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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 (2554 )
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Performance
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  •  
    elaine United States 03-04-14
    elaine United States 03-04-14 Member Since 2011

    I'm an avid audible book listener. I am a huge fan of supernatural books and like stuff that is scary but well written. I live in Denver Co

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    "Kept my attention but...."

    Orange is the new black kept my attention because the narrator did an excellent job it was rather well written HOWEVER nothing really happens. Is kind of like a year in the life of..... It just tells daily details.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela LEWISTON, ID, United States 02-21-14
    Angela LEWISTON, ID, United States 02-21-14 Member Since 2013

    idahogirl4

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    "Valuable Prison Book"
    Where does Orange is the New Black rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This has been one of my favorite audiobooks. I was actually sad when it ended.


    Any additional comments?

    I teach criminal justice courses. I have been on the look-out for a good book about federal prison and/or female prison experiences. I really liked the format of this book. I plan on making this required reading for my prison course in the future. The audiobook is not like the Netflix version of the story. If you are interested in prison issues, give it a shot. It is worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Grants Pass, OR, United States 01-09-14
    Kimberly Grants Pass, OR, United States 01-09-14 Member Since 2013
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    "I thought it was going to be better than it was..."
    What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

    I had never heard of any sort of story line like it. I expected the ending to be better.


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

    I thought there would have been a bit more drama when she came across the person responsible for her going to prison.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    yes, the narration was appropriate.


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

    Probably not.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carly PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 01-04-14
    Carly PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 01-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Highly Recommend"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was the very first book I ever listened to through Audible.com, and I absolutely loved it. I am so glad that I listened to the book before watching the series on Netflix, because the book is so much more complex and intricate than the Netflix series. Cassandra Campbell is fantastic, and she really captures the complexity of the characters, and the emotional roller coaster that the main character experiences throughout the story. I love creative nonfiction, and I was highly impressed with this book, especially considering that it is Ms. Kerman's first book. If you're looking for an interesting read that is both challenging and entertaining, don't miss this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Kraut Oakland, Ca 01-02-14
    B. Kraut Oakland, Ca 01-02-14 Member Since 2006
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    "As good, or better than the series"
    Where does Orange is the New Black rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I found this book utterly engaging and entertaining. I had recently finished watching the Netflix series and after hearing the author interviewed on Terry's Gross's NPR Fresh Air radio broadcast, the differences between the series and the true story in the book as explained by the author peaked my interest to learn more about the real story.


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

    After having seen the series, I couldn't get the picture of Taylor Schillings, who plays Piper Kerman, out of my mind--but that is a compliment, not a complaint. I found Campbell's recitation so similar and that made it very easy to imagine the story as it was read. I liked her rendition of the different accents of her inmates in prison and found them authentic enough as to make the characters believable. I gave her 5 stars for her skill in making the book come alive.


    Any additional comments?

    I would highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Seattle, WA, USA 12-28-13
    Anna Seattle, WA, USA 12-28-13 Member Since 2007
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    "The true story behind the hit show"
    Any additional comments?

    This memoir inspired the Netflix series of the same name. It's different from the series in many ways, and that's a good thing. It's different in the way that real life is different from a dramatization. The book's Piper learns different things than the show's Piper. I enjoyed both, and think they complement each other nicely. I saw the show first, then found the book, which is probably a good order to do it in...the dramatization lured me in, and prepared me to contemplate the quieter lessons of the real story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara SAG HARBOR, NY, United States 12-25-13
    Barbara SAG HARBOR, NY, United States 12-25-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating view of the women's prison system"

    This book gives you an insight to the women's prison system that it unattainable in scholarly books. The first-hand account of what prison life is like, versus what life is like behind bars when your not charged but held until trial is remarkable. It talks about issues and reveals a glimpse of what it must be like to lose everything except what you can keep inside you. And teaches you how to use it to your best advantage. A must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-13-13
    Amazon Customer Philadelphia, PA, United States 12-13-13
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    "Piper Kerman isn't Piper Chapman and that's okay."
    What made the experience of listening to Orange is the New Black the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed this book. It deals with relationships, it touches on topics such as white privilege as well as the prison industrial complex. I know many will expect what they see on Netflix and they won't get that, but what they will get is an interesting narrative that will make you think.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    My one complaint with the book is where the story ended. During the book you get an idea of how one can buy into a culture and change their habits, and behavior when becoming somewhat "institutionalized".  I would have liked if she would have described the issues she did or did not face when making the transition back into society.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ches Minneapolis, MN USA 12-06-13
    Ches Minneapolis, MN USA 12-06-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Its pronounced shoe.."
    Any additional comments?

    I cringed every time she said S.H.U when anyone else would have just pronounced SHU as "shoe" other than that she was a good narrator for a good story, the Netflix show is much different and more compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 12-05-13
    Kimberly SAN DIEGO, CA, United States 12-05-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Loved It"
    What made the experience of listening to Orange is the New Black the most enjoyable?

    interesting story and narrator's voice fits well with the content


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Orange is the New Black?

    When Nina left and Piper realized she was forming real friendships in jail


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

    Piper


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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