Twelve Years a Slave Audiobook | Solomon Northup | Audible.com
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Twelve Years a Slave | [Solomon Northup]

Twelve Years a Slave

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 AudioGO Ltd (P)2013 AudioGO Ltd

What the Critics Say

  • 10 Best Audiobooks of 2013 (Salon)
  • "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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (53 )
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4.7 (51 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 01-23-14
    Joel NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States 01-23-14 Member Since 2007

    Joel Szerlip

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    "What an Experience"

    In mid-2013 I first saw the trailer for the movie Twelve Years a Slave and knew right away I wanted to see it. I've got to be honest I'd never heard of Solomon Northup nor his story. What I appreciated most about reading Twelve Years a Slave was it was the most honest telling of that time period I've ever read. The descriptions that Solomon had on being a slave, his masters, and his fellow slaves made you feel like you were back in the mid-1800's in the South,

    What can I possibly say that hasn't already been said before. To me Twelve Years a Slave should be required reading for all students in America. It shows slavery through the eyes of a slave not something we have many first hand accounts of. I'm so glad I read Twelve Years a Slave and cannot wait to see the movie.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caro Miami 12-01-13
    Caro Miami 12-01-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Hugh Quarshie performance -- strongly recommended"

    After seeing the movie, I wanted to read or hear the book and had to decide which of several versions to go with. So glad I selected the Hugh Quarshie audible.com performance. I can't imagine a better reading. It felt as though I was hearing it straight from Soloman Nothrup, including some of the pronunciation nuances.

    Believing this understanding should be part of every American's education, I have read a number of very enlightening slave narratives/histories. I do agree with another reviewer who said that Northrup's story, because it is told from the perspective of a free as well as enslaved man, is special and builds a helpful bridge that a 21st century free person can relate to. Normally I wouldn't say this, but I do recommend seeing the movie before reading the book. In this particular case, it enhanced my ability to "see" what was happening.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Millet, Alberta, Canada 02-10-14
    Tammy Millet, Alberta, Canada 02-10-14 Member Since 2005

    Wife, mom of one amazing son, and I have the second best job in the world, working in a bookstore :)

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    "The best but hardest story to listen to"
    Where does Twelve Years a Slave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's definitely in my top 10.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that this story is in Solomon's own words


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

    No I haven't but he was amazing. The perfect voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I had to know what happened and I basically did listen in one sitting. Thank goodness for 2x speed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher United States 02-13-14
    Christopher United States 02-13-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    2
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    "One of the best..."
    What made the experience of listening to Twelve Years a Slave the most enjoyable?

    Absolutely a compelling and gripping story that was also read in a manner that only reinforced the power of the narrative. Highly recommended!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results
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  • Venetia
    St Cirgues la Loutre, France
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is a book for the school curriculum"
    Would you listen to Twelve Years a Slave again? Why?

    Absolutely. This book was touching, poignant, frightening and enlightening. Solomon Northrup was a courageous man and this is a story of hope and triumph. I loved listening to it and it was beautifully narrated.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I learnt a great deal about the slave era. I have read many fictional books on this subject and we all know the stories, but, this memoir was much more raw and authentic. I loved the character of Solomon Northrup and his factual, and understated emotional account was powerful and informative. It is an unforgettable story.


    Have you listened to any of Hugh Quarshie’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to this narrator before but I have to congratulate him on this performance. He read the story with exactly the right amount of emotion and at exactly the right tempo. I would love to hear him read again.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I found the book very emotional, although I did not laugh or cry. I think my over-riding emotion was shame. I am white. The slave owners were white. I am ashamed that any person from my race could ever have been so cruel.


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent book that I will never forget.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Senath
    4/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Human injustices"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, especially to anyone who claims to be too busy to take time to read the book.


    What other book might you compare Twelve Years a Slave to, and why?

    I have not read one that I would compare it too.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    When he finally regains his freedom.


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

    Yes the inhuman treatment of a fellow human being.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • judith
    Garstang, United Kingdom
    3/25/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mesmerising! Totally engrossing."

    Couldn't leave it alone. Narration wonderful. A glimpse into history, reported first hand. It is amazing that it survived the vagaries of time. Listen and be ashamed if, like me, you are white. It is just appalling how human beings treat each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BillyBlackBear
    South Wales
    3/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True Character"

    I almost didn't listen to this book as the language used takes a little getting used to but I am so glad that I did persevere! This is a beautiful story, brutal in many places but it never fails to show true human character in all it's glory and horror.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • MRS
    HARLECH, United Kingdom
    3/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, heartbreaking and very informative"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    A strong performance by Hugh Quarshie dealing with a heartbreaking story with depth and strength.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    I found out a lot more through this book about slavery than from many other sources previously and although very traumatic is is a story that I believe everyone should read/hear as a reminder of just how cruel mankind can be and yet the courage and bravery of people to overcome.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    The book is full of real facts and personal experience that will me to keep listening in the hope that justice would eventually prevail.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    nothing!!!!


    Do you have any additional comments?

    A brilliant listen which only includes what it need to offer a frank and true expression of one mans incredible bravery and enduring hope…..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Joe
    melbourne, Australia
    3/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    This is one of my top ten audio books because it was engaging and taught me a lot about the conditions for slaves in America. It was a living history lesson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jackie
    Romford, Essex, United Kingdom
    3/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "12 years of hell"
    Would you listen to Twelve Years a Slave again? Why?

    An amazing book that makes you realise how fortunate in life you are and not to take things for granted. The book is of course much better than the film!


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

    Patsy's beating for such a trivial matter


    Have you listened to any of Hugh Quarshie’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    First time


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to it going to bed and listened to it several times. It's a very emotional subject.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard listen"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is an unbelievably moving story, but the writing and reading is a little slow making the book hard work.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • James
    Sheffield, United Kingdom
    2/13/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent and challenging novel"

    Absorbing true story. I found that it made me think about how we treat one another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sangita
    Glos - UK
    2/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Compelling, informative and humbling"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Twelve Years a Slave to be better than the print version?

    Once i started listening i simply could non stop. At home, in bed,in the car, every spare 5 mins i tuned in. If ever you wanted to try to imagine the hurt, pain and persecution suffered during the slave trade then listen to this book. Solomon gives it to you as it needs to be said and it is not glamorised for the book,in fact you get the feeling he held back on some detail to prevent "sensationalising" the story. One reviewer mention this should form part of the national curriculum and i couldn't agree more.


    What about Hugh Quarshie’s performance did you like?

    I could listen to Hugh Quarshie all day. He is epic in this performance. Its read and the right speed and the right temperament to engross you and take you on a journey. The biggest praise i can deliver is all books i have listened too since fall short of the mark due to the lack of Hughs voice.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    You WILL have an emotional reaction to this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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