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.
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©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)
book was wonderful, but could have gotten a little slow in some areas, if not for the wonderful narration. Claire Danes did a fantastic job of maintaining texture and depth in the flash back and lost in memory sequences. very glad I invested in audio version of this book, as it improved an already fantastic book.
This book was published in 1985? That is crazy especially for how it foreshadowed events to come in history, an example being the impetus for suspending the Constitution, which heralded the creation of Gilead. WOW! I recommend reading and staying with this book. It will make you uncomfortable at first but don't let that dissuade you from continuing the journey. My only let down was the abrupt ending and therefore being left without closure. Not that I can think of a better way to end it. I'm glad of the last chapter as a sort of ending from a future that seems to point to an understanding of Gilead as a social experiment gone mad. The fact that past tense is used at least brings some comfort to the reader that this regime didn't last. But of course it couldn't, or could it? That's the scary part. That and of course more...
I thoroughly enjoyed Dane's performance. She brought the story to life and used her voice to become the characters. My trip ended before the book and I was pretty let down that I had to wait a week to find how it all ended.
This author is an excellent writer and I get sucked into her books, but because her stories are speculative fiction with dark undertones they leave me feeling disturbed.
I first read The Handmaid's Tale the year it was release. I saw it as a dark, tragic romance. Now as a fully fledged woman I am struck by the absolute absurdity, comedy, and truly dark nature of the story. Atwood's writing is lyrical and uncanny.
Goodness the Madadam trilogy - but that is a bit trite.
I know that Atwood does not like to be lumped in as a SciFi writer, but in my mind she keeps the good company of Vonnegut, Bradbury, Le Guinn... and that is my very short list.
I have no comparison.
I play books while I paint, so yes I can listen in one sitting - but it is may radio.
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