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
"Fascinating....The true subject of this unforgettable audiobook is female bonding and the ties that even bars can't unbind." (People)
I really enjoyed hearing the real story of Piper's time in prison! I love the show on Netflix and I highly recommend if you watch the show, but it would be good even if you don't. I liked being about to piece together characters on the show with the actual people from the book. There was definitely some funny parts in the book but this is more serious than the laugh out loud comedy series on Netflix.
It was an interesting story, and I enjoyed listening to it but.....
Yeah, the show is more interesting, and I can see why they dressed it up a bit. I appreciate the fact she takes personal responsibility for what sent her there. Among the interesting personal stories, there is some social commentary but it manages to stop short of being preachy. Over all, I found it entertaining.
I love the exposition of the stunning, endless, utterly pointless flaws in our criminal "justice" system, which is clearly anything but just. It is damaging and expensive, and far more likely to turn someone who made a stupid mistake into an utter monster, than it is to ever reform anyone into a productive member of society. There are so many things in this book which strike me as clear violations of our Eighth Amendment rights against cruel and unusual punishment that I can hardly believe they still take place.
I found very compelling the amazing personal and social revelations that this experience brought to the author. All prosecutors and judges should have to spend a month in one of these facilities (the facility chosen completely at random, for authentic experience) and undergo the entire process of being a prisoner, before they can begin work as a prosecutor or judge, twice if they serve first as one and then the other.
I loved all of her accents. I generally am not a fan of the narrators trying to do different voices for the different characters, and wish they would just read the books "straight". It is bad enough that they mispronounce words left and right, without getting the voices all confused, as they often do.
But Ms. Campbell clearly spent time preparing, so that she always put the right voice with the right character. And not only was she consistent with them, but highly talented with the accents, as though a skilled actor, playing only one of these parts at a time. She is an amazing and wonderful talent, and I would love to have her read more audiobooks that I listen to. She is a gem!
Someone else already is making this as a televisions show (which is how I found out about it), and while that story differs quite a bit from what really happened, as the author wrote it, it is a pretty fun show, and exposes many of the same infuriating themes of American injustice.
How is mandatory minimum sentencing not a violation of the Eighth Amendment? When police, prosecutors, and judges violate the highest law in our country, it takes away all of their legitimacy. Treating people as though conviction of a crime means they are no longer people, entitled to any value, purpose, or dignity, is a counter-productive force within our entire civilization.
Very interesting to listen to the book after feeling I know the story and characters thru the TV series (which I've binge watched). So very different. Much to think abt re changes made to storyline and relationships, characters. Admire the book and the author far more than the character in the series! Grateful for her commentary abt the prison system.
I feel rotten, but part of me wants Piper Kerman to return to prison for a sequel (joking). The performance is flawless and story so compelling, I might listen through a second time.
Say something about yourself!
It is one of my favorite books, I have been a big fan of the show so I was excited to hear the book/
This is a good book about an upper class woman who spends a year in prison. Compared to the show, it is much less lively and less action packed. The show sensationalized the prison experience with drama and danger while the book (more accurate), is one woman's emotional journey and focuses on the women she meets. It is really character-driven rather than plot-driven. The writing was very straighforwars but more imagery and figurative language would have been nice.
Nothing special here.
She did well with the characters but sometimes the phrasing was a little off. She did not sing when there was song lyrics written in the text.
Yes, it taught me a lot about the realities of prison life and the problems with the correctional sysytem from a woman's perspective.
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