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The Color Purple Audiobook

The Color Purple

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Audible Editor Reviews

The Color Purple is a story of survival, spirituality, and the strength of the bond between two sisters, spanning two continents and nearly three decades. To hear Alice Walker read her own Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is an absolute treasure. Walker’s voice is clear, strong, and true — a testament to the courage and hope that carries the main character Celie through the story.

Celie’s circumstances are unimaginable — poor, female, uneducated, motherless, and African American in the Deep South — she is without anyone to protect her, except her God. It is her communication with God — and her other savior, her sister Nettie — that sustains her and supplies the narrative of The Color Purple. At the beginning of the novel, Celie’s communication with both God and Nettie is one-way, however, as Nettie has been swept away from her, all the way to Africa, and God sends her few signs he is watching over her.

As Celie survives sexual abuse from her stepfather, the death of her mother, the violent loss of her two children, and marriage to the monstrous and cruel “Mister”, she remains kind and loving through it all. When the beautiful and liberated singer Shug Avery comes into her life, Celie is opened up. Shug tells Celie, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” Someone other than Nettie finally loves Celie, and she begins to truly see the beauty around her and believe her life is worth something.

In the preface, Walker says The Color Purple is the story of Celie’s journey from her place as “a spiritual captive” to “the realization that she…is a radiant expression…of the Divine”. Throughout the novel, Walker’s voice audibly breaks free of the bonds of abuse and cruelty into the freedom of spirituality and peace. It is almost as if Walker’s voice contains within each note the whole of the African American experience — encapsulated in the courage and triumph of Celie’s story. —Sarah Evans Hogeboom

Publisher's Summary

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 - when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate - and continuing over the course of her marriage to "Mister", a brutal man who terrorizes her.

Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister's letters from her, and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend, Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

©1982 Alice Walker (P)2009 Alice Walker and Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1983

"[A] striking and consummately well-written novel." (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (3028 )
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4.6 (2426 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Teri Beaverton, OR, United States 04-17-12
    Teri Beaverton, OR, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2011

    Mom, wife, reader. I love reading a book I don't want to put down.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Better than the movie."
    What did you love best about The Color Purple?

    I always loved the movie but the book is better. I could really feel Celie's pain.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 04-15-12
    Rebecca 04-15-12 Member Since 2009

    Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    271
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    "Alice Walker bring Celie to life"

    The story starts with Celie's letters to God. She is poor, and abused. Life is bleak, but eventually gives way to love and happiness.

    Watching Celie's journey, and her sister Nettie was moving. Feminist/black literature, the book doesn't flinch as it examines abuse, incest, lesbianism, Jim Crow, religion, and the Olinka tribe in Africa.

    The author was the narrator, and it was wonderful.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Boston, CT 03-26-12
    Jessica Boston, CT 03-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautiful story, read by the author."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Color Purple to be better than the print version?

    Yes, since the true voice of the author (literally) can be heard.


    What other book might you compare The Color Purple to and why?

    Tess of the D'Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, for all the main character's suffering and personal growth.


    Which character – as performed by Alice Walker – was your favorite?

    Celie was my favorite. Her voice alone created a true, believable character.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 08-06-10
    Edward 08-06-10
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    "Intense -- but strongly recommended"

    One of the best novels I have read. Deeply moving and thought provoking, it is a gut wrenching story of tragedy, injustice, and redemption.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JimJr 08-31-11
    JimJr 08-31-11

    Enjoy audible books!

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    "Almost Did Not Download"

    Because of several negative comments about Alice Walker as the narrator of her book The Color Purple I almost did not download it. I am glad I ignored those comments. The book was well worth the time and Alice Walker did a fine job with the narration, reading her book in a way I thought fitting to the characters and content of the book. Dear God, Thank you for Alice Walker and her book The Color Purple.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen hornell, NY, USA 03-18-10
    Kathleen hornell, NY, USA 03-18-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Alice Walker reads so slooowwwly!"

    I absolutely find this novel inspirational and it amazes me how Walker effectively touches on so many historical/sociological/political issues within a well crafted story. This audio book is hard to listen to though, as Alice Walker just reads so slowly. I was going to use it in class with my 11th grade English students, but we didn't have the patience.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DONNA SPENCER 12-14-16 Member Since 2014
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    "AWSOME !!!"

    Totally different prospective than the movie. Awsome detail on what life was like in that era. Heart wrenching, glad those days are done. Education was the key then and now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-13-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Incredible"

    Everyone should read this book. Beautifully crafted tale about human ugliness, redemption and forgiveness. Gh

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. J. Mcdonald Yukon, OK 03-14-16
    A. J. Mcdonald Yukon, OK 03-14-16 Member Since 2016

    Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful story"

    I got confused about timing since it was hard to tell when some of the letters were written. Celie's children must have been older than Sophie's but often they were made to sound younger.

    But overall it was a wonderful story. I loved the ideas about God that were shared. The themes of family and love were ever present. Even forgiveness. There was longing and hope. And there were children--so many I lost track regularly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    English Clough Denver, CO United States 10-10-12
    English Clough Denver, CO United States 10-10-12 Member Since 2011

    englishmc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Color Purple to be better than the print version?

    never read print


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Color Purple?

    When she met her children and sister


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

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book and was sad when it was over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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