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 have not read the print version.
The ending where the whole story was explained.
Where she told about their escape.
Yes, if I had the time.
I love audible books because I can listen while I am doing other things like driving or doing yard work.
Since I first read it years ago, when people asked about my favorite books, A Handmaid's Tale was always at the top of my list. It was my first dystopian novel and that genre quickly became my favorite. But I hadn't ever reread it. I think I was afraid that it wouldn't stand up against all the dystopian novels I've read since, that it only made an impression because it was the first. But I bought the audiobook when it was released read by Claire Danes. And waited. And waited. And finally decided to listen to it, revisit my old favorite. And it still stands up. Way, way up. In fact, I think I love it more now than I did before -- Claire Danes was excellent, but also the audio version gets around the odd punctuation and stream of consciousness style that could be distracting in the book.
It's still an amazing story, still so frightening because it's so plausible. Still filled with clever, beautiful prose. I didn't want it to end, again.
First off, the narration of this book is absolutely fantastic. Claire Danes is truly able to bring the characters to life, and made every scene, however mundane on the surface, overflow with potential.
That being said - honestly not a lot happens in this book. I originally expected it to be a tale focused on the underground organization of women fighting the current regime, which this book is not at all. Instead you get a look into what life is like in dystopian New England through the eyes of a woman who has been living her life, just trying to get by - therefore the end of the book is a little unsatisfying, but I believe that is wholly intentional. I very much look forward to the show starting this month.
Do people know every book can't be a 5-star book or the ratings are meaningless? On any site! Same goes for Goodreads.
This is one of the all-time amazing novels. Margaret Atwood is a visionary; and while it might be scary or uncomfortable to some, it is not to be turned away from.
Remember, she wrote this in 1985. And we are much closer to the realities of Gilead NOW than ever.
Don't think IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE.
Note to Audible: would have been nice to have the most recent "update" since I just purchased Claire Danes version right before. Ugh.
Atwood is a fantastic writer with a talent for deep, poetic description. The narrator did an excellent job with Offred's character!
The historical transcript at the end of the novel made it. I loved this piece and will continue to recommend it.
I fully enjoyed the book and the narrator. This is a genre that I don't usually listen too but this book was excellent.
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