The Handmaid's Tale

  • von Margaret Atwood
  • Sprecher: Claire Danes
  • 11 Std. 0 Min.
  • ungekürztes Hörbuch


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.



“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)


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A Haunting Tale, a Dystopic Nightmare

This is an incredible book, a haunting but beautifully written novel, timeless in its message. I was gripped by the narrative and could not stop to listen to the mesmerizing voice of Claire Danes. She gave the tale authenticity and she made the handmaid become alive.

The artful prose is deceptive at times, but it is a terrifying story. It is the description of a dystopic world, where women are stripped of all rights and turned into mere reproduction devices or will-less slaves. This seems to be absurd at first, but remember, how long it took western societies to grant women the right to vote. I even remember a time, when women needed the permit of their husbands to take a job. Even more to the point, look at what religious zealots do to women and yes, this is not limited to Moslem societies only.

The handmaid’s tale is the diary of Offred, a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, a monotheistic tyranny run by fanatics and bigots. Gilead is in the North of the former USA, a country crippled by nuclear and chemical waste. In this society women don’t have any rights or liberty and they are constantly and closely watched. They are divided into several groups: Childless and barren wives, housekeepers (Marthas) and the reproductive handmaids. The handmaids are forced to have intercourse with members of the ruling class to create the necessary offspring, but they have to hand over the newborn shortly after birth. Women and girls not falling into any of these categories and especially the older women are sent to the colonies to clean up nuclear and chemical waste.

It is a grim world, but in spite of all the gloom and terror, courage, friendship and compassion cannot be eradicated so easily. There is hope and beauty in the tale, but most of all, this story is an admonition to protect, what makes us human.
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- BikerJoe

Verstörung und Sprachgenuss

A wonderful book. Written precisely in a beautiful, suggestive and subtle style.
I really enjoyed the story, the characters, the pictures it created in my head.

The story itself is difficult to swallow. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this dystopia which was so different from any other I have read so far I had problems with the basic premise. The way the male characters act in this new society which gives them the utmost power over women (though in a strange way again not) and how quickly they felt comfortable with it when it happened didn't quite feel real and authentic to me. But then again after finishing The Handmaids Tale I had a huge discussion with an older friend about it who again finds it very realistic, so maybe I'm just too young and naive to see the true nature of men…? (That's what he suggested anyway, I just stick to my opinion that men are not all evil and if presented with the opportunity would take back full control by suppressing women. Though you do see some uncomfortable parallels with the stories we hear every day from the middle east...)

In any case, the way the protagonist and the female characters were written was fantastic and very authentic. You see the story through the protagonists eyes and Margaret Atwood manages to make it very real for you to live in and struggle with our main character.
I absolutely recommend this book to everyone out there who has a taste for dystopian books - but also can take such stories with a pinch of salt.
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- Shana Shinigami

Weitere Infos zum Titel

  • Erscheinungsdatum: 20.07.2012
  • Verlag: Audible Studios