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The Handmaid's Tale | [Margaret Atwood]

The Handmaid's Tale

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name....
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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

4.1 (5829 )
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4.4 (5264 )
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Performance
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  •  
    mediateach 06-22-15
    mediateach 06-22-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Life sucks and then you die"

    If "life sucks and then you die" is your motto, then you may like this one. I was bored to tears

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Imig Family 06-17-15
    Imig Family 06-17-15
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    2
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    "Worthy of your time."

    I would recommend this book on its interesting story and enjoyable narrator. God save women.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    amber 06-11-15
    amber 06-11-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Meh"
    What did you like best about The Handmaid's Tale? What did you like least?

    I liked the glimpse of a religious society, I did not like the ending.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Margaret Atwood? Why or why not?

    Probably not. If I am disappointed with one book by an author, I am unlikely to try another.


    What does Claire Danes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She gave the character life and personality.


    Did The Handmaid's Tale inspire you to do anything?

    Never read it again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry L. Verwey Hobart, IN 05-29-15
    Sherry L. Verwey Hobart, IN 05-29-15 Member Since 2014

    Gypsysoul_

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    "A MUST read for every woman"
    If you could sum up The Handmaid's Tale in three words, what would they be?

    Haunting, Engulfing & Sorrowful


    What did you like best about this story?

    This not-all-to distant dystopian universe was frighteningly real. The storytelling, the heartbreak and the terror of the handmaid just drove the reader to hear more and more and never want to put the story down. It was all encompassing and I only wanted to learn more and more of the time, the politics and the lives of the women.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    She was incredibly genuine, and I never felt she was "acting". She WAS Offred, and she seemed so connected to the character and it felt that she was just as engaged as I was reading it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Too many times to mention.


    Any additional comments?

    I really feel this should be a MUST read for high school students, and especially college women (men too). It shows what the dangers of 'turning a blind eye' or 'going with the flow' can lead to, and it's concepts aren't all that foreign in the sometimes frightening world we now live in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cesar Ghisilieri Photography 05-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very Monotone"

    the 2nd audio book I've ever I've ever walk out on (dropped the book about 4 hours in). It was very hard to pay attention to the terribly monotone narrator. The constant misery of every character made it hard to distinguish who was who. I normally like Atwood's work but this one is not for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Markita 05-28-15
    Markita 05-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Super disappointed."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. I was pumped to listen to Claire Danes perform this book but I ended up HATING the story! You never fully understand the process of how this regime takes over and how the main character ends up in her current house. Then you're left to wonder what happens to this poor woman after all the horrible things that she has already gone through. Very frustrating and unfulfilling!


    What could Margaret Atwood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More closure! The book just kind of stops and then some random character is trying to explain how that society came about and what happened to them. I wanted to see the women take a stand and overthrow this stupid government!


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

    No.


    Did The Handmaid's Tale inspire you to do anything?

    Continue to support feminist views and stand up for my gender.


    Any additional comments?

    Just disappointing. The reviews sounded good & I was pumped about Claire Danes! Overall just thought the story was kind of gross and depressing for no good reason. I'm not even sure what point the author was trying to make about society, if any at all...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    secbro19 05-27-15
    secbro19 05-27-15
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    15
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    "Amazing Novel"
    What made the experience of listening to The Handmaid's Tale the most enjoyable?

    I had never read this book before but I've always liked dystopian novels. This is a fantastic read and Claire Danes does a phenomenal job portraying the main character. One of the best audio books I've ever listened to


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    Everything about her performance was outstanding. One of the best performances I've ever listened two. She portrays the main character as if she were her, living in her situation. It was amazingly well done.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Killeen, Texas, US 05-25-15
    Amazon Customer Killeen, Texas, US 05-25-15
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    "Awakens you to dreadful possibilities."

    Loved it. What hooked me was the abrupt loss of control over ones own person.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Uccellina Chicago, IL 05-24-15
    Uccellina Chicago, IL 05-24-15
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    "Fantastic reading of a classic"

    This story seems to have followed me through the Canadian education system. Claire Danes' reading really puts life into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 05-13-15
    Amanda 05-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    "Incredible story, fantastic narration"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a feminist literary classic. Even if you've read it, Claire Dane's masterful narration brings out a new side to a near perfect book. A must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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