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)
Possibly if the subject seemed interesting and the price was right.
Probably if it was free or really cheap. Not high on my list though. I decided on this book since I had read something by Margaret Atwood long ago (probably this book), and I wondered what I'd think of it upon re-reading.
Her reading was boring. In order to not insult Claire Danes, I suspect that boring was what she and Margaret Atwood were going for. I think maybe a boring reading fit a boring life. It's been a while since I listened to this book, but, if I remember correctly, Claire's reading got more lively as the main character's life got more lively.
Not so much.
The thought if anything like that becoming true is absolutely nauseating to me. 1984 and brave new world are utopias in comparison.
Well written story though - i felt all the pain and desperation the heroine did.
Yes I would recommend the book to my friends, because it's a very interesting read. It is a little confusing in the beginning, but once the end comes to, the realization of what the book is supposed to represent is amazing. It's a different kind of dystopian book
The way that everything comes to be, the reason for society being the way that it was in the book was the most interesting part.
My favorite scene is when she's taken away from the house, because it shows that even though society is different, somethings never change, such as chivalry.
I did not have an extreme reaction, but I did like it. It intrigued me, more than made me feel any certain way. I wanted to know why things were the way they were, and it did make me want to know what had happened to the main character.
The story meanders like a slow moving river. A relaxed listen I'm curious about what's around rhe next bend only to find more of the same scenery . Then the story softly pushes me to an outter bank beach where I pull out my boat and call it a day.
This book is in the top 10 books I have ever read. Maybe top 5.
I have actually listened to this story 4 times. I love Claire Dane's performance as Offred and the content is so powerful. I cry everytime I listen to it.
Say something about yourself!
Shaky Womanist Dystopian.
The most interesting aspect of the story was the main character, Offred, and her juxtaposition of the past and the present, the past being around the year 2190, without major disarming differences to our own time, and the present (for her, at least) after the overthrow of the American government.
The least interesting aspect of the story was a subtly, in which our author displays her Canadian 1970's anti-Americanism and self-declared "protofeminist" ideals, which in her mind seem to set her above American and feminist thinking, which limits the radical nature of the novel and thereby weakens the story.
Her voice is clear, crisp, and easy to understand noticeable without being distanced from the events in the novel. She sets the tone well, and allows us to slip easily into Offred's mind.
I was urged to read this 20 years ago but didn't think it would appeal. I was very much mistaken. I can now fully understand why this is on so many "must read" lists. Danes narration is superb and perfectly cast.
I listened to over 3 hours of this story and just could not get into it. Claire Danes' performance was really well done and her performance is what kept me going for that amount of time. The book seemed to crawl along. Maybe I'll try again in a few years...and maybe not.
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