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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 (8400 )
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4.1 (7631 )
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4.5 (7595 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Jakk 03-18-16
    Jakk 03-18-16 Member Since 2014

    Jakk

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    "Superb story"

    I have to say right off the bat I did not like Claire Dane's narration. She is reading, and hardly performing. Her phrases are too stunted, monotone and amateurish. When she is voicing dialogue, she gives the lines a little more spirit, but not enough for me. But A Handmaid's Tale is such a fantastically chilling story that I endured. Margaret Atwood's masterpiece.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sara hornbuckle 03-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "life changing"

    this book was so moving for me as a feminist. I loved it. incredible experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John, the Amazon Customer 03-17-16 Member Since 2006
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    "read during the presidential primaries. Dark"

    what is a scary view of the future, that is so tightly connected to the present. It is downright get spooking to read this during a presidential election that is bringing out the worst in many people. great book, great performance on e I got past the star factor.. But,hello? the ending came so suddenly I thought my clumsy thumb had accidentally Advanced 30 chapters to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KSJ 03-15-16
    KSJ 03-15-16

    KSJ

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    "just as good as I remember it from college"

    Glad to be able to "read" this with my daughter for her English class. It is much as I recall from college when I first read it. I found Atwood's tendency to describe everything three times tedious but the story remains powerful. The prescient blaming of Islamic terrorists at a time when Soviet Union was the threat when it was written is especially disturbing now. The subjugation of women by debit card inactivation also frighteningly realistic. Overall, much to consider in these days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter 03-07-16
    Peter 03-07-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Terrifying"

    This book should fit well under horror for those who can picture details within this audiobook. Filled with twists stretched out so wide you won't know where it's turning. The narrqtive voice remains extremely reliable although they often interject with opinions. Preparing to watch the movie as I type this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi Nash 03-01-16
    Kristi Nash 03-01-16
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    "Bookclub choice, but glad I listened."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It was the book chosen by our bookclub, and while most of us said at the meeting that we likely wouldn't have chosen it on our own, we were glad because it turned out to be a fascinating read/listen.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The bedroom scene with wife, maiden and husband were so creepy, (and my husband found the movie version which I also watched during my read of this book and that even more so...) IMPRINTED IN MY BRAIN and can't get it out! Yuck!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    When we read about historical fictional (or non-fiction), we usually see that people regret bad choices and events and often is about lessons learned to not go backwards in ways of thinking and living. But in this scenario, the society did go backwards on women's rights in such a severe and terrible way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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