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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

4.4 (23081 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sara 09-10-17
    Sara 09-10-17
    RATINGS
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    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "I wanted to like this more"

    I will start by saying that Claire Danes did a fabulous job of narrating this story. Her performance felt like an accurate depiction of the diary of a handmaid in a damaged society.

    The story itself was well thought out and drew many concerning parallels to our society today.

    However, I could not get past Margaret Atwood's dry writing style and struggled to get through this book in entirety. While I did listen because I wanted to hear the end of the story, I would hardly say it was enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared Leute 09-08-17
    Jared Leute 09-08-17 Member Since 2012
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    18
    1
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    "fabulous book! enjoyed the narrations as well."

    I would highly recommend this book, a little too close to home during these times.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AudioBookLover Greenbay 09-07-17
    AudioBookLover Greenbay 09-07-17
    RATINGS
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    101
    9
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    "The Handmaid's Epic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Handmaid's Tale to be better than the print version?

    It was entertaining to hear after reading the book many years ago.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The characters, I guess.


    Which character – as performed by Claire Danes – was your favorite?

    The main character, I guess.


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

    The main character, again... I guess.


    Any additional comments?

    This tale is amazing, chilling, but amazing, I guess. Atwood has a canny ability to insert the very basics of human nature into the most extreme and horrifying of environments, which is what makes this book believable. The country is overtaken by a group of religious fanatics and the world as we know it is mutated to a dystopian hell.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Celina Rubio 09-06-17
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    2
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    "Interestingly written"

    The fact that the setting was something that could happen was unsettling. It's relatable to many situations going on now that maybe the government would implore to take control over. So it's something that gets you thinking, what would I do in these situations, it was a view into someone that was basically just doing what she needed to do. Claire Danes was awesome, I liked how she did the characters.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lara 09-05-17
    Lara 09-05-17
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    48
    3
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    "Not for everyone"

    Chose the book because of all the high reviews. Very disappointed. While Claire Danes did a great job narrating, the story was just a modern day tale of an old story. Had to force myself to finish it only to be disappointed with the ending.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kellyn B. 09-01-17
    Kellyn B. 09-01-17 Member Since 2017
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    1
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    "Tension"

    I am glad the show has taken it upon itself to fill in the illusory gaps of these characters. I listened to this novel after watching the show so I could compare the two. As an academic source about history this is incredibly insightful for women of American culture. I understood what Atwood was trying to do by building up tension right up to the end of the story and then letting us the reader try to imagine what would have happened to Offred and the cast. However I thought the book would have benefitted a great deal more from being fully fleshed out. The book reminds me of a historian's expression of the Holocaust where to assign any me meaning to such suffering is to justify it's happening. I felt that Atwood wanted us to feel the absolute bleakness and trauma of Offred's imprisonment. She wanted us to feel like it is us who is the handmaid with no foreseeable way out. To vicariously live his existence is a safe version of living speculative future. I give the story 4 stars because I wanted Atwood to deliver on all that tension she built up for us rather than leaving it in obscurity. I could obtain critical thought without drawing conclusions about Offred myself. Thank you for a wonderful read.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Parkville, MD, United States 08-29-17
    Jennifer Parkville, MD, United States 08-29-17 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Timely read"

    Intriguing and hard to read, all at once. A worthwhile listen. Claire Danes did a great job.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Enthusiast Jackson, MI USA 08-28-17
    Amazon Enthusiast Jackson, MI USA 08-28-17
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    1
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    "Truly Engaging"

    However it is infinitely frustrating. It leaves more questions than answers. I wish there were a follow up.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel 08-28-17
    Rachel 08-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "loved this hauntingly really book"

    Realistically scary to how politics and women's reproductive rights are moving today. loved this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Avery 08-28-17
    Dana Avery 08-28-17 Member Since 2017
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    5
    1
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    "Very depressed when I finally got through it."

    Sad sad sad sad sad. Not understanding how it was even published.

    Much to make a tv show?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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