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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Nick Danger USA 08-27-14
    Nick Danger USA 08-27-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Excellent story and Claire Danes was great!"
    If you could sum up The Handmaid's Tale in three words, what would they be?

    Thought-provoking dystopia.


    Any additional comments?

    Atwood's book is an excellent examination of a society based on religious fundamentalism. Claire Dane provided an excellent reading of the book - out of the hundreds of audio-books to which I have listened, this is the best performance by a reader that I have ever heard.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Esther 08-17-14
    Esther 08-17-14
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    "Could have skipped first 2/3 of the book..."

    I was almost giving up on the book when I was about half way through the book. A lot of rambling. Too much back story and not enough about this future world she created. Not much is happening until the last 1/3 of the book. The last 1/3 of the book is good but only if you can get through the first 2/3.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rita T Mobile, AL 08-15-14
    Rita T Mobile, AL 08-15-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Fits in well with today's headlines"
    Where does The Handmaid's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rank this in the top 5. It was very well done.


    Any additional comments?

    Makes one think about women and losing more and more of their rights here in the U.S. and control of their bodies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniela Uberaba, Brazil 08-13-14
    Daniela Uberaba, Brazil 08-13-14 Member Since 2011

    Professor at Federal University of Uberlândia (Brazil). I love romances and thrillers. Feel free to send me e-books suggestions!

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    "Sad book"

    I made a tremendous effort to continue to listen until the end. For me it was a waste of time and credit, it’s not the kind of book that I like. I bought because the good reviews, but I thought very boring, monotonous and without great emotions. I have listened to hundreds books and my expectations were very high because the good reviews, I felt very disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy K 08-04-14
    Amy K 08-04-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellently rendered"
    Where does The Handmaid's Tale rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is my first audio book from audible. The last one I listened to was ages ago - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein on cassette tapes back in the early 90's. This was, technologically better obviously. Story wise, it's a toss up..


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Moira - though such a small part of the story, I admired her for trying so hard to get out...


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

    Her voice - her acting as she was reading. Having read the book, seen the movie - listening to Claire Danes read it was impressive - the emotions conveyed, the tension maintained through the story was excellently done.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The story always makes me sad. More so now since our politicians and the religious right seem to be using it as a handbook of how to do things, instead of the apocryphal tale it rightly should be. It's frightening - the story that is - mostly because, in this day an age, it feels so realistic. Raising a daughter now, in the US, in this political and religious climate - already makes me think of running away to Canada on occasion - listening to this story again really made me think...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth FAIRBORN, OH, United States 07-31-14
    Ruth FAIRBORN, OH, United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2011

    I like a wide variety of books from finance to mystery.

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    "Very Interesting"
    What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

    Even thought the story was odd. I couldn't stop listening. Claire Danes also does a good job.


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

    1984, because it is a future of what might happen to America if we continue down the track me are one.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Her escaping the house and seeing out the Governor lives.


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

    The writer. Because you get to be inside her head


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail 07-25-14
    Gail 07-25-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Fabulous listen"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This reading was absolutely gripping. I would highly recommend it to a friend.


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

    One of the most memorable moments was the end of the book, the prologue which gave the listener insight as to the time and place of the story.


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

    Claire Danes read this book as though she were the character telling the story. Her reading had depth, passion, and meaning.


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

    The most memorable character for me was Of Fred, the narrator who told the story. She really made you feel the emotions that she was feeling throughout the telling of the story/


    Any additional comments?

    I am a huge fan of audiobooks, and this was one of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lydia weatherford, TX, United States 07-10-14
    lydia weatherford, TX, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting book"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    interesting but not a book I would read again.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    good


    Did The Handmaid's Tale inspire you to do anything?

    no, I found myself wondering where this book was going as I read it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike GRAND ISLAND, NE, United States 06-24-14
    Mike GRAND ISLAND, NE, United States 06-24-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent book and very relevant!"
    Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

    Yes, it's been a year or two that I've read and listened to it. It's such a good book, and very relevant to issues currently going on, and will probably always be going on. There are a few strong themes in this book, the view that women are baby incubators, and also that Christian values need to be present in all laws, that are very important in our current political climate.


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

    Well, it's a dystopian look into the future. So you could compare it to other dystopian fiction. It's well written, and not YA fiction though (I'm not putting down YA fiction btw. I enjoy it, but this isn't YA).


    Which scene was your favorite?

    In a book like this, it's hard to pick a favorite scene, because there aren't many happy scenes. I did like her flashback scenes though, and it was interesting to see how her before life contradicted with her current life.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Better never means better for everyone, he says. It always means worse for some."

    It's a quote from the book, which completely describes the basic overall theme of the book.f


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marine66 06-23-14
    marine66 06-23-14
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    "The Best Book I Have Ever Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This story was so enthralling that I knowingly arrived 20 minutes late to a meeting at work because I couldn't leave my car until I heard what was going to happen next. The story has stayed with me and I find myself thinking about it frequently even though I finished it over a month ago.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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