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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 (8054 )
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4.5 (7289 )
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Performance
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  •  
    boosue90 04-12-16
    boosue90 04-12-16
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    "Love and hate this book..."

    The story is beautifully told, yet there are so many questions unanswered. The book seems to be like a cautionary tale, like so many stories, to people who live there lives without questioning authority. That if we become complacent, we to could end up like so many of the characters in this fictional work of art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mamaof7 04-12-16
    mamaof7 04-12-16 Member Since 2016
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    3
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    "I love this book"

    I've read it several times, and this audiobook did not disappoint. Clair Danes is the perfect narrator. It served as though the story was truly hers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    MK 04-08-16
    MK 04-08-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Eerily Eloquent "

    Atwood's use of language and simile creates a gripping tale of one women's memories of life prior and during a dystopia society. While fictional works on such societies are popular (consider the recent popularity of youth novels like Hunger Games or Divergent) not many deal with the transitional phases of a society into a totalitarian regime. Claire Danes's narration of the work is beautiful but hard, which lends itself perfectly to the writing style. It is hard not get wrapped up in Offred's world and feel concern, worry and dread for her. Be advised, you will want to listen at all times. I found myself working out, driving, working and folding laundry to this reading. It's nearly impossible to stop.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer 04-02-16 Member Since 2014
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    "all too real."

    Love it. very emotional and real. found myself very attached to Offred. great book. read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inkstain 04-01-16
    Inkstain 04-01-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Exquisitely written and beautifully narrated "

    It's important when reviewing a book to appreciate it for what it really is and not what you want it to be. If this book had done what I wanted, had resolved neatly, had given me a fairy tale ending, it's possible I would have liked it more, but it most likely would have impacted me less. As it is, the writing is lovely, if not laboriously descriptive and the narration is captivating. I also found myself thinking about women all over the world who face similar circumstances, not in some dystopian future, but right now, today. Highly recommend.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-31-16
    Amy Santa Cruz, CA, United States 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great narration, great story"

    This is one of my favorite books, and the audio version did not disappoint. Really enjoyed the narration, and it is incredibly written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John A. Donovan 03-31-16
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    "what America will be if we elect Ted Cruz"

    seriously, with current public views, this book is terrifying. definitely worth a listen. crazy its from the 80s.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sophie 03-31-16
    Sophie 03-31-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Well written and performed, but hard to handle"

    ***Spoilers***

    I puzzled over how to rate this book. (My first review.)

    On one hand, it was well written by Margaret Atwood and expertly delivered by Claire Danes.

    On the other hand, I didn't *like* it. I hate that Offred may have had a happy ending, or may have had an even worse ending than what she had suffered thus far. I don't like not knowing. I hate how it made me seriously consider the possibility of such a regime in my own world, and the true stories of oppression abroad that I read about in the news. This book's dark subject matter and the way I became immersed adversely affected my daily mood and overall happiness for the duration of my listening.

    So, I don't like the book.

    But it did change me and my perspective. ...and is that not the hallmark of an excellent book?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    "flawless"

    waiting for Danes to star as offered as the only redeeming part of a doomed filmed adaptation of the quintessential feminist dystopia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 03-19-16
    Kathy 03-19-16
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    "Major disappointment"
    What would have made The Handmaid's Tale better?

    The story was disjointed and boring. There was little meat and much air to the writer's story. It's almost like someone completing an assignment for an English class... I really don't see what people saw in this book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Margaret Atwood again?

    Doubtful


    What aspect of Claire Danes’s performance would you have changed?

    Even she couldn't save this book.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom and frustration with a story lacking in everything!


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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