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Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison | [Piper Kerman]

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.
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Publisher's Summary

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Orange is the New Black offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison, why it is we lock so many away, and what happens to them when they're there.

©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Fascinating....The true subject of this unforgettable audiobook is female bonding and the ties that even bars can't unbind." (People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (2861 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Stephany Uxbridge, MA, United States 03-23-14
    Stephany Uxbridge, MA, United States 03-23-14
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    "Oh the things I never knew about prison"
    Where does Orange is the New Black rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I started watching the first season of OITNB and I was hooked. My curiosity got the better of me to see if the show was more "Hollywood" than the book. I found myself trying to pick out characters in her story to the ones I'd watched on Netflix. Some were spot-on...others not so much. It's okay though, the story kept me interested. The show is more far-fetched and entertaining.
    The narration was great and believable.
    I can't wait until season 2!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Easley, SC, United States 03-22-14
    Michael Easley, SC, United States 03-22-14 Member Since 2012

    Actually, it is Jennifer, not Michael. I enjoy a variety of books but am drawn to romantic historical fiction with a Christian message.

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    "To Grow and To Grow Up"

    Well-written, interesting, true story of a privileged young woman whose reckless youth had severe consequences. Through her year in federal prison, you see Miss Kerman mature. She sees women who have been born into worlds of poverty, abuse and neglect try to overcome enormous challenges. She begins to see herself in a different light. She, unlike fellow inmates, was born into a loving, caring family with an abundance of opportunity. I caution listeners that there is much foul language, but probably necessary to convey the realities of prison life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Miller Rancho Murieta, CA 03-14-14
    Kelly Miller Rancho Murieta, CA 03-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Very enjoyable book"
    If you could sum up Orange is the New Black in three words, what would they be?

    Accurate. Original. Page turner.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Her boyfriend. He must be an amazing man and I could relate to her need for this man in her life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elaine United States 03-04-14
    elaine United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm an avid audible book listener. I am a huge fan of supernatural books and like stuff that is scary but well written. I live in Denver Co

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    "Kept my attention but...."

    Orange is the new black kept my attention because the narrator did an excellent job it was rather well written HOWEVER nothing really happens. Is kind of like a year in the life of..... It just tells daily details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela LEWISTON, ID, United States 02-21-14
    Angela LEWISTON, ID, United States 02-21-14

    idahogirl4

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    "Valuable Prison Book"
    Where does Orange is the New Black rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This has been one of my favorite audiobooks. I was actually sad when it ended.


    Any additional comments?

    I teach criminal justice courses. I have been on the look-out for a good book about federal prison and/or female prison experiences. I really liked the format of this book. I plan on making this required reading for my prison course in the future. The audiobook is not like the Netflix version of the story. If you are interested in prison issues, give it a shot. It is worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Grants Pass, OR, United States 01-09-14
    Kimberly Grants Pass, OR, United States 01-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "I thought it was going to be better than it was..."
    What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

    I had never heard of any sort of story line like it. I expected the ending to be better.


    What could Piper Kerman have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    I thought there would have been a bit more drama when she came across the person responsible for her going to prison.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes, the narration was appropriate.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Probably not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carly PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 01-04-14
    Carly PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Highly Recommend"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was the very first book I ever listened to through Audible.com, and I absolutely loved it. I am so glad that I listened to the book before watching the series on Netflix, because the book is so much more complex and intricate than the Netflix series. Cassandra Campbell is fantastic, and she really captures the complexity of the characters, and the emotional roller coaster that the main character experiences throughout the story. I love creative nonfiction, and I was highly impressed with this book, especially considering that it is Ms. Kerman's first book. If you're looking for an interesting read that is both challenging and entertaining, don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Kraut Oakland, Ca 01-02-14
    B. Kraut Oakland, Ca 01-02-14 Member Since 2006
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    "As good, or better than the series"
    Where does Orange is the New Black rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I found this book utterly engaging and entertaining. I had recently finished watching the Netflix series and after hearing the author interviewed on Terry's Gross's NPR Fresh Air radio broadcast, the differences between the series and the true story in the book as explained by the author peaked my interest to learn more about the real story.


    Have you listened to any of Cassandra Campbell’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    After having seen the series, I couldn't get the picture of Taylor Schillings, who plays Piper Kerman, out of my mind--but that is a compliment, not a complaint. I found Campbell's recitation so similar and that made it very easy to imagine the story as it was read. I liked her rendition of the different accents of her inmates in prison and found them authentic enough as to make the characters believable. I gave her 5 stars for her skill in making the book come alive.


    Any additional comments?

    I would highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Seattle, WA, USA 12-28-13
    Anna Seattle, WA, USA 12-28-13 Member Since 2007
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    "The true story behind the hit show"
    Any additional comments?

    This memoir inspired the Netflix series of the same name. It's different from the series in many ways, and that's a good thing. It's different in the way that real life is different from a dramatization. The book's Piper learns different things than the show's Piper. I enjoyed both, and think they complement each other nicely. I saw the show first, then found the book, which is probably a good order to do it in...the dramatization lured me in, and prepared me to contemplate the quieter lessons of the real story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara SAG HARBOR, NY, United States 12-25-13
    Barbara SAG HARBOR, NY, United States 12-25-13
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    "Fascinating view of the women's prison system"

    This book gives you an insight to the women's prison system that it unattainable in scholarly books. The first-hand account of what prison life is like, versus what life is like behind bars when your not charged but held until trial is remarkable. It talks about issues and reveals a glimpse of what it must be like to lose everything except what you can keep inside you. And teaches you how to use it to your best advantage. A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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