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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

4.5 (2565 )
5 star
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4.6 (2002 )
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4.6 (2000 )
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Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Lisa 07-03-16
    Lisa 07-03-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Simply The Best"

    The Color Purple is such an important novel for us. Us women, us people, us survivors, us people who are here. Love it from the opening lines to the very last words. Alice Walker word dances the souls of her characters across a story that will make you see God, life, living and loss in a different way.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    waliya 04-26-16
    waliya 04-26-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Exceptional!!!"

    I've loooooved the movie ever since I first watched it. I've seen it over a dozen times, but never actually read the book. After seeing the play a couple of days ago, I wanted to buy the book but didn't have the patience to wait for it in the mail. I'm sooooo glad I got to "read" it through Audible in the author's own voice. So sad it's over.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cbharaway 04-22-16
    cbharaway 04-22-16
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    "Beautifully read, beautifully told"
    What made the experience of listening to The Color Purple the most enjoyable?

    I loved hearing Alice walkers voice coming through in the characters. She knew the voice and timing of the character and brought out the syntax and authentic intelligence of the character.


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

    The character learns of sexuality and that's a humorous and love of life filled moment. When we first learn of the letters. Well I won't give it away.


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

    Not sure. She's an actress though as well as being a fine writer.


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

    Yeah. I was on a car trip.


    Any additional comments?

    A classic. But you get something important out of the audio format.

    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
  •  
    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
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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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robin campbellville, Ontario, Canada 03-05-12
    robin campbellville, Ontario, Canada 03-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent perforance great story"
    If you could sum up The Color Purple in three words, what would they be?

    one of my favourites


    What did you like best about this story?

    the relationships between the characters


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

    no


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

    no to long


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoy storys that are about the struggles of black americans in the south, I like the sound of African American voice, deep and rich, it is very relaxing to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle APO, Germany 04-06-11
    Michelle APO, Germany 04-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love Alice Walker"

    This is an excellent book!!! I love that the author is narrating the book! I am very happy I purchased this book!!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carletta Chattanooga, TN, United States 03-18-11
    Carletta Chattanooga, TN, United States 03-18-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Good"

    After seeing the movie several times, I knew the book would be better & I was right.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 08-06-10
    Edward 08-06-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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