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.
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©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)
If I were reading this would have quit before finishing, but listened to the end and wasn't impressed seemed to drag on. I really like Clare Danes so it helped that she read it otherwise I may not have finished, kept waiting for it to go somewhere and by the time I thought maybe something was actually going to happen in the book when she was taken away it finished.
I put off reading this because I don't do depressing well. The possibility of soch a takeover of our democracy becomes greater every day. As long as we have racist and sexist police, military men, private militias, and wealthy sponsors, a dystopia iis more than possible.
Say something about yourself!
Atwood's Tale is a classic. In a not too distant future (it was published in 1985), parts are the United States are controlled by a quasi-religious, quasi-military totalitarian faction that gained power after some unknown catastrophe. Vague references to nuclear fallout suggest the catastrophe was the bad result of an nuclear arms race but the ultimate result was to render much of the population infertile. As a result, fertile women, like the book's protagonist "Offred," have been pressed into service as a walking womb, doomed to bare children for the powers until she goes barren and then is discarded.
Atwood's glory is her portrayal of the hypocrisy of the "Gilead" government, best scene in the brothel that Offred visits with the general.
Dane's performance is poignant.
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