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'd listen to Cassandra, but I think I'd rather not try another book by Piper
Well, its a biography so unless it was fiction you can't really change the fact that prison is prison
Yes, voice inflection and characterizations
If you are expecting some action like in the series on Netflix you will be sorely disappointed. I don't really care for this book because it fizzled out in the end. There just wasn't much to talk about once Piper was off to testify and it should have ended before that or after she got home. I'd like to know how she adjusted to life on the outside, but we don't get any of that and I don't think I'd read a whole book about it...so that leaves me at an fork in the road. I think that Piper writes well, but her over effusive love of family and Larry got a little bit silly. She does understand that she is a privileged white chick and that is admirable.
I have mixed feelings about the author, but the book held my interest all the way through and the narration was very well done. Thus, I gave it 4 stars over all.
Lucky for me, I have not yet watched the Netflix TV show by the same name, so I have nothing with which to compare this audiobook or to disappoint me. Besides, TV and movies often "enhance" a book's content to such an extent that it is difficult to compare them in the best of circumstances.
Some of the things that bothered me are the following. Piper always came across as the spoiled, advantaged, pretty girl. She began whining about the prison conditions from day one, when she missed her fiance and her friends unbearably. For cripes sake, she wasn't even there for 24 hours! And after all, her crimes were only committed to satisfy a need for cheap thrills. Incongruent with her frequent indignance about the unfair treatment and unpleasant conditions in prison were the descriptions of all the fun she had--making cheesecake, having pedis, visiting the lake, making new friends. Even more puzzling was her constant need to pat herself on the back--for making so many friends, having so many visitors, being so well-loved by just about everyone.
On the other hand, I really did enjoy Piper's story. I was surprised and happy to learn that there was so little violence in a women's prison--is her experience really typical? And it was interesting to get an inside picture of the often mundane day-to-day existence of prison life. I just wish she had added a small bit about life after prison and some follow-ups on her prison girlfriends. Puzzling how the book ended so abruptly. It felt a bit incomplete.
I'm a big fan of the Netflix series so I figured I'd pick up the actual book to accompany my viewing experience. I did so fully expected the book to be very different as any sensible person would.
The performance and storyline were okay, but I have never read a biography where the author was more in love with themselves than this one. After a short initial apology to everyone in her family and circle of friends for what she has put them through in the first few chapters the book, the story then dives head first into an endless cycle of self congratulatory self-love the likes of which I have rarely seen. Every chapter is designed to highlight how absolutely great Piper is, from how blown away the inmates are by how many more gifts and packages she receives than anyone else in the prison because she is so beloved by all, to how many people are amazed that someone as beautiful as she is wound up in prison, to how almost every character tells her how they never thought they would ever meet a friend as amazing as she is in prison, even when she discusses someone else's positive qualities it all boils down to then crying over the fact that Piper was able to see said trait within them....its strictly written to be a nonstop pat on the back from start to finish. Not to mention how she portrays the prison as an endless series of villains....I'm sorry Piper but you DID break the law and you were there to be punished end of story, at no time was it meant to feel like some high end hotel. I'll still watch the show but I've personally found a new level of disgust for the actual real life Piper Kerman.
Not a writer, a writer wannabe, editor, lit maj, or pretend literary critic. Just an avid reader/listener. My ratings are opinion only.
A friend strongly recommended this book, describle it as laugh out loud funny. Not really, but it wasn't horrible. The author sends very mixed messages on the topic of drugs, incarceration and being a spoiled rich kid.
I don't imagine any incarceration to be pleasant, however, I suspect her time would largely be described as easy compared to state facilities.
The book is a little self serving, but not bad for a deal of the day sale purchase.
I had higher expectations of a funny and racy story (based on the TV show) and I thought that the book would have more stories beyond what they would show on TV but man was this book boring. Nothing really stood out and the story was lacking.
The reader was clear and didn't really smack their lips when they talked like other readers. Too bad the story was boring.
lack of fulfillment. fell like I wasted a few hours on this.
Like I said, it you love the cheeky and crude laughs from the TV show, don't read the book. Keep watching the show because it is more entertaining. If you want to know the real story, then read the book. I personally just did not like it.
Prisoners may enjoy this book.
The narration was good.
The only redeeming quality is that writter found some remorse from her actions. She never fully expressed the damage and turmoil her actions caused others, let alone the cost to American taxpayers.
It was difficult to warm up to this book. With 25+ characters lacking adequate personality or background, the only person one could relate to was Piper Kerman. Although she testifies of her miserable experiences in prison, it sounds more like CLUBFED to me.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
This was a pretty good story, but I think I expected more darkness and being frightened. Actually, I wasn't frightened for Piper and I think she met some nice people. Funny being in prison, she actually met friends for life. They cooked, they had parties, they cried and laughed. This makes prison seem friendly.
One part of this story that angered me about this story is she committed a crime that was minor in the world of crime. Ten years later she accepted a plea bargain to avoid a long prison term. That is one of the problems of our court system; the prosecutors are determined to convict people and would do anything including threats of 20 years for trial or 18 months for a plea.
Prompted to listen after watching series on Netflix. Needless to say they bear only slight resemblance to one another but both excellent. What I took away most from this memoir was the humanity of those incarcerated and the utter failure that is the U.S. prison system.
Well worth listening to. Campbell's narration adds another layer of nuance and empathy as the prisoners' stories unfold. Overall a moving and thought-provoking experience.
The story is very interesting, the background of how she ended up in prison. I felt that where there should have been more story it just stopped and started something else, some what disjointed
I don't have an opinion on this. I have not read the print version.
When the fellow inmate was talking to Piper about God and how that made her think differently about herself and why she was in prison.
She did really well with the accents and intonations. Probably the only authentic Boston accent ever recorded in an audiobook. It was a very challenging book for accents (Russian, Hispanic, Black etc.)
The process of her trial! It was ten years from the time she was involved in the criminal activity and when she finally went to prison. It was also interesting how the inmates did not talk to each other about why they were in prison with each other.
I watched a couple of episodes of the Netflix show and saw the book. This is completely different from the show, but in a good way. The author is articulate, insightful and compassionate. She has an amazing circle of friends, family members and of course, Larry. She comes to terms with how her involvement in the criminal group was not a victimless crime, even though she was not directly involved in the drug transactions. The show makes it seem like rich white girl gets sent to prison with a bunch of tough, abrasive non-rich, mostly non-white inmates, but the story in the book is not about that; it is more inward looking and compassionate. It is the story one would want to tell about one's self and one's loved ones, well written and detailed.
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