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The Handmaid's Tale

Series: The Handmaid's Tale, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.   

Read by Elisabeth Moss, star of the hit Channel 4 TV series. 

The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs.

Brilliantly conceived and executed, this powerful evocation of 21st-century America gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

©2011 O W Toad Ltd (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Moss embodies the lead character, Offred, perfectly and reads with grace and at an ideal pace." (Daily Mail

"This beautifully produced audiobook version of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale will whet appetites for its long-awaited sequel, The Testaments, released in September [...] The several narrators match the powerful heft of Atwood’s elegant, economical prose." (The Times)
 

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Recommended before or after season 1 of series.

While clearly there is some overlap and some of the drama is in a somewhat different order to the TV series. I think its a compelling listen before or after season 1 of the TV series.

The primary story line of the book is solely narrated by Elisabeth Moss, with the other narrators only appearing at the end outside of the main story line. I found Elisabeth Moss extraordinary. I must say at the start of the book I was a little unsure about her, I think it was the case that she did not do her best work at the beginning and normal expectations one normally has about the clearer diction typical of most professional narrators. As my expectations washed away I found myself truly amazed by the performance the way the emotion of the character was conveyed was amazing.

I found the book was able to fill in various gaps in the TV series and carried far more impact on me than season 1 of the TV series, not to say I did not find the TV series fantastic as well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A very well written story

After having watched the series, I wanted to listen to the book to see how different they were. I was not disappointed, such a compelling novel, I listened every spare moment that I got, longing for long car rides to be able to listen for extended periods of time.

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enjoyable, slightly confusing

I found this story intriguing but confusing. The narration was excellent. All in all I enjoyed it.

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Engancha

Estupendo. La voz te mete a fondo en la historia, que es impresionante. Te hace incluso pensar en sociedades donde hay grupos no tan lejos de como viven en esta distopia

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Really good, especially if you like the show

absolutely loved it, the narration was great, and the story fantastic
would definitely recommend <3

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  • Andre Gibson
  • 08-24-19

Brilliant & engaging from start to finish.

Bought to life by the faultless narration of Elizabeth Moss, far more enjoyable than reading the book.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Burcu ANIL
  • 07-24-19

A great pleasure to listen to

Not having seen the series on TV but having watched Elizabeth Moss in Mad Men I thought she would be good to listen to. I read Atwood before and liked her style. This audio book has exceeded my expectations to an extent I didn't think was possible. Atwood's use of language is mesmerising. And listening to Moss read it was like watching to a top quality play. The story? Amazing. Highly recommend it to anyone who wants to really think about the times we live in.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 10-03-19

A Grim Tale Indeed

As there has naturally been so much excitement over the long-awaited sequel to this book I thought that it was nigh on time that I gave it a try. First up, I can see why it did and indeed continues to fascinate so many people. Atwood's portrayal of a brutally oppressive patriarchal society is as chilling and grim as they come. While I may indulge myself with the odd zombie apocalypse it's undoubtedly true that the only ingredient you really need to create a dystopian future is the human race.

Attwood creates a fine sense of paranoia and suffocating oppression. This is a quite unrelentingly grim and claustrophobic tale of one woman's bravery in a society totally dominated by men. Atwood gradually reveals a chillingly banal process of culture being subverted into oppression, it doesn't take much to penetrate the veneer of civilisation.

It's a thought-provoking book. Personally I never thought it quite lived up to all of the hype that's surrounded it recently. The constant hankering back to previous times and need to assign wistful memories to so many everyday events was just a little overdone I thought.

Still, it's a good, if pretty grim, read and a very thought-provoking book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • David W.
  • 05-20-19

truly fantastic

I've struggled with audio versions of this book before by the original English narrator and Claire Danes. This version is by far superior. The book was written in 1985 however it could well have been yesterday and should be on the syllabus of any school. definitely worth a audible credit and now I'm eagerly looking forward to The Testaments.

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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  • Azzz
  • 05-29-19

Fantastic

Absolutely loved this dark and beautiful book. Elizabeth Moss’s performance is seamless. It is the best book I have listened to so far.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Milly
  • 06-20-19

Can't get enough!

The Handmaid's Tale is one of the best books / tv shows to ever happen. The book / audiobook is excellent I just wish there were more

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Grovesy
  • 10-03-19

Perfect

loved every minute! beautiful, thought-provoking prose and captivating narration. elizabeth moss is, of course, on point. highly recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma
  • 10-01-19

Absolutely Incredible

Such an amazing story! I normally read quite trashy fiction and this has been such a breath of fresh air. The story is brought to life by Moss, who had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I was truly addicted to this book and feel so sad that it’s finished!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Peacock
  • 10-01-19

too close for comfort

I listened to this over a few days while decorating! kept having to pause painting to listen intently. Really good narrator. I dipped in
to the tv series but I couldn't engage with it so was unsure about this book, but it's been really enjoyable - if that's the right word!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-08-19

5 star loving it

loved it got through it in less then a week, was also reading along too.happy that it's read by the woman who plays offred in the series. her voice relaxes me

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • 07-17-19

Excellent!

An enthralling story . it captures the imagination and delivers a few shocks. Many human conditions are examined. the narration was excellent, too

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-15-19

Feels like it moves slower than the tv series

I know it's meant to be a story of difficulty, but it's always so detailed and everything described is compared to something else. Too much detail and it becomes grueling by the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony
  • 10-09-19

Beautifully read

I have read this before and watched the TV series,but Elisabeth Moss makes the story seem fresh and new.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-09-19

Must read

Elisabeth Moss was the perfect choice for narrator. She made me feel like I was there.

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  • Louise
  • 09-30-19

Loved it.

Have watched the show off and on but love the way the book has expanded my view of Offred and managed to somehow have been covered over 3 seasons. Twists and turns that seem out of place In the book but aren’t as the book is the beginning. Love it.

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  • Rachel
  • 09-22-19

Interesting story, poor audio quality

The voice actor whispers for a ridiculous amount of this book. Even on max volume this made it very difficult to work out what she was saying in noisy environments, then nearly bursts your eardrums when she speaks normally. I've listened to hundreds of hours of audiobooks from audible and never had this problem. If the sequel and TV show weren't out I would have returned this book for sure.

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  • Catherine
  • 09-21-19

Wow

Thought provoking, disturbing intriguing captivating
Strong story leaves you stunned in question and asking questions

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  • A Andrew
  • 09-20-19

Elisabeth Moss is fantastic

Love Moss’s voice - it’s enrapturing and so suited to the story. The story is also incredible - great listen!

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  • rhewi
  • 09-03-19

Great tale and narration

I had already seen and loved the TV show but this didn’t spoil the story for me. Moss’s reprisal of the role in this form was spot on. Her familiar portrayal of ofred was exceptional and made it very easy to listen to. There are some key differences in the plot from the show but this made me appreciate both forms more. Atwood’s bleak portrayal of a totalitarian regime is filled with suspense and the show is a great update.

Would highly recommend this audio edition for those who have seen and loved the show.

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Profile Image for Eduardo Salgado
  • Eduardo Salgado
  • 09-01-19

Excelente story,.

So perfectly read by Elizabeth Moss, she really gets you into the book.
Can't wait to get more books