Last month, I recommended The Handmaid's Tale as one of my top picks for a Women's History Month listenable, and it turns out that it's actually the focus of this month's Audible Ambassadors post!
The timing is not completely unexpected, of course, since the Hulu adaptation is premiering later this month (and yes, I am very eager for it. Might actually have to sign up for Hulu again. Or maybe I'm due for a free trial. . . ;P).
Whether in conjunction with this, or in some strange cosmic timing because the book is still so eerily relevant (maybe now more than ever), Audible has reissued a remastered and redeveloped special edition of the audiobook, narrated by the fabulous Claire Danes, which includes new exclusive content written by Atwood at the end of the novel!
From the brief from Audible:
The novel extends beyond the original final line, “Are there any questions?,” by adding the questions and answers that the people at that Symposium, occurring in 2195, might ask.This is pretty significant stuff, if you ask me. That ambiguous, open-ended ending haunted me when I first read it, and I often use it as a sort of litmus test for whether someone is an optimist or pessimist. . . As it turns out, I'm a can't-make-up-my-mindest, because I go back and forth quite a bit on what I think really happened -- but before I get to spoiling things, maybe you have never heard of this landmark book, and have no idea what I'm talking about.
So, the official stuff:
"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.
The Handmaid's Tale: Special Edition features performances by Claire Danes, Margaret Atwood, Emily Bauer, Allyson Johnson, Gabra Zackman, Suzanne Toren, Tim Gerard Reynolds, Jennifer Van Dyck, Ray Porter, Emily Cox, Lauren Fortgang, Dan Reiss, Prentice Onayemi, Therese Plummer, and Mark Boyett.
©1985 O.W. Toad, Ltd. First American Edition 1986. Published by special arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
And trust me, it's a book you want to read. Or listen to.
Now of course, you don't have to choose The Handmaid's Tale as your selection in order to take advantage of Audible's free 30-day trial -- you can choose whichever amazingly narrated audiobook is calling to your heart and ears. (Feel free to browse around. There's a lot of them.)
But I'd definitely like to put in a good word for this one. It's one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors, narrated by an amazingly talented actress, and has special bonus content -- you just can't beat that.
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