Official Movie Tie-in Audiobook for the Academy Award's Best Picture and Golden Globe's Best Drama winner.New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.
In this riveting landmark autobiography which reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York, Washington, D.C., and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and twelve years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War. It validated Harriett Beecher Stowe’s fictional account of Southern slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had become the best-selling American book in history a few years earlier and significantly changed public opinion in favor of abolition. Experience our official movie tie-in audiobook for the award-winning motion picture, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong'o. This audio edition with an accompanying custom map is based on the research of Dr. Sue Eakin, the nationally recognized authority on Solomon Northup who spent a lifetime authenticating his story.
Hard working Solomon Northup, an educated free man of color in 1841, enjoys family life with his wife and three children in Saratoga, New York. He delights his community with his fiddle playing and antic spirit, and has positive expectations of all he meets. When he is deceived by “circus promoters” to accompany them to a musical gig in the nation’s capital, his joyful life takes an unimaginable turn. He awakens in shackles to find he has been drugged, kidnapped and bound for the slave block in D.C.
After Solomon is shipped 1,000 miles to New Orleans, he is assigned his slave name and quickly learns that the mere utterance of his true origin or rights as a freeman are certain to bring severe punishment or death. While he endures the brutal life of a slave in Louisiana’s isolated Bayou Boeuf plantation country, he must learn how to play the system and plot his escape home.
For 12 years, his fine mind captures the reality of slavery in stunning detail, as we learn about the characters that populate plantation society and the intrigues of the bayou – from the collapse of a slave rebellion resulting in mass hangings due to traitorous slave Lew Cheney, to the tragic abuse of his friend Patsey because of Mrs. Epps’ jealousy of her husband’s sexual exploitation of his pretty young slave.
When Solomon finally finds a sympathizing friend who risks his life to secret a letter to the North, a courageous rescue attempt ensues that could either compound Solomon’s suffering, or get him back to the arms of his family.
AUTHENTICATION: Northup’s harrowing first-hand account was authenticated from decades of research by Dr. Sue Eakin, who rediscovered the original narrative as a 12-year old in 1931 and made it her life’s work.
For additional audio clips, background info and images, see our website at www.12YearsASlaveBook.com.
©2013 Eakin Films & Publishing (P)2013 Eakin Films & Publishing
“...Gossett infuses the words with a quiet, seething power." (AudioFile, 2013)
“I can never read his account of his days in slavery, of his independence of spirit, of his determination to be free…without believing that it would make a difference in today's world if our contemporaries knew of such a man as Solomon Northup." (Dr. John Hope Franklin, past president of the American Historical Association, best-selling author, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom, nation's highest civilian honor)
"[T]he extraordinary narrative of Solomon Northup is the most remarkable book that was ever issued from the American press." (Detroit Tribune, original 1853 review)
"Its truth is far greater than fiction." (Frederick Douglass, famous writer, former slave and abolitionist)
"It will be read extensively, both at the North and the South." (New York Tribune, 1853, published by Horace Greeley)
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
This audio book has good and bad.
Compelling story, graciously told, informative without excessive description. I was so happy he returned home to his family. Louis Gossett Jr was quite a good reader but at times it felt like the volume dropped and it was hard to understand, something close to mumbling is what I got.
The story is a bit slow at times but it wasn't an angry reading. I think the best narrator was chosen. I've listed to Roots and I believe a stronger or deep, angry voice would have been wrong here. Solomon is true to his name and presents a good account of his troubles with the position that each person he meets earns their description. Kind, sad, lazy, productive, drunk, spiritual, mean and cruel are all names earned by the true character of the people he meets.
This glimpse into slavery moved me at my core. Excellent writing and nearly unbelievable that we are able to read this first-hand account today. Thanks to Dr. Eakin and her family for bringing us what should have been a best-seller in 1853. Bravo!
Avid reader of history, biography, and true crime.
I cannot add anything useful to the positive reviews below, except to say that you would need a heart of stone not to be moved by this story. As well as a compelling narrative, it is a good history lesson, and a lesson in what happens when one section of society sees another section of society as 'lesser' or even 'sub-human' has total power over them. In this way, the book has contemporary relevance - yet another reason for reading it.
I collect spores, molds, and fungus.
Don't think so
The stylized writing plus the performing narrator made this book impossible to listen to. I closed my eyes to concentrate on what was happening and I still couldnt follow big parts of it. Didn't get very far in, which is sad, bc I do want to read the story. When the writing is so stylized like this a narrator who speaks clearly is essential.
It is difficult to listen to what any human being or race or ideology of mankind can do to another or race or a different ideology. It happens throughout all of history but it doesn't make it any easier to live through or even to go back and listen to. We just pray that we learn from our past so that it is not repeated.
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