“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood Audiobook Review

The Handmaid's Tale audiobookI talked so much about this audiobook while listening to it it that when it came time to write a review there were no words left.

Imagine a world of victorious Christianity with a touch of Communism. The slogan “From each according to his ability, to each according to his labor” was realized here verbatim.

The husband is the head of the family, but the wife is the mistress of the house and all its inhabitants. Each member of the “family” does his or her own work – cooking, cleaning, driving, and some of the children. It is the latter that is called “maids” – they serve for the good of society and families. If you “idle” for a year in three different families, you are recognized as “not a woman” and sent to the colonies. For any slip-up, they send you to the colonies.

This book is scary and horrible even not so much for the details of her life, her world, her general corneredness. It is terrifying to read in the context of modernity. The only difference is the timing of the introduction of “innovation.” In the novel, everything happened quickly – from a generation that went to the beach in bathing suits and kissed on first dates, made a society in which the hint of a figure and a look in the eyes is a terrible sin, having children became work, and the death penalty for touching.

People were not given time to gradually adapt to the new conditions – first the abolition of legal abortions, the introduction of the death penalty, then the reduction of highly educated personnel, religious education in schools. And then, you can gradually deprive women of property rights, introduce a tax on childlessness, and give them in marriage by conspiracy – anyway, they are already uneducated, they do not understand what they are deprived of.

This world, described over 30 years ago, frightens me with its reality. Even though radical Christianity is still being brought in on a separate territory in the city of Gilead (a sort of experimental zone), the tacit consent of the world community to such experiments is a very real thing.

I wish that men would not read this, that they would not adopt these ideas, and that women would read every single one of them and think about how much we have and how it would be good to preserve it! So they wouldn’t get married with their pretty eyes and neat beard, they wouldn’t demonstrate for wearing hijabs, and they wouldn’t give birth at home, killing themselves and their child!

“1984” Audiobook by George Orwell Review

1984 audiobookGloomy toward the end of the book. Sometimes boring because of the enormous flow of information.

Three years ago I was first introduced to the work of George Orwell through his interesting satirical novel “Animal Farm”. This book made a strong impression on me. I would not say that directly opened my eyes to many things, but let’s just say that it got rid of all sorts of myths through metaphor. It came out great and most importantly – understandable.

It took me a long time to get to Orwell’s novel, which is on almost every list of must-read books. I’m not even talking about the lists of anti-utopian books, where 1984 is either the leader or one of the three strongest. It was precisely because of these very lists that I didn’t read the book for a long time – I was repulsed rather than attracted to it by such rabid popularity. Except that curiosity kept me awake.

I didn’t end up reading “1984.” I listened to it.

Right off the bat, I want to talk about suspense and reality. For me, this novel is over hyped. I don’t dispute that it turned out well. But I expected a lot more. I expected to listen to this book with excitement and awe. And it’s worth saying – it was… at first. But then I lost the excitement that enveloped me in the first few chapters of the work.

And the closer the finale got, the less I wanted to listen to the book. I think it had to do with the fact that I wasn’t ready for that. After all, the book has a non-typical, for most novels, ending.

I don’t want to say too much about the plot, but still, I’ll touch on this topic a little bit.

First, I note that it is thought out “from” and “to”. I appreciated the full scope of the author’s work and bowed my head to his assiduity and meticulousness in working through not so much the world and society in which the hero lives, but politics and… Psychology! Oh yes, psychology – here Orwell struck me with authenticity and knowledge in this difficult science of human behavior.

Secondly, the protagonist of the novel quickly gets to like you and all thanks to the fact that he is easily associated with the reader (in this case, I quickly tried on his role), because most in this wonderful world – people who worship Big Brother, and the hero – at heart a rebel and we readers understand “why”. Eh, how pathetic it will be for this poor guy…

The plot, as such, shows the reader how the system/state/government/ breaks everyone down to suit themselves. I’ve heard a lot about how the book “1984” is prophetic. What can I say: so far it is perceived as an exaggeration of current life. But I can say with certainty that in some places Orwell got it right in his novel warning. Take, for example, the cameras that watch people. Global control is just around the corner (and some think it already is, but the truth is somewhere in the middle).

There are places in the piece where it’s very long and, don’t let the fans kill me, tedious, about how the government conducts its machinations. I don’t argue – everything looks very well thought out, logical and cleverly put together, but when such an abundance of information flows in a huge stream – it gets boring quickly.

Also, I didn’t like the aftertaste… and not only that, even when you put the book aside while listening (that is, you didn’t finish it until the end) – you interrupt until the next “session” – it also leaves an unpleasant residue. This residue is associated with the feeling that everything in the world of the future is bad, gray and dull. A very depressing atmosphere. This is not a disadvantage of the book. But it is repulsive. At least for me personally.

Okay, I will not speculate more about the work.

In general, “1984” I both liked and left an unpleasant aftertaste. I admit that the novel is good, but in some places I was bored. The book pressured me – and I don’t like that kind of thing.

And then comes the verdict moment. My opinion is 4 out of 5. No matter how you look at it, every reader evaluates a work by subjective impression, even if they understand that the book has either a beautiful syllable or depth, wisdom.

I’ve said it before: the beginning of the novel captivated me, but by the end, I began to dislike it. Negativity is also a feeling, but I’m all for light sadness, not sullen gloom.

That’s my opinion.