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Monica

Spring, TX, United States

8
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  • Twelve Years a Slave

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Solomon Northup
    • Narrated By Louis Gossett, Jr.
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (927)
    Performance
    (831)
    Story
    (835)

    In this riveting landmark autobiography, which reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York; Washington, D.C.; and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and 12 years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War.

    Fran H. Willingham says: "I've waited for this a long time"
    "This was a great and inspiring story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this audiobook to my friends.

    This story takes you into the mind and thoughts of a slave in mid-1800s Louisiana. This book has a slightly different angle, telling the story from the perspective on a free man of color who was lured from his hometown in New York and kidnapped into slavery in Washington DC (on the mall across from the Capitol), then shipped to Louisiana. Solomon is highly intelligent and smarter than most slaves (and slave masters), and has unique talents. He describes aspects of slavery that are very seldom told. As a descendant of a slave, this is the first book I have read that answered questions that are never asked. It shed insight on why the slaves continued in slavery and did not, or could not, revolt en masse, and what they did when they just couldn't take it anymore. As an African-American, I especially appreciated the effort made by the author to enlighten future generations about the truth of 19th century Southern slavery and provide a factual view of the institution based on his actual experience, and a balanced account of individual men who populated plantation society.


    What other book might you compare Twelve Years a Slave to and why?

    It is hard to compare this book to any I have read, since most books about slavery tell pretty much the same story. This author really tried to capture the life and experience of this slave and shared his inner thoughts. This is was made this book exceptional.


    What does Louis Gossett, Jr. bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Based on Lou Gossett's very personal performance of the slave Solomon Northup's first-person story, I'm thinking that the movie can't match what I just experienced. He makes you feel as if you are actually sitting across from him, perhaps over coffee, and he is sharing his story, sometimes engaging you in the haunting details of his captivity and the characters he encountered along his journey (some evil, some heroic), and sometimes emotionally gripping you with heart-rending moments that he conveys with perfection. You soon forget it's a performance and you live the moment with Solomon. The realism Gossett delivers helps you to visualize the people and scenes in your mind in a way that seems more powerful than a movie's visuals. I am an avid audiobook listener and this experience was unique. It's much more than a narration, it's bringing a slave from 150 years ago back to life and placing him in front of you.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, it was hard to turn off.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this audiobook to all African Americans. It gives a new insight into our ancestors life. It answers some of those questions that we don't ask.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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