The Handmaid's Tale Audiobook | Margaret Atwood | Audible.com
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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 (3241 )
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    Mariah Riverside, CA, United States 02-27-13
    Mariah Riverside, CA, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Wonderful"
    If you could sum up The Handmaid's Tale in three words, what would they be?

    captivating dystopian novel


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

    Claire Danes does a wonderful job narrating the story. She really acts out the part, and you feel so connected to the main character


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Steffie Texas 02-25-13
    Steffie Texas 02-25-13
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    "Stunning"
    Where does The Handmaid's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Still my favorite. I began my Audible listening experience with THT, and I have to say, so far nothing has lived up to it. Claire Danes' performance is worthy of some kind of award, I feel. The story is chilling on its own, but Danes nails the characters' emotions and shines in the interior monologue. For those who have reviewed this poorly, it is clear from the comments that they don't understand the story. THT is a classic dystopian novel with brilliant description and a true sense of moral struggle, not a crime thriller or a fifty shades (gasp). I typically listen to audible books on my daily walks - this one was so hard to put down that I lost 5 pounds in a week. Happy listening.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Temecula, CA 02-24-13
    Amazon Customer Temecula, CA 02-24-13 Member Since 2012

    I am a high school American Sign Language teacher. Ph.D in multicultural Education. Married, 2 grown daughters.

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    "couldn't get through it."
    What disappointed you about The Handmaid's Tale?

    Hard to listen to and couldn't get into what was going on.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't even answer the questions. I was bored from the beginning trying to make sense of it. I just stopped.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily United States 02-22-13
    Emily United States 02-22-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Narration is wonderful"

    I selected this audiobook because I am a fan of Claire Danes and she does not disappoint with her narration. This was the first Margaret Atwood book I have listened to/read and am now a fan. Great dystopian novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne DeLand, FL, United States 02-21-13
    Suzanne DeLand, FL, United States 02-21-13 Member Since 2004

    * love to work (nursing informatics) * love dogs * love speed * listen to books constantly *

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    "Incredible narration - thought I was IN THE STORY!"

    Mesmerizing, kept me up late at night, sat in the driveway after work listening in the car.
    It was that good. Pulls you in so you are living it with the character. I had read this book long ago as a paperback, but the narrator really made the difference. She was brilliant, and really enhanced the story's texture and realism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Olathe, KS, United States 02-20-13
    Jennifer Olathe, KS, United States 02-20-13 Member Since 2010

    Middle aged wife, mother, student and full time worker. I listen to books using my phone, especially when I drive/travel for work.

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    "A good listen."
    What made the experience of listening to The Handmaid's Tale the most enjoyable?

    An interesting story with good detail and interesting characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I read this book many years ago and remembered liking it, but not the details of the story. I enjoyed listening to the book and getting re-aquainted wtih it.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    Comfortable voice to listen to.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Handmaid's Tale and why?

    The main character.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan oakland, ca, United States 02-17-13
    Susan oakland, ca, United States 02-17-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Really loved this"

    Loved this so much that I want to listen to it again sometime and I really want to learn more about its writing and its author. Can't believe this book was written in 1985 but identifies so many issues that are in the forefront of our lives now. Really wonderful - recommending this to everyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jules Crown Point, IN United States 02-15-13
    Jules Crown Point, IN United States 02-15-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Keep you thinking for days."

    I was riveted to this intriguing story and didn't want to put it down until it was over. I felt the book was deeply engaging and the desperation of the characters was tangible. The story made me feel outrage, sympathy and fear all at the same time. It made me want to climb into the book and take action but at the same time I felt so grateful that I do not live in that world. I believe the book will be one of those that lingers in my mind for awhile.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    wayne Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-15-13
    wayne Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-15-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Wonderful book"

    Many of my female friends sighed when I said I was listening to the handmaid's tale. Apparently it was required reading in high school which doesn't do much for enthusiastic reading.

    Im glad I didn't have that bias implanted in me. I was hooked from the beginning. The pace of the book moved quickly, and I felt Margaret Atwood is excellent at helping the reader truly feel the main character.

    Claire Danes was amazing. Even though I have an image of Claire Danes from all her tv shows and movies, she made this character truly unique and I was able to paint a picture of the main character on to a blank canvas. The parts where she gets truly emotional are amazing, she gets right in to character and builds upon it as she goes. She does a better job than most professional narrators.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    terri lubbock, TX, United States 02-12-13
    terri lubbock, TX, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Dark, Different, & a bit haunting..."

    Not what I was expecting at all.. OFF the beaten path for sure...& so well written that at times I found myself getting more into the amazing 'writing' than the story line. Atwood is extremely gifted at getting to the CORE of humanity's deepest feelings, frailties, failures and strengths in this very unusual tale. Claire Danes was perfect. This is one I won't forget!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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