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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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    14,471
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    2,421
  • 2 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Dean
  • Fargo, ND
  • 04-27-17

Very good!

Very unique and compelling, very well narrated, just an all around good experience, I'd recommend to anyone.

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My Take

On chapter 6 Enjoying listening to Claire's voice and the storyline so far Should be a good movie I imagine this is what it is like for women of strict Islam households not being allowed to show their faces or parts of their bodies in public I don't know of course because it is not my culture but I imagine it is so Anyway interesting read or should I say hear. Peace and love Out

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Don't fall for the hype of the upcoming series

I would say this is not a bad book. Long, yes. Bad, no. Could skip a couple chapters and not miss much. Kind of a dead end story as I can't imagine a society acting like this when there is an better medical/science way to handle the problem.

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terrifying and prescient.

What made the experience of listening to The Handmaid's Tale the most enjoyable?

the reader's ease in articulating the chilling story.

What other book might you compare The Handmaid's Tale to and why?

the giver quartet by lois lowry, both approach dystopia from a similar perspective.

What about Claire Danes’s performance did you like?

loved her voice and her precise diction.

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Wow!

This novel frightened me and excited me all at the same time. I listened while I was driving home from Florida. I found myself screaming and covering my ears while I was driving...not good...but the novel is so spell-binding. There's the element of "this could easily happen". I'm not an alarmist, but one catastrophe and we may be there. If you don't wish to read it or listen to it, at least try to see it on Hulu (though I don't know how television can capture the richness of Atwood's writing.).

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Slow and convoluted.

Could be it's a better story read than listened too. I forced myself to continue to the end because it is considered a classic novel and I figured it would get more interesting. It did, but not gripping and took almost 20 chapters. I may return it.

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Sad

This book was distasteful to me, it was crude and very graphic. The writing was flowery in parts and then stark, I didn't care for it.

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forget this one

worst book I ever heard, narrator was really boring, story was a mess. hated it.

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Only if you dislike Christians and men...

Clearly this writer is capable but she had such an axe to grind that you can't escape it. I listened all the way through trying to understand how this dystopian world happened but the details are really hard to come by. If you're convinced fundamentalist Christians are all evil hypocrites and all men are two dimensional sex fiends, you might find a voice in this book. Otherwise, don't bother. Questions for the author: how did the Gideons take over? What was the radiation that sterilized so many women? Why weren't the fertile women valued and cherished? Why were they only available to the elite for marginal repopulation ability? How did they have enough people to continue their war? Why did the disaster only happen to white people? How big an area was held by the Gideon's? And on and on...

  • Overall

Book club book

This is not a book that I would have picked for my self to read. I read it with my book club. I found it a bit boring.