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The Testaments

(The Handmaid's Tale #2)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  9,615 ratings  ·  1,761 reviews

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid's Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.

When the van door slammed on Offred's future at the end of The Handmaid's Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her--freedom, prison or death.

With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Hardcover, 422 pages
Published September 10th 2019 by Nan A. Talese (first published 2019)
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  • The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
    The Testaments (The Handmaid's Tale, #2)
    Release date: Sep 10, 2019
    In this brilliant sequel to THE HANDMAID'S TALE, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades.


    Format: Print book

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    Availability: 5 copies available, 19619 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Sep 15 - Oct 15, 2019

    Countries available: U.S.

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    Zachary Ephrem Some people get the books early, but some of it might just be nefarious behavior too. GoodReads really needs better quality control on pre-order…moreSome people get the books early, but some of it might just be nefarious behavior too. GoodReads really needs better quality control on pre-order books, sort of like Steam gaming platform doesn't let people review games unless the game is already out(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    4.36  · 
    Rating details
     ·  9,615 ratings  ·  1,761 reviews

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    Emily May
    Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: modern-lit, 2019
    I can sum it up simply: this book is not needed.

    I hoped that wouldn't be the case. I really really hoped Atwood had something important to add to the world of Gilead with this book, but she honestly doesn't. If anything, The Testaments serves only to weaken the power of The Handmaid's Tale.

    In the past, I have spoken highly of authors who are not afraid to "be evil" with their books. This may give the impression that they are doing something particularly nefarious, but, in fact, it’s not so much
    Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: 2019
    Return to Gilead

    Check your expectations at the door: The Testaments is a highly entertaining page turner, but it is also probably quite different from whatever you were anticipating.

    It differs from its 1985 antecedent, The Handmaid's Tale, in tone, voice and literary heft. That earlier book had a power and a gravitas that is not recaptured here. For me the most striking thing about The Handmaid’s Tale has always been Atwood’s choice of narrator. Offred (in the book she has no other name) is so c
    Nov 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
    Recommends it for: big fans of the TV show version
    I guess I'll have to be the one who says what nobody else is willing to say. This novel is terrible. I can't decide which work Atwood should be embarrassed for more - Angel Catbird, Vol. 1 or The Testaments. The book doesn't read like a novel written by one of the most lauded authors of the 20st century. The Testaments reads like a standard-issue feminist YA dystopia, filled with every overused dystopian trope and every stereotype, penned by an author who writes for teen audience, and is publish ...more
    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
    So I just found out about this, Margaret Atwood revealed it via twitter yesterday. I even had to create the book data myself on goodreads so I could write this update. I really did not see this coming. (did anyone?)

    I'm excited and surprised. The Handmaid's Tale felt like such a closed book, so it will be real interesting to see where this one goes. I wonder if she decided to write this after the success of the television adaptation or the show was made because this book was being written.

    Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: margaret-atwood
    "How tedious is a tyranny in the throes of enactment. It's always the same plot."

    So why does Margaret Atwood choose to tell the story again? That question has haunted me since I heard the announcement of the project almost a year ago. WHY? I was convinced I would hate the hype and the gushing reviews and the book itself, and started reading with the attitude of someone who knew the story didn't need telling again.

    To my surprise, I liked it from the start, and soon engaged in the thriller unfoldi
    Charlotte May
    Holy shit is this real? Because I need it!
    Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
    This is a flashy, placative, but also intelligent thriller, here to make some points about society and to entertain - it's certainly not the most layered or subtle literature ever written, but you know what? It's engaging, rather suspenseful and great fun to read, full of quips and commentary on the world we live in, and sometimes, that's more than enough. And honestly: The Handmaid's Tale wasn't particularly ambiguous or enigmatic either.

    As we already know
    Nilufer Ozmekik
    Only two stars for the love of Aunt Lydia! If she wasn’t in this book, I could do something first by giving minus five stars to a book! See how I disliked and how I felt frustrated about this hope stealing, time wasting, one of the biggest failures of the year!!!! One of the tasteless testament you could ever have!

    2019 could be one of this year I got really disappointed by movies, series books. They were like several ugly stabs to your stomach. I was unlucky to read Cari Mora ( After 13 years of
    Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2019

    I can't help but be a little disappointed with this book. In my view The Handmaid's Tale didn't need a sequel, but I suppose we can't begrudge Atwood the opportunity to cash in on the popularity of the TV version. In my view this book is not worthy of a Booker shortlisting, and is possibly the weakest of the Atwood novels I have read.

    There are two main problems - firstly by alternating the accounts of three narrators, the distinctive voices are lost, and seco
    Aug 16, 2019 marked it as to-read
    this is the most unexpected thing of 2019 so far
    Gumble's Yard
    Shortlisted for the 2019 Booker Prize.

    You’ll labour over this manuscript of mine, reading and rereading, picking nits as you go.

    I was fortunate enough to attend one of the live cinema screenings of the readings and author Q&A from the National Theatre on the evening of the book's official publication, managing to complete my first read of the book just as the event started.

    The event was excellent - and I think only reinforced my view that Handmaid's Tale is a great works of fiction. Great
    Ron Charles
    Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    “The Testaments” opens in Gilead about 15 years after “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but it’s an entirely different novel in form and tone. Inevitably, the details are less shocking — at least in part because the horrors of Gilead’s male-centered theocracy are already so well known. When Offred first told her “sad and mutilated story,” we were hearing about the hangings, the Unbabies and the Sons of Jacob for the first time. But by now, Gildead’s breeding Ceremony is a creepy cultural touchstone.

    Dec 04, 2018 marked it as not-released-tbr  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: reviewed
    Edit (2): OMG! I just noticed the girl stretching (?) In the ladies cloak
    EDit: WE HAVE A COVER (?) I don't really understand. it's like the same cover as book one
    OH MY GOSH! I'M SO EXCITED. but I need to know... Which dum-dum gave this a low rating?

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    Paul Fulcher
    Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Shelves: 2019, booker-2019
    Here I also keep another set of files, accessible only to a very few; I think of them as the secret histories of Gilead. All that festers is not gold, but it can be made profitable in non-monetary ways: knowledge is power.
    Aunt Lydia

    It was an “extraordinarily complicated process” to get copies of the manuscript, which is protected by a “ferocious” non-disclosure agreement.
    Chair of Booker Judges as told to the Guardian

    When, in 2197, the Thirteenth Symposium on Amazonian Studies takes place, the as
    Nov 28, 2018 marked it as anticipated-releases  ·  review of another edition
    Honestly, I'm scared.
    Jessica Jeffers
    Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: fiction
    While this doesn't have the same impact as The Handmaid's Tale, largely because the shock value is gone at this point, I was not disappointed by this.

    I am only giving it four stars because one plot point strikes me as a little too far-fetched, even in the world of Gilead, but I may have missed some details in my fervor to read this as quickly as possible. I may re-evaluate after a closer reading.
    Riley Redgate
    to be perfectly honest i kind of wish this wasn’t happening. part of what i loved about the original was how hermetically sealed it felt, to the degree that a sequel or an expansion practically feels like it breaks the structure?

    but like. it’s margaret atwood, so i will read it and probably love it and look back on this pre-review as me being whiny and averse to change. i hope
    Nov 28, 2018 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
    I’m so excited for this 😬😬😬
    Officially my most anticipated read of 2019. Cannot wait for this!
    André Oliveira
    Nov 28, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: coming
    O M G
    Abbie | ab_reads
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it liked it
    3.75 stars

    Although I don’t think Atwood pulled a spectacular second book showstopper à la Year of the Flood again, The Testaments definitely stood up in its own right for me! It felt quite different to The Handmaid’s Tale but it would be impossible not to, being written 34 years after the fact.
    Where THT feels almost claustrophobic at times, always being in Offred’s head, with The Testaments we get a much wider narrative, allowing us to gain a bigger picture of Gilead, its unfortunate inhabitant
    Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: hard-rain
    Reading the sequel to THE HANDMAID’S TALE I was hoping to finally encounter a character named Ofmatt, – but – no such luck (Just kidding!)

    While the first volume depicts the society of the Republic of Gilead pretty much from the point of view of a single individual, the Handmaid, this here book offers the respective perspective from three persons, one from the outside looking in, and the other two from the inside looking around. Two of those views become altered by moving the narrators from insid
    Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    An easier yet at the same time also less impactful read than the Handmaid's tale
    But perhaps it is too late for that. You take the first step, and to save yourselves from the consequences, you take the next one.

    The three narrators assessed
    We return to Gilead, the theocracy that superseded the United States of America through the eyes of three women: aunt Lydia, Agnes/Victoria and Daisy/Jade.

    The last two narrators are both teenagers, one having grown up in Gilead and one in Canada.
    I found there s
    Jenny (Reading Envy)
    I've had less than good experiences in my last few Atwood reads - first I spent money on the novella series that was then removed from my Kindle with no renumeration. Then I held off and finally read The Heart Goes Last and ended up sorely disappointed in it. You can read my 2-star review but part of my complaint had to do with a feeling of author laziness on some level. Claiming it was an all new book, but to me half of it being very familiar since I'd already read it in the novella version. An ...more
    Nov 28, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
    I hardly ever binge-watch anything but over the last three days I've watched all of season one and half of season two.

    I. Am. Obsessed.

    I enjoyed the book too. So I'm super excited for this sequel. I don't think I can wait until September 2019, though...
    Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    “You don’t believe the sky is falling until a chunk of it falls on you”

    The Testaments differs greatly from The Handmaid’s Tale in that it’s more action packed, if you will. The Testaments focuses less on the inner workings of the individuals and more on the world and Gilead as a whole.

    The biggest difference between the two novels is the agency and actions of the characters. While The Handmaid’s Tale gives readers a character who holds up a mirror daring readers to say otherwise that they would
    Nov 28, 2018 marked it as wishlist  ·  review of another edition
    A new story in Gilead set 15 years after the end of Handmaid’s Tale with 3 new narrators? Hell yes, sign me up for this one!!!

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

    See this twitter thread for more:
    Nov 28, 2018 is currently reading it
    sign me up for this.

    set fifteen years after the original book, so it's not just going to be a cash-grabby rehash of the second season of the TV show.

    three narrators? hell yeah.
    Meg Collins
    This is easily my most anticipated book for 2019.


    Has it only been written to create more content for the television series?

    Don’t get me wrong, the show is incredible. I’ve only seen the first season so far, but there is already a fear that the story will get tired and lost the more seasons are created.

    Handmaids Tale works perfectly as a stand-alone and I’m a believer that it should remain that way.

    Basically, I want this book to convince me otherwise. Please!
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    Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

    Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr

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