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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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  •  
    Kris 05-08-17
    Kris 05-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "My review"

    I had a hard time getting into the story. I also didn't feel much of an emotional attachment to the characters. it was an interesting concept, and had potential to be an excellent story but for me it fell short. I was also very discouraged by the ending. I felt like I was left hanging.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jennifer L. Gregg 05-08-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Worth reading! Received it with joy."

    Great story. Fantastic narration!
    I read it along with watching the television series. I would have liked more character development in the book. I am hoping for a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    calscigal 05-08-17
    calscigal 05-08-17 Member Since 2016
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    "started to follow trends, but couldn't put it down"

    I started reading this because it's been so trendy, but I couldn't wait to keep going everytime I had to stop. it's not only a compelling story but really well written. the narration is good as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cid LAGUNA BEACH, CA, United States 05-07-17
    Cid LAGUNA BEACH, CA, United States 05-07-17 Member Since 2002
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    "Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmm"
    Would you be willing to try another one of Claire Danes’s performances?

    I wouldn't listen to an audio book just because Claire Dane's was the narrator - that is for sure. I found her reading to be incredibly wooden and at times almost monotone. I'm scratching my head wondering why she got such rave reviews? On the other hand, there are some narrators that are so grating to listen to, you can't get through the book, and this was not the case... so ho hum on the narration.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.


    Any additional comments?

    While government control in America is not at all far fetched (it's already well on its way under the guise of homeland security, mandatory health insurance, etc.), I found the direction this story took to be rather far fetched. Too many avenues seemed to be hinted at but not developed, and the extremist Christian / religious element with it's oppression and enslavement of women was unoriginal and depressing (nothing new there). I would have thought the author could have come up with something that wasn't based on historical and current precedent when writing about what happens in the future. I got through the story, but was neither entertained nor inspired by it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    margaret Gomez 05-07-17 Member Since 2017
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    "I recommend this book."

    This book was great! Great narration, storyline and pacing. I will definitely listen to one of this narrator's books

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Carrie Eason 05-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Riveting"

    I just could not stop listening.
    Danes weaves in and out of the differing time periods with clarity and ease. Chillingly appropriate for today's time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trine Malde 05-06-17
    Trine Malde 05-06-17 Member Since 2016
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    "So interesting and riveting"

    Possibly better to read than listen, as the main character often goes on a mind wandering thought train, using beautiful language which is hard to follow when you only listen. Regardless this is a caltivating and important piece of work which leaves you wanting more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Erin McCaffrey 05-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Captivating and not just a little frightening"

    This story, though written more than 30 years ago, is a cautionary tale for today's American society.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda 05-05-17
    Linda 05-05-17
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    "Interesting Read"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Handmaid's Tale to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I love audio because I can listen while doing other things!


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

    Can't think of any


    What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

    Kept my mind wondering what might happen next & who would betray who!


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

    No idea. I liked the title as it is.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lady Bird 05-05-17
    Lady Bird 05-05-17

    Jo

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    "A little bit of a let down"

    The story is good right up to the end which is awful, so go into this book with low expectations. There is no resolution or happy ending, just a lame rushed wrap up.

    Claire Danes does an ok job, it feels like she is just reading you the story instead of acting it. There are no differences in the characters voices which I get because it's suppose to be told only from Offred's point of view but it makes it a little boring.

    I'm looking forward to the Hulu series because I think they will be able to breathe some actual heart into the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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