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The Handmaid's Tale Audiobook

The Handmaid's Tale

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - Margaret Atwood’s modern classic is one of the most stunning and powerful works of speculative fiction ever written, and it took a lot of careful consideration to determine who would best narrate this important book. Claire Danes elevates the frightening dystopic vision by lending a sheen of reality with her performance. She doesn't act, and she doesn't need to. She recounts. She breathes out the tale as if she is living it. Resigned, beaten down, traveling through hell by putting one step ahead of the other. I was utterly convinced by her performance. —Emily

Publisher's Summary

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.

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (8449 )
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4.5 (7639 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kenneth Estvanik 06-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    7
    2
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    "mundane narrative on the verge of boring."

    I listened to the entire book so I could legitimately give a review. At 75% done, I was aching for it to end. Thankfully the plot does wrap up, and the final chapter was inventive. Second book I've read of Ms. Atwood, and second disappointment. Not my cup of tea.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linqin 06-23-16
    Linqin 06-23-16
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    2
    2
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    Story
    "Dark, dystopian, and brilliant."

    Lovely narration. Book explores interesting ideas, such as feminism and religion.

    I love how the main character tells her story. It draws me in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn Gunter 06-09-16
    Jenn Gunter 06-09-16
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    1
    1
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    "Loved this book. Claire Danes is excellent."

    A fantastic novel that is both entertaining and thought provoking. Well read and engaging. Loved it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ACC 06-01-16
    ACC 06-01-16
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    2
    1
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    "fantastic reading"

    book was wonderful, but could have gotten a little slow in some areas, if not for the wonderful narration. Claire Danes did a fantastic job of maintaining texture and depth in the flash back and lost in memory sequences. very glad I invested in audio version of this book, as it improved an already fantastic book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evansa 05-30-16
    Evansa 05-30-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    14
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    "copyright 1986! crazily relevant & even prescient!"

    This book was published in 1985? That is crazy especially for how it foreshadowed events to come in history, an example being the impetus for suspending the Constitution, which heralded the creation of Gilead. WOW! I recommend reading and staying with this book. It will make you uncomfortable at first but don't let that dissuade you from continuing the journey. My only let down was the abrupt ending and therefore being left without closure. Not that I can think of a better way to end it. I'm glad of the last chapter as a sort of ending from a future that seems to point to an understanding of Gilead as a social experiment gone mad. The fact that past tense is used at least brings some comfort to the reader that this regime didn't last. But of course it couldn't, or could it? That's the scary part. That and of course more...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah OBrien 05-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Claire Danes is Brilliant!!!"

    This is an amazing story, improved by Claire Danes as the narrator! Don't miss this one

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Jeffries Indianapolis, IN 05-26-16
    B. Jeffries Indianapolis, IN 05-26-16 Member Since 2015

    Amazon Indiana

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    2
    2
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    "Danes does it"

    I thoroughly enjoyed Dane's performance. She brought the story to life and used her voice to become the characters. My trip ended before the book and I was pretty let down that I had to wait a week to find how it all ended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Murrill 05-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    5
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    "The Handmaid's Tale"

    Very thought provoking. I was entertained and could not stop listening and still wanted more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carrie 05-25-16
    carrie 05-25-16
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    30
    8
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    "Excellent writer, but stories too dark for me"
    Any additional comments?

    This author is an excellent writer and I get sucked into her books, but because her stories are speculative fiction with dark undertones they leave me feeling disturbed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chela J. Noto Santa Monica , CA USA 05-23-16
    Chela J. Noto Santa Monica , CA USA 05-23-16 Member Since 2016

    Godiva Bacci

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    4
    4
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    "The years change our view point"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Handmaid's Tale to be better than the print version?

    I first read The Handmaid's Tale the year it was release. I saw it as a dark, tragic romance. Now as a fully fledged woman I am struck by the absolute absurdity, comedy, and truly dark nature of the story. Atwood's writing is lyrical and uncanny.


    What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

    Goodness the Madadam trilogy - but that is a bit trite.

    I know that Atwood does not like to be lumped in as a SciFi writer, but in my mind she keeps the good company of Vonnegut, Bradbury, Le Guinn... and that is my very short list.


    Have you listened to any of Claire Danes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have no comparison.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I play books while I paint, so yes I can listen in one sitting - but it is may radio.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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