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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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    14,476
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    6,163
  • 3 Stars
    2,422
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    669
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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    1,284
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    244

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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. <br/>I have been forever changed after reading this book. <br/>Thank you.<br/><br/>

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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.

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booring

if you want to hear how bad a woman feels for 47 long long chapters listen to this booting book. not a book for men oh did I sat booring.

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A wonderfullycreative novel, incredible narration!

A great story but I cannot imagine it this good had it not been performed by Claire Danes, who by the way stars in the powerful political drama Homeland.