fantasy, but with the caveat that it is a dystopia that is not far off what is happening to some people in our world now. That it captures our world of the 21st century, when it was written in 1985 shows the genius that Margaret Atwood is.
Brilliantly read too!
"Brilliantly written and narrated"
This has to be the most thought provoking book I have listened to on audible for a while. It is one of those books that you want to continue way beyond the unexpected but perfectly orchestrated ending.
Margaret Atwood has the gift of engaging you in what at first seems an unreal scenario only to reveal as history has proved the possibility of this new society becoming a chilling reality.
The storytelling is quite brilliant.
Possibly, but would depend on the story
I wouldn't dissuade anyone from this book, it just did not really engage me and I often found I was drifting away from the story as it didn't hold my attention.
Soft, clear, polished
I have previously seen the film of the Handmaid's tale. I wasn't overly impressed with the film and thought it lacked depth, so this was my reason for listening to the book, to see if something was missing from the book to film.
I had previously read the other reviews of this book from other people and wanted to listen to the book because of these. However, I did not find I agreed with others and found the book slow, over descriptive and dull in places. The story is very clever and I do think will widely appeal to others, but I guess it just isn't one for me.
This is such a good book and very well narrated too. I was completely absorbed in this tale and couldn't stop listening to it. Even though I listened to it a while back, I still find myself thinking about the story frequently. I especially loved the epilogue which is so ironic and added a whole new dimension. I probably wouldn't listen to the whole book again, but I'm certainly going to revisit some episodes.
Whenever the protagonist thinks about her old, 'normal' life she thinks about her best friend. She's a completely different voice who puts the whole story in perspective.
It was very, very good.
I certainly wanted to!
Joanna David is excellent reading Jane Austen but she is just so wrong for the voice of the young Canadian woman at the heart of this wonderful, important novel. I just couldn't listen to it after a few chapters and had to buy an alternative reading by Claire Danes which is available on cd from Amazon. It's not perfect, but her voice does seem to match the central character who is also the narrator relating the story. I don't understand why that isn't available on Audible - it should be.
"Worth a listen"
I saw the film and, as is the case, when I realised it was actually a book first I had to read (hear) it. It's completely absorbing and a quite scary. I was really drawn in both by the writer and reader and it really makes you think and feel for the people involved. I think there could have been more depth in places (I won't say so as not to spoil it!) just to add more to the story and get you as a reader more invested but that didn't detract from the story. It's definitely worth a credit!
The way she has taken the differing attitudes both held by women, and adopted toward women, through the 21st century and extrapolated them forwards so imaginatively. Margaret Atwood proves also to have been remarkably prescient when writing in 1985, as her futuristic world comes about following a period of global turmoil due to islamic terrorism, although it is a supposedly Christian regime that subjugates the women of her tale.
This is a gripping story and an important read.
This is a book that I've meaning to get around to reading for years. I now wish I had sooner. Really superb.
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