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Orange is the New Black Audiobook

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 (5554 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pauline 05-21-14
    Pauline 05-21-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"
    What would have made Orange is the New Black better?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Piper Kerman again?

    Probably not.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader was clear and didn't really smack their lips when they talked like other readers. Too bad the story was boring.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    lack of fulfillment. fell like I wasted a few hours on this.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire 07-31-13
    Claire 07-31-13
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    "Actually nothing much happens here"
    Would you try another book from Piper Kerman and/or Cassandra Campbell?

    I'd listen to Cassandra, but I think I'd rather not try another book by Piper


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

    Well, its a biography so unless it was fiction you can't really change the fact that prison is prison


    Did Cassandra Campbell do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, voice inflection and characterizations


    Did Orange Is the New Black inspire you to do anything?

    Nope.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    16 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica United States 07-22-13
    Erica United States 07-22-13 Member Since 2016

    I am a public speaker and entertainer that lives in The Beautiful Lake of The Ozarks in Missouri.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Is prison as fun as it sounds?"

    I had just finished watching the Netflix series that is based on this book when I started the book. I found the book to be much more mundane than the show, but I wasn't disappointed, actually quite the contrary. I am glad that Piper didn't ruin her relationship with Larry. I am glad she constantly focused on that light at the end of the tunnel. However, I am disappointed with the ending. What happened to her after her release? Has she done anything to improve the prison system? How are the other ladies doing? Has she done anything to help the less fortunate women in their after prison journeys?The book just ended so suddenly. Obviously, it left me wanting more. Thank goodness the show has been picked up for season 2, but I also want more of the real story. I would highly recommend this book and the show. I thought this book would be dark, ugly, and scary but it truly wasn't. This book showed that women embrace one another, love one another, and carry one other no matter where life brings you. If HBOs Oz and a Delta Zeta Chapter had a baby it would be Orange Is The New Black. This is something you don't want to miss. This rarely happens to people like us so this is a great opportunity to pull on the sneakers of the one who drew the short straw and see life through her eyes. Every single one of us that ever drove drunk in college has had at least one thought of what prison would be like. Well, now you will know. Happy Listening!

    33 of 47 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-03-16
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 04-03-16 Member Since 2010

    MTF

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    "slow but interesting memoir"

    I have not seen the TV show, so there is no hidden comparison to that. The beginning of this memoir was great. Seeing how a well-to-do woman gets herself in such trouble that she is sentenced to jail is scary and fascinating. Once in jail, it becomes a series of vignettes, some interesting and engaging, and some less so. There is enough good in here that I rate it at the higher end of the 3 range. Parts are a bit slow and repetitive, but that probably reflects the author's prison experience. Too often, Piper tells of how powerless and dehumanized she felt, but only occasionally does she tell a story where I feel her pain. She does a better job at communicating the positive experiences with other prisoners. I am still glad I listened to this. I have heard the TV show spices things up a bit, but I will probably check it out sometime.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 01-31-15
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 01-31-15 Member Since 2015

    I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)

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    "A different perspective on life in prison"

    I read this book before even being aware that it was also a TV show. I have since watched the show on Netflix. The two are completely and absolutely unrelated. The book is a serious look at the experiences Piper had while in prison, and is billed as a memoire, which it is. The TV show is a dramatization loosely based on the premise of the memoire - a woman going to prison unexpectedly - but that is where the similarity ends. The TV show is billed as a comedy. A dark comedy, probably, but still a comedy.

    It was an interesting look at prison from the point of view of a non-traditional inmate. Did Piper `learn her lesson` ? Maybe, maybe not, but the story had nothing to do with lessons-learned. It was a glimpse into a world that most wealthy, educated and non-drug addicted women don't experience. I quite enjoyed it, and found that I was surprised at some things (how helpful other inmates were, and how race within prison didn't seem to be a big deal in Piper's experience), and not so surprised at others (funding issues for programs in prison).

    Overall it was an interesting "peep behind the curtains" of what goes on behind prison walls - from the point of view of a very non-traditional (and privileged) inmate.

    The narration is good. There isn't any detailed sex or violence and only minimal swearing.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cesar 01-12-15
    Cesar 01-12-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Glad it was my free book"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story


    Would you be willing to try another book from Piper Kerman? Why or why not?

    No. Don't think she has any other books.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine.


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

    It is a show and I saw it. The first season was good, that was it.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm glad this was my free book. Not a very interesting story considering it's about an attractive white woman in a minimum security prison. She acted like it was a hardcore prison. Got tedious after a few chapters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet ARLINGTON, TENNESSEE, United States 01-02-15
    Janet ARLINGTON, TENNESSEE, United States 01-02-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Just OK"
    Would you try another book from Piper Kerman and/or Cassandra Campbell?

    Was expecting a really great read since a tv show was based on it. Interesting, but not great.


    Was Orange is the New Black worth the listening time?

    Only if you've got lots of time.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken 12-12-14
    Ken 12-12-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Skip it"
    Would you try another book from Piper Kerman and/or Cassandra Campbell?

    Nope a kid peddling drugs who was duped by her lesbian friend and went to prison. Rubbish, didn't even finish it.


    Has Orange is the New Black turned you off from other books in this genre?

    pretty much


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cassandra Campbell?

    The narrator was good just stuck with a week story


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Orange is the New Black?

    Page one to the end


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HNC 11-14-14
    HNC 11-14-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Okay"
    What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

    The best part of the book is the enlightenment of what really goes on behind prison bars.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Piper Kerman? Why or why not?

    Maybe, the book was well written -- it just needed a juicier story. I found it hard to keep going at times.


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

    N/A


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 11-07-14
    Ruth Bain 11-07-14

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Honestly, it was boring"

    Some interesting insights and descriptions of life in a Federal Minimum Security Prison, but it seemed to go on and on.....Cassandra Campbell has a nice voice,but I thought someone with a slightly grittier vocal tone would have matched the character more accurately.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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