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)
I puzzled over how to rate this book. (My first review.)
On one hand, it was well written by Margaret Atwood and expertly delivered by Claire Danes.
On the other hand, I didn't *like* it. I hate that Offred may have had a happy ending, or may have had an even worse ending than what she had suffered thus far. I don't like not knowing. I hate how it made me seriously consider the possibility of such a regime in my own world, and the true stories of oppression abroad that I read about in the news. This book's dark subject matter and the way I became immersed adversely affected my daily mood and overall happiness for the duration of my listening.
So, I don't like the book.
But it did change me and my perspective. ...and is that not the hallmark of an excellent book?
The story was disjointed and boring. There was little meat and much air to the writer's story. It's almost like someone completing an assignment for an English class... I really don't see what people saw in this book.
Even she couldn't save this book.
Boredom and frustration with a story lacking in everything!
Don't waste your time.
I have to say right off the bat I did not like Claire Dane's narration. She is reading, and hardly performing. Her phrases are too stunted, monotone and amateurish. When she is voicing dialogue, she gives the lines a little more spirit, but not enough for me. But A Handmaid's Tale is such a fantastically chilling story that I endured. Margaret Atwood's masterpiece.
what is a scary view of the future, that is so tightly connected to the present. It is downright get spooking to read this during a presidential election that is bringing out the worst in many people. great book, great performance on e I got past the star factor.. But,hello? the ending came so suddenly I thought my clumsy thumb had accidentally Advanced 30 chapters to the end.
Glad to be able to "read" this with my daughter for her English class. It is much as I recall from college when I first read it. I found Atwood's tendency to describe everything three times tedious but the story remains powerful. The prescient blaming of Islamic terrorists at a time when Soviet Union was the threat when it was written is especially disturbing now. The subjugation of women by debit card inactivation also frighteningly realistic. Overall, much to consider in these days.
This book should fit well under horror for those who can picture details within this audiobook. Filled with twists stretched out so wide you won't know where it's turning. The narrqtive voice remains extremely reliable although they often interject with opinions. Preparing to watch the movie as I type this.
It was the book chosen by our bookclub, and while most of us said at the meeting that we likely wouldn't have chosen it on our own, we were glad because it turned out to be a fascinating read/listen.
The bedroom scene with wife, maiden and husband were so creepy, (and my husband found the movie version which I also watched during my read of this book and that even more so...) IMPRINTED IN MY BRAIN and can't get it out! Yuck!
When we read about historical fictional (or non-fiction), we usually see that people regret bad choices and events and often is about lessons learned to not go backwards in ways of thinking and living. But in this scenario, the society did go backwards on women's rights in such a severe and terrible way.
I love Claire Danes and she is wonderful as the narrator. But even she can't save this odd story that I kept waiting to relate to or enjoy. Skip it.
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