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Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela | [Nelson Mandela]

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela

The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling, and uplifting, Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience, and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.
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Publisher's Summary

The riveting memoirs of the outstanding moral and political leader of our time, Long Walk to Freedom brilliantly re-creates the drama of the experiences that helped shape Nelson Mandela's destiny. Emotive, compelling, and uplifting, Long Walk to Freedom is the exhilarating story of an epic life; a story of hardship, resilience, and ultimate triumph told with the clarity and eloquence of a born leader.

©1994 Nelson Mandela; (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks UK

What the Critics Say

"Burns with the luminosity of faith in the invincible nature of human hope and dignity....Unforgettable." (Andre Brink)
"Enthralling....Mandela emulates the few great political leaders such as Lincoln and Gandhi, who go beyond mere consensus and move out ahead of their followers to break new ground." (Sunday Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (85 )
5 star
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4.4 (33 )
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Story
3.9 (34 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Penny ALDARA PARK, South Africa 08-13-09
    Penny ALDARA PARK, South Africa 08-13-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Pronunciation Massacre"

    This production is an audio massacre. I'm sure Danny Glover was delighted to read the autobiography of such an admired man, but this production did Mr Mandela no favours. I can't vouch for the Xhosa pronunciations, but Glover butchers common SA English words such as "veld" (pronounced felt) and even Mandela's own name. It's man-DEH-lah.

    This audiobook is a perfect example of how British and American disregard for accent and pronunciation leads to accusations of cultural imperialism. If Tom Sawyer was read by a Pakistani narrator, how many Americans would complain? There would be an outcry. So why not get a South African narrator to do a proper job? There are a number of SA voices with the deep vocal quality of Glover, without the glaring inability to pronounce names correctly.

    I'm sure I will eventually get used to the butchering of names and words, but it is all so unnecessary. The author deserves better respect than this disaster. The producer owes him an apology, but this is unlikely to happen.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. J. Shapiro Cape Town South Africa 09-04-12
    A. J. Shapiro Cape Town South Africa 09-04-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing story let down by a poor narrator"

    The story is completely riveting and no fictional account could invent the drama and pathos of the events.

    Unfortunately, Danny Glover was not up to the task. He could not pronounce the South African surnames and place names correctly which detracted from the narrative. Oddly, even some of the English names (eg. "Meedowlands" for Meadowlands) were incorrect.

    There are hundreds of very accomplished African actors and voice artists who could have narrated the story with passion and authenticity. To hear Mandela's words spoken with an American accent is jarring but this would not be the first (or last time) that Hollywood has butchered a good story by casting an American in the lead role.

    Morgan Freeman played Mandela in "Invictus" and James Earl Jones played Rev Khumalo in "Cry the Beloved Country".

    African accents are rich in nuance and actually quite easy to understand for any English speaker, its a great pity this book could not be narrated more authentically.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Gordon, Australia 06-26-12
    Steven Gordon, Australia 06-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Nelson Mandela's Life Story"
    Would you try another book from Nelson Mandela and/or Danny Glover?

    I was particularly disappointed with Danny Glover's voice and hence I didn't enjoy the book as much as possible.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    There was not enough detail to really grab my attention, and in addition to this I found there was a never ending list of people's names and associations that in the end became somewhat meaningless.


    Was Long Walk to Freedom worth the listening time?

    I expected a lot more from this book. The only parts that really grabbed me were the freedom songs that were occasionally inserted into the story and the actual speech by Nelson Mandela towards the end of the book.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kgotso Midrand, South Africa 01-05-12
    Kgotso Midrand, South Africa 01-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Danny Glover and isiXhosa : water and oil"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Long Walk to Freedom to be better than the print version?

    Had this version been read by a person who is fluent in South African indigenous languages in general and could read isiXhosa in particular it would have received a five star rating from me. It needs to be redone, as this inspiring sometimes sad, and mostly beautiful story has been hard done by the readers inability to pronounce South African words such as Veld or even isiXhosa, how was he expected to even utter the words such as ndiyindonda (I am a man) properly, though Bra-Danny Glover is a good english reader. Audible has pulled a fast one on me, I guess, if I could, I would return this version of the book to sender....unfortunately I am not sure how I could do that digitally.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynette Pretoria, South Africa 10-11-12
    Lynette Pretoria, South Africa 10-11-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting reliving history"

    Interesting to relive history and hearing it from the other side, especially as Madiba is one of the greats (and you can understand why)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharrin Chavannes sur Moudon, Switzerland 06-22-11
    Sharrin Chavannes sur Moudon, Switzerland 06-22-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bad Bad choice of narrator"

    Nelson Mandela is an absolute icon of the 20th/21th century, if not the most respected and idealised human being and role model.

    As a south african, I know that the pronounciation of the afrikaans and african words is hideous!
    Danny Glover as a narrator was a very bad choice. There are many talented South africans that could have given the autobiography of the man who lead south africa out of the era of apartheid a more authentic and enjoyable experience.

    I stopped listening to the audiobook and bought the book so I could read it for myself!!!

    I rate the book as 5 stars as I would not want the dissapointing choice of narrator to take away from what a brilliant read this is and to be able to experience the trials and tribulations of our Madiba!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riaan Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada 11-02-10
    Riaan Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada 11-02-10 Member Since 2009
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    "In spiring story in spite of a terrible narrator"

    The story is truly inspiring. Unfortunatley the Xhosa and Afrikaans sentences and words are horribly mutilated by the pronounciation of the narrator, who attempts fake Afrikaans and Xhosa accents but ends up coming ccross with something that is completely incomprehensible to people who understand the languages. If it really unfortunate that someone who speaks both Xhosa and Afrikaans could not be found to read this. Please find a better rendition of this and replace this truly terrible narration

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donald Cheltenham, Australia 08-01-10
    Donald Cheltenham, Australia 08-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Loved it!"

    This is undoubtedly better than reading the book. Danny Glover did a great job reading this and the occasional background music was a beautiful touch. Nice to see (hear) that producers of audiobooks are thinking beyond straight readings. And of course, the bio itself is inspiring!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 07-05-09
    Glenn Richmond Hill, ON, Canada 07-05-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    206
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    "Long walk to the end of the book"

    Found this audio very long and drawn out. The interesting parts were few and far between.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results
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  • Karen
    Chafford Hundred, Essex, United Kingdom
    8/27/06
    Overall
    "Fascinating & beautifully narrated."

    This was the first title I purchased once I had subscribed to 'Audible'. The narration by Danny Glover (who's understanding, diction and pronunciation of the Xhosa language is exemplary), made for an entertaining, empathic and educational listen. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute and will return to the book time and again.

    14 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    Romford, Essex, United Kingdom
    6/27/07
    Overall
    "Long Walk to Freedom"

    Danny Glover was a fantastic narrator so much so that I could not believe that it was him! I bought the book over ten years ago and never got a chance to read it so it was brilliant having it read to me. It gives me a greater understanding of what Neslon Mandela went through and a time line of what happened when. Will definitely listen to it again!!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Alex
    Dundee, United Kingdom
    8/8/12
    Overall
    "WOW - an amazing book"

    I feel humbled to have been able to read/listen this book knowing that Nelson Mandella himself wrote it.

    I listened to this book as an audio book and was pleasantly surprised to hear the great man himself.

    One of the truly great men of all time telling his story with details of how his own people were oppressed. The dignity with how he dealt with the whole overall situation and his personal struggle throughout it all.
    A real inspiration of a man. I cannot recommend this book enough!!!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brian
    WaterfordIreland
    3/15/11
    Overall
    "Inspired"

    Inspiring, educational and most enjoyable. Highly recommended to anyone with even a slight interest in this man, his legacy or the resilience and capacity of the human spirit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    Rijswijk ZH - Netherlands
    3/6/11
    Overall
    "Understanding the man behind the Inspiration"

    This is one of those books I probably would never have read in paper, but I am so glad I got the audio version to 'whittle away' my training hours in the gym or running.
    It tells the story of Nelson Mandela the man, his background, and why he did what he did. A must-listen for anybody wanting to understand the person behind the inspiration.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Catherine
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    4/8/10
    Overall
    "beautifully read and a wonderful story"

    Inspiring to hear a tale of the drive, forgiveness and making of a global hero who fought for freedom with gentleness. The accent of the narrator and his pronunciation are spot on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • D. EDWARDS
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    2/13/10
    Overall
    "Awful narration, interesting story"

    Danny Glover has no idea how to pronounce important Xhosa, Afrikaans or South African English words. Some names are so badly mangled I have no idea who he is referring to. And I live in South Africa and followed the events closely. This edition is a disgrace. There are many excellent South African voice artists who would have done an infinitely better job.

    Apart from that, the book is interesting, albeit abridged. it tells an important story of and by a man whose impact on South African history and politics has been profound. If you can put up with the narrator you'll enjoy the story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Unknown
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This audio book is one of the best biography books"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely yes, because you learn everything you need know about our hero Nelson Mandela.it. Mandela tells his his story in a very beautiful way and the narrator is very clear in pronouncing every single word. I have always wanted to learn about this great man, but I was quite reluctant to buy the book and read it. I was very happy to have found the audible book as it saved me a lot of time and at the same time allowed to comfortably listen Mandela's life story. Not get me wrong, I like reading books as ready books nearly everyday, but I got bored when reading biographies especially when it long.
    I think everyone ought to know about Mandela, not by listening other people talk about him but by buying his biography. Belive me it is the easiest way to learn about someone and what better person to know than the one and only Nelson Mandela...


    What other book might you compare Long Walk to Freedom to, and why?

    Another book I would compare this to is Gandhi's My Experiments with Truth. Before, I knew little about Ghandi, like what learn at school and what your parents tell you about the man who led India to freedom. But that wasn't enough for me and book the audible book mentioned above. Well, now I'm pleased to have purchased the book and learnt a great deal of the man..


    Which character – as performed by Danny Glover – was your favourite?

    Throughout the story, I could say that my favourite character was Mandela's second wife.she was someone who sacrificed a lot for him and loved him unconditionally.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Oh yes, I remember when Mandela was in prison and his wife came visit him there, it was really hard for them to let go of each other. Their behaviour showed each other's loniness and longing...another moment that moved me to tears was when still in prison, Mandela came to know of his son's death..it was really sad...


    Any additional comments?

    I would never stop being purchasing books as I have a lot of books in mind and I would recommend it for everyone.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Reb
    United Kingdom
    8/24/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lacking warmth and depth of narration"
    Would you listen to Long Walk to Freedom again? Why?

    . I would listen to this book again but not until it is read by a better voice sorry.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I have already listened to conversations with myself and found it a beautiful listen, I had hoped for the same warmth and to learn more about this great man but sadly the American accent really affected this books listening, I found myself switching off and at times becoming annoyed by the lack of beauty that can be heard when the African language is pronounced in a tongue capable of giving it the rolls and ripples it deserves


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aaseem
    Ickenham, United Kingdom
    6/29/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a Natural leader"
    What made the experience of listening to Long Walk to Freedom the most enjoyable?

    Amazing narrative about a man who became an icon. Leaders are not born. Leaders are made by society they live in. I was spell bound by this book and recommend it highly. Good Story telling by Danny Glover.


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

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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