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The Handmaid's Tale Audiobook

The Handmaid's Tale

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Publisher's Summary

In a remarkably prescient account of a dystopian society, this is Margaret Atwood's chilling tale of one woman's experience of an oppressive regime and the claustrophobic niche it insists she occupy.

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….

©2011 Margaret Atwood (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2138 )
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4.4 (1888 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Caitriona Canterbury, United Kingdom 24/12/2012
    Caitriona Canterbury, United Kingdom 24/12/2012 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "A great book to listen to :)"

    Honestly this has been the best novel I've listened to so far on audible. I know some others have found the narrator didn't fit, and I must admit that I myself had to get used to her voice. But overall she narrated it beautifully. The storyline itself is very interesting and well-written. However, it does sometimes get confusing, as it jumps into flashbacks and flashforwards and becomes a bit difficult to keep track.

    This is an excellent book and I can see myself listening to it again in the near future.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raison BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom 10/11/2013
    Raison BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom 10/11/2013 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
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    "A favourite"

    This was always one of my favorites from a young age. Listening to it was an absolute pleasure and took me back to the time when i first discovered this book.

    Margaret Atwood's vision of this male dominated society in which women are segmented into their different roles for 'the good of whole' draws you in and doesn't let you go until the very end.

    It hauntingly reflects attitudes that unfortunately exist in some cultures in our world today and makes you take a closer look at society in general.

    I know this is a book i will listen to over and over again.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lydia 05/05/2017
    lydia 05/05/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Good story, would be easier on paper"

    The story was fascinating and the performance was very good, but it is a book that is more suited to being read then listened to.

    It is one of those books where you find your self stopping, whilst reading, to think about what they've just written, something which you don't give your self time for when listening. This means the book runs ahead of you while you are still mulling it over, and I had to rewind parts because I had been to focused on the last part.

    All in all I would recommend the story but would urge you to read a physical copy.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F Gibb Dumfries 27/06/2015
    F Gibb Dumfries 27/06/2015 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
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    "Expertly written distopian fantasy... Or is it?"

    It IS expertly written. Beautifully crafted, as if each word has been considered carefully, then checked for size, sound, cadence, and context, before being painstakingly positioned onto the page. Yet it has a lightness and freshness that such elegantly written pieces often lack. It has passages as lush and luxuriant as a bath full of feathers; and others that cut into you like a dagger.It truly is a masterpiece.
    And it IS dystopian. My God it's dystopian! It is hard to digest some of the images that the book conjures, such is the disgust, revulsion, empathy, pathos, helplessness and complete hopelessness that it instills. The amazing storytelling of Margaret Atwood, make you feel that you are there. This book will be alive in my consciousness for as long as I live. I have been rocked to the core by it.

    So why the "Or is it?"?

    Well, without giving the game away, I felt as if I was being transported to a caricature of the 'now' world of ISIS/IS, or the extremes of Taliban Afghanistan. This did feel like dystopian fantasy, but with the caveat that it is a dystopia that is not far off what is happening to some people in our world now. That it captures our world of the 21st century, when it was written in 1985 shows the genius that Margaret Atwood is.

    Brilliantly read too!

    21 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sora UK 01/03/2015
    sora UK 01/03/2015 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    "Wrong narrator"

    Joanna David is excellent reading Jane Austen but she is just so wrong for the voice of the young Canadian woman at the heart of this wonderful, important novel. I just couldn't listen to it after a few chapters and had to buy an alternative reading by Claire Danes which is available on cd from Amazon. It's not perfect, but her voice does seem to match the central character who is also the narrator relating the story. I don't understand why that isn't available on Audible - it should be.

    29 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 08/01/2017
    08/01/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "Can't finish this"

    I feel it's a bit unfair to rate before finishing listening, but I'm really struggling to get over the narrator's English accent (I am English), which seems inauthentic against the story, which is clearly set in a distopian North America and uses jargon that sounds really incongruous when said by an English person. If you can get over this, give this book a go, I guess!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pavitti 30/06/2017
    Pavitti 30/06/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    34
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    "Superb, but........"

    Loved loved loved this book although, as other reviews have stated, the narrator was the wrong choice for this book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barney 27/05/2017
    Barney 27/05/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "half and half"

    I found the narrator to be excellent throughout
    I thought the first half of the story was meh due to the oversecretive writing style which just came off as silly, though once you get over this and there's been some world building the second half is pretty good

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sceptic London 10/08/2016
    Sceptic London 10/08/2016 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    16
    10
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    "Solid performance."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this for fans of Margaret Atwood's speculative fictions.The first person narrator did, in the end, for me, get a little trying. I particularly liked the historical notes tagged onto the end!


    What three words best describe Joanna David’s performance?

    Joanna David does a decent job narrating this tale but hamstrung by her cut glass and slightly breathy english accent. This tale is set in New England or Maine and is peppered with references and allusions that have a local colour. Why, then, didn't we have an american reading the book. I think this would have made more sense and might have even have made it a little more engaging. (ps I am Welsh and not being nationalistic!).


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Oxford, United Kingdom 01/07/2013
    Julia Oxford, United Kingdom 01/07/2013 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    78
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Completely absorbing"
    Would you listen to The Handmaid's Tale again? Why?

    This is such a good book and very well narrated too. I was completely absorbed in this tale and couldn't stop listening to it. Even though I listened to it a while back, I still find myself thinking about the story frequently. I especially loved the epilogue which is so ironic and added a whole new dimension. I probably wouldn't listen to the whole book again, but I'm certainly going to revisit some episodes.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Whenever the protagonist thinks about her old, 'normal' life she thinks about her best friend. She's a completely different voice who puts the whole story in perspective.


    What about Joanna David’s performance did you like?

    It was very, very good.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I certainly wanted to!


    Any additional comments?

    highly recommended!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Peter
    Summer Hill, Australia
    10/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Superb"

    Top marks for the story and the narration. The author transports us right through the wall of "that could never happen" into "yes that really could happen". That is quite an achievement - to make something which is both horrific and unecessary become a solid reality and something which happened **on purpose**. Which in turn carries us from "yes that really could happen" to "that must not be allowed to happen".

    As for the narration, it may be the best I've come across in Audible. I'm not privy to the author's thoughts but I feel as if the narrator has captured every nuance as the author intended.

    Recommended, without hesitation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Earnest
    09/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pit stop to hell."

    This story needs to be understood by all men and women without the interference of various "softening" or "dramatic license" or anything else. It is not perfect in either its form or content but it contains an imperative.
    Read this and understand what is at risk. Already. Again.
    Are we all to end up as footnotes in a sociological history conference in a galaxy far away? Without resistance?
    We were warned.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ms
    11/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for me.."

    This book was entertaining in parts, but slow and disjointed, and frustrating overall. Make sure you listen to a sample first, I really didn't enjoy it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Trish
    PRAHRAN, Australia
    24/09/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A must read"

    This book, gripping and chilling, grabs you from an apocalyptic future and propels you through an intense narrative about a world where religion has become the cruel, sinister dictator we all secretly fear that it could.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Anene Britz
    08/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A gripping story and a great performance."

    I enjoyed the performance and the story, it was extremely well written but would have loved to have some more detail on a few things in the plot. It was definitely not an easy Sunday listen with some shocking content. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dobbo4president
    Auckland, New Zealand
    05/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Distinctive tone, poignant content."

    After years of being encouraged to read this book i'm glad I did (even through audible). Interesting to do so when it has so recently shot into the limelight.

    This recording combines a writing style, a distinctive older female narrator and a subject matter that combine to create a very specific tone. I'm not sure it would be the same book read off the page or by another narrator. Still poignant but be aware the delivery here can distance the listener from the plot. (Admittedly I am a male and maybe less quick to relate to the author's internal-dialogue style).

    On the whole though, a good pace as the story unfolds and threads connect to paint a picture of the story in it's, purposely obscure, whole.

    Worth a listen, if for nothing else than to understand the statement being made using it's characters on the socio-political stage. I can't imagine a movie or series so completely immersing the viewer in the mind and experience of the titular handmaid - go for the book and if you like the idea, then watch the screen versions.



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robyn
    23/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Weak story"

    The whole way through this book I felt that the idea, setting and background had good potential but at the end of the book I was left waiting for the story to begin

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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