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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 (8479 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Uccellina Chicago, IL 05-24-15
    Uccellina Chicago, IL 05-24-15
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    "Fantastic reading of a classic"

    This story seems to have followed me through the Canadian education system. Claire Danes' reading really puts life into it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda 05-13-15
    Amanda 05-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Incredible story, fantastic narration"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a feminist literary classic. Even if you've read it, Claire Dane's masterful narration brings out a new side to a near perfect book. A must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Elizabeth Poss 05-04-15

    I'm an English major who considers good fiction to be written in unique prose with stand-out characters and a story that refuses to die.

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    "Exceptional! "

    Awesome performance by Claire Danes! I wish she read more- she has a wonderful and pleasing tonal quality and a air of innocence and cynicism that's perfect for this book. As to the story- it's terrifying and beautifully written. An exceptional read!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike 05-04-15
    Mike 05-04-15
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    "Grim and depressing"

    If you are looking for an enjoyable experience this is not the book for you. The writing and narration are excellent but the story is just plain depressing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    SCOTT 05-04-15
    SCOTT 05-04-15
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    "I wish I had not waited so long to read this!"

    An very talented writer! And an excellent performance. I'm now a Margaret Atwood fan and will be looking for more works by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    william m. 05-01-15
    william m. 05-01-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Weird"

    This the weirdest and most depressing book I have ever listened to. There is not much more to say about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 04-29-15
    Lauren 04-29-15 Member Since 2014
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    "a must listen or read"
    What made the experience of listening to The Handmaid's Tale the most enjoyable?

    i don't really understand this question. the book was excellent but there was nothing that i experienced. this question makes more sense about a trip to tibet


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    this is not a good question for this title


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

    once again not a good question for this book
    the characters are not to be liked, thats not how it goes


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the whole book is very moving and evocative. as a woman its a horrible future to imagine and atwood paints a complete picture


    Any additional comments?

    wonderfully written, provocative. a must read for women, dystopian book enthusiasts and all others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 04-25-15
    Jennifer 04-25-15 Member Since 2009

    40 something Realtor lawyer and dog lover.

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    "Interesting but transparent and tired agendas"

    As ever Atwood's writing style is very sensual (not the dirty kind) and robust. I enjoyed the voice of Offred and her viewpoint. BUT- the whole "religion is bad and people are killing the planet" theme is so obvious and tired. To be fair maybe it wasn't in 1986...

    Almost 30 years after this grave warning our planet is cleaner and women have more rights than ever. Primarily, this is due to freedom.

    I am not religious but most of the people I know who are religious consider their religion to be personal- not some way of damning others. It makes me sad to think that such a talented writer had such a bleak vision of our future. I am glad she was so far off!

    Still a good read and a good performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Erin Sullivan Grass Valley, CA 04-25-15
    Erin Sullivan Grass Valley, CA 04-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A solidly entertaining audio book!"

    Claire Danes is great
    She should do more audio books. This is a unique story. Well devised.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Ann 04-19-15
    Ann 04-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Very interesting/different. Luv Claire Danes!"
    What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

    Honestly, the last chapter made it all work for me.


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

    The first bed scene with the Commander was intense.


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

    The main character, Of Fred, was fascinating. It takes a while to figure it out, but shouldn't all books have that kind of depth?


    If you could take any character from The Handmaid's Tale out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I'd definitely want to hear the rest of the story from Of Fred.


    Any additional comments?

    I finished this book a week ago and am still thinking about it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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