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)
It's books like this that start me preaching to my daughter that we should be thankful to be a woman today and in the US. While the premise is a bit forced you can see where there are parallels to what women around the world face today. I think we always feel like life will get better in the future, this shows us another outcome.
Overall I enjoyed the story itself. By midway I wasn't sure how many more similes I could listen to. Everything was compared to something else. I wonder if I would have reacted differently to reading it in print versus hearing it.
Claire Danes did a great job reading the story. I would listen to her perform again on a different book. I loved when she would break into the "Aunt" voice.
How clear and lyrical the story was and how truthfully it was performed. I thought early-on in the story "this is beautifully poetic." It was no surprise to later find out that Atwood indeed is a poet.
I don't know of other books to which this compares though it did make me think of "Children of Men" probably more for it's dystopian feminism.
There wasn't a favorite. She was masterful with all.
Offred of course. She is the character through whom the story is told and through whom Margaret Atwood professes her best poetry.
I'm really glad that Atwood wrote this story and I cannot believe it took me this long to listen to it. The book really blew me away. I moved through dread, terror, and hope many times. Listening to It was a stark experience and sometimes evoked really powerful emotions. As a guy, I really appreciated the story and the feminist perspective.
I cannot imagine that this story would have been as emotive and fully developed had it not been read by Claire Danes. She was magnificent! I had heard of her but never really had been exposed to her work. I am glad I was through this book.
Loved this story. The protagonist is so filled with memories and pain... as are all the women she's surrounded by. Beautifully narrated by Claire Danes, in an almost monotone, which is so fitting for the story. In that time and that place monotone was the only way to be.
Just one of those books that you have to read and discus with others, about it it's relevance to our current life and times
Yes, I think Claire Danes did an absolutely incredible job narrating this story. I would love for her to narrate more books!
What can I say. I liked this. I could picture Clair Danes as the Handmaid. It was wonderful.
I read this book years ago and now listened to it on a long trip. The story is fascinating and has subtle and not so subtle references to our own time. I enjoy alternate histories and this book never fails to deliver.
captivating dystopian novel
Claire Danes does a wonderful job narrating the story. She really acts out the part, and you feel so connected to the main character
Still my favorite. I began my Audible listening experience with THT, and I have to say, so far nothing has lived up to it. Claire Danes' performance is worthy of some kind of award, I feel. The story is chilling on its own, but Danes nails the characters' emotions and shines in the interior monologue. For those who have reviewed this poorly, it is clear from the comments that they don't understand the story. THT is a classic dystopian novel with brilliant description and a true sense of moral struggle, not a crime thriller or a fifty shades (gasp). I typically listen to audible books on my daily walks - this one was so hard to put down that I lost 5 pounds in a week. Happy listening.
I am a high school American Sign Language teacher. Ph.D in multicultural Education. Married, 2 grown daughters.
Hard to listen to and couldn't get into what was going on.
I can't even answer the questions. I was bored from the beginning trying to make sense of it. I just stopped.
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