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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Claire Danes -Worst Performance in Audible History

How could the performance have been better?

Claire Danes reading of this book was TERRIBLE. She has absolutely NO emotion or affect in her voice. It was perhaps the most bland reading of any book ever. It almost sounded like a robot read the book. It made a great story very hard to listen to. If there is another version out there, I would recommend that version over this one. This was a truly disappointing and terrible reading.

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So well written!

If you have any appreciation for well thought out language then this book will leave you in awe. The story was great but the way in which it was told was spectacular.

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  • KD
  • 09-20-17

Great

Narration was great. I was completely drawn in to the story. I will probably listen to it again.

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Four years after first listen, it still haunts me

I listen to a lot of audio books (my library is over 250 books) but I don't believe I've ever written a review. After the attention of the Oscars, I've got to give my opinion. Among all the books I have 'read' this book stands out as the most memorable - most notably for the narration. Claire Daines' narration is spectacular! The 'flat' aspect of her narration is unexpected and perfect - I'd call it brilliant. The Hulu mini series is great, but this is much more satisfying at the end.

  • Overall

Book sucks

Really difficult to understand why this book is so popular and produced into a television series. Story is pointless.

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Storytelling at its finest, read well to match

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

In almost every case, yes. It's a hard story to listen to at times, but it can be a compelling and thought provoking story.

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

There's too many moments to choose, and many of them would be spoilers that I'd hate to give away!

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

This is quite possibly the best reading of a novel I have listened to yet. Claire Danes manages to give enough depth and importance and measure to each part of the story, and even individual characters, in such a natural way that it doesn't ever distract from the story, nor did it ever feel robotic. I loved how sometimes she read it in a slightly different tone than I might have interpreted it, giving me even more to think about in an already compelling and thought provoking take.

If you could take any character from The Handmaid's Tale out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Ofglen. If I could kick Offred in her red-clad tush for not taking better advantage of an alliance like that, I would. It would be fascinating to know some of her intel.

Any additional comments?

There's definitely some triggering parts of this story in here that could be traumatizing to some, but I feel like it's well worth checking out!

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Not what I expectef

I just kept expecting more, I guess. Narration was excellent and, at times, the only reason I kept going. Just not enough drama for me.

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Struggled

Had to start this book twice but once I started really listening could'nt stop! Thourly enjoyed this book. Loved the narrator.

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excellent book. excellent performance. scary story

Found this book to be thought -provoking. A bit scary.
Excellent writing
and performance.
Different from TV SERIES,but just as good.

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I wanted to like this more

I will start by saying that Claire Danes did a fabulous job of narrating this story. Her performance felt like an accurate depiction of the diary of a handmaid in a damaged society.

The story itself was well thought out and drew many concerning parallels to our society today.

However, I could not get past Margaret Atwood's dry writing style and struggled to get through this book in entirety. While I did listen because I wanted to hear the end of the story, I would hardly say it was enjoyable.