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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 (4310 )
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  •  
    Name withheld because stalkers Google me and I find it annoying Orchard Park, NY United States 04-05-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You can only do so much with non-fiction"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not, unless the friend was a fan of the show. It's not a bad book by any means, and Cassandra Campbell is a very good narrator, but it's just a pretty forgettable story. You'd think that there would be more interesting things that happen in a year spent in prison.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    She's writing it as a memoir, so I assume she wanted to be true to the story. I think the only thing that would have made it more enjoyable would be to make it fiction and make some things up.


    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I think she read it in about the same way I'd have "heard" it in my head.


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

    Doubtful. I haven't even gotten around to watching the series on Netflix.


    Any additional comments?

    I did appreciate her take on the legal system. The way things are dragged out so that your life is in limbo while they go through all their unnecessary and illogical processes is extremely frustrating (forget to renew your dog license and see how many of your hours are wasted sitting in a court room just for them to say "renew it on time next year!" and you'll see what I mean). And then there are the police officers who think that because they have a 2 year degree in criminal justice, they deserve your respect, regardless of how rude they are to you.I also thought her realization of what matters in life was a good message. She was given the opportunity to know women she'd probably cross the street to avoid passing had she seen them outside prison. She saw their kindness and generosity and I hope that it's a lesson she's kept and shared.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-01-14
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    "Book is better than movie"
    Where does Orange is the New Black rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    one of the best


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Red, she reminds me of myself, mother hen, but don't cross her!


    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    feelings, making it easy to tell the difference characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb Waynesville, NC, United States 03-27-14
    Deb Waynesville, NC, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Boring"

    This was like summer camp not prison. The narration was the only thing good about this book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Colorado Springs, CO, United States 03-27-14
    Kathy Colorado Springs, CO, United States 03-27-14 Member Since 2015
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    "loved the book."
    What made the experience of listening to Orange is the New Black the most enjoyable?

    Opened my eyes to the unjust amount of time some are sentenced for their crimes. Also the lack of rehabilitation offered and the lack of preparation for defendants being released.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The details of life inside her prison.


    What does Cassandra Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She did a great job not over dramatizing the character. She came across strong but vulnerable.


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

    For me it was the class they had to go to before being released from prison. They were given nothing to prepare them.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boring To Adoring Decor & Paint Boutique Millbury, MA, United States 03-23-14
    Boring To Adoring Decor & Paint Boutique Millbury, MA, United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2009

    - Stephany

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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 2015

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 Member Since 2013

    idahogirl4

    ratings
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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