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)
Incredibly descriptive, first-person style -extremely compelling performance by Claire Danes. Her narration was gritty, heartbreaking & so convincing that it depressed the hell out of me! Half way through I almost put it down but I felt compelled to finish the book because I admired the author's command of the language...& I had no idea where this tale would lead.
The story depicts a future world, ruled by Men - where women are either forced baby-makers, whores or expendable slaves of the state....no chance of making this subject matter more enjoyable.
Claire Danes gave a compelling voice to this lonely, nameless character . Much of the dialogue was a conversation with herself - which she did very convincingly. Her narration was spot on. It was the nature of the story that made this book hard to enjoy.
The book ends abruptly & you're left in "mid-air". I wish the epilog would have been more informative & not so "academic". This was the first book that I purchased without reading a review. I don't think I'll do that again!
I wouldn't listen to this again, even though I loved the story teller. I just didn't like the way the author wrapped it up. The story was very slow in some sections. Just wasn't the book for me.
She has an amazing voice and can make an ordinary story a little better.
I don't usually read or watch sci-fi stuff so this was a reach for me My daughter listed it on Goodreads so I gave it a try
The story line was great even though you really don't know the whole circumstance It was suspensefull sad frightning and believeable at the same time I would definately read more from this author
This was a good choice. I enjoyed the book, but did not like the ending. Another ending and I would have rated it a 4. Claire Danes did an excellent job narrating, part of the reason I chose this book.
I have never read any of Margaret Atwood's novels. I don't think I will purchase anymore.
This was an interesting story I thought from the reviews. It was awful. I knew it was a far fetched story,, but it had no story. I fell asleep listening to this one. I couldn't keep my interest going and only did because of Claire Dane's Narration. She is wonderful.
I even tortured myself and listened to the last 30 minutes summing up this bizzare story.
Don't bother getting this one. Awful!!
This has been my favorite book since I read it the summer between 10th and 11th grade (almost 15 years ago). I've read it a half-dozen times since then and it gets better each time. Claire Danes' narrative does the book justice, and I fell in love with the story all over again.
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
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