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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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    14,776
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Cid
  • LAGUNA BEACH, CA, United States
  • 05-07-17

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  • A Roberts
  • Vancouver, WA United States
  • 05-04-17

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!

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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?