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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Mario 04-17-17
    Mario 04-17-17 Member Since 2006
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    58
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    "Very slow. Great last chapter"

    Struggled to stay focused with all the "Waiting for Godot" lack of development. Last chapter provided better context.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Menzel Kansas 04-16-17
    Jennifer Menzel Kansas 04-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    8
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    "Don't get the hype"

    I was very excited to get this book with everything I'd been hearing about it and the TV series coming out. It left me disappointed. Maybe because there was no closure or maybe because the story just didn't go anywhere. It just went round in circles without progression. Claire Danes did a nice job narrating though. I thought the choice of her as narrator was great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nina T. 04-16-17
    Nina T. 04-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    "Frighteningly relevant today"

    My only regret regarding this book is that it took me so long to read it. This story is terrifying in its plausibility and a reminder of what we fight for today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth 04-16-17
    Beth 04-16-17
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    2
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    "One of those rare tales..."

    The Handmaid's Tale is one of those elusive and rarest of stories in which the reader feels completely and totally immersed in, and when it comes to the conclusion, you almost find yourself lost, confused, and as if you're coming up for air, after a prolonged trip/slumber/adventure.
    So completely was I transported by Atwood's writing, and Danes reading of it, that when it was over I was at a loss for what to do next. Go purchase the book, and read it myself? No....my inner reading of the book couldn't hold a candle to Danes gifted version. Wait for the HULU show to premiere, and obsess with her it? Yes, that's a given, and April 26th can't arrive soon enough. Find a forum of other readers who love and appreciate the genius of Atwood's tale as much as I do? That sounds like the direction I'll take.....but it will surely pale, as a weak substitute to listening to her exact words and phrases. It'll have to do, I suppose.
    I'm a 37 year old woman who had never before read The Handmaid's Tale, I hadn't even heard of it before! I'm a richer, more well read and insightful person for having done so. SO, SO pertinent with today's political climate swirling around us all....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyssa 04-15-17
    Lyssa 04-15-17 Member Since 2016
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    2
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    "Overrated and disappointing"

    The characters are more developed than the story. It felt as if it were just part of a story, nothing complete, everything unfinished and I didn't find it particularly "possible" as others seem to have.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Curphy 04-14-17
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    8
    2
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    "Bleak and Dreary"

    I chose this book based on it's NYT Best Seller status but was not at all thrilled to listen to it after the first hour. The story is so bleak, dreary and void of hope that I did not enjoy it. I listened to the end, to see if the tone would change, but it remained the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 04-14-17
    Judy 04-14-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    39
    3
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    "Dark book"

    What a dark book! I kept waiting for it to get better and have some kind of a positive ending. The ending was the worst part! I can't figure out why everyone gives this such positive reviews.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LindaK 04-14-17
    LindaK 04-14-17 Member Since 2016

    My hubby, my dogs Finley & Delilah, all agree, Audible makes life better & better!!!!

    ratings
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    23
    10
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    "The Future? Lord Help Us , Not!"

    Thrilling, frightening, suspenseful, and More! I grew so attached to our narrators character, I cried as the pages kept falling away, along with the lives of the Handmaids! A story not to be missed or ignored on the Shelf!
    I truly hope it's not "futures-r-us!"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SKM Chicago 04-14-17
    SKM Chicago 04-14-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "Overrated"

    Maybe I'm just a jaded millennial , but I found this book to be very anti-climactic and overly wordy. Maybe we have read or seen too many dystopian type of stories to find the content of this book to be that interesting. Maybe it's just the current political environment that even made this relevant again recently, in the first place. It wasn't bad, I did find myself wanting to learn more, but I was disappointed that it really went nowhere. Claire Danes did a nice job narrating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 04-14-17
    Laura 04-14-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Prolific"

    Written in the 80s this is quite unnerving and not all together possible as we still struggle with protection of reproductive rights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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