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Twelve Years a Slave Audiobook

Twelve Years a Slave

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 12 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.
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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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  •  
    Joe Houston, TX, United States 05-17-15
    Joe Houston, TX, United States 05-17-15 Member Since 2016

    Born in Ohio, lived in California, Alaska, and now Texas

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    73
    73
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    Story
    "Maybe I expected too much"

    I really looked forward to listening to this story, but for some reason didn't become as invested as I thought I would be. While the history lesson is outstanding, I wasn't as inspired as I expected to be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Leavitt 05-06-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
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    Story
    ""Institution of Slavery""

    In this biography it was stunning to find out the roll of religion in accepting slavery as well as the use of Biblical passages to promote abusive treatment of these men, women and children. I am aghast that slavery was the only life option for a black person in the South and their fate was tied to the whims of their "masters". Very powerful firsthand account of being a slave in America in the mid 1800's.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy N. 05-05-15
    Tammy N. 05-05-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    2
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    Story
    "sad time"

    I loved the story. how sad people could treat other people in such a cruel way, the slave owners should have gotten a taste of their own medicine

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garfield Hilton Head, Sc. 04-14-15
    Garfield Hilton Head, Sc. 04-14-15
    ratings
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    5
    4
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    Story
    "Great book!"
    Where does Twelve Years a Slave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rate this audio version 8 out of 10. The story is quite incredible-I had seen the movie so knew what to expect but felt the narrator (Loius Gossett Jnr.) was perhaps a little off in the retelling of it-my personal opinion as it took me a while to get into it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-03-15

    A bookworm since a child. Love audible books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
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    106
    73
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sad story with a good ending"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, but I don't think I would want to watch the movie.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Twelve Years a Slave?

    The treatment of the slaves were horrible. It was deplorable the conditions that people were made to live in.


    Which character – as performed by Louis Gossett, Jr. – was your favorite?

    The main character, Solomon Northup


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

    When Solomon refused to obey his master to whip the girl more, it could have cost him a whipping himself.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a story of a man who was a freeman who was kidnapped and forced into slavery. It is a very sad story, but it has a good ending because some one has the compassion to help him regain his freedom. It is a good book to read or listen too, but I think a movie would be too graphic for most.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Grand Prairie, TX, United States 03-25-15
    Anthony Grand Prairie, TX, United States 03-25-15 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "what a compelling story!"

    my heart broke as i listened to the account. the story grabbed me by the heart and would not let go.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 03-07-15
    Carol 03-07-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Historically Detailed and Beautifully Spoken Words"
    Where does Twelve Years a Slave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Best story and voice match


    What did you like best about this story?

    The period style writing spoken


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

    Brought forth period images


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

    Which one? Ther were many!


    Any additional comments?

    Phenomenal listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-03-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even better than the movie"

    Louis Gossett Jr. does a great job of bringing this story to life. I bought the Kindle version as well which has footnotes that explain many details. But I found the Audible version so compelling that I had to hear it all first. If you enjoyed the movie, I guarantee that you'll love this even more. It's both horrifying and inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynda Waseca, MN, United States 03-01-15
    Lynda Waseca, MN, United States 03-01-15 Member Since 2008

    Variety...the spice of life! I read a variety of genres. From historical fiction, to murder mystery, to vampires and on to teen fiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
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    "What a lesson in humanity!"

    I heard this book was a movie, so as usual, I like to read/listen to the book before I see the movie. I enjoyed this book as it was well written and had a story that left me in awe. It brings us back to a time in history that I still cannot believe happened; when humans enslaved others in the U.S. This book does a good job of sharing the author's trials and tribulations and we see the depth of character of this man. The reader does a great job of capturing the voices and making me believe I was really hearing them. I believe this book is something that everyone should experience. You will be spending your audible credit well with this selection!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Meriweather 02-18-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome, Heartbreaking and Redemptive"

    If you enjoy the monologue of Ref from Shawshank Redemption, you will also enjoy this monologue and the description of accounts of this life journey!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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