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Orange is the New Black Audiobook

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

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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 (5946 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Nona's Momma Richmond, VA 10-30-14
    Nona's Momma Richmond, VA 10-30-14 Member Since 2016

    loving motherhood

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    "No climax, No plot, No nothing"
    What would have made Orange is the New Black better?

    I've been a member of audible for only a year but I listen to quite a few books. This is the MOST boring audio book I've ever listened to. I make sure to listen to the entire thing because I refuse to waste money or book credits. I heard so much hype about the tv show, so I thought the book would be okay. It was hard enough to get through while having it read to me, I couldn't IMAGINE trying to read it myself.


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

    YES


    What three words best describe Cassandra Campbell’s performance?

    Average, Clear but slightly Emotionless


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Only when it ENDED


    Any additional comments?

    Shame, and I seriously usually never write negative reviews.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ozrugby 10-21-14
    ozrugby 10-21-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Well read, but not a good read."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I am sure that this was a truly trying and desperate portion of this women's life, however no one needs another book lecturing us about the US government and their failures in the prison world by locking up low level drug offenders. You broke the law, deal with it.


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

    If your biggest prison event was a stolen screwdriver, just forget it. At least make up some gang rape and shankings to keep it interesting. Also, would have liked to see her go to trial instead of pleading guilty.


    What about Cassandra Campbell’s performance did you like?

    Very well done. Great with the accents. With the number of characters, she was able to keep them straight.


    Could you see Orange is the New Black being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It has been, and it was a comedy. Just like this book should have been.


    Any additional comments?

    Women may enjoy this book. Men who have read anything about prison will not. Check out the English Shaun Trilogy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Parola138 Czech Republic 10-05-14
    Parola138 Czech Republic 10-05-14 Listener Since 2005

    We bite

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only read this if you're into chick lit"

    I know nothing about the TV show, but this was on sale and I thought I'd give it an open-minded try. Within the first half hour, I could tell this was chick lit through and through by the tone and content of it. A bored chick with nothing else going on in her life, so she starts hustling drug money internationally. I endured for 4 chapters, then deleted it. I think a female audience might be able to suspend disbelief and handle the tone of the book better, but I wouldn't recommend it to men to read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Poconos, PA 09-08-14
    Robin Poconos, PA 09-08-14

    Robin

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    "REALLY DISAPPOINTING"
    What disappointed you about Orange is the New Black?

    Why on earth would you have different names than what were used on the show?


    What was most disappointing about Piper Kerman’s story?

    Holes, confusing, just ended. The show is a hit.. This book was not. You had to guess who everyone was, characters were combined. Annoying.


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

    No one, she was good.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not really. Sorry.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie holladay, Utah 09-04-14
    Angie holladay, Utah 09-04-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an eBay seller who listens to approx. a book a day while taking & editing photos of my items. I love a good suspenseful mystery!

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    "Reaffirmed My Frustrations With Prison System!"

    First off political beliefs aside this book is boring! Nothing really happens in this story. I am not one for 'drama' and this book has a lot of drama and little else. That said what really got to me was the fact that this girl obviously didn't think she belonged in prison even though she clearly broke the law! Period. My thoughts on the prison system have always been that it's not harsh enough! I think prisoners are catered to and most 'want' to return when they're released because it's more comfortable than the real world! To be quite honest I'm tired of my hard earned money going to the 'comfort' of prisoners and this book just reaffirmed my feelings.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Jhb, South Africa 08-18-14
    Kim Jhb, South Africa 08-18-14 Member Since 2013
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    "simplistic and to light on character development"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not, there wasn't much character development. Also story was full of vague allusions to things without much depth. Frustrating lack in detail


    Would you ever listen to anything by Piper Kerman again?

    not in a rush


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

    good voices, nice accents and nuances


    Do you think Orange is the New Black needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    nope


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Haverhill, MA, United States 06-21-14
    William Haverhill, MA, United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Meh."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexandria New York 06-18-14
    Alexandria New York 06-18-14 Member Since 2012

    Alexandria

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    "Good memoir on a woman's prison life"

    I was conflicted on how to rate this memoir. It moves quickly and it is about a a subject matter people rarely hear about, providing a look inside a womens prison and into the how the war on drugs affects women. It is not fabulous writing, but its quick, to-the-point pace makes up for it. Cassandra Campbell's narration was intensely irritating at first, but it improves as other characters are introduced and Campbell has a chance to prove herself with the accents, which she does well, assigning different and distinct voices to each of the women so that they come alive.

    The author is hyper aware of her privileged status as an upper class white woman in the prison context, and she makes an effort to integrate a lower-class, minority perspective into her writing. But since the cards are not stacked so fiercely against her as they are against most of her fellow inmates, she can do little in this respect except offer empathy. There are several dialogue scenes between Piper and authority figures in the book, where it is more or less revealed that the drug laws in place are not intended for nice upperclass white people like herself, and she is repeatedly told that she doesn't belong there. This is irritating from a policy perspective, because it implies that the other less privileged women in the prison ARE supposed to be there, despite having similar convictions for drug-related crimes. Though she is undoubtedly writing from a place of privilege, it is to Piper's credit that she does try to shed light on the absurdity of drug policy and its motivations and highlight how devastating the war on drugs is for less privileged women, and how the prison system in the US makes the situation worse.

    It is worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tess Stickles 05-08-14
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    "Six Months on and I Still Can't Finish This"
    What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

    I'm a big fan of the tv show so I was very excited to get this book. Sadly, this book isn't as exciting as the tv show. It's not that Kermit doesn't have an interesting story, it is very interesting and makes you empathize with her and fellow inmates. I just think that maybe the audio version was not the way to go. It would have been better to read at my own pace and maybe with the voice of Taylor Schilling in my head.


    What three words best describe Cassandra Campbell’s voice?

    Waspy, snooty, versatile. Campbell embodies every character very well but there's something grating about the Piper character. I get that she's the upper class girl who's not supposed to be in prison but it still irritated me.


    Was Orange is the New Black worth the listening time?

    Not regretting that I killed time in traffic listening to it but it just wasn't for me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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