Audie Award, Fiction, 2013
Margaret Atwood's popular dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale explores a broad range of issues relating to power, gender and religious politics. Multiple Golden Globe award-winner Claire Danes (Romeo and Juliet, The Hours) gives a stirring performance of this classic in speculative fiction, one of the most powerful and widely read novels of our time.
After a staged terrorist attack kills the President and most of Congress, the government is deposed and taken over by the oppressive and all controlling Republic of Gilead. Offred, now a Handmaid serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules in hopes of ending this oppression.
The Handmaid's Tale is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.
©1985 Margaret Atwood (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Claire Danes sparkles in this performance…Danes’s Offred is complex, and her flashes of intense strength highlight her vulnerability. This is a consuming listen, thanks to Danes’s emotional subtleties.” (AudioFile)
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
I found this to be a pointless and depressing book. The characters are very human in their frailties and susceptibility to Political Correct thinking. I can see echoes of our own society in this book, but what I see is coming from the statists already in power and not from the religious wing of the populace. Hypocrisy is, of course, a theme in any such work, and, ironically, this one gets quite preachy when it comes to the dangers of religiosity. Several times the subject of the abolishment of abortion is raised as if it were some great symbolic tragedy indicative of the decline of the America that once was. I found the protagonist to be as sort of anti-heroine. She does not inspire us to greatness. But her plight does cause us to reflect on what we might do in similar circumstances. No causes are offered. No solutions. The life of the Handmaid is pointless.
Clare Danes is a fine reader. I found her narration quite droll and sarcastic throughout which fits the text. After a few chapters her voice warms up and some emotion occasionally creeps into the text.
This book fills me with despair. However, it is important and is a must-read.
Claire Danes' performance is absolutely amazing. I was wary of famous actors as narrators. Once I started listening, I realized Danes is a natural. She adds a special something to this story, making this audiobook as classic and essential as the book itself!
More Claire Danes!!!
41 year old newly minted lawyer, real estate broker and dog lover.
As ever Atwood's writing style is very sensual (not the dirty kind) and robust. I enjoyed the voice of Offred and her viewpoint. BUT- the whole "religion is bad and people are killing the planet" theme is so obvious and tired. To be fair maybe it wasn't in 1986...
Almost 30 years after this grave warning our planet is cleaner and women have more rights than ever. Primarily, this is due to freedom.
I am not religious but most of the people I know who are religious consider their religion to be personal- not some way of damning others. It makes me sad to think that such a talented writer had such a bleak vision of our future. I am glad she was so far off!
Still a good read and a good performance.
Honestly, the last chapter made it all work for me.
The first bed scene with the Commander was intense.
The main character, Of Fred, was fascinating. It takes a while to figure it out, but shouldn't all books have that kind of depth?
I'd definitely want to hear the rest of the story from Of Fred.
I finished this book a week ago and am still thinking about it!
If I were reading this would have quit before finishing, but listened to the end and wasn't impressed seemed to drag on. I really like Clare Danes so it helped that she read it otherwise I may not have finished, kept waiting for it to go somewhere and by the time I thought maybe something was actually going to happen in the book when she was taken away it finished.
I put off reading this because I don't do depressing well. The possibility of soch a takeover of our democracy becomes greater every day. As long as we have racist and sexist police, military men, private militias, and wealthy sponsors, a dystopia iis more than possible.
I don't mind the long commute anymore. Sometimes I even drive around town just to get to place I can stop.
I read this book my senior year in college. It was so disturbing, I had to call a friend at 2am to talk about it. She read it and did the same to me. I took it on a trip to Thailand with a dozen other students and every one of them read it and we had talks about it after each one finished it. It is a thought provoking book that seems far too plausible. I think it should be a must read for every high school or college student.
Since that first read in 1987, I have reread it a dozen times. When I joined Audible I asked for it, several times and was happy when they got it. It continues to be one of the best books I have ever read or listened to. I can't recommend it highly enough!
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