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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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Performance

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Story

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Excellent book

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

Though written quite awhile ago, this story is as timely today as it was when written. An exceptionally well-written and well-narrated book.

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A fantastic piece of literature. Please read it.

One of the best works I've been fortunate to enjoy of late. I may have to read it now.

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Relevant and well performed

What did you love best about The Handmaid's Tale?

The reader made me feel the emotion of the story - and emotionless parts as well. The story really left me wanting more and made me excited for the mini series coming up on Hulu!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Handmaid's Tale?

I found the heroines ability to change her memory to make it a more palatable past fascinating.

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

No - but I certainly will.

Who was the most memorable character of The Handmaid's Tale and why?

Moira - because she found creative ways to rebel and never gave in to the brainwashing.

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Terribly sad

If you're already feeling a bit low, this book may not help. But it's an excellent read and I suggest it all the same. In a word, Powerful.

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A must read!

This book really resonated with me. I throughly enjoyed it and could hardly put it down.

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A terrifying, timeless, educational classic.

I hadn't read this book since high school, and rereading it - especially in these harrowing political times - refreshed my memory of its not-altogether-implausible details in a very real way.

Focus especially on chapter 28. It doesn't sound too difficult, does it? Totalitarian take over of a government by a crazed right-wing minority? A little violence, then takeover of the American banking system, made easy by our reliance on virtual money? You don't even have to be a doomsday prepper for that particular chapter to make you queasy.

Every American should be encouraged to read this book. NOW.

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Great Potential, But Fell Short.

The plot synopsis makes this sound like a taught thriller-like read. Witht the recent political climate, one can see how these types of regimes can form; though perhaps not to this extreme. I was hoping for a tense read. intrigue, psychological webs, etc. Perhaps the Hulu series trailer amped me up. But the story is mundane. The character isn't likeable, though some may say she is admirable for her own acts of resistance, which are few and frail. The writing was laborious and repetative; overly descriptive. I haven't read any other of the author's work, so perhaps it was a character trait coming through i the writing. The most interesting chapters where the last few. The last one (a postscript type of narrative) making the whole previous tale more interesting.
Claire Danes was not a good choice, her voice lacks variety. she was dull to listen to, but the character was dull herself, so perhaps that was purposeful. in which case, good choice. I'm hoping the Hulu series is better.

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Clair Danes really brought Ofred to life!!

This is by far one of the best books I've ever listened to. Highly recommend. Honestly, I wanted to read it before the Hulu show comes out. I saw a promo and I'd never heard of it before. This should have been something I read in high school or college. Truly one of the most captivating and spell binding stories ever. Loved it and want to explore more of Margaret's books!

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Loved this

Wonderfully written. Thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. And fantastic narration! Claire Dane was fantastic and have great depth to each subject.

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Really good also really creepy

This is a different kind of dystopian future from the classic ones like 1984 and Brave New World. It reminds me of these two but also it is a flipped version from a woman's perspective. Also the circumstances of the dystopia are eerily close to current realities.