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)
Avid audiobook listener and reader. I work in the tech industry, but like to go outside my comfort zone with fiction and non-fiction.
Love the story that is somewhat cautionary and yet hard to imagine ever happening. It is imaginative and more creative than most dystopian future stories.
Claire Danes = excellent narration! The story is fascinating and even though it jumps through time it is not too hard to follow! Definitely enjoyed greatly and highly recommend.
Usually, when I enjoy a book as much as I have this one, I hope it will be made into a movie. However, this one is an exception, for I cannot imagine a movie being able to capture the haunting and thought provoking aura of Claire Danes rendition of this recounting of events. Sobering, but very humane in its relating of human reaction to adverse circumstances. The government takeover and racial prejudices mentioned as preludes to the events related are believable in a very real, and thus disturbing way. Let us hope society does not turn into this.
I enjoyed this story. Another bleak story of mankind 's potential future, with realistic situations based on observations of this animal.
How the characters that were invisible in society were so vibrate in the story
Some parts of the story makes me feel like I'm missing big chunks of the story, and I swear I didn't fall asleep during it!
I found the book fascinating and eerily prescient. 31 years after it was published, the world is caught in a struggle between those who wish to create a global Gilead and those who fight against it. Ironically, those fighting it also struggle with internal pressures to create a similar structure, desiring to return our society to the pre 1960's under the guise of "traditional values." A great read! Should be required reading in school.
Editor at Audible -- I like self-dev, Sci-Fi, and Fiction that leans a little bit, but not all the way, towards literary.
I'd love to share it here but it might spoil the story, overall though Claire Danes does an excellent job adding emotion to this powerful story.
Offred is really the main character and definitely the best performance. So calm, deliberate, and raw.
It definitely disturbed me on a fundamental level.
This is a vital listen.
This story was ok. Unfortunately the writing felt a little too poetic for me, and the storyline wasn't the most adventurous. Although, to be fair, I have read several memoirs about polygamy so perhaps my senses have been dulled on that subject.
Also, as a mildly autistic woman I could not relate to the main character. For any autistic folks reading this, the character's thoughts seemed to be (by my imagination) stereotypically neurotypical: multi-layered, socially-focused and feelings-oriented. Of course that's just my opinion, others may really enjoy that sort of thing.
I give the narrator 4 stars. I would have given her three because I prefer narrators that are a tad on the monotone side, so I bumped it up a star because that's an odd preference to have. At times she spoke with some emotion as if she were the main character herself, which was distracting to me. Also, as an aside, I hadn't realized before how much Claire Danes sounds like Scarlett Johansson. I kept picturing Ms. Johansson as the main character and then picturing Ms. Danes reading the book to me.
So all in all, if you think in pictures and have read many polygamy books this book might be just ok. If you like poetic writing and feelings and people, you might really enjoy this book.
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