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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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    15,135
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    6,388
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    2,522
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    689
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    16,867
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    1,334
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    586
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Had to listen once I saw the premiere of the show

Once I watched the first episode of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu, I had to find out how the story progressed. I very much enjoyed this.

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Fabulous and timely!

I watched the show on Hulu & the book follows it fairly closely. Clair Danes reading is fabulous. You will not be disappointed. The author's descriptions are so vivid you feel her inner thoughts. This book was excellent!

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Scary how quickly this could become true.

Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

i will, after I recover. for me, it was terrifying. I can see this happening.

Who was your favorite character and why?

the main character. the only character.

Have you listened to any of Claire Danes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

not listened to any, yet.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

I have no clue

Any additional comments?

I am still confused about a lot of things in this book, altho the " professor" at the end helped tremendously.

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disappointed after show

new show better than book in my opinion. disappointed it didn't go longer and explain where she went.

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WHAT IS THE BIZARRE POINT?

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

No, at the end I just felt empty and wondered what the objective was of this story that just fell flat.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I keep waiting on something to twist or turn and it never really did master a complete story.

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

Offred

Do you think The Handmaid's Tale needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Definitely not. Where would it go - more of the same mundane actions?

Any additional comments?

I don't usually write reviews but the bizarre context of this story makes you wonder where some authors get their story lines. I prefer a read that leaves you with an ending albeit sad or happy. I just did not get the point of this book at all.

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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.