We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Beloved | [Toni Morrison]

Beloved

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.
Regular Price:$35.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but 18 years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

Toni Morrison is the Robert F. Goheen Professor of Humanities at Princeton University. She has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 1993 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in Rockland County, New York, and Princeton, New Jersey.

©1987 Toni Morrison; (P)1998 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist but a major figure in our national literature." (New York Review of Books)
"A masterwork....Wonderful....I can't imagine American literature without it." (Los Angeles Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (587 )
5 star
 (269)
4 star
 (136)
3 star
 (93)
2 star
 (40)
1 star
 (49)
Overall
4.1 (342 )
5 star
 (188)
4 star
 (67)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (22)
Story
4.0 (348 )
5 star
 (178)
4 star
 (77)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (23)
1 star
 (29)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    jamie MORRISVILLE, NC, United States 03-18-13
    jamie MORRISVILLE, NC, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not so good"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Some one who has patience to keep up with the narration


    What didn’t you like about Toni Morrison’s performance?

    Slow going lost interest


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    The book beloved is awesome but not Toni Morrison narrating it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Hill Boynton Beach, Florida 01-21-13
    Amy Hill Boynton Beach, Florida 01-21-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More than I expected"

    I'm glad I didn't listen to the bad reviews because I would have missed out on a great audiobook. This was great. I'm studying this book in a college class and listening to it helped me understand it so much better.

    Ms. Morrison changes her voice for each character, uses lots of expression, and reads this book the way I hear it in my head. It was just great.

    Only things I did not like, it downloads in two different files, which is fine, but the chapters aren't marked correctly. In the middle of a chapter there will be a long pause because the audio file is changing to a different "chapter". Don't think that the labels when playing the book are the actual chapters because they are not.

    Otherwise, this was a great audiobook for my first time trying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    davichon Frederick, MD 12-23-12
    davichon Frederick, MD 12-23-12

    davi

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pulls You Inside-Out"

    Toni Morrison --both as author and with her solemn, melodious voice--pulls you into the world of slavery and of the human heart -- with its joys, terrors and imaginative possibilities.

    You will want to follow her on this journey, as I did, if you want to "live" something uniquely imagined, that includes deep pains and terrors, is part of the history of all Americans, and will pull you inside-out until your guts are exposed to the air.

    "Not for everyone"? Well it's not a Great Escape, or what is commonly called "beach reading". But if you want the heavy stuff-- through the eyes and pen of an African American who is one of the most brilliant writers of our time, you could do worse tha trusting her own voice to lead you --through infernos and purgatories undreamed of by Dante.

    And then, if you choose, you can go on to her novel "Paradise".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Toronto, ON, Canada 07-30-12
    Sarah Toronto, ON, Canada 07-30-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such an exceptional book"

    Just an incredible book, beautiful and complicated. A bit of a warning that the story is dense and it's easy to get lost, especially without a physical book. But it's worth it, if you're patient, it'll be clear later whose story is happening and how the threads come together. Just an exceptional, wonderful book and it's even better read by the author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Litchfield Stanmore, Australia 10-20-11
    Denise Litchfield Stanmore, Australia 10-20-11

    grrl+dog

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very satisfying and just like the movie"

    I saw the movie so long ago, but it came back in full color when listening to this story, performed by the author.

    Listening to toni's soft and measured voice was pleasant and she brought through many nuances.

    I am going back for more of her stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blind Blake 09-03-11
    Blind Blake 09-03-11

    Blind Blake

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Partly moving, partly sentimental to excess"

    What can one say about the writing of nobel laureate? I guess not much that won't overpraise and/or piss someone off. I can't say that I'm extremely knowledgeable about Toni Morrison's work (I've read only three of her novels, The Bluest Eye, Jazz and Beloved, so call me a philistine if it so pleases you), nor can I say that I dislike her work, because I expect that I will read more of her books; it's just that I don't feel any overwhelming desire to read everything she has written as soon as possible. Why is this the case? To say it a short way, in all three books by her that I've read, I've felt that she has made it her project to MAKE me sympathize with characters that I ALREADY feel sympathy for. There seems to be an assumption in Beloved that I won't already understand that the atrocities of slavery could drive a mother to kill her own child rather than have the child face those atrocities. Plus, in this book there seemed to be several token "good white" or "not as bad white" characters (for example, the first owner of the plantation Sethe lived and worked on and Amy, a kind of female Huckleberry Finn) who seem tacked into the narrative to give balance to a book that understandably contains numerous unsympathetic white characters. Beloved is a work of some degree of psychological complexity, but I did feel--please don't shoot me--that it was also a book of "sheeps and goats" or "wheat and chaff." This feeling was intensified after I read Edward P. Jones's The Known World, which I believe is a more powerful and moving work on account of the author's refusal to absolutely condemn or absolutely save any of his characters. Having said all this, I realize I'm nobody and my opinion really doesn't matter. Beloved still warrants four stars for its story because who the hell am I? Furthermore, Morrison's performance in this audiobook is exemplary, earning five stars for the lack of sentimentality in her voice in passages that could have been treacly. Peace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 08-11-11
    Isabelle Middlesex, VT, United States 08-11-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    90
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Dark"

    This book is dark magical realism. I almost want to give it only three stars because it's so hyped and the story is disturbing at times; but at other times it's an entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Jyväskylä, Finland 03-02-11
    Lisa Jyväskylä, Finland 03-02-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    142
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "mesmerizing"

    I was a bit cautious about listening to rather than reading the book due to the poor reviews of the narration. But I found both the narration and the story mesmerizing. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks where professional narrators pretty much chirp the whole thing through with their 'story-telling voice' and stock of character accents. I'm so glad this was not read in that way. Morrison's voice is like soft syrup and held me in a trance for hours at a time. It made the most intense passages even more meaningful. It's a novel that will definitely stay with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Budd Canada 12-22-10
    Janice Budd Canada 12-22-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    27
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    3
    Overall
    "Narration lowered my rating"

    Beloved is a haunting yet poetic portrayal of a woman who was a runaway slave, and who attempted to kill her 4 children to save them from the same fate.

    The story begins about 18 years after the tragedy. Slowly, Sethe's story of despair is revealed, and the ultimate sacrifice of love - that to kill one's child to keep him/her "safe" - is explained. Was it right? Was it wrong? This is the moral dilemna that is passed on to the reader to decide.

    I did not give this a 5 star rating because there were some parts that I found too confusing to understand, specifically, when Beloved explained who she was.

    I listened to this book narrrated by the author, Toni Morrison. My rating reflects the impact she had on reading the story. I found her phrasing too choppy. She would take a breath in the middle of a phrase, making it sound disjointed and like she was out of breath. There was little inflection in her voice to differentiate emotion or characters. It was difficult to determine who was speaking in a conversation. At times, the lack of inflection and emotion added to the bleakness, giving it a chilling perspective. If I read any of her other books, it will not be in an audiobook format.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 05-22-10
    Steve coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada 05-22-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Amazing!"

    Amazing Voice!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.