Not so much the characters, but the story!
His acting ability is tremendous.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
First of all, the account of slave life in this book is remarkable. Free from the gloss of historical fiction, it just lays out the hard, cold facts. The description of daily life is beyond anything I'd ever imagined. The word "horrific" doesn't even begin to describe it. Second, there is Solomon Northup's way of dealing with life and mankind. I simply cannot imagine being dealt those cards and responding with even a tenth of his dignity. Third ... it's impossible not to admire Northup's writing ability and his wonderful vocabulary. I was charmed by him.
I am awed by the men and women who had the strength of mind to endure. And I'm grateful for the brave souls who had the conviction to deal with slavery - often in personal ways and at great risk - and to help when they could. This book had a way of really personalizing that work and making its importance so clear.
The narration fits this book perfectly. I heard Solomon Northup telling his story - exactly as it should be. It is a tough listen at times, but powerful and very real. Highly recommended.
I love literary fiction and I occasionally delve into non-fiction. I love books that are suspenseful and am really into well-told stories.
I saw the INCREDIBLE film… and I knew I had to read this book. It is lovingly narrated by Louis Gossett, Jr. (I met him one time!) and the story is just as gripping and moving and horrible/wonderful as the film. AND! If you loved the book, do not be afraid to see the film… it is a VERY faithful re-creation of the book. It is an AMAZING story of loss, anger, submission, living on nothing but wits, endurance and redemption. It's a book to be experienced. It's a "must-read".
It deserves a place on your shelf or in your Audible library right along with The Known World by Edward P Jones and Beloved by the incomparable Toni Morrison. It's WAY better than Uncle Tom's Cabin and much better than The Confessions of Nat Turner….
Get it! Listen to it! Love Soloman Northup! You will not regret reading this memoir.
This is an excellent, first-hand account of slavery in the American south written by a man who was kidnapped from his home in New York State and sold into slavery in Louisiana. Solomon Northup's story is a heartrending story of a man's patient fight for survival and freedom. Even his fair portrayal of 2 kind masters cannot balance the years he suffers in unrelenting, back-breaking labor, the unfathomable cruelty and unbelievable brutality of several of his masters, and his constant deep longing for freedom and his family. Louis Gossett, Jr.'s narration is as expert as you would expect. It is not a "performance" read, which I think works well with a first-person point of view.
I loved this story... it was reminicient of Federick Douglass. The story is very well read, Gossett is great! I can hardly wait to see the movie. A TERRIFIC LISTEN!
Solomon is my favorite character because when he was in charge of the slaves he found his way around the beatings.
His tone of voice makes everything come to life.
I was fascinated by the evolving account of everything that transpired from kidnap into slavery to return to freedom, family and life. The reader takes the journey and endures the cruelty and despair. The day to day life of a slave is not one of sloth. It's one of industry and life preseverance. Louis Gosset, Jr's narration made it hard to put the book down.Highly, well-developed descriptive writing /oral history skill.
I will certainly listen and read this book again and will recommend it highly to others.
Solomon Northrop -- he was inventive, courageous, and acted with considerable integrity and grace. He delivered his promise to be candid and only relate what he personally witnessed and experienced.
Bass listening to Solomon's / Platt's story -- signalled the end of Solomon's suffering was near.
First-hand Account of a Free Black Man's Kidnap and Journey Back From Slavery
The stories of the other slaves were equally interesting and touching. The Afterword describing Sue Ekin's historian's fascination with what was an out-of-print jewel, was important to include. I have ordered the print book for my library.
To think that this is a true story is just heartbreaking. And of course heart warming in the end. I had never heard of this book until recently, probably because of the recent movie based on this story. I have not yet seen the movie, but am looking forward to seeing it soon.
This man, Solomon Northup, deserves respect and admiration from everyone. He handled his situation about as well as it could be handled, but more importantly, he never gave up his hope of freedom and seeing his wife and children again. Intelligent, well-spoken, and classy in so many ways, he was despised by lesser white men who were determined to hold him down and to claim that they "owned him."
Many nations can look back on certain parts of their history with shame and embarrassment, and the USA is no exception. Slavery is a mark upon us and our history that we have to live with, but we don't have to perpetuate. Although we as a nation and a people have come a long way since 1853, there are still those who continue to hate and mistreat others because the color of their skin is not to their liking. This can be said of people on both sides of the issue. Isn't it about time that this whole nonsense stop and we fulfill the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and love people because of the content of their character? Let's teach our children to be better than this horrendous history that destroyed so many valuable lives. It is really the only way we can affect a true change.
Louis Gossett Jr. is an amazing narrator, at times making me believe that he was Solomon Northup. Certainly he must have known the man, and yet it is not possible. So good!!!
Engrossing, Heart-wrenching, Inspiring
Obviously the conclusion stands out though the realisation of what was in store for Solomon when he was first in the slave pen in is hard to forget.
Because of the brutish, violent nature of this narrative it is hard to describe a scene as " favourite" but it is hard to surpass Solomon being forced to beat a fellow slave as a scene that will linger.
Whilst uplifting at times, this is a violent tale that captures the brutality faced by many slaves, both male and female, of the that era. I found it difficult to continue with often but impossible to stop.
Louis Gossett Jr's narration was superb both capturing the horror faced and the compassion shown by Solomon. If you have any interest at all in civil rights you will want to have this book.
Just another girl with too many books and not enough time for them all.
Like most book lovers I NEVER, EVER see the movie before reading the book. NEVER! Until now.
A week before I started reading this book I went to see the movie with the ladies from my book club. This book was selected as our November book of the month. The theme of the month was "Book to Movie", so of course we had to see the movie together.
FYI, this is not going to be a review about the movie at all.
The story of Solomon Northup starts out giving the reader a sense of the life he lead as a born-free African American living in the North with a wife and three children. Solomon was a musician and very well respected in his community by Whites and Blacks alike. After accepting a temporary job to play with a traveling "circus" Solomon is mislead and drugged by his employers in captivity. This is were the book gets...sad...upsetting...frustrating...speechless!
Solomon gives the readers an overview of his twelve long agonizing years as a plantation worker who's life and family mean nothing at all to his overseers and Masters. Solomon unlike many of his fellow slaves could read and write and if anyone knew it, would mean his death.
Could you image? First being kidnapped then having your name changed? Sold into slavery with all of its brutality, hunger, and misery? Despite all of that Solomon keep a small glimmer of hope throughout it all.
At times I had to remind myself this is non-fiction. This is the real deal 100%.
I loved his writing style and the way the author described his environment. But there were a few places where I felt the descriptive writing was not needed. But overall it was a eye-opening read.
I feel this book should be a must read for ALL American High School students at the junior and senior level. This a must read for everyone.
Audiobook: 7 hours and 51 minutes
Narrator: Louis Gossett
Again, I have found myself reading and listening to a book to help me get through it faster. I have to say, I found myself listening more than reading on this one. The audiobook is narrated by Louis Gossett Jr. a wonderful actor and now a great narrator. He did a marvelous job. The book is written in a more formal English and as I was listening to his voice read, he made it seem like poetry at times.
Say something about yourself!
Yes, I would recommend this book -- but, depending on the person. It really is a very bothersome story and the severe cruelty is detailed throughout the book. The black cloud cast by it lingered for sometime after I finished. The same was true for the movie. I was glad I read the audiobook and watched the movie, but am not sure I could ever do either again. It brought a lot of history to light. Although I knew of the war, of course, it provided me additional layers of knowledge for which I have an appreciation. There were times that I held my breath; out loud said, "Oh, noooo!"; and shook my head. The story grabbed me. I was completely absorbed.
Solomon, but all of the characters were very well defined.
I haven't listened to other Gosset's performances, but would not hesitate to do so. He is excellent.
A film has already been made, released in December 2013.