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The Handmaid's Tale Audio Book 79: A Special Edition with Claire Danes and an Expanded Cast


Handmaid's Tale Audio Book 79: A Review




If you are looking for a gripping and thought-provoking audio book to listen to, you might want to consider Handmaid's Tale Audio Book 79. This is a special edition of Margaret Atwood's acclaimed dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale, narrated by award-winning actress Claire Danes. It also includes an afterword by the author and an expanded cast of narrators. In this review, we will explore what makes this audio book so compelling, as well as its sequel The Testaments, which is also available as an audio book.




handmaid's tale audio book 79


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What is The Handmaid's Tale?




The Handmaid's Tale is a novel by Margaret Atwood, first published in 1985. It is set in a near-future America, where a totalitarian regime called the Republic of Gilead has taken over after a coup. In this society, women are stripped of their rights and freedoms, and are divided into rigid classes based on their fertility and marital status. The most oppressed group are the handmaids, who are assigned to elite men and forced to bear children for them. The novel follows the story of Offred, a handmaid who serves in the household of a Commander named Fred. Offred remembers her life before Gilead, when she had a husband, a daughter, and a job. She also secretly rebels against the system, by having an affair with Nick, the Commander's driver, and by joining a resistance network called Mayday.


The Handmaid's Tale explores themes such as power, gender, religion, oppression, resistance, and identity. It is a chilling and cautionary tale of what could happen if radical conservatism and reproductive control are taken to extremes. It is also a powerful and poignant story of one woman's struggle to survive and find meaning in a hostile world.


Why listen to The Handmaid's Tale audio book?




Audio books are a great way to enjoy literature, especially if you are busy or prefer listening to reading. They can also enhance your understanding and appreciation of a text, by adding voice, tone, emotion, and atmosphere. Listening to an audio book can also be more immersive and engaging than reading a print or digital book.


The Handmaid's Tale audio book is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to experience this classic novel in a new way. Here are some of the features that make this audio book special:


The narration by Claire Danes




Claire Danes is a multiple Golden Globe and Emmy award-winning actress, known for her roles in Romeo and Juliet, The Hours, and Homeland. She is also the narrator of The Handmaid's Tale audio book, and she does a superb job of bringing the story to life. She captures Offred's voice perfectly, conveying her alternating strength and vulnerability, her sarcasm and sincerity, her hope and despair. She also modulates her voice to suit the different characters and situations, such as the Commander, the Wife, the Aunts, the other handmaids, and the flashbacks. Her narration is clear, expressive, and captivating, and she draws you into Offred's world and mind.


The special edition with expanded cast and afterword




The Handmaid's Tale audio book is not just a simple reading of the novel. It is a special edition that includes additional content that enriches the listening experience and provides more insight into the author's vision. First, there is an afterword by Margaret Atwood herself, where she explains the origins and influences of her novel, as well as its relevance and impact today. She also answers some common questions and comments from readers and listeners. Second, there is an expanded cast of narrators who perform the historical notes section at the end of the novel. This section is a transcript of a symposium that discusses the events and documents of Gilead from a future perspective. The expanded cast includes actors such as Tim Gerard Reynolds, Jennifer Van Dyck, Ray Porter, Emily Bauer, and Allyson Johnson. They add variety and realism to the academic discussion, which contrasts with Offred's personal narrative.


What is The Testaments?




The Testaments is the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, published in 2019. It is set 15 years after the events of the first novel, and follows the lives of three women who are connected to Gilead in different ways. One is Aunt Lydia, a powerful and influential leader of the Aunts, who trains and controls the handmaids. She is also a secret rebel who plans to expose and destroy Gilead from within. Another is Agnes, a young woman who was born and raised in Gilead, and who faces an arranged marriage to a Commander. She is also Offred's daughter, who was taken away from her as a baby. The third is Daisy, a teenager who lives in Canada, and who is unaware of her true identity and destiny. She is also Offred's daughter, who escaped with her to freedom. The novel alternates between their perspectives, as they reveal their stories and secrets, and as they converge towards a final confrontation.


The Testaments explores themes such as power, gender, religion, oppression, resistance, and identity. It is a thrilling and satisfying continuation of The Handmaid's Tale, which answers some of the questions left by the first novel, while raising new ones. It is also a hopeful and inspiring story of how women can overcome tyranny and injustice.


Why listen to The Testaments audio book?




The Testaments audio book is another great option for anyone who wants to enjoy this novel in an auditory way. Here are some of the features that make this audio book special:


The narration by multiple actors




The Testaments audio book is narrated by a talented cast of actors who bring the different characters and perspectives to life. Each narrator has a distinct voice and style that suits their role. The main narrators are Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia, Bryce Dallas Howard as Agnes, Mae Whitman as Daisy, Derek Jacobi as Professor Pieixoto, Tantoo Cardinal as Aunt Vidala, and Margaret Atwood as Witness 369A. They create a rich and immersive story that keeps you hooked until the end.


The performance by Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia




One of the highlights of The Testaments audio book is the performance by Ann Dowd as Aunt Lydia. Ann Dowd is an Emmy award-winning actress who plays the role of Aunt Lydia in the TV adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, which premiered in 2017. She reprises her role in the audio book, adding depth and complexity to her character. She portrays Aunt Lydia as a cunning and ruthless woman who has risen to power in Gilead, but who also has a hidden agenda and a human side. She delivers her lines with authority and emotion, making you feel both fear and sympathy for her.


If you are interested in listening to The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments audio books, you can get them from Audible.com, the leading provider of audio books and podcasts. Audible.com offers a wide range of titles and genres, as well as exclusive content and features. You can listen to your audio books on any device, online or offline, and you can also exchange or return them if you are not satisfied.


There are several options and offers available on Audible.com for The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments audio books. Here are some of them:


  • You can get a free trial of Audible.com for 30 days, and get two free audio books of your choice. You can choose The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments as your free audio books, and enjoy them without paying anything. You can also cancel your trial anytime.



  • You can join Audible Plus, a monthly membership that gives you unlimited access to thousands of audio books, podcasts, and originals. You can listen to The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments as part of your membership, as well as many other titles. You can also get one credit per month to use on any premium title. Audible Plus costs $7.95 per month after a 30-day free trial.



  • You can join Audible Premium Plus, a monthly membership that gives you all the benefits of Audible Plus, plus one credit per month to use on any premium title. You can use your credits to get The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments audio books, or any other title you want. You can also buy additional credits or titles at discounted prices. Audible Premium Plus costs $14.95 per month after a 30-day free trial.



  • You can buy The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments audio books individually, without a membership. The Handmaid's Tale audio book costs $21.70, and The Testaments audio book costs $28.00. However, if you buy the Kindle edition of the novels, you can add the audio book for a reduced price of $7.49 each.



Conclusion




In conclusion, The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments are two remarkable novels by Margaret Atwood that depict a dystopian society where women are oppressed and exploited by a religious regime. They are also two captivating and compelling audio books that feature excellent narration and performance by talented actors. Listening to these audio books will immerse you in the world and the mind of the characters, and make you think about the issues and themes they raise. If you are looking for a quality and enjoyable audio book experience, we highly recommend you to get The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments audio books from Audible.com.


FAQs




  • Do I need to read or listen to The Handmaid's Tale before The Testaments?



It is not necessary to read or listen to The Handmaid's Tale before The Testaments, as the sequel can stand on its own. However, it is advisable to do so, as it will help you understand the background and context of the story better, and appreciate the connections and references between the two novels.


  • How long are The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments audio books?



The Handmaid's Tale audio book is 11 hours and 1 minute long, while The Testaments audio book is 13 hours and 18 minutes long.


  • Are The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments based on real events?



The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments are fictional novels that are not based on real events. However, Margaret Atwood has stated that she did not invent anything in her novels that has not already happened in history or in the present. She drew inspiration from various sources, such as the Puritan society of New England, the Iranian Revolution, the Nazi regime, the Soviet Union, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Romanian dictatorship, the American Civil War, and contemporary issues such as environmental degradation, reproductive rights, religious extremism, and human trafficking.


  • Are there any differences between the novels and the TV adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale?



There are some differences between the novels and the TV adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale, which is produced by Hulu and stars Elisabeth Moss as Offred. Some of these differences include changes in characters' names, ages, backgrounds, relationships, fates, and roles; changes in plot events, timelines, locations, and details; and additions of new characters, scenes, and storylines. The TV adaptation also expands on the world of Gilead and its history, politics, culture, and resistance. The TV adaptation is generally faithful to the spirit and themes of the novels, but also adds its own interpretation and creativity.


  • Are there any other works by Margaret Atwood that are similar to The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments?



Margaret Atwood is a prolific and versatile writer who has written many works in different genres and forms, such as novels, short stories, poetry, essays, and graphic novels. Some of her works that are similar to The Handmaid's Tale and The Testaments in terms of genre, style, or themes are Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, MaddAddam, The Heart Goes Last, Alias Grace, The Blind Assassin, The Robber Bride, The Penelopiad, and The Edible Woman.


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