The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Paperback Published on: 19/09/1996
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Bookseller Reviews

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The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
It has taken me a long time to get round to reading this but I am so very glad I did. I was completely engrossed very early on. I loved Atwood’s writing st... READ MORE
Grace At Birmingham
The Handmaid's Tale
Quite Simply, A Really Great Read
It's actually quite difficult for me to write a review about this book, because I can't actually pinpoint exactly what I loved about it, I just know I did.... READ MORE
Ciaran Rafferty at Cameron Toll
The Handmaid's Tale
vivid but underwhelming
Underwhelming. The hype around "The Handmaid's Tale" is something that made me very intrigued to begin reading Atwood's famous novel. However, upon finishi... READ MORE
Ronnie, Bluewater Bookseller
The Handmaid's Tale
Written so well and an interesting concept. Loved the characters and how they change to survive in the moment. Atwood is drawing comparisons to today's soc... READ MORE
Hannah Mulligan Ward at Woking
The Handmaid's Tale
Cliff hanger
All the way through this book I was debating whether to get The Testaments when it is released, but the ending is so sudden and leaves you needing to know ... READ MORE
Leah Chapman
The Handmaid's Tale
Worringly Prophetic, Gorgeously Written
Dystopia is my jam. And this is one of the best. I'm only ashamed it took me so long to become aware of it. Can't wait to get my hands on the sequel.
Michael at Glasgow Fort


Featured on Between the Covers Big Jubilee Read Utterly compelling and terrifyingly real, The Handmaid's Tale is a classic work of feminist fiction and a vivid dystopia that speaks afresh to every new generation of readers. A chair, a table, a lamp. Above, on the  white ceiling, a relief ornament in the shape of a wreath, and in the centre of it a blank space, plastered over, like the place in a face where the eye has been taken out. There must have been a chandelier, once. They’ve removed anything you could tie a rope to. Offred lives in The Republic of Gilead. To some, it is a utopian vision of the future, a place of safety, a place where everyone has a purpose, a function. But The Republic of Gilead offers Offred only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness. But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. Brilliantly conceived and executed, The Handmaid's Tale is a bold evocation of twenty-first century America that gives full rein to Margaret Atwood's devastating irony, wit and astute perception.

  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • ISBN: 9780099740919
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Weight: 223g
  • Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm

Customer Reviews

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The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
Some of the finest prose ever written, with lines of thought you wish you could think, a very rare book where the narrator actually challanges you to keep ... READ MORE
Raymah Tariq
The Handmaid's Tale
A very powerful novel that I'm not going to forget!
After a shaky start to me reading this book, I found myself being utterly sucked into Offred's world. I know I seem to give a high rating for the books I ... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
I had to read this book for AS English Literature and I finished it a month ago and I honestly disliked it. It was such a drag to read, there was not many ... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
Glad I got asked to read this for English...
This was a novel I had no choice to read because I'm doing it for my A level English, and whilst discussing and reading it in class I literally found mysel... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale
Another dystopian view of the future, but beautifully written and haunting because so much is left unsaid. I keep remembering the sense of place it create... READ MORE
Carlton Collister
The Handmaid's Tale
A Must Read
Such an amazing read. I felt as though I was there with the handmaiden telling the story. It’s quite gripping and it makes you think, will this someday be ... READ MORE
Sammi Jones
The Handmaid's Tale
Thoroughly enjoyed this book
I was engrossed in this book right from the beginning
Anna Brown
The Handmaid's Tale
I read this novel whilst studying my English literature alevel & it was absolutely captivating and so well written. Loads of unexpected plot twists and a b... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
I just love this book!
I bought this book for friend. I have had a copy for many years, but, initially, was unable to 'get on' with the book, so abandoned it, but kept the book... READ MORE
sheila urquhart
The Handmaid's Tale
A forgettable story.
I found the storyline very confusing, it jumped backwards and forwards without you knowing where you were. As I also have trouble with religion in any form... READ MORE
Ian Paternoster
The Handmaid's Tale
More relevant and terrifying now than ever before
Shame on me for only now reading The Handmaid's Tale - thanks to Vintage for sending a reading copy pre-publication of The Testaments. It is quite somethi... READ MORE
Sam Brewer in Truro
The Handmaid's Tale
I first read this at school and under a school environment didn’t recognise Atwood’s genius. Since then I’ve reread it multiple times and still awe at the ... READ MORE
Daniela Cowell
The Handmaid's Tale
A riveting tale, vividly told.
This the work of a superb writer on top of her form. She does not preach her views She shows the reader a world of twisted values, enforced with devastatin... READ MORE
Book Worm Bear.
The Handmaid's Tale
this book keeps you fixated right from the beginning until the very end. such a unique story, perfectly crafted and very well written. the cliffhanger only... READ MORE
emma davies
The Handmaid's Tale
Women are diminished to an unspeakable level
I did not read this book in school as I know some people did but I did know of it and I heard even more of it when the TV series came out. Eventually I got... READ MORE
The Sassenach's Library
The Handmaid's Tale
Late To The Party?
Yes, until 10 days before release of The Testaments, I had not read The Handmaid's Tale. Luckily I was gifted a copy, so thank you Vintage, and when I open... READ MORE
Nicole @hemelwstones
The Handmaid's Tale
A harrowing look into our future?
As probably the only person on the planet that hasn't watched the TV series, I was unaware of what to expect when I read The Handmaid's Tale. Having not re... READ MORE
Poppy Smalley
The Handmaid's Tale
Not my favourite
As a fan of Atwood's earlier work and to critical acclaim, I was looking forward to The Handmaid's Tale. I am about halfway through this bleak dystopian st... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
Love love loved it. Highly recommend this too!
Books Loves
The Handmaid's Tale
The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
My 15 year old daughter wants to read this book and as I was unsure of the content I decided it was best if I read it first. I was engrossed from page one... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
Scarily possible
A vision of dystopia that seems all too possible. I took an awfully long time to get around to reading this book but I know that now that I have it will st... READ MORE
Deborah Forbes-Ritte
The Handmaid's Tale
A dystopia which might become a reality
It was interesting to read this book before the political change in USA. I’m not an English native speaker, so I can’t say I identify myself with any of th... READ MORE
The Handmaid's Tale
I found the setting to be dull as well as bleak
I know The Handmaid's Tale is considered a classic, but I just couldn't keep pushing on. I got about half way through The Handmaid's Tale before deciding ... READ MORE
Rob S
The Handmaid's Tale
Partial slay
Not a fan of this book too much although I know its cultural significance and impact is pretty strong. Some of the writing is lovely but dare I say it read... READ MORE
holly can read
The Handmaid's Tale
Highly recommend
I can honestly say that I’ve never written a book review before, but felt that this book was truly worthy of recognition. I took it on holiday with me and... READ MORE
Karen Carter
The Handmaid's Tale
Do yourself a favour and buy this book!
I don’t think I can put into words how much I love this book. It is fantastic. Atwood writes with such shocking wit. You will feel outrage for the protagon... READ MORE
Lucy Quinn
The Handmaid's Tale
I'm still shocked after finishing it, very original and feminine
Katarzyna Litowczuk
The Handmaid's Tale
The plot is hard to enjoy. But the writing, characters and the mystery at the end makes it worth it. Really good book. Highly recommend.
Shakira Bates
The Handmaid's Tale
had to read this for a level and honestly I'm so grateful,, such an interesting read that is also so scary at the same time. Loved it and the writing is h... READ MORE
Jess Elder