Get Your Free Audiobook

The Testaments

Written by: Margaret Atwood
Length: 13 hrs and 18 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (108 ratings)

After 30 days, Audible is ₹199/mo. Cancel anytime.

OR

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Booker Prize 2019
The British Book Awards Audiobook of the Year 2020

Brought to you by Penguin.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood is read by Ann Dowd, Bryce Dallas Howard and Mae Whitman with Derek Jacobi, Tantoo Cardinal and Margaret Atwood.

Margaret Atwood’s dystopian masterpiece, The Handmaid’s Tale, is a modern classic. Now she brings the iconic story to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel.

More than 15 years after the events of The Handmaid’s Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results.

Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets.

As Atwood unfolds The Testaments, she opens up the innermost workings of Gilead as each woman is forced to come to terms with who she is, and how far she will go for what she believes.

‘Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.' (Margaret Atwood)

©2019 Margaret Atwood (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The literary event of the year." (Guardian)

"A savage and beautiful novel, and it speaks to us today, all around the world, with particular conviction and power.... The bar is set particularly high for Atwood and she soars over it." (Peter Florence, Booker Prize Chair of Judges, Guardian)

What listeners say about The Testaments

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    65
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent sequel!

It was worth waiting 35 years to read/listen to the sequel to The Handmaid's Tale. and thankfully there is still some hope left in the world...

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Hopeful

loved it. the latter half was irresistably smooth. the three stories flowed well and kept engaged❤️♥️❤️

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

one of the awesome books I have read so far.

narrators kept on changing but they were all good and loved to hear it from them.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Bold and Intriguing

This was my first audiobook and I wouldn't have wanted it to be any other book. The Handmaids Tale was such a powerful book that it left me with so many questions and a need to connect dots. The Testaments was a much awaited read and I must say, I enjoyed it. To write a review means to expose some shortcomings as well. After finishing the book, I pondered upon it. The parts I enjoyed the most were the writings of Aunt Lydia. She is that one character that you cannot love, but cannot hate either. The witness testimonies were well performed and the characters were lively as well. However, the plot could have been a little more revealing. It did answer a few questions I had about Handmaids Tale, but I was left with more as I ended this book. How did Aunt Lydia manage to make the actual contacts which led to ease the smuggling both the girls out of Gilead? What happened after the news was leaked? How did Gilead meet its real end? How did the Commanders, the most powerful, feel about it's downfall? How did Agnes and Daisy deal with the aftermath of it? Maybe instead of a symposium, an interview with the descendants of these witnesses would have painted a clearer picture as to how the fearful totalitarian system fail! Nevertheless, I truly enjoyed listening to my first audiobook. The author as well as the storytellers made me hook to the end. Overall, it was a good read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

5 star

Loved it. the narrator was very good particularly the Aunt Lydia voice was very wise and apt.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

gripping

loved almost everything about it. effortless to follow through. style of narration was professional. It is a masterclass in itself.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Mildly disappointing

It's a thriller about Gilead's end. Page-turner, but not a great work, like the original.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

BRILLIANT

Margaret at Wood is one of the finest writers of this gen and this book proves it

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Review

Loved Aunt Lydia! Was hoping to hear from OffRed but lived the book thoroughly. Great Read

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

What a ride

Buying The Testaments in audio version is a great idea. having different voices read out different stories adds a layer of reality and makes it even more chilling. I especially loved the reading by the actor who played Aunt Lydia. It was brilliant. The story itself is fascinating and detailed. It merges everyday life events with the overarching political and economic structure. my only complaint that the voices of Agnes and Nicole were often too similar. but the choice of words usually made them easy to decipher absolutely one of the best books of the year.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ruth
  • 15-10-19

The more you read the more places you will go!!!!

I loved that they used actors from the series to play the parts- it did set me back! I love Margaret ability yo infiltrate many story lines together, I could see this coming!!!! In saying that I couldn’t put it down - can’t wait for series four!!!! See how much it will align with the testaments!!!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joanna
  • 06-10-19

For all of those who want to find out what happens next.

Having recently reread The Handmaid’s Tale to refresh my memories of the story, I was eager to find out what happened next. Although told from different perspectives, the novel was an excellent response to all of my questions. I enjoyed the three points of view, as they complimented each other beautifully and allow readers to see this world from a variety of perspectives. The narrators read beautifully (I could listen to Ann Dowd, in particular, all day) and, although i have yet to watch the series, interesting to note which elements from there have become cannon in the book world. A fantastic performance by all involved and, as ever, beautiful writing by Margaret Atwood.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • 21-09-19

worth the wait

worth the wait. As an audio book this is a pure, performance, delight. Buy it now

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Hancox
  • 13-09-19

Best ever sequel to a favourite book.

Have been waiting for this sequel since I first read The Handmaid’s Tale when it came out in the 80s. I was not disappointed. This is a spellbinding book, with wonderful voice performances, especially that of Ann Dowd. I will listen again!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 13-10-20

Wow! An immediate re-read!

Breathtaking ending to this epic story. Did not disappoint at all and was waaaayyyyyyy above expectations!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Dukes
  • 16-08-20

Should have left it at the Handmaid's Tale

At the end Atwood says that she wrote the Testament because fans kept asking her what happened after the handmaid escapes. I think she should have left the fans wanting. Where the Handmaid's Tale was compelling, complicated, frustrating and intriguing. It was worth the read. This book was a mess and I could tell that she didn't write it to fulfill an internal desire but an external expectation. The characters were 2 dimensional and the story was flat and predictable with no real climax. The only truly interesting part was where Aunt Lydia is talking about how the ended up becoming an Aunt. Otherwise there were so many plot holes particularly towards the end that it became hard to listen to. I honestly had to soldier through just so I can say that I completed the book otherwise I would not have bothered. The last chapter was particularly annoying to listen to because it felt pointless. The narration was generally good.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 27-05-20

Exceptional

The story and the performance were exceptional. I couldn't stop listening and recommend the book for anyone who loved The Hand maid's Tale. You should definitely read the first book for context, but the book could stand alone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 20-04-20

Freedom- never take for granted

The Testaments storyline was so riveting -I had it glued to my ears. It’s my first Audible and I enjoyed the book in a way very different from reading it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-03-20

Wonderful

I really enjoyed listening to this story. It is clever and thoughtful. The actors brought a fresh feeling to the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • brenda f.
  • 23-01-20

The Testaments. Very enjoyable

So enjoyed this book. I loved the ‘Handmaids Tale’ and this gave an insight into what happened after. Recommend this book. Great performances. Good read.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Xerxes
  • 13-09-19

Remarkable! Oddly Uplifting

I listened to this audio book in three long sittings because I simply couldn’t stop. Like a train on a track the narrative of this book steams ahead, growing in power and momentum. It is impossible to stop, once started. I, like many others, found THE HANDMAID’S TALE to be one of the most important books of the C20th & as a professional historian I’ve often dwelt on how the Past & present converge in the story. So I was keen to read the much anticipated sequel - having watched all three seasons of the HULU TV production too I wanted to know if there would be any nod towards the storylines crafted there. There is. Big time. In many respects THE TESTAMENTS is a world apart from THE HANDMAID’S TALE. It is far less claustrophobic, less ‘bitty’, less surreal. It is also less doomed, less gloomy, less violent. In fact THE TESTAMENTS is oddly, fascinatingly upbeat. It is a paean to the #MeToo movement, an empowering story of fighting the system. The historian in me was satisfied: I got a good sense of the expansion and crisis of the mature Gileadaean regime and the use of Historical Notes to close the book - echoing THE HANDMAID’S TALE - was very satisfying. As an audio book, this is a wonderful production. Each of the three protagonists is played well, but a special notice goes to Ann Dowd, reprising her TV role as Aunt Lydia. Her voice has such melody, such an incredible cadence that it was quite hypnotic. Atwood gives Aunt Lydia some very funny, tongue-in-cheek lines; Ann Dowd delivers them to perfection. I enjoyed this book enormously. I recommend it as a clear classic of our time.

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stirzaker Photography
  • 16-09-19

Chilling conclusion that will please the fans.

There is no doubt that Handmaids Take has become the1984 of our time. Arguably the best adaption for television of the book helped renew interest in the book. However, after a faithful telling of the book, the producers wanted more and they continued the story, each camera shot beautifully exected, and a story that had the blessing of Margeret Attwood. It was perhaps invvitable that she felt she had to wite a sequel, some 35 years after the orriginal. What we have is a logical progression of the story. As the tv series had subtle nods to the book, such as using what appeard to be inappropiate music in a lot epidsdes, reflectin the fact that the orrriginal books were cassete transcripts, Attwood reflects the TV episodes of series 2 and 3. What we have is a book very differant from the Handmaids Tale, but with plot and stories every bit as intriging. While at times the book appears to have strayed awy from its orriginal concept all is resolved in the end. I dont suppose MA ever intended to resolve the questions raised in the first boo, howver, she anwers a lot of the mysterie, and in so doing gives us an insight into her thinking behind this book. This audio book is beautifully read, and Ann Dowds portayal of her television character is just as chilong as it is in the drama. I was drawn the book because of the television series, which achieved something the aful film adaptation of the 1990s could never do, this is a superb book, and I hope the accolades it is seeking will be bestowed on this masterpiece.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms L Holden
  • 11-09-19

Couldn't stop listening

Well worth the wait. Margaret Atwood continues to display her brilliant ability to somehow instill a combination of passion, disgust, fear and admiration into the reader. Aunt Lydia's story and character was fascinating and inspiring.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs Cathy
  • 16-12-19

Just a bit silly, got worse as it went on

It was all just a bit silly and unbelievable. The Handmaid's Tale was devastating, raw, 'speculative fiction' because Offred and her world felt like they could be real. This was mostly just silly apart from Aunt Lydia's parts. It got worse and more ridiculous as it went on.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • VHarrison
  • 20-10-19

A slow story

I really should have enjoyed this, love a dystopian story, but it just didn't grip me. The story is okay, it is well read but there's something missing that I can't quite put my finger on.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kim hailstone
  • 12-09-19

Brilliant! Couldn’t stop listening .

The Testaments is really compelling and the narrators are all excellent. The book gives a terrifying view into Gilead 30 years after the events in The Handmaid’s tale. I didn’t expect Aunt Lydia as one of the protagonists ,and was torn between horror and fascination at her story. The other characters are equally fascinating. One of the best audio books I’ve listened to.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Purpleheart
  • 11-09-19

Totally engrossing

I read the novel and then started listening to this wonderful production which has a very short introduction by Margaret Atwood. The voices and pacing is perfect and really helped my understanding of this totally engrossing novel. Margaret Atwood's sequel to the prescient 'The Handmaid's Tale' opens with one of the new novel's three narrators describing the statue made in her honour. We're not told immediately that it is Aunt Lydia but it becomes clear - her voice is compelling and her importance and power in Gilead is surprising but completely believable. One of the strengths of this novel is that Aunt Lydia isn't a Disney villain - how she came to be who she is in The Testaments gives complexity to her character and motivation. Atwood is exploring the women who are complicit in maintaining Gilead's patriarchy and the subjugation and oppression of other women. It's a fascinating and enthralling route for Atwood to take and once again she captures the zeitgeist - reflecting back to us the myriad ways in which this type of complicity and collaboration happens in our own world. The two other narrators are young - Agnes Jemima, the daughter of a Commander and Daisy, a teenager living in Toronto. It's not spelt out if the young women are related to characters from The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood likes to let readers make up their own minds. Her trust in her readers is yet another of her strengths as, of course, is her writing. This novel speeds along like a thriller and the prose is clarity itself. I found this novel unputdownable and am sure it will live with me for a good time to come. Margaret Atwood is my favourite writer and I read The Handmaid's Tale when it was published in 1985 and have read all her novels over the years since. I was worried about her revisiting such a masterful work since the continuation of the TV show didn't sit so well with me but Atwood's return to Gilead using the voices of these characters works beautifully to broaden and deepen our understanding of the whole structure and gives some insight into why it might fail. I was lucky enough to have tickets to see Margaret Atwood at the National Theatre for an exploration of this novel. She speaks as well as she writes.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kindle
  • 15-09-19

A stunning sequel to a beloved tale

The inclusion of the voice of The actor who plays Aunt Lydia in the current TV series brought a strong modern connection. As an avid fan/viewer, I enjoyed the fact that Margaret Atwood has woven the end of the tale in such a clever way, so as to still leave plenty of room for the intervening tale to still be told.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-09-19

amazing

as a lover of the first book, I found this book equal as good. it has lived up to it promise of answering many questions, however I am left with few to which I hope the show will answer. this is a must buy, I have truly enjoyed this book, I finished it with in a day.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • little egret
  • 14-09-19

Does not disappoint

This sequel is so much better than the awful series 2 of the television adaptation(although we have to thank series 1, which was good, for widening the interest in the story). It was so good that Anne Dowd was such a major part of this audiobook as she remained great throughout the television adaptation. Great audiobook!

4 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-19

So grateful for more Aunt Lydia!!

Loved every minute. Could not stop listening. I wasn't sure what to expect when I heard there was a second book being written, but this has certainly been a treat. I really enjoyed getting to know more of Aunt Lydia's story. My only disappointment is that I couldn't pace myself and now I'm already finished!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Cristina
  • 16-09-19

Ultimately disappointing

I was so excited to finally get my hands on the sequel to The Handmaids Tale. And initially, The Testaments was promising. The Aunt Lydia backstory was intriguing and learning a bit more about the foundation of Gilead was great. But I'm sad to say that the second half of the book really was awful. It was cliched, predictable, sentimental and ultimately unbelievable. I won't say any more should I spoil it for those who wish to listen, but be warned, it's as though Atwood was just churning out very sub standard pulp fiction in order to please the masses.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gabrielle Stewart
  • 12-09-19

Wowsers!! Great book

So tbh I didn’t like the hand maidens tale, and June drove me wild on the page and screen. This was spectacular- really engaging and Anne Dowd was a nice touch.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-19

Testament

Overall a satisfying sequel, but a little too heavy on the fan-service. Felt a little bit lowest common denominator in some places.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sally MacAdams
  • 25-09-19

Finally... the rest of the story

A satisfying sequel to the original book that also builds on the TV series. It gives you an insight into the lives of other characters and roles that we have not heard much of before: the aunts, the commanders' daughters, and baby Nicole. I particularly enjoyed the new layers to Aunt Lydia and several other elements that came together to give a more complex and well-rounded picture of Gilead and a feeling of at least partial redemption.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 19-10-19

Lackluster

Lackluster sequel to a great book. Wasn't needed and takes away from the original. Wouldn't recommend.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Belinda Cunningham
  • 19-10-19

Thank you Margaret Atwood

Thank you Margaret Atwood, 35 years between novels seemed to long, however you have done it. Magnificent read that answers the questions and makes this one reader very happy.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-19

Ann Dowd and cast were fantastic

A most unforgettable experience, thank you Margaret Atwood and cast. I loved Ann Dowd's performance the best. Moving.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 21-09-19

Satisfying Closure

I loved how this answers so much left open from The Handmaid's Tale. the voice actors were perfect. I couldn't stop listening!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Thea S
  • 21-09-19

Brilliant as you would expect from Margaret Atwood

An absolute must for any fan of The Handmaid’s Tales. I couldn’t stop listening and was pleased with the answers to so many questions.

2 people found this helpful