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The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition Audiobook

The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition

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Publisher's Summary

"Are there any questions?" The final line in Margaret Atwood's modern classic, The Handmaid's Tale, has teased and perplexed fans since the book's original release more than 30 years ago. Now, in this Audible Original production, listeners get some of the answers they've waited so long to hear.

Featuring an all-new interview with Professor Piexoto, written by Atwood and performed by a full cast, The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition is a must-listen for both fans and newcomers alike. Emmy Award winner Claire Danes (Homeland, Temple Grandin) gives a stirring performance of this classic in speculative fiction, where the message (and the warning) is now more timely than ever. In addition to rich sound design that honors the audio origins of Atwood's classic, the special edition also includes a brand-new afterword from the author and an essay written by author Valerie Martin (Mary Reilly, Property).

After a violent coup in the United States overthrows the Constitution and ushers in a new government regime, the Republic of Gilead imposes subservient roles on all women. Offred, now a Handmaid tasked with the singular role of procreation in the childless 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 everything, even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life for mere glimpses of her former freedom, and records her story for future listeners.

Whether you're a fan of the original novel or someone who has recently discovered it, The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition will shock, impress, and satisfy all those who listen.

The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition features performances by Claire Danes, Margaret Atwood, Emily Bauer, Allyson Johnson, Gabra Zackman, Suzanne Toren, Tim Gerard Reynolds, Jennifer Van Dyck, Ray Porter, Emily Cox, Lauren Fortgang, Dan Reiss, Prentice Onayemi, Therese Plummer, and Mark Boyett.

©1985 O.W. Toad, Ltd. First American Edition 1986. Published by special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Thanks to Audible, you can now pick up a new Special Edition of The Handmaid's Tale to get caught up to speed on the story of Offred, brought to life in this audiobook version by none other than Claire Danes. (Suddenly our heads are spinning with crossover potential.) Aside from the impressive voice acting alone, this audio update also contains new scenes that actually extend the story beyond the original last line of the novel." (Nerdist)

"This highly pertinent, ingeniously conceived production deepens the original work and even surpasses it." (The Washington Post)

"Danes has a calm, still voice that perfectly suits the protagonist.... So what is 'special' and new about this edition? Most of it has to do with material at the end of the book. Previous readers of the book will know that there is an afterword set centuries after the events told in the rest of the novel; it takes the form of an academic lecture that describes finding Offred's story. She never wrote it down; rather, she recorded it over a bunch of music cassette tapes. This edition actually begins each section of the novel with the sound of a 'record' button being pressed and a snatch of music referred to in the epilogue. In a sense, this makes listening to the audiobook a more authentic experience than reading it.... While the Hulu show has its points, what it lacks is the sheer poetry of Atwood's writing, which is profoundly and gorgeously highlighted by the experience of listening to the novel. Absolutely recommended." (Locus magazine)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    KELLI CONNOLLY 10-23-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Stick with it"

    To understand this book you need to get to the end. It was written in 1984 which falls in line with Orville, and other "futuristic" novel. What is scary is the parrells in today's society with that of this make belive word! It is one that you need to concentrate on and can be difficult to follow, but the end wraps it together and answer some questions even the answer to the music before each chapter. This is one of the must reads along with 1984 and other dystrophian novels we are heading to closely down the same path that seemed fat fetched when it was written!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Skinner 10-22-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Timely right now although written in 1984"

    Amazing story which is especially prescient given the current divisiveness in American society! I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Definitely a must read!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia Little Rock, AR, United States 10-22-17
    Georgia Little Rock, AR, United States 10-22-17 Member Since 2012
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    "I can't finish it ..."

    I'm half way through this and still have NO IDEA what is going on ... why any of what is going on is going on and I'm just not willing to finish this. I do know that if you should buy this book, don't bother with the Special Edition ... Again, I have no idea what that noise is before each chapter, a record dropping in a jukebox? But it's just a distraction and has offered nothing to the book ... unfortunately ... a better name for this book could be The Twilight Zone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nance plymouth,Ma 10-21-17
    nance plymouth,Ma 10-21-17
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    "still great"

    I read this many years ago and loved it..but with the climate of sexual abuse today it warranted another read..I was not disappointed...being older and more experienced I saw a new version of the book..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-20-17
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    "Compelling with complex layers"

    The Afterward and Essay are essential; listen to them. This book is ranked among my top 10 must reads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Austin Fan Armadale, Western Australia 10-20-17
    Jane Austin Fan Armadale, Western Australia 10-20-17 Member Since 2015
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    "As good as the first time I read the book"

    I read this book when it was originally published in 1984 when I was in high school. I enjoyed it then and loved re-visiting it now as an audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vanploegn 10-19-17
    Vanploegn 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "1984 for the ladies"

    the first half is a real struggle. awful writing style (in my opinion) and the narrator was flat and choppy. I had to take a lot of breaks you get through it. the second half the style changes ever so slightly, narration is still rough, but I had gotten used to it. I was disappointed in these aspects because I had such high hopes for this book. overall though it's still pretty good, with scary accurate foreshadowing. hopefully real life never goes quite as far though. even though I personally struggled with the writing style and the narration I still recommend that everybody reads/listens to this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jillian 10-19-17
    Jillian 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "master piece "

    utter perfection all around. highly recommend. the hype is true and more than substantiated in the text and performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carlos I. Gomez El Paso, Tx 10-19-17
    Carlos I. Gomez El Paso, Tx 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "great story"

    I enjoyed this book, except maybe the ending. like, what's going to happen? Did Atwood have a second book? Lots of questions still left unanswered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    N. Hawryluk 10-18-17
    N. Hawryluk 10-18-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Good Framework for Dystopian Sci-Fi Universe"

    Good framework for a dystopian sci-fi universe, but the story that takes place within isn't the strongest. Narrative problems exacerbated by fictional anthropological symposium at the end, which is just a thinly-veiled way for the author to make sure we understood all her clever ideas. Danes does a good job as narrator. Guy narrating symposium is insufferable, though that may just be the writing. [AUDIBLE]

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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