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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 (7823 )
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4.1 (7118 )
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4.5 (7082 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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 02-25-15
    Susan Shaer 02-25-15
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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
  •  
    Nicola Fortescue 02-15-15
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    "Intriguing book"

    If one ignores the bleak darkness of some of the content I found this book intriguing - totally renovating a society virtually overnight. The loss of power & freedom to some & control & dominance to others was an interesting concept to explore in a fictitious way which can be translated into many current situations. I enjoyed the author's use of language & loved Clare Danes' presentation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tory 02-15-15
    Tory 02-15-15

    vg8

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    "The audio version is a little hard to follow"
    Where does The Handmaid's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was an addicting story and after a point, I couldn't stop listening. I had to know what happened in the end.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This book takes place in the head of of-fred, so it is hard to imagine any other character.


    What aspect of Claire Danes’s performance would you have changed?

    Her voice was raspy


    If you could rename The Handmaid's Tale, what would you call it?

    Gillead


    Any additional comments?

    Because this was the audio version, and all the narration took place inside the head of the main character, you weren't sure if what she was saying was quoting someone else (which was sometimes the case) or if she was starting a new story or what. Sometimes the characters voice would ramble and I think it would have been easier to follow if you were reading the print version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ally 02-14-15
    ally 02-14-15
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    "Absolute BEST book and narrator."

    I was completely mesmerized by Margaret Atwood's literary voice. I wanted to soak up each gluttonous paragraph like pancakes in syrup, cookies in milk. Her stream of consciousness poetry has seeped into my brain and hijacked my own inner dialogue. I haven't been this enthralled with a piece of literature in about 7 years (since discovering Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials). I feel compelled to scribble down chunks of her prose, to fill my journal with her visceral fluidity, to keep and hold on to simply for the enjoyment and awe of reading them again and again. Claire Danes does a phenomenal job too, I wish she would narrate more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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