The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood #audiobookreview @RKbookpublicist

About this book…

Brought to you by Penguin.   

Read by Elisabeth Moss, star of the hit Channel 4 TV series. 

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire – neither Offred’s nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of 21st-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood’s devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

My review…

Firstly can I thank Penguin Randomhouse and Julia Forster at Ruth Killock Publicity for my review audiobook copy of The Handmaids Tale. This was recently released with a stunning narration by actress Elisabeth Moss who plays Offred in the television adaptation that has been shown on Channel 4 here in the UK. Having read the book way back when it was first released in 1985 and been worried about watching the tv series for fear of it ruining my love of the book, I thought listening to the audiobook a good compromise! Ofcourse as soon as I finished listening to the book and being totally entranced by the beautifully soft and spellbinding voice of Elisabeth Moss, I downloaded all three seasons of The Handmaids Tale and had a box set marathon! And then I read The Testaments…but that’s a post for another day!!

Margaret Atwood is a brilliant author and if you haven’t discovered her yet then The Handmaids Tale is the perfect introduction for you. And once you’ve listened to it you will want to discover her other work so I also want to recommend Oryx and Crake plus The Blind Assassin which is one of the best books that I have ever read!

The Handmaids Tale is set in a dystopian future where women are no longer naturally fertile apart from a small group who have been given the role of “Handmaids” and who will conceive the next generation. There is no choice for them-this is their life now if they want to remain alive. Offred isn’t even her real name, it is her slave name revealing her to belong to Fred. There are a few differences between the book and the tv show so I would always recommend listening or reading to the original as you get far more background to the society and laws that they now have to abide by. And by only watching the tv series you are missing the best thing about The Handmaids Tale which is Atwoods perfect turn of phrase and how she conveys a moment with such a visual clarity that it will leave you with goosebumps. So to combine her narrative with the voice of the actress who plays Offred in the tv show is just a winning combination and I would highly recommend this way of connecting with The Handmaids.

I loved this audiobook version and it’s definitely my favourite of the year so far. Just perfect!

Meet the author…

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than fifty books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her novels include Cat’s Eye, The Robber Bride, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin and the MaddAddam trilogy. Her 1985 classic, The Handmaid’s Tale, went back into the bestseller charts with the election of Donald Trump, when the Handmaids became a symbol of resistance against the disempowerment of women, and with the 2017 release of the award-winning Channel 4 TV series. 

Atwood has won numerous awards including the Booker Prize, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society, the Franz Kafka Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2019 she was made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour for services to literature. She has also worked as a cartoonist, illustrator, librettist, playwright and puppeteer. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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