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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

4.4 (18528 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lady Bird 05-05-17
    Lady Bird 05-05-17

    Jo

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
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    20
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    A Roberts Vancouver, WA United States 05-04-17
    A Roberts Vancouver, WA United States 05-04-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    6
    2
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    0
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    "Depressing"

    The book is well written, but aside from providing an appropriately dire warning for our present political situation, it is pointless and lacks progression. It is also very depressing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie 05-04-17
    Angie 05-04-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Bummed"

    Clair Danes was awesome at this- but I hated the story. I kept waiting for something better. More excitement. It reminded me a bit of memoirs of a geisha except not as interesting. I really wanted to like it but it left me with an empty hole. Maybe the Hulu series will be better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber 05-04-17
    Amber 05-04-17 Member Since 2016
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    9
    1
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    "Not sure if performer or script ?"

    Was hard to listen to and stay focused. Words were too choppy; script or performer?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen K C CT United States 05-04-17
    Ellen K C CT United States 05-04-17 Member Since 2017
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    1
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    "Claire Danes is Perfect"

    Claire Danes is the perfect voice for this Handmaid's tale. She subtly makes shifts between the characters and once I started I couldn't stop listening.

    The novel itself is an important read for everyone. It raises so many questions and important topics from how we view the sexes, the female body and its purpose, the rights of an individual, and how we view sex--the act itself and procreation. This dystopian novel will become a great study for college classes and book clubs. I give only 4 stars for the story, because I'm not crazy about the ending. Overall, a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micheal Fonda 05-03-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    3
    1
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    "I feel I am listening to this at a pivotal time."

    This is a truly powerful book. I came across this at exactly the right moment. It makes you think.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashley Black 05-02-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
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    13
    1
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    Story
    "BORING"

    I waited for something to happen and it never did. The story line had so much potential but it was written poorly and left me struggling to get through it. Way too much time spent on stupid metaphors and vague thoughts about life, not enough time spent on anything remotely exciting happening. It had no build up or climax and was boring until the last word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pippa 05-02-17
    Pippa 05-02-17 Member Since 2011
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    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It just drags on"

    I don't really understand why people love this story. The main character doesn't *do* anything. She just suffers through. I found the ending, or lack thereof, the perfectly irritating end to a book I wish I hadnt started

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda A. Murray Jackson, Tennessee 05-02-17
    Rhonda A. Murray Jackson, Tennessee 05-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    "AMAZING BOOK!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Handmaid's Tale to be better than the print version?

    This book was an amazing piece of literature. It dug into some of the dark places of human nature and the 'what if' type questions.
    I have been forever changed after reading this book.
    Thank you.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah M. Lennox Seattle Univerisity 05-02-17
    Sarah M. Lennox Seattle Univerisity 05-02-17 Member Since 2012

    Sarah

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    58
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrifying Modern"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Handmaid's Tale to be better than the print version?

    Yes, as this book is essentially a first person account of "history" Claire Dane's voice gives it life and really rounds out the experience.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Atwood builds a very robust decline for her society, and tells the story of the transition which is rarely heard in Distopian fiction.


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

    Danes' pacing is brilliant - her speed and inflection fill the first person narrative with body making it a rich experience.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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