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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 (6974 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Debbie 03-18-15
    Debbie 03-18-15 Member Since 2008
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    "Not a good read!"

    The reader was phenomenal!! Great timing, excellent character development! Well read!

    The story was awful. I appreciate the attempt at extreme to make a point but the complete lack of any continuity of character made the story lose its potency. Our main character just became one of the many who are lost in a horrific possibility. I could not really connect to her and therefor lost the story as a whole.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T_K 03-17-15
    T_K 03-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Mesmerizing"
    Any additional comments?

    This book, although not an easy listen at times (due to the complicated issues with which it deals), was absolutely fascinating, wonderfully written, and leaves a lot of food for thought. I believe feminist readers will find this book particularly interesting, although I think this is an important read for everyone. Claire Danes did an amazing job, and totally brought the story to life. In conclusion, a great book with a perfect narration. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Simi Valley, ca, United States 03-15-15
    Mark Simi Valley, ca, United States 03-15-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Brilliant story and reading: 2+2=5"

    Claire Danes’ reading breathes, whispers, trembles, shouts and wails from the claustrophobic prison of Atwood’s patriarchal, land mined world with such perfectly nuanced understating of a lost woman's fight to retain her identity while hovering on the edge of despair. Wonderful writing, wonderful storytelling, wonderful reading that captures the listener from the first word. Wow!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    suemama 03-12-15
    suemama 03-12-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Boring"

    I kept waiting for something to happen. Very slow and never picked up. I really expected more by the book description. I was disappointed and feel I wasted a credit

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reader 03-01-15
    Reader 03-01-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Crazy read!"

    It took me forever to get into this book. The narration is too long at times and way too descriptive which makes you lose interest in the book. However, the second half of the book is fantastic. And the end? Brilliant!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Mabry, Jr. 02-26-15 Member Since 2015

    An educator and senior who listens to his books from his phone through his hearing aids.

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    "A Provocative Tale of Men and Women"

    I put off reading book for a long time because I had seen the movie version and was put off in a big way. The book is so much better than the movie because the author has a chance to develop the characters. I think it ought to be premarital reading for both men and women, Hopefully men will read it before societal stereotypes of women. The chaipter called author notes is a must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Shaer Arlington, MA United States 02-25-15
    Susan Shaer Arlington, MA United States 02-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Atwood and Danes: 2 thumbs up!"

    Stunningly written. Frightening tale on many levels. With clear presentation and just the right amount of emotion.
    A splendid gem.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean Clark 02-24-15
    Jean Clark 02-24-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A very good and timely read."

    I read this book years ago, probably in the late 80s. I periodically thought about it through those years and was happy to see it on audible. I enjoyed it again. It obviously is somewhat aged out. No mention of personal computers or cell phones, but in another way it is timeless. We need to take under consideration that what happened in this book could easily happen in our century. We aren't all that far from it with every move we make being noted by someone. Such as where we are at any given moment to what we buy at the grocery store. Read it and be afraid !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindra 02-24-15
    Kindra 02-24-15
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    "Handmaid's Tale"

    I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, the description was interesting but I normally don't read/listen to this sort of thing. However I was pleasantly surprised I really enjoyed the novel. I think Claire Daines did a fine job of narrating though she was fairly flat at times. It was a bit slow to begin as you are figuring out the dynamics of what you have just come upon, an alternate timeline, but as you progress and things start to click I would hear myself asking questions to the book out loud. I would definitely recommend!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Spring Valley, CA, United States 02-20-15
    Amazon Customer Spring Valley, CA, United States 02-20-15 Member Since 2005
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    "Intelligent Dystopian Fiction"

    Clare Danes truly inhabits this novel. I call it intelligent dystopian fiction because there is so much schlock right now (Google dystopian fiction and you get overwhelmed). But this is a masterpiece. Not just of a genre. That is insulting. This is brilliant, numbing literature. Danes conveys the intensity of this novel perfectly. I worried when I started this that it would be Clare Danes doing her Homeland schtick. Not to worry. Danes takes Atwood's words and breathes honesty and horror into every line. This book imagines a future misogynist society that sadly is not as implausible as many of its critics acknowledge. There is enough antiwoman reality in the world now to make that point. Atwood's novel should be read by everyone who wants to know how literature can convey existential truths better than the best nonfiction ever could. You will be changed by this book and you will never forget it either. Danes is a masterful narrator and I am so grateful that she added this audiobook to her great repertoire.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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