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The Handmaid's Tale: The Graphic Novel

(The Handmaid's Tale )

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  12,248 ratings  ·  1,613 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 Co
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. Th…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 unse…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 4.23  · 
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 ·  12,248 ratings  ·  1,613 reviews

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Dave 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 book ...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 si ...more
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Praise be.
Reading_ Tam_ Ishly
Dec 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I don't know if I should be happy that I didn't read the book first before reading the graphic novel adaptation. Because that's enough for days to come. Because the story is a nightmare.

As simple as this (I don't have the IT factor to write reviews taking notes and references from history and stuff), this is a dystopian (it better be) world where the ONLY purpose of all the women is to procreate for an old man and women making themselves believe that their only purpose is to do the same. Covere
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 lovin

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.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, favourites, 2020
“Pain marks you, but too deep to see.”

representation: characters of colour, lesbian side character.

[trigger warnings are listed at the bottom of this review and may contain spoilers]


This was a fantastic adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale. The art style was absolutely perfect for the story and it was seamlessly told in this condensed version.

trigger warnings: rape, kidnapping, torture (both psychological and physical), police brutality, a totalitarian government, institutionalized misog
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
Loved it!
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.
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. ...more
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, carryin
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: 2019, can-con
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 wi
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:

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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 introduct ...more
Stella❤️ 孔凡星
The artwork is absolutely stunning; I loved the contrast of colours between the past and the present!
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.
Ashley Daviau
Jun 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Atwood I ever read and it was such a treat to revisit it in graphic novel form. Her writing is just absolutely stunning, the way she weaves the words on the page is truly one of a kind. The world Atwood creates is both terrifying and beautiful at the same time. Beautiful because she truly makes you FEEL what the characters are going through and what their day to day life is like. And it has what has become one of my all time favourite quotes from a book, “Nolite te bastardes c ...more
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.
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
Sahil Javed
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
“Everything Handmaids wear is red: the colour of blood, which defines us.”

The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel is truly a work of art. This was my first time ever reading a graphic novel and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t find this kind of format enjoyable but I was so wrong. Having already read The Handmaid’s Tale, I found this graphic novel a perfect way to retell the story. The art by Renee Nault, the colour schemes, the actual illustrations, the font used for the writin
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
Victor The Reader
Told with beautifully brushed art, Margaret Atwood’s classic brings a truly harsh and haunting new look at Offred’s story that doesn’t stop being suspenseful. A- (91%/Excellent)
Banal Girl
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was so good!
Amazing illustrations that helped a lot to build the mood!

Really recommend this if you liked the original and you like graphic novels!
mads ☆ミ
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
beautiful writing and graphic designs!! the theme surrounding feminism was so well thought out and creative. i plan on reading the actual book someday for school !!
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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 :/
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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.

Other books in the series

The Handmaid's Tale (2 books)
  • The Handmaid's Tale (The Handmaid's Tale, #1)
  • The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale, #2)

Articles featuring this book

Marjorie Liu is the author of more than 19 novels and the co-creator and writer of the award-winning horror fantasy...
98 likes · 14 comments
“Pain marks you, but too deep to see” 2 likes
“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.” 1 likes
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