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 would never have read this book if I had not seen the first season of the TV show. The best part of the show is the deeply reflective character development in the flashbacks about various prisoners. Sadly, the book lacked any of that depth. It was boring and read like a drab diary of an uninteresting privileged woman. The flat and arrogant tone of the narrator detracted even more.
The book in absence of the show might appeal to some people (not me) but the starkly different story from the show felt like a deception. I understand that the book is non-fiction and the show is only "based on" the book. However the similarity between the two was scant. The characteristics and actions of real people in the book barely match their portrayal in the show and in many cases were completely reassigned to a different story line. I read the book to understand more about the characters, not less. It is a stretch to say the show is based on the book other than Piper Kerman's crime and the fact that she went to prison. This was a very disappointing story and a waste of my listening time waiting for something interesting to happen.
I appreciate the author's effort to share her experience, but it was boring and suffers greatly from comparison to the show that was supposed to be based on it.
I loved the Netflix series that I didn't know it was a book, so when I saw the book I was excited!! The story is very much related to the series but also has different storyline here and there but awesome to hear and read this!
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.
She spends 1/2 the book talking about how great she is and somehow everybody loves her no matter what.
I would cut the 2500 references to both her college and how she is so much more educated and intelligent than everyone else there.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.