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The Handmaid's Tale Audiobook

The Handmaid's Tale

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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.

Cover Art by Fred Marcellino. Used with permission of Pippin Properties, Inc.

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.

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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

4.4 (23784 )
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4.6 (21729 )
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Performance
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  •  
    JASON R. Hollywood, FL United States 03-18-13
    JASON R. Hollywood, FL United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Society ends and nothing much happens..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If there was any sense of the story going anywhere except around in cirlces.


    What was most disappointing about Margaret Atwood’s story?

    The fact that what little action exists (meaning anything to advance the plot) is mired in irrelevant flashback and endless introspection by the narrator. Listening to this story was frustrating because one needs to put up with a barrage of pointless observations, trivial references and constant reminiscing before the story takes even a half-step formward.


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

    I don't recall ever falling asleep during any parts where Ms. Danes was performing as Aunt Lydia. However, that's not saying much. The rest of the characters were transparent to point of non-existence.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Handmaid's Tale?

    Although most of this book was easily forgettable the scenes in which the narrator recalled her mother were particularly hard to sit through.


    Any additional comments?

    I've rarely given up on a book no matter how bad because I always choose to believe that it's got to get better. For me to abandon this audiobook after paying what I consider to be a expensive price, shows how unpleasant listening to this audio book was for me.

    I think Claire Danes did as good a job as this material would allow her to do. Unfortunately, despite her talents, the story itself served as nothing more than a sleeping aid for me. I can't believe this book won the Arthur C. Clarke award.

    19 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fariba J. 11-19-17
    Fariba J. 11-19-17
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    "Horrible narration"

    The narration is monotone. You’ll be lucky to hear an inflection in the narrators voice once in a while. It makes the book so boring. The story itself is interesting but a little unsatisfying in the end. I️ can’t tell if it’s the story or the horrible narration but you don’t really sympathize with the heroine at all. I️ can not emphasize enough how uninspired this narration is, find another narrator or read the book, because it ruins the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MStaver 11-19-17
    MStaver 11-19-17
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    "Pretty boring, except for the bit at the end"

    Pretty boring story, the most interesting part was the "historical" analysis of the handmaid's tale at the end. I kept expecting the story to go somewhere bit it didn't.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 11-19-17
    11-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "great"

    over all it was a good book with incredible detail a bit slow but well written. # Charlene Huffer

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael G Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 11-19-17
    Michael G Kurilla ROCKVILLE, MD, United States 11-19-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dystopic fundamentalist religious lifestyle"

    Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopic vision of a future where religious fundamentalism takes over a portion of a disintegrating US. Told in the style of a diary, a woman, Offred relates her ordeal of being relegated to "handmaid" status in a theocratic totalitarian regime. A handmaid is essentially a child bearing role which is one of the few allowed for women and necessitated by a declining birthrate due to unspecified environmental contamination.

    While not strictly science fiction, the tale is futuristic with a dystopic and depressing presentation as hardline religious fundamentalism reigns. Interspersed are flashbacks of her life before the regime change that cover both the societal upheavals as well as her personal life with friends and family. Offred dwells much on the status of her husband and young child. In addition to the extensive cruelty, there is much corruption and fanaticism on display. The tale concludes with an academic discussion (well after the actual tale) of the sociology and psychology of the times.

    The narration is exceptionally well done with a good range of voices. Pacing, tone, and mood combine to convey the sense of both desperation and hopelessness throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancie Thorne Seattle, Wa 11-18-17
    Nancie Thorne Seattle, Wa 11-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Excellent"

    I loved listening to this book, in fact I had a hard time turning it off. Great reader. The story is amazing. Loved everything about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 11-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Speechless!"

    Outstanding narration! I really felt immersed in the book. First time I listened to an Atwood's book and I am already looking forward for more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingolfur Stangeland 11-17-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Ofmen"

    An echo of a shadow of a shadow of what could have been and still can so easily become our past.

    All it takes for evil to take root is for good men and women to say nothing and do nothing.

    Love trumps hate, love more - not less.

    Blessed be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon 11-15-17
    Jon 11-15-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Wow, why?"

    I heard positive reviews about the book and show, thought I'd give it a shot. Political to a fault, jumpy timeline, unsatisfactory conclusion. I've not rated a story so low since "15 Lives of Harry August". The narrator was well cast for the role, glad about that at least.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    margomyers Oklahoma 11-14-17
    margomyers Oklahoma 11-14-17 Member Since 2016
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    "A chilling cautionary tale"

    I resisted (pun intended) reading this book because I thought it was a passing phase of pop culture/literature. Apologies to the Universe and Ms. Atwood. I was immediately captivated into a fictional tale that could become a reality. I would suggest that every female on the planet read this on their journey to personal integrity and safety.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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