We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
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....
Regular Price:$24.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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 (3783 )
5 star
 (1676)
4 star
 (1180)
3 star
 (619)
2 star
 (177)
1 star
 (131)
Overall
4.1 (3437 )
5 star
 (1541)
4 star
 (1017)
3 star
 (546)
2 star
 (191)
1 star
 (142)
Story
4.4 (3417 )
5 star
 (2058)
4 star
 (863)
3 star
 (330)
2 star
 (91)
1 star
 (75)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    january huntersville, NC, United States 03-21-13
    january huntersville, NC, United States 03-21-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    341
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    136
    95
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    73
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What will we do to ourselves in the end?"

    We all consider, at some point, what will become of us? I think this is why there are so many dystopian novels. (269 listed on Wikipedia.) And who doesn't love a good end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story?

    One thing that I find interesting about the dystopian novels I've read is, while they all have the common theme of oppression, each author brings their own unique vision to the stories. Not one of the novels I've read has been a copycat of any of the others. This one is no exception, although it did kind of remind me of 'The Children of Men', in so far as the inability to procreate is concerned.

    I was kind of freaked out by how similar some aspects of the book were to things that are happening now. The increase in religious fervor, to be specific. As a woman, it made me ask myself, in the situation presented in the book, would I allow myself to be degraded and controlled, or would I give my life for the freedom of living on my own terms?

    There were two things about this book that made me give it a high rating. First, I have a serious girl crush on Claire Danes. I remember her in 'My So-Called Life' back in MTV's good ol' days, and I have loved her ever since. Besides my creepy fascination in dystopian novels, she is the reason I listened to this book. The second thing is, the ending. I remember finishing 1984 and thinking, that can't be it! We must overcome the oppressors! But no. That's it for the characters in 1984. The same old fear. Not so in 'The Handmaid's Tale.' The ending gives hope that, no matter how bad things get, there is something better waiting on the other side.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valerie ALTUS, OK, United States 03-18-13
    Valerie ALTUS, OK, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2012

    warrior princess

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent story, excellent narration!"
    If you could sum up The Handmaid's Tale in three words, what would they be?

    This is a gripping story that pulls you in and keeps you focused from start to finish. The author's way of maintaining the first person perspective by way of their thought process as they recount their experiences makes you feel like you are in the story. It's very immersive! Claire Danes does a fabulous job of reading this book. She makes the character really come to life.


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

    The ending was a complete surprise to me. I wanted more!


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    She was a perfect fit for this character. Her tones and pace were could not have been better. I could actually picture her in this role.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michaela Stuermer 03-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bummer Alert....Sad, deeply disturbing tale"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    Incredibly descriptive, first-person style -extremely compelling performance by Claire Danes. Her narration was gritty, heartbreaking & so convincing that it depressed the hell out of me! Half way through I almost put it down but I felt compelled to finish the book because I admired the author's command of the language...& I had no idea where this tale would lead.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The story depicts a future world, ruled by Men - where women are either forced baby-makers, whores or expendable slaves of the state....no chance of making this subject matter more enjoyable.


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

    Claire Danes gave a compelling voice to this lonely, nameless character . Much of the dialogue was a conversation with herself - which she did very convincingly. Her narration was spot on. It was the nature of the story that made this book hard to enjoy.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The book ends abruptly & you're left in "mid-air". I wish the epilog would have been more informative & not so "academic". This was the first book that I purchased without reading a review. I don't think I'll do that again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl San Diego, CA, United States 03-17-13
    Cheryl San Diego, CA, United States 03-17-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not my type of story."
    Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

    I wouldn't listen to this again, even though I loved the story teller. I just didn't like the way the author wrapped it up. The story was very slow in some sections. Just wasn't the book for me.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    She has an amazing voice and can make an ordinary story a little better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen 03-15-13
    karen 03-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awsome book!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Handmaid's Tale to be better than the print version?

    I don't usually read or watch sci-fi stuff so this was a reach for me My daughter listed it on Goodreads so I gave it a try


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story line was great even though you really don't know the whole circumstance It was suspensefull sad frightning and believeable at the same time I would definately read more from this author


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debra WEST SALEM, WI, United States 03-14-13
    Debra WEST SALEM, WI, United States 03-14-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Narration"

    This was a good choice. I enjoyed the book, but did not like the ending. Another ending and I would have rated it a 4. Claire Danes did an excellent job narrating, part of the reason I chose this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Orlando, FL 03-12-13
    Sandy Orlando, FL 03-12-13 Member Since 2012

    We are RV'ers traveling the USA. I love Romance, Mysteries, and Thriller Novels. Good listening while on the road.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    101
    47
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NOT my cup of Tea"

    I have never read any of Margaret Atwood's novels. I don't think I will purchase anymore.
    This was an interesting story I thought from the reviews. It was awful. I knew it was a far fetched story,, but it had no story. I fell asleep listening to this one. I couldn't keep my interest going and only did because of Claire Dane's Narration. She is wonderful.
    I even tortured myself and listened to the last 30 minutes summing up this bizzare story.
    Don't bother getting this one. Awful!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Greenawalt PA 03-11-13
    Anne Greenawalt PA 03-11-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My Favorite Book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This has been my favorite book since I read it the summer between 10th and 11th grade (almost 15 years ago). I've read it a half-dozen times since then and it gets better each time. Claire Danes' narrative does the book justice, and I fell in love with the story all over again.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannie 03-07-13
    Jeannie 03-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Glad to be a woman of our time!"

    It's books like this that start me preaching to my daughter that we should be thankful to be a woman today and in the US. While the premise is a bit forced you can see where there are parallels to what women around the world face today. I think we always feel like life will get better in the future, this shows us another outcome.

    Overall I enjoyed the story itself. By midway I wasn't sure how many more similes I could listen to. Everything was compared to something else. I wonder if I would have reacted differently to reading it in print versus hearing it.

    Claire Danes did a great job reading the story. I would listen to her perform again on a different book. I loved when she would break into the "Aunt" voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Olympia, WA, United States 03-05-13
    Eric Olympia, WA, United States 03-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Immensely moving -- wonderfully performed."
    What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

    How clear and lyrical the story was and how truthfully it was performed. I thought early-on in the story "this is beautifully poetic." It was no surprise to later find out that Atwood indeed is a poet.


    What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

    I don't know of other books to which this compares though it did make me think of "Children of Men" probably more for it's dystopian feminism.


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

    There wasn't a favorite. She was masterful with all.


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

    Offred of course. She is the character through whom the story is told and through whom Margaret Atwood professes her best poetry.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm really glad that Atwood wrote this story and I cannot believe it took me this long to listen to it. The book really blew me away. I moved through dread, terror, and hope many times. Listening to It was a stark experience and sometimes evoked really powerful emotions. As a guy, I really appreciated the story and the feminist perspective.

    I cannot imagine that this story would have been as emotive and fully developed had it not been read by Claire Danes. She was magnificent! I had heard of her but never really had been exposed to her work. I am glad I was through this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 211-220 of 283 results PREVIOUS121222329NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.