Hugh Quarshie reads the extraordinary autobiography of Solomon Northup. His harrowing true story, first published in 1853, was a key factor in the national debate over slavery prior to the American Civil War, significantly changing public opinion on the topic of abolition. It tells the horrifying tale of Solomon Northup, an educated, free black man living with his wife and children in New York State, whose life takes an appalling turn when he is kidnapped, drugged and sold into slavery.
Shipped to New Orleans, he endures the life of a slave in Louisiana's isolated plantation country. For twelve long years, he endures the unimaginable brutality and inhumanity of daily life, while keeping his dignity intact and dreaming of one day returning home to the arms of his family.
Twelve Years a Slave is soon to be a major motion picture, starring Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
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"The resurgent interest in '12 Years a Slave' has everything to do with Steve McQueen's masterful film adaptation, but the book has more to offer than the movie, and the Ghanian-British stage actor Hugh Quarshie's conversational delivery stands out among a slew of newly released competing audiobook adaptations." (Kyle Minor, Salon)
"A moving, vital testament to one of slavery s many thousands gone who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the peculiar institution.” (Saturday Review Online)
The narrator made me feel like I was listening to Solomon Northup tell his story. It is hard to stomach the treatment of those who were enslaved, at the same time, it is important to read narratives such as this.
To My Knowledge this is the only book Northup wrote, which is unfortunate as he is an excellent writer. One of the best books I've ever listened to. An incredible insight into slavery.
There are many readings of this book in many different voices but this one is by far my favorite! I was never annoyed or was unable to understand what he was saying and I thought the vocals matched perfectly with how I imagined Solomon.
There are so many that could only imagine quite like this. The struggles and strength of Black Americans has brought tears to my heart and eyes. We can not forget from whom. we came from, and where we are going.
As a native of Alexandria, LA, this narrative was of great interest to me. It showed vividly the evils of slavery in a way I have never read. Though emotionally difficult to listen to, I think it has given me a better understanding of that period of history. A must read for those who love the truth!
This was an incredible listen, one of the best audiobooks I've heard.While I had some slight idea of what U.S. slavery involved, this brought it home more than anything else I've heard. Every time I listened, I came away feeling as if I'd seen a new light shined on human nature as well as on our history. Hearing of humanity's capacity for casual and unthinking cruelty left me thinking about how I live my life, how aware or unaware I am of the suffering of others, and how able or unable I am to look beyond what seems good enough. I also learned of how a human's spirit can be utterly destroyed by unremitting cruelty.
The author spoke with striking insight and eloquence about what he saw and experienced. I was especially struck by his observations that most of the people involved had a mixture of good and bad in them. He had high praise for one of his owners, who he considered one of the finest people he'd known aside from the single blind spot that he thought that whites should own blacks, because he'd never known anything else and couldn't see beyond it. And I thought again about John Brown's predictions around the same time that slaveholders would not reform without a bloody war, which was soon in coming.
The narrator was as outstanding as the material, completely owning the material. I can't say enough about this audiobook.
Absolutely a compelling and gripping story that was also read in a manner that only reinforced the power of the narrative. Highly recommended!
"The resilience and strength of a man."
Hugh Quarshie, was an excellent narrator. I found I grew quite fond of Solomon through the book as he was a very strong character, and just kept going through all the pains as he knew he was a free man.
If there is one book you listen to this has to be it. From start to finish I was hooked, the tone of the narration was pleasant and the story unfolded at a reasonable pace.
My children and me learnt a valuable historical lesson from first hand account, many years ago we covered the slave trade as art of the school history syllabus, I really wish this had been included.
This story is the truth told by an educated hard working man who was lucky to survive to tell of his awful ordeal
The main character Solomon Northup resilience is inspiring. It provided a rare insight into the plight many still suffer today
This was very difficult to stop listening, a very addictive read
This would be suitable for adults and teenagers alike. It truly made me think twice how lucky we are
"A time machine to a dark place never to forget"
12 years a slave is a mountain moving story.
A snap shot of a not so distant dark history.
Humbling account of a mans ability to hold on to his respect for humanity.
Let it be a lesson to love and respect all of gods creature and continue to evolve our understanding of what it is to have Liberty
Yes, especially to anyone who claims to be too busy to take time to read the book.
I have not read one that I would compare it too.
When he finally regains his freedom.
Yes the inhuman treatment of a fellow human being.
Great. Beautifully read. I was gripped. What a tragic tale of a real life story.
better than the film. Historic based. great adjectives. well done 8.5/10 easy to follow. I enjoyed and feel sorry for all slaves
"Wow I really enjoyed this"
One of my favourites
The return to his family
Has to be the "slave"
there are too many to mention
I have seen the film which is excellent but the book is even better than the film
"An amazing recount of ones life"
I waited to watch the film till after I finished reading the book, and I am very pleased I did.
Northup depiction of his experience and observations a so raw, honest, reflective, ironic & funny - it made me angry, laugh and cry. But most of all it taught me about the complex practises, law & psychology of slavery which no history text book or film I've watched on the subject have been able to convey.
Performed beautifully, I will have to relisten to this narrative again.
"Engrossing book,very moving and informative."
No, i rarely listen to books again as so many more to read!
Solomon Northup, who endured 12 years of hell but somehow found the strength to keep going.
No. I enjoyed the narration.
A tale of endurance.
Fantastic book, moves me to tears to listen to it.
If this is not part of the school curriculum, it should be considered so. This audible narrative is excellent in every sense.
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