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)
This is not a book that I would typically get, actually got it because it was a daily deal. I have been enthralled with this book.
Claire Dane's was an excellent narrator - I cannot say enough about her believability and how it felt like an intimate conversation with her. Awesome.
Unable to hold my attention, boring, confusing and didn't lead to anything in the first 11 chapters - I had to force myself to continue to listen, give the book a chance to get better. Total fail.
I can't listen to it again for a while. Frightening. Deeply moving.
Claire Danes is the perfect narrator. I pictured her portraying the character throughout. Steel-faced.
Yes, I finished in two days.
Storyteller, reading teacher, author...when it comes to stories/books, it's my vice and I have unashamedly made addicts of my entire family!
This book is for dried up old prunes who have no sex life and resent others who do. I would also think it would appeal to anyone with misogynistic attitudes. It might even have appeal for atheists with strong anti-religion leanings. Basically a book for people who like to hate others. I found the entire concept of the book obscene.
Time to Kill by Grisham. It would be pleasant to go from a plotless, shallow character book with no ending to a master storyteller like Grisham.
Claire Danes ought to be taken to the "colonies" as she proved no worth as a narrator. She read with a strange cadence that became monotonous. There was no emotion in her voice. There is no other way to describe it but lackluster and boring.
The prologue was very interesting. It was too bad the context was added at the end. The book would have been better if Atwood had created the entire text within the context of the researchers so the reader understood the story better.
The author craftily depicts the vulgar and obscene without actually stating the obvious. As a reader it made me feel in collusion with the vulgarity and that was offensive to me.
Say something about yourself!
Claire Danes does an unsurprising but still amazing job at reading this classic science fiction novel. The story may seem slow in the beginning, but the introspective start provides an important canvas for the muted despair and life of grey dullness inhabited by the main character, who serves as a breeding vessel for the privileged few.
Even with the quieter start, Danes' talented reading kept me glued in. The novel progresses to reveal a complex and damaged society that struggles under its rich facade of religion.
"The Handmaid's Tale" is an interesting look at the role of women in society, extremism in religion and the subjection of the underclass, and I highly recommend it. The theme of this book is one that has stayed with me, which is to me the mark of a great book.
I tried to read this book several times and when I saw Clair Danes was reading it, I downloaded it. She should do more books, I love her voice. It is like listening to a song. My hats off to Margaret Atwood, a great writer, that I have read so often. Brilliant plot and story. I loved "The Blind Assassin" and wish she would have stuck with this style instead of Science Fiction. Anyway, she still is great and I admire her very much.
Audible should get Danes to do more reading, she is the best women reader that I have listened to. What a performance!
No, but if she does anymore books, I certainly will.
It was sad, but could happen. We don't know what the future holds. I still like "The Blind Assassin" more. This happens in peoples lives all the time and was a deep and thoughtful story.
Claire Danes does a great job with the narration. Though the voices of different characters weren't varied so much, her pace and emotion when reading make it easy for a listener to become involved in the story.
The story itself was not my favorite, yet it's a dystopia so it's not going to be all "sunshine and fairytales." The events in this book were thought-provoking, which is why I would recommend this book to others.
I've never heard Claire Danes narrate any other books. Unlike other audiobooks, I can't think of anything about her voice, accent or any other sort of nuances that annoyed me or distracted me from the story. I would like Claire to narrate more books.
I really wanted to like this book a lot more than I did.
While the story certainly has some worthy aspects, I found the pace to be plodding and the narrative, overall, to be rather self-indulgent.
I feel that the same book could have been condensed into a much shorter length while still conveying all the crucial thematic elements. As it stands, it suffers from a great deal of bloat, in my opinion.
The premise is gripping, and the author does an excellent job of getting across to the reader the idea that this bleak future, or one like it, is all too plausible. It did make me stop and think about the many things that we take for granted every day that are nearly so securely entrenched in our lives as we tend to think they are.
However, the tendency of the POV character to describe a scene, then stop and inform the reader that it "didn't really happen like that" or that the scene was a "reconstruction", was jarring. Each time this happened I found myself pulled out of the story in a very unpleasant manner.
I found myself fidgeting and waiting for the actual meat of the story (some kind of actual plot) to begin. Eventually I realized that there wasn't any meat to be had, and sort of resigned myself to suffering through the rest of the book in hopes that there would be some redeeming quality in the ending, especially since this seems to be an extremely well-reviewed book. In the end I was disappointed.
The narration was good, but nothing out of the ordinary as far as I am concerned.
I've read both and enjoyed them both immensely. However, Claire Dane's narration was great. She was apathetic, angry, and tragic with barely a change in her voice. It was well done.
I am currently living away from my husband due to our jobs and listening to Claire Danes talk about missing her husband and human touch really resonated with me. It was as if she felt everything I was feeling (except hopefully slightly more dramatic!)
Very interesting content overall and a very terrifying thought with religious zealots from my parts of the world. Very sensationalized, but also relevant. Very highly recommend.
Yes! It's awesome!
Claire Danes is awesome! Fantastic reader!
This book is rich with emotion and super thought provoking?
One of my favs!
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