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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.

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

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Performance
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  •  
    Shan Shan 05-24-17
    Shan Shan 05-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "Bland Listen"
    Would you be willing to try another one of Claire Danes’s performances?

    No, never


    Any additional comments?

    The performance was so dry and over articulated, it sounded like she was an unintelligent character which is the opposite of what the character is. It's supposed to highlight that intelligent women are being forced into breeding, but she sounded like she's not intelligent enough to do anything else. I was excited to listen to this story because of the current political climate and the show, but it was really hard to get through. Definitely do not recommend listening if you have the option to read it yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keshia 05-24-17
    Keshia 05-24-17 Member Since 2017
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    8
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    "The comparison to reality is scary."

    With most dystopian novels, the author's purpose is to make you compare the words on the page with the world around you. Atwood is no different. Her words were bone chilling and shocking. Claire Danes as narrator was perfection. I didn't want to stop listening to this book. I appreciated the kind of wake up call Atwood is giving in the fact that she says in the book that characters did nothing when they suspended the constitution and instituted martial law. They did nothing until it was too late. I love this book and will recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua 05-22-17
    Joshua 05-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "Great Story!!"

    Great character development. Interesting story with engaging dialogue. I was hooked immediately and recommend to all Audible subscribers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret 05-22-17
    Margaret 05-22-17 Member Since 2010
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    "A throbbing, visceral masterpiece"

    I read this book in the 80's, when all emerging feminists stopped shaving their legs, read Atwood, and marched in Take Back the Night Marches. This book, perfect for our times, reminds us that . . . women are still pretty much in the same boat and that we need to reawaken the movement.

    What we don't talk about enough in relation to the Handmaid's Tale is how damn good it is. It is a literary masterpiece, where every word counts, where understatement and minimialsm balance lush carnality. The violence that brought Gilead into being and keeps the women prisoner all happens off the page - the suspense is driven by a bath, a polaroid, a code word. In a world where the sensual is denied, Atwood's multi-dimensional diction and careful poet's economy of words creates a throbbing, visceral universe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    "perfection!"

    I totally enjoyed this! Read magnificently! Left me longing for more. Simple​ perfection and a deep story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-22-17 Member Since 2017
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    "brilliant and terrifyingly relevant"

    highly recommended! was hard to put it down, Margaret Atwood is amazing and so poetic

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine 05-21-17
    Katherine 05-21-17
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    "One of the best books ever written"
    Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

    Absolutely. I read this once about 15 years ago and then listened to the book during a cross-country drive and I was awed by it both times. The story is haunting enough that I think it's worth re-reading periodically in any format but Claire Danes also did a sensational job with the narration so I'd be happy to listen to it again.


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    She delivers her lines beautifully. She gives emotion to the performance but keeps it restrained which is in keeping with the book itself.


    Any additional comments?

    This is quite possibly the best dystopian fiction I have ever read. It's criminally under-read. The story is haunting and (especially now) timely. For my money, I'd have this taught in schools over 1984 or Brave New World (both great, don't get me wrong) any day of the week. Everyone should read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 05-21-17 Member Since 2013
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    "I like stories with endings."

    it's an interesting story with an interesting method of story telling, but I like stories to have endings. so, I can't recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    daysb4tomorrow 05-20-17 Member Since 2010
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    75
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    "Clares Danes Makes this Even Better"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. The story is frighteningly current. The narration is awesome.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The dystopia felt realistic and made it read like a horror novel. Compelling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber Bostick 05-20-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Phenomenal story, beyond amazing narration!"

    The story was so heartbreaking and at times darkly hilarious. Danes did a wonderful job narrating the story. She was able to beautifully capture every scene, emotion, interjection and character perfectly. It really feels like each speaking character is different and individual, especially the Aunts and Moira. I would highly recommend this story and audio book to anyone who is fascinated with dystopians, especially ones seen through the lens of the older period they were written in (in this case, the 80's), and anyone who enjoys an amazingly well written, and well spoken story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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