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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 (4220 )
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4.3 (3785 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tammy GREEN BAY, WI, United States 04-04-15
    Tammy GREEN BAY, WI, United States 04-04-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Very interesting story!!!"

    Good story!! The narrator was excellent! Thought the story how her life changed during the whole process showed how she became more enlighten as time went by. I thought it was well written. I would listen to this narrator again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daphne LaSalle Jackson 03-31-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    57
    2
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    "Shocking"

    I have worker in the criminal justice system for a decade and never really experienced prison life the way I did through Piper's eyes and voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monkey Bingo miami beach, florida 03-30-15
    Monkey Bingo miami beach, florida 03-30-15 Member Since 2014
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    9
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    Overall
    "Pleasant listen"

    Decent listen. Interesting overall, but not much drama and a bit shmaltzy toward the end. I could've stopped 60% of the way through and wouldn't have missed much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darci 03-26-15
    Darci 03-26-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Great listen interesting social study"

    Fabulous. Interesting. some moments at Danbury did sound like dorm life n college. Characters great, observations great. Terrific social study.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila 03-18-15
    Sheila 03-18-15 Member Since 2014
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    4
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    Story
    "interesting, but loses steam..."

    The start of the book captured me... it lost a little steam in the middle and end. But, it was a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Syd McCabe California 03-16-15
    Syd McCabe California 03-16-15 Member Since 2013
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    43
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    "The show is better"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This is the baseline for a the Netflix show. Unfortunately the characters aren't as interesting and she missed an opportunity for a social commentary. I would have also liked to know what re-entry was like for her.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia COLUMBUS, OH, United States 02-07-15
    Julia COLUMBUS, OH, United States 02-07-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Spectacularly dull--don't waste your time!"

    I kept waiting for something unexpected to happen. With a little over an hour left, I'm giving up on this one. I've wasted too much of my precious time on this dull book.

    Synopsis: She makes bad decisions when she's young, getting mixed up in an international drug smuggling operation. She gets caught several years later (after turning her life around), and she goes to prison. Some of the guards and inmates are rude to her, but she made friends in prison. She regretted having gotten involved in the drug trade. That's pretty much it. In addition to being dull, I found it annoying. She sounded like she was superior to the rest of the inmates, as if she didn't really belong there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheryl Seiad Valley, CA, United States 10-15-14
    Sheryl Seiad Valley, CA, United States 10-15-14 Member Since 2010

    gourd gal

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story."
    Any additional comments?

    I haven't seen the TV series, so my review is based on the book. It was well narrated, and I liked the characters. The reality of her experience seemed more mild than one would imagine prison life to be, so I wasn't quite convinced of the whole experience. It is an interesting book and I'm glad I listened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Kane 10-14-14
    Julia Kane 10-14-14 Member Since 2014

    British ex-pat living in NC. Have more personalities than Sybil which is reflected in my choice of books! Frustrated writer at heart.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Must Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I certainly would recommend this to a friend. Totally absorbing story about a well educated woman whose 'adventure' in her 20s came back to haunt her. However she survived and I have a feeling that she became stronger, more focused and far more appreciative of all that she has been given in life.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The picture imagery was so real that I could smell the prison food and almost taste the grittiness of the Cremora whipped by hand into the Prison Cheese Cake


    Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell – was your favorite?

    Piper had to be my favorite character as she evolved throughout each chapter. I think that she was a little weak at the start but her life experiences by her mid 30s had made her a well rounded person. I would love to meet her and see how she evolves over the next 40 years.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I learned a lot about the prison system and it has made me want to learn more. The thought of losing control of my life is horrendous and I cannot imagine how Piper must have felt on that last day of her incarceration not knowing whether or not she was going to be discharged. Also with so many people unemployed in the USA why do female prisoners have to be supervised by male guards?


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have not seen the TV show. I decided to purchase it on impulse. I will definitely be reading this again!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Steckler 10-13-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    9
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    "Not that exciting."
    What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

    I loved the narrater. It started out good then it was just okay. Thank God for the other lady prisoners or I would have stopped reading it.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure


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

    No


    What else would you have wanted to know about Piper Kerman’s life?

    Not sure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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