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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.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Still incredible

As the essay says, what makes a story timeless, is that it is even more timely as time goes on.

I somehow had never read The Handmaid’s Tale, but was very curious about it for a long time. After watching the incredible TV show in 2017, I knew I had to read it, and now I’m so glad I did with this audible book. The narration by Claire Danes is excellent.

Get this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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definitely worth it

i find this book very interesting. it was wonderfully performed, and the content very intriguing. I have found myself on more than one occasion rethinking certain aspects of our every day life because of certain statements in the book, statements that make you think things we take for granted today. while the book itself is a dystopian it also leaves me feeling fortunate for where and how I can live life today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really entertaining and timely

I think that the Handmaid’s Tale will also be a timely story because it goes to the depths of what it means to be human.
Someone would say that this could never happen but I believe that unfortunately it is a quasi reality in some cases, the story is very well developed.
The end is the best part because it let’s your mind wonder freely on what will actually happen. It is fantastic, first book I have read/listen from Atwood, I will certainly read others in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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2x Speed

The narrator reads very slowly, which I find is common for actors who are new to narrating. Listened to the whole book on 2x speed and it didn't feel rushed at all.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Not as exciting as I anticipated

Although I did like this book, I was expecting something a little more. Worth the read though.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Best read in several years!

Danes is a great reader. Get this version. I have read this book a few times, but not like Danes.

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Doesn’t live up to the hype

Decent but not great, a bit slow and you never get the full picture. Left with too many questions.

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Phenomenal!!

Reading (hearing) it in 2018 despite its age was gripping. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

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Okay

Overall - okay. The story was okay, it had parts that were very good and parts I found it hard to not tune-out of. I felt the reading wasn't great, as far as audio books go. The voices sounded pretty much the same and I just didn't think Claire Danes' voice worked for Offred's character. Definitely found myself zoning out a few times.

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Margaret Atwood is a genius

Offred's tale was amazing. I read this book when it was first released and I was much younger. Re-visiting the story , listening to it again 30 years later, I understood it much better and I was captivated. Atwood' s incredible writing abilities , the frightening story and her take on a futuristic world kept me up at night wanting to keep listening to hear how /if Offred prevailed . I'm afraid of how much of this story is based on current religious fanaticism and the disastrous environmental disasters we humans are inflicting on the planet. It will stay with me . Clare Danes did a good job narrating (despite a few pronunciations were weird... mauve eg.) Hearing Carrie (from Homeland) initially took a while to get over, but that was a minor distraction. Overall highly recommend !!

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  • TaylorAlma
  • 2017-08-21

Amazing read.

Absolutely love the way this story was written, although I don't feel satisfied with the abrupt ending of offred's story.

I don't know why there are so many reviews asking about why there is music throughout, it is a vital part of the story when you get to the ending. Definitely recommend!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • DrHex
  • 2017-04-26

Silly scratchy musical transitions

Wonderful story with excellent narrative performance. That said, what is with the ridiculous scratchy music transitions at the beginning of section chapters? The sounds bear no reference to the plot and are irrelevant. The sound engineers didn't give any breathing time between these scrunch scratches and the narrative either making the production appear amateur.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • 2017-09-17

Loved it, but one thing irked me

Clair Danes is a master narrator. I was drawn in to the story. Made to believe I could actually be hearing a firsthand account.

The one thing that bothered me was the chapter Intros. The solemn reading of the chapter number often followed by the audible click of a cassette player to play a brief clip of music, and another click to stop the music. It feels jarring. Unpolished without being purposeful. Rather than feeling jarred in the sense of "This is breifly putting the listener back into the time frame this fictional woman lived and lost", it feels like something you'd do as an angsty teen to try and add weight to a self-recorded oration of poems you'd written, without trying to edit the music in after like you would for a mix tape. Your friend is in on it. She reads the titles of each poem and runs the other cassette player. It's the kind of "serious" thing you get REALLY into at the time, but when you and your friend listen to it again as adults, it's just painfully funny.

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  • Dan
  • 2017-09-11

exceptional

you can't beat Margaret she is a Canadian icon and will go down hopefully not for a long time as one of the greatest authors of our time

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  • Adele
  • 2017-08-07

excellent narration captivating story.

This distopian story is dramatic and intense but not implausable. Margaret draws a character that I didn't always like, but I was always rooting for.

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  • Justin
  • 2017-07-22

Boring Story

Not much happens in the story but the insight in the epilogue are worth listening to at least independently.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anna
  • 2017-07-18

Loved it!

This was my first time diving into The Handmaid's Tale and I loved it. Claire Danes performance is amazing and really takes you through this interesting, complicated and at times frightening story. I didn't mind the music in between the sections and the "lecture" at the end was really well done. I would recommend this to anyone.

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  • Sylvie Gagne
  • 2017-06-26

Extraordinary

I've heard the title but had yet to read the book. Audible made it possible. I am speechless, and worried.

Could this happen? It felt so real.

Clare Danes did justice to this story. I hope to listen to other audio books narrated by her.

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  • Mylène Chouinard
  • 2017-05-31

Yay for this special edition!

Claire Danes' interpretation is flawless... I loved the afterword by Atwood in that special edition!

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  • HaleyDRS
  • 2017-05-14

Great book

Claire Danes is a great narrator. I really enjoyed listening to her.
What in earth is with the music between chapters? It was terrible and takes you out of the story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful