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Twelve Years a Slave Audiobook

Twelve Years a Slave

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Download your unique free map based on Solomon's narrative.

©2013 Eakin Films & Publishing (P)2013 Eakin Films & Publishing

What the Critics Say

“...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)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (2180 )
5 star
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4.6 (1981 )
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4.4 (1980 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Andriy 04-07-16
    Andriy 04-07-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Raw and powerful"

    The story line is extremely powerful. The performance of Mr Gossett makes this listen an unforgettable one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryce Dickerson Ca , USA 04-06-16
    Bryce Dickerson Ca , USA 04-06-16 Member Since 2015

    Viva la Sonar!

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    17
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    "Incredible"

    Absolute page turner! A must read for anyone wanting to know more about what it was like as a slave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Camille United States 04-04-16
    Camille United States 04-04-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "A must read!"

    I listen to audio books near constantly as part of my life and I have never bothered to leave a review.

    Read this. It's gut wrenching and good for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen 03-21-16
    Stephen 03-21-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "Twelve Years as a Slave"

    Story: The movie followed the book except for the dramatic license with some characters did not exist and incidents that did not occur. But that is Hollwyood. The books is interesting enough. I found the language in the book interesting since it was written the current style.

    Reader: As always, it is a pleasure to listen to Mr. Gossett.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. E. Sherrell Crow 03-06-16 Member Since 2012
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    5
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    "Awesome Work!"

    loved this glimpse into the satanic grasp of slavery. Simply riveting. God forbid this institution.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 03-04-16
    Chris 03-04-16
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    3
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    "Remarkable"

    A remarkable description of how man can overcome great difficulty to achieve even greater potential.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 02-23-16
    James 02-23-16
    ratings
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    33
    3
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    Story
    "Louis Gossett Jr. delivers."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Twelve Years a Slave?

    That Mr. Northrup would describe the differing procedures for the cultivation, harvesting and processing of cotton and sugar cane, because he thought the reading audience might find it interesting. Which it was.


    What about Louis Gossett, Jr.’s performance did you like?

    Louis Gossett, Jr.'s performance was buttery smooth. I truly enjoyed listening to his voice.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Mr. Northrup returned home to his family, and the true scope of everything that he missed experiencing with his family becomes apparent. Those memories are lost for ever, and as a parent really struck home with me.


    Any additional comments?

    I just really enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-10-16 Member Since 2015
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    38
    3
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    "Great Audio Book"

    This audio book was very interesting. I have not seen the movie and I always prefer to read the book first. Great naration and the book kept my interest during a long automobile trip.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeri BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, United States 01-03-16
    Jeri BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA, United States 01-03-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
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    "Disappointed by Narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    No, if they were from Louisiana, and Yes, if they were not from Louisiana.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I'm a lover of history by education and interest. The story Solomon Northup related so well was fascinating to me. Everything about the story sounded accurate from what I knew about the areas of the country where the story took place and the historical time when the story took place. I learned more from his narration about plantation life and slave life than I believe I ever know before.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I'm from Louisiana and I'm very, very familiar with the area where Solomon Northup was in slavery. The narration of Louis Gossett made me cringe when he mispronounced place name after place name. It would have been so simple to get a qualified narrator from Louisiana who knew how to correctly pronounce the Louisiana place names. For that reason, for Louisiana friends I would recommend that they get the book and read it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    time2rest CA United States 12-10-15
    time2rest CA United States 12-10-15

    I live in CA where the traffic is a nightmare. It could take 90 mins to get to my location when it should have only taken 25 mins. Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Piece of history worth listening to"

    I was very moved reading this part of our history. I learned things that were not taught in school. I definitely think it is worth listening to. However, there were parts that were dry, boring, and I had to push myself to get through. that is why I do not give it 5.stars. in addition, I did not think the narrator was the best. he was hard to understand at times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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