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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 (3466 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    37
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
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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
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    wayne Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-15-13
    wayne Mississauga, ON, Canada 02-15-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    terri lubbock, TX, United States 02-12-13
    terri lubbock, TX, United States 02-12-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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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
  •  
    Jennifer Smith Portland OR 02-11-13
    Jennifer Smith Portland OR 02-11-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Depressed and disappointed"
    What was most disappointing about Margaret Atwood’s story?

    It was a depressing story about how women had been devalued in America and could not do anything. They were baby makers and that was it.


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

    None


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yeah, I don't want to live that way.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mmc Denver, CO, United States 02-11-13
    mmc Denver, CO, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011
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    61
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    "Better in Print?"
    What was most disappointing about Margaret Atwood’s story?

    I have heard great things about this book. I bet it is probably better in print. It was difficult to follow the transitions within the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla Decatur, AL, United States 02-08-13
    Carla Decatur, AL, United States 02-08-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well written, sort of painful, well performed"

    I remember reading this right out of college (many years ago) but didn't really remember much about it - except the basic, unpalatable premise. It's not a very nice story but not without redemtion either. Claire Danes performs with a sort of flat affect that totally fits and yet you can still feel the underlying emotion. I think I liked this performance more than really ENJOYED it.













    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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