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)
Wonderful writing and fabulous narration. What more can you ask for? I found this title through browsing the "Audible Essentials" If you haven't checked into these, you should. Every one of the audiobooks I have purchased from this list has been a winner! This is one of the best written books I have ever heard (or read).
Claire Danes is freeking amazing. The story is dark and wonderful. I can't believe they made us read this book in high school because it's so like... adult. I didn't get it then. Now I do (at age 39.) It's so awesome, highly recommended.
Of-Fred of course. She breathes the story like it's right now.
Claire Danes' voice if so amazing and her acting is just perfect. I am going to listen to this book a second time merely to experience her amazingness again.
Yes, I'm a book lover, but for this one I'd say Watch the Movie. Yes, the book is well-written, has a poetic turn of phrase and lots of description, if you like that kind of thing - but I don't. I guess I just like books that move a little faster with the plot. This one had way too much description for me. I saw the movie, and that was pretty much all plot. Also the author talked pretty slow so I listened to it at double speed. Fast forwarded through a lot and finally stopped listening. The plot itself is interesting if you can get to it.
Claire Danes just does a fantastic job with this - brings the character and story to life. Only wish there was more to it.
The reader is very 1 note and brings no emotion to the a very tedious story, takes awhile for the story to unfold in a very depressing time. I could only get 4hrs of the story and I couldn't bring myself to go back to it.
I love Audible!
I'm glad I finally listened to this book because it is so unique. I am a fan of Claire Danes but I wasn't really fond of her performance here.
Yes. As the storyline unrolls there are many intriguing conventions in this future society that are explained by the main character who transitioned the old ways to the new. Nicely done.
While the story itself was very good, Ms. Danes delivery was very much the icing on the cake.
No, but I would be eager to do so.
The main character was the most memorable because the story unfolds around her, although the Commander was interesting as well.
Thank you ,Audible, for arranging for Ms. Danes to perform for us.
Social sci-fi, vampires, and modern detective thrillers, oh my!
Yes. The book evoked so many emotions from disgust to shock to relate-ability.
I honestly have never read another book like this. It has the same dystopian premise as many other books but I would say that the culture is more severe than The Hunger Games. I haven't read another dystopian book that had a society that was so religiously motivated.
The scene where Offred and Ofglen revealed their true thoughts to one another and the scene where the Commander takes Offred out. I didn't know what to expect.
Yes, neither though. This book was very thought provoking.
I really can't help wanting to know more about Offred.
Retired librarian, avid reader.
On both readings, the first some 25 years ago, I was totally engaged with the bravery and sensibility of the main character, Offred. It was easy to identify with her and her life, both before and after the overthrow of the US government.
The scenes depicting the new, improved Gileadian way of life, including the stylized "family" gathering for scripture reading, the mostly-futile attempts at conception, and the illicit Scrabble games and magazine reading in the evenings.
Certainly Offred is my favorite character. There is no other character that stands out so prominently and Claire Danes portrayal of her is excellent.
Fear and loathing -- fear that something like this actually could happen; loathing of fundamentalists (of all types) who are so afraid of their deeply internalized flaws and desires that they abuse their power through the imposition of strict controls over others.
The epilogue, taking place some 200 years in the future, reveals that the tale was pieced together from the content of cassette tapes transcribed by Offred. It supplies much-needed insight into what came after the time of the story and also provides a ray of hope for the future that serves to soften the harsher aspects of the Gileadian society. Perhaps it really does get better.
I couldn't stop listening to this story. The situation almost plausible. I could relate to the emotions of this girl.
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