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)
Slow wtih frustratingly little back-story development.
Caveat: I consistently prefer books with a fast moving, descriptive story line. I do not enjoy flowery prose. Give me Grisham or King and I am happy.
Therefore.... I disliked this book. I wish the author would tell this story with decent development of the back story ( if this does happen, it come late in the book). I simply don't have the patience to endure the slow development of the key elements of what seems to be a compelling story. ( I returned it having only read in about 15 chapters.
Provided a clear, compelling back story and character details regarding this world and what happened, instead of being so damned literary and cryptic
Danes reading brings Offred to life.
Atwood is a master of the English language. Her description of the mundane becomes riveting. I appreciate her skills as a writer so much more now than I did when I first read this story as a young woman. The first person present voice draws the reader in, allows her to feel...to be...Offred. Haunting. Beautiful. Terrifying in its vision of what might have been. Terrifying because it still might.
Claire Danes did an amazing job reading this. The book was interesting and gives insight on how fragile our freedom is. I do wish they had more details in the ending.
Ms. Danes brings depth to the female characters. She doesn't assume they're all meek people-pleasers.
This book creates a possible future, in which the enslavement of women is quite visible. I'd like to see more books in this same world, from different points of view.
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