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.
Cover Art by Fred Marcellino. Used with permission of Pippin Properties, Inc.
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)
I thought this book was very well-written and I thought the idea was plausible as well as very realistic in a world where even flawed ideology can take over a society rapidly. The reason I only gave it three stars was I thought the story was not very well developed, especially in the end where she just disappeared and then fast forward to the future people are trying to figure out what happened to her and where her family xcetera was. I realize that a lot of books leave things to the imagination but I just thought it could have done a better job of showing us how this woman really was a heroine and worked her way to a better place. In the other words, I wanted a happy ending and instead I got a question mark. Many of you reading this review probably think that is a silly notion for someone to want a happy ending but even if it didn't give us a happy ending it could have given us at least an ending where we understood what really happened and there was some finality to her long and treacherous journey.
Well this made up nation of Gilead was sociologically thought provoking it was the most boring read of my life. As I read chapter after chapter I kept thinking that pretty soon something would happen and it would begin to get interesting or exciting. That just never happened! It stayed absolutely boring from beginning to end. The most worthless read of my entire life.
Really enjoy Claire Danes as the narrator. An audio book is a good way to experience Margaret Atwood...not the easiest author to love but really enjoying this experience.
Intriguing storyline and character development.
Voice intonation is well controlled and enjoyable. Listener must participate in the story in order to interpret.
No because the theme is heavy and difficult emotionally.
I was 15 years old when this book came out in the mid-80's and at that time there was a scourge of teen-pregnancies. I was not one of them thankfully. I was also living in the Bible-belt state of Virginia at that time which then and is now a Republican red state. I read this book when it came out as I was a fan of SF and Fantasy and was so distraught as I read it because of the dystopian/totalitarian/dictatorial possibilities within the pages of this phenomenal and important book. So my reality of that time was an all-time high of reported teen-pregnancies and living in a conservative state against my reading of The Handmaiden's Tale, Anthem by A. Rand, Brave New World by A. Huxley was such a mind-blowing juxtaposition that it made my outlook on my life at that time such that I became and still am a 'quiet feminist'. And now fast-forward to our current situation, our seas, skies, soil and people are super polluted due to too much chemical exposure that is so so true of the infertility of many women and men of our population. I am scared for our future generations and for our Mother Earth. And Father Sky. And I leave you now with a saying that haunts my heart 'Wicked are the ways of men who have no conscience or foresight for the future'. This book is not a novel to me it was a textbook that taught me well.
The story, though beautifully read, was a little confusing. I was bored a lot listening to this tale and I wasn't the biggest fan of the ending but it does have me wondering. I felt a little detached from the characters- you get some background but not a lot and throughout the book so it seemed like the author was hiding the plot from you for a while. Kind of felt that through most of the book but I did finish it in a few days. Not bad. I'd rather just watch the movie if there is one.
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