So I finally read The Handmaid’s Tale, or rather, I listened to it on Audible, read by Claire Danes. How had I never read this classic before? Well, it fell off my radar; I heard some had to read it in high school but it was not on the special education reading list so it never came up. I also intended to get to it after the Hulu show came out a few years ago but I usually put well-known classics on the back burner while I go through various indie published works. So thanks to the power of audiobooks I could finally add this to my list of books I’d read.
I have to say, overall I enjoyed the story. A dystopian tale of a woman just trying to survive in the hard regime of a religiously based society that has placed her in her role where she is used for the procreation of children based on her (by them) perceived foul history and her genetic ability. I like dystopian stories so it was easy for me to find the appeal in this one. I wanted to root for the main character, or at least hoping she would survive.
I have often read and heard people complain the story has a very ‘men are evil’ feel to it, but after finishing it I can certainly say that there are characters in it that are guilty of some horrible things and it is not just the male characters. It is certainly not a cut and dry story by any means, and has a lot of aspects that should be considered while reading, even after.
The audiobook presentation is well done. Claire Danes reads the story clearly and confidently. Her voice fits well with the narration of the story.
Given the story was published in 1985 it has held up pretty well to the test of time. It is certainly still worth reading. I would suggest this for anyone who has ever been curious about this classic, or those who enjoy digging in to the dirty parts of dystopian worlds. Or perhaps even someone with a feminist flair to their life. I know that was how I picked it up.