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The Handmaid's Tale Audiobook

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

4.2 (7844 )
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4.1 (7137 )
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4.5 (7101 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 09-22-15
    Cheryl Douglasville, GA, United States 09-22-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    118
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    "Not as powerful as I was hoping for."

    After reading great reviews about this novel, I was somewhat disappointed. I wish there were more character development so that I could care more for the main characters. It is a very bleak novel in a bleak world with a bleak outlook. It is definitely a feminist speculative fiction in a dystopian future.

    It was written well, interesting, but not my favorite novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen West Sacramento, CA, United States 09-22-15
    Eileen West Sacramento, CA, United States 09-22-15 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant, thought-provoking novel"

    Margaret Atwood's book is even more thought-provoking now than when she wrote it. After reading and listening to enjoyable fluff, this book is a reminder of how important literature can be. I listened, wishing I had a class to discuss it with. Wow. A stunning work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    john t conboy WIMBERLEY, TX, US 09-18-15
    john t conboy WIMBERLEY, TX, US 09-18-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    11
    4
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    "Claustrophobic"
    What would have made The Handmaid's Tale better?

    The book was colorless. There was only one in-depth character and she was severely clipped.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I found the story uninteresting. The was basically no plot. The author created a stark, constricted, oppressive atmosphere and kept pounding it home.


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

    The performance was fine.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Handmaid's Tale?

    I would not have published this or cut it by two thirds to make a short story.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to the end just to see what happens. Nothing happens. The reader just puts up with the experience of living under hypocritical, fundamentalist impression chapter after chapter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fanfanmero 09-18-15
    fanfanmero 09-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Great performance!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! I've read the book several years ago, and at that age I didn't think this book was very interesting. Lesten to the audiobook let me noticed some beautiful and meaningful sentences in this book. I genuinely recommend this audio to all, it's worth to lesten, even you have read it before.


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

    I really like Claire's performance, she gives her emotions into the story and made the book more meaningful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April Florida 09-18-15
    April Florida 09-18-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Claire Danes rocked, story not so much..."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The end..


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I had to play it back so I could make sure I didn't misunderstand it's meaning.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R.Jay II 09-13-15
    R.Jay II 09-13-15

    R.Jay Peterson II

    ratings
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    "Amazingly done."

    I love it. Claire Danes is wonderful. Great story. I recommend this to an6one who likes dytopian science fiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea 09-12-15
    Andrea 09-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A modern classic, wonderfully performed."

    Read this book many years ago. It was gripping then. Narration is riveting. Could not recommend more highly. Thank you Margaret Atwood and Claire Danes for a wonderful experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shoejunkie savannah 09-11-15
    shoejunkie savannah 09-11-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    2
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    "the hand maid's tale"

    Claire Danes is probably the best female narrator of any audible book I have heard! She made listening to The Hand Maids Tale a joy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susane 09-08-15
    susane 09-08-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not for the literary faint of heart"

    I purchased this audio book because it came highly recommended. The story was extremely inventive and interesting. The problem I had was with the copious number of flashbacks and the endless (and I mean endless) similes. I kept thinking "get to the point". I got through it but it took some patience and effort.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Sonoma, Ca 09-06-15
    Kindle Customer Sonoma, Ca 09-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "A dangling feeling of tragedy and triumph"

    loved Claire Danes as the narrator. Her voice transcends the humdrum terror that the "everyday" has become.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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