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The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  8,093 ratings  ·  1,096 reviews
Everything Handmaids wear is red: the colour of blood, which defines us.

Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, where women are prohibited from holding jobs, reading, and forming friendships. She serves in the household of the Commander and his wife, and under the new social order she has only one purpose: once a month, she must lie on her back and pray that the
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 26th 2019 by Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
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Lucy Goodfellow The graphic novel follows Atwood's original novel.
In the book, black people are banished and sent “back” to Africa, while Jews are sent to Israel.…more
The graphic novel follows Atwood's original novel.
In the book, black people are banished and sent “back” to Africa, while Jews are sent to Israel. The few black people who remain are postmenopausal women, known as Marthas, who perform domestic duties as maids and cooks.
The TV show differs from the book by including women of colour so they can address the complications race in this specific dystopia.
(here's a more in-depth look into race in the book and the show)(less)
Lucy Goodfellow Personally, I think that this is a really good gateway into the story. It hits the same notes as the original novel and the art is as beautifully…morePersonally, I think that this is a really good gateway into the story. It hits the same notes as the original novel and the art is as beautifully unsettling as Atwood's prose.(less)

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Average rating 4.24  · 
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David Schaafsma
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I just reviewed Margaret Atwood's original story, so I won't re-discuss plot and themes. I have seen some of the fine Hulu series, so was interested to see that Renée Nault had adapted and illustrated Atwood's story as a graphic novel. The artwork here is gorgeous, creating a somewhat different effect than the film adaptation, emphasizing on almost every page the rich, deep red of the handmaidens, etching that color forever in your mind, and meaning of the red changes over the course of the ...more
Julie Ehlers
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Because this is a graphic-novel adaptation of a very well-known and widely read book, I feel like this review shouldn't focus on the plot or characters or the world that's been built; it should instead focus on whether Renee Nault has done an effective job of adapting it all into comic form. In my estimation, she has: the art is wonderful, very appropriate and affecting, and while it couldn't have been easy to cut this story down in a way that makes sense, she's done it. It's been a long time ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Praise be.
While in Barnes Noble recently picking up a couple classic graphic novels on my to own list, the bookseller says, up front we also have THE HANDMAIDS TALE graphic novel. I said thanks, but the novel wasn't a favorite of mine. She said hers either, she doesn't like dystopian stories, and, of course, I said I loved them, but not that particular one. She said, the book is beautifully done though....and that it is. I walked out with it!

So here I am done reading the story for a second time and

Rachel Reads Ravenously
4 stars!

The Handmaid’s Tale was a book I read when I was in high school and it’s a book I love very dearly. When this graphic novel came out I was skeptical but I saw lots of positive reviews and gave it a shot. I won’t rehash the plot because there’s the book and the show. But what this novel added was fresh color and almost an abbreviated version of the book. I thought the art was beautiful and it was a quick read.
Jon Nakapalau
Now I am ready to read the book - best GN I have read this year.
Alice Lippart
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Loved it!
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stunning imagery. It's amazing how her vision matches how I pictured the setting to be in my own mind, almost exactly.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of The Handmaid's Tale
Praise be. The classic Margaret Atwood cautionary tale has finally been adapted as a graphic novel, and it is perfection.

The spare art style emphasizes color (especially red and blue) and the facial expressions convey much even when words aren't possible. I really can't say enough about the illustrations: they evoke even more haunting, chilling doom than words alone can achieve.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Netgalley for review consideration.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent adaptation of this novel I’ve read three or four times by now. I loved the artwork and some scenes were conveyed very effectively with the bold use of the ever-present red colour which defines the handmaids with their red uniforms. Terrifying how timely this story is nowadays, with religious fanatics in the US and elsewhere taking away women’s rights to choose. I fervently hope this remains a purely fictional story. 4.5
Controversial opinion alert: don't bother (re)reading The Handmaid’s Tale. Read this instead. (And then don’t bother with The Testaments either.) It conveys the credible creepiness of Atwood’s novel, incorporates all the best lines, and makes highly effective use of contrasting colors and busy versus stark scenes. There are a lot of words on some pages, more than usual for a graphic novel, but that might make this a good place to start for someone who is new to graphic novels and/or unsure about ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
While still not a huge fan of the graphic novel form, I'm warming to it. And this is the best one I have read so far. The artwork is of such high quality. It supports the novel well without visually swamping Atwood's very controlled dystopian world. I found myself turning the pages rather obssessively because I was compelled to see what Nault had created next.

It was not possible to determine just when this version of The Handmaid's Tale is set. Offred remembers strolling along with Luke,
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I haven’t watched the television series and I’m not going to read the sequel. But with handmaids’ talk in the air, and my not feeling inclined to reread the original novel, when I heard of the graphic novel’s existence, I immediately got it from the library.

I read the original novel when it came out in paperback (1986? 87?), and I didn’t have high expectations because of finding it in an airport bookstore and my not having read anything by Atwood before then. I remember being absorbed by it and
Oct 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: can-con, 2019
Everything Handmaids wear is red: the colour of blood, which defines us.

With Margaret Atwood's The Testaments being released and making a splash this year, I decided to refresh myself on the story of The Handmaid's Tale without actually rereading The Handmaid's Tale - hence, the graphic novel adaptation. I won't comment on the content of this story, just the adaptation, and while admitting that I'm no expert on graphic novels, I will say that Renée Nault tells a satisfying story, complete with
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The artwork and colouring in this volume perfectly reflect the misery and horror of this story. I am unable to read The Handmaid's Tale as a book, listen to the audiobook, or watch the TV show without crying. This graphic novel provoked the same reaction of anger and sadness. I think that as a woman I empathize so strongly with the characters and I believe it is truly the scariest story ever written. This graphic novel is the perfect complement to the other formats and would be a great ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: library
I have failed once again to fulfil the expectations of others, which have become my own.

Utterly gorgeous art!

Catch a glimpse of it for yourself:
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully illustrated graphic novel version of The Handmaids Tale provided me with a useful refresher on this story prior to picking up The Testaments . I thought this tale worked very well in this format but it will never be a replacement for reading Atwood’s classic novel.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The content of the novel obviously stood up, and the drawing is appropriately haunting. That said the kinds of advances the TV show brought in terms of reflecting the diversity of women regresses here. Everyone is white and I find that unfortunate, since that was a weakness in the 1987 novel Atwood herself had acknowledged.
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I haven't watched the Netflix series, but I did listen to the audiobook last year. I decided to read the graphic novel before reading the new book The Testaments. The graphic novel is a very condensed version with key plot elements included. At the same time, short shrift is given to descriptions of life before the new era. In many respects, graphic representation of this story has more impact than text. I did read this with an eye to its potential for use with secondary students. This might not ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I know this is a classic but since I haven’t read the original novel, I feel like I didn’t appreciate this as much as I could have. The artwork was bright and bold and brutal in places but overall the frustration and anger I felt toward such a system was just too much and I couldn’t rate it any higher. Plus, I felt pretty depressed throughout the entirety of reading it :/
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Terrific in so many ways - but only if one already knows the story inside out.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a beautifully illustrated version of the original dystopian novel. Renée Nault’s watercolors are both vibrant and haunting. Absolutely gorgeous, stunning work of a favorite classic.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Handmaid’s Tale is one of my favorite classics of all time. I wrote a quick review for it the last time I read it in 2016 in preparation for the television show, so check that out for a more in-depth review. This review will focus on the adaptation of the story for a graphic novel and its illustrations.

My biggest complaint with the adaptation is that it didn’t include my favorite quotes of the novel.

“You can wet the rim of a glass and run your finger around the rim and it will make a sound.
The art here is fabulous and the style certainly fits the tone of the book, but I think anyone without familiarity of the novel would be lost on how the story plays out and even more frustrating is the lack of representation. Atwood and the folks behind the television series have rightly been criticized for how white the book is and even with that knowledge prior to the creation of the graphic novel....there are hardly any faces of color throughout.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Renee Nault has done a fantastic job of bringing the stark brutal reality of Gilead to life while keeping the essence of the story unchanged.

I do wonder if not having prior knowledge of the story will affect readers views and understanding though, personally I enjoyed this more than the novel.
Michael Finocchiaro
I really enjoyed this graphical treatment of Margaret Atwood's classic The Handmaid's Tale. It is not the TV show translated to comics! It is its own original interpretation of the book and faithful in spirit and dialog as well. I liked the choices in how the primary characters are portrayed, how Renée Nault structures the story, and the artwork was really great too. I highly recommend it for fans of the TV show (for a different view of the protagonists) as well as both folks that read or didn't ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story is so terrifying. My second time reading it did nothing to dull the knot in my stomach while I read. The Handmaid’s Tale should be required reading. Margret Atwood is a master, you open this book and you can not put it down until you finish. I seriously can not give enough praise to this masterpiece. The illustrations were beautiful and I really think it added a whole other level to the novel.
Rod Brown
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I first read the original novel 29 years ago, so I wasn't surprised that I had forgotten big chunks of the story. Mostly I remembered being bored by the novel and having the feeling that it was just too far-fetched. But this graphic novel adaptation makes a good case for the story being more likely and more urgent than ever to tell. I really should try the TV adaptation now.
Nusrat Mahmood
I was planning to start the testament but found that already I have forgotten itsies bitsies of the Handmaid’s tale. Suddenly spot this graphic novel and give it a try and I love it. The Illustrator draws almost all the female in a way where they all kinda look same. I think It carries some importance as the whole dystopian thing does gruesome deeds to them that we need to overlook their presence.’s so good
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Damn best! Love the artwork too
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Play Book Tag: The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel - 4 stars 6 14 Jul 03, 2019 04:50PM  

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Renee Nault is a Canadian artist, illustrator, and graphic novelist.

She is known for her vivid watercolor and ink illustrations.
“There were places you didn’t want to walk, precautions you took that had to do with locks on windows and doors, drawing the curtains, leaving on lights. These things you did were like prayers; you did them and you hoped they would save you.” 0 likes
“Patikėkite, sunku tam atsispirti, bet prisiminkite, kad atleidimas taip pat galia. Maldauti atleidimo yra galia ir neduoti jo ar dovanoti jį yra galia, galbūt visų didžiausia.” 0 likes
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