The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale

By Margaret Atwood

  • Release Date: 1986-02-17
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature
Score: 4.5
From 5,218 Ratings


Before The Testaments, there was The Handmaid’s Tale: an instant classic and eerily prescient cultural phenomenon, from “the patron saint of feminist dystopian fiction” (New York Times).

The Handmaid’s Tale is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States and is now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men in its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.


  • Excellent But

    By carocross
    Would have liked more info on what happened in Gilead

    By Jackie Uchiha
    I love this book along with Alias Grace!
  • A good read.

    By jilirious
    I was very happy with this book. At first, it struggled to keep my interest, but as I kept reading I found myself obsessively turning the pages—which hasn’t happened in a long time. As a woman, this book was very powerful, and opened up a lot of different thoughts. I would recommend this book, and I am looking forward to watching the movie/series adaptation.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale- A good read

    By Mrs. Cassie
    This book was an easy read as it kept my interest throughout. As a fan of the Hulu series of the same name, I must say their is much that happens in the series that does not happen in the book. For instance, many characters, such as Nick, Luke, Moira and Janine, are overly-glamorized and play larger roles in the series. We often see episodes focusing on these characters points of view whereas the book revolves around the one central character, Offred, and the story is told from strictly her perspective. Many quotes from Offred in the series come from within the book’s pages. The story does leave some loose ends untied and leaves the reader with the option to interpret the ending in different ways. All in all a great read!
  • Review of the Handmaids Tale

    By hi...04
    This is an amazing dystopian book, that truly showcases in gruesome detail what happens when the majority are the oppressed. It shows that no matter the conditions people still try their best to hold on to hope and to persevere.
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    By vbbbbv bbv v
    Mmooooooh vvvbv. B.B.vbvbv B.B. a bbvbv vvvbvvvvvbv viernes B.B.vvvvvvv
  • yes

    By Dhbdhddn
  • the ending

    By hdkxosbsk
    has mE SHOOK
  • The Handmaids Tale Again

    By brennansgranmom
    I read Atwood’s book when it was originally published. Hearing that a sequel was now being written had caused me to re-read this suspenseful novel. I like the authors reimagining what life could be like so far in the future. It was believable and related well to current events. I am so looking forward to the sequel as it is long overdue. More “historical” background would have been helpful in understanding the regime. There weren’t quite enough political and cultural details to rate this novel a five and yet; a compelling story!
  • I really wanted to like this book

    By HappyFoo321
    I love the message, I don’t think it’s some sort of “feminist propaganda” (eyeroll) but I couldn’t get over the writing. The metaphors and similes seemed overdone, to the point where she’d be describing a staircase and by the end of the sentence I had to reread it to remember what she was talking about in the first place. I can get over a few examples of that, but it seemed like the entire book was one long sentence with too many commas and muddy comparisons. It reminded me of trying to fill a word count for a school assignment.