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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 (8423 )
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4.5 (7615 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amanda L DeCotes 07-26-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    3
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    "interesting read, however I was disappointed"

    I was hooked from the beginning, however as I kept listening I was becoming bored with her repetitive situation. I kept hoping for something more exciting to happen..and it never came. The lack of a conclusive ending was disapointing but overall I'm glad I chose it. I loved Claire Danes as the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris K 07-26-15
    Chris K 07-26-15 Member Since 2016
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    4
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    "Loved it!"

    This book is superbly written. It's definitely bleak but I would recommend it to anyone

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    edna 07-23-15
    edna 07-23-15 Member Since 2015

    Horse trainer by day, super hero by night, book lover all the time.

    ratings
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    18
    13
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good, not great."
    What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

    Despite brainwashing, the women of the story cling to their last posession: memories.


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

    Shock, relief, and a craving for more detail. It was the perfect ending to this novel


    Which character – as performed by Claire Danes – was your favorite?

    Offred has a wonderful voice, tinged with sarcasm.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. Although I enjoyed it, it had its slow moments. It worked well as a device in the story, but made it plodding at times.


    Any additional comments?

    Not the typical "end of the world" story. I was slightly disappointed in societies overall apathy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TweedBunny 07-22-15
    TweedBunny 07-22-15 Member Since 2016
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    5
    2
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    "Little happened, overly detailed explanations."

    Every event dragged on and by the end I felt relieved. Climax was even dull and lasted less time than minor events earlier on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    illgnosis LB, CA USA 07-22-15
    illgnosis LB, CA USA 07-22-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Slow start but a fun read if you stick with it."

    The first half of the book lacked tension or interest for me but once I understood the monotony was a setup for what comes in the second half I appreciated the slow burn.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christie Harris Celina Tx 07-19-15
    christie Harris Celina Tx 07-19-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Movie BetterI"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I usually don't say the movie is better this is one of the few times that i can definately say that. It was hard to keep track of charachters as the narrater didnt do a great job with differet voices.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Family Mom Atlanta 07-18-15
    Family Mom Atlanta 07-18-15 Member Since 2013
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    5
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    "frighteningly foretelling"

    It just seems so possible in light of the current radical political environment that we live in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily 07-18-15
    Emily 07-18-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great narrator brings this story to life!"

    I was wary to read this because I thought it might be a little dull in terms of having too clear an agenda. I typically don't enjoy the Fareheit 451/Brave New World/1984 reimaginings of the future gone to seed. But because this is shaped entirely around one person's narrative experience, it's gripping from the start and shows perfectly the day-to-day horror of the scenario, rather than the theoretical or sentimental horror of such an oppressive system as a whole. And Claire Danes really reads it like an actor, so each moment is fully realized in emotion and action.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    casablanket 07-17-15
    casablanket 07-17-15
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    "story ending, if I had known beforehand"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I listened while doing house cleaning so did not waste time.


    Would you recommend The Handmaid's Tale to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, I do not like stories that do not have a definite ending.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It was alright. Her mispronunciation of the word mauve repeatedly got to me though. she kept saying mawv when the correct pronunciation is mowv.


    Was The Handmaid's Tale worth the listening time?

    Maybe if the ending was better. The bulk of the story was not that bad. It was the ending I did not like.


    Any additional comments?

    It dragged on. Definitely was not my type of book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dani Smith 07-15-15
    Dani Smith 07-15-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Great reading, best author"

    Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, and Claire Daines does a great job evoking the character in her story. Very well done all around. I especially love the epilogue where she takes a historical view of the fictional world, but draws out the real world context that Atwood draws on. Genius!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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