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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 (8931 )
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4.5 (8087 )
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Performance
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  •  
    janicen 02-14-16
    janicen 02-14-16
    ratings
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    4
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    "Not a Favorite"
    Would you try another book from Margaret Atwood and/or Claire Danes?

    Possibly if the subject seemed interesting and the price was right.


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

    Probably if it was free or really cheap. Not high on my list though. I decided on this book since I had read something by Margaret Atwood long ago (probably this book), and I wondered what I'd think of it upon re-reading.


    Did Claire Danes do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Her reading was boring. In order to not insult Claire Danes, I suspect that boring was what she and Margaret Atwood were going for. I think maybe a boring reading fit a boring life. It's been a while since I listened to this book, but, if I remember correctly, Claire's reading got more lively as the main character's life got more lively.


    Was The Handmaid's Tale worth the listening time?

    Not so much.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Inna A. Alexeeva 02-13-16 Member Since 2014
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    18
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    "Nauseating"

    The thought if anything like that becoming true is absolutely nauseating to me. 1984 and brave new world are utopias in comparison.
    Well written story though - i felt all the pain and desperation the heroine did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 01-30-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Dystopian Novel for Adults"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend the book to my friends, because it's a very interesting read. It is a little confusing in the beginning, but once the end comes to, the realization of what the book is supposed to represent is amazing. It's a different kind of dystopian book


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Handmaid's Tale?

    The way that everything comes to be, the reason for society being the way that it was in the book was the most interesting part.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene is when she's taken away from the house, because it shows that even though society is different, somethings never change, such as chivalry.


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

    I did not have an extreme reaction, but I did like it. It intrigued me, more than made me feel any certain way. I wanted to know why things were the way they were, and it did make me want to know what had happened to the main character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Creighton 01-27-16
    Creighton 01-27-16 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "all to do about nothing"

    The story meanders like a slow moving river. A relaxed listen I'm curious about what's around rhe next bend only to find more of the same scenery . Then the story softly pushes me to an outter bank beach where I pull out my boat and call it a day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Pfaff, Maestra de Ingles Desamparados, San Jose Costa Rica 01-24-16
    Anna Pfaff, Maestra de Ingles Desamparados, San Jose Costa Rica 01-24-16 Member Since 2015
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    7
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    "So Smart. So Good."

    This book is in the top 10 books I have ever read. Maybe top 5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TayciBear 01-19-16
    TayciBear 01-19-16
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    6
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    "Favorite Story."
    Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

    I have actually listened to this story 4 times. I love Claire Dane's performance as Offred and the content is so powerful. I cry everytime I listen to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Franco texas 01-15-16
    Samantha Franco texas 01-15-16 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth Reading...With Intellectual Mindfulness"
    If you could sum up The Handmaid's Tale in three words, what would they be?

    Shaky Womanist Dystopian.


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

    The most interesting aspect of the story was the main character, Offred, and her juxtaposition of the past and the present, the past being around the year 2190, without major disarming differences to our own time, and the present (for her, at least) after the overthrow of the American government.
    The least interesting aspect of the story was a subtly, in which our author displays her Canadian 1970's anti-Americanism and self-declared "protofeminist" ideals, which in her mind seem to set her above American and feminist thinking, which limits the radical nature of the novel and thereby weakens the story.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    Her voice is clear, crisp, and easy to understand noticeable without being distanced from the events in the novel. She sets the tone well, and allows us to slip easily into Offred's mind.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lara jankel 01-13-16
    lara jankel 01-13-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Incredible"

    I was urged to read this 20 years ago but didn't think it would appeal. I was very much mistaken. I can now fully understand why this is on so many "must read" lists. Danes narration is superb and perfectly cast.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah Gladkowski 10-29-15 Member Since 2015
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    "recommended"

    overall I really good story. I wanted more background on the plot/society. Good narration. interesting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hummingbird 09-29-15
    Hummingbird 09-29-15
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    "Great performance, but didn't like the book"

    I listened to over 3 hours of this story and just could not get into it. Claire Danes' performance was really well done and her performance is what kept me going for that amount of time. The book seemed to crawl along. Maybe I'll try again in a few years...and maybe not.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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