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
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
Mom, wife, reader. I love reading a book I don't want to put down.
I always loved the movie but the book is better. I could really feel Celie's pain.
one of my favourites
the relationships between the characters
no to long
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.
No! This is probably the only time I have ever said that the movie is better than the book. The author added NOTHING to the story as the narrator. Her tone was so flat and monotonous. It was painful to listen to the whole thing. The only good thing I can say is that listening to the book filled in a few minor holes from the movie.
It was long winded.
Oprah Winfrey would be a great choice as narrator! She could at least add some passion to the words and do the voice of Sophia spot on!
Not at all!
I grew up watching the movie over and over again! I loved it as a child and still live it as an adult. The book has been on my bucket list for years do when I signed up for audible and saw it was on here I was so excited. It was one of the most painful stories to get through. Ms. Walker as the narrator was a huge disappointment. There was no passion or inflection in her voice. It was as if some random person had picked up a book and started reading it out loud and wasn't connecting the words to anything. It is super long winded. I'm glad I crossed this one off of my list, but it was not a good experience all around. :(
This is one of the best
Alice Walker reading her own work is priceless; it gives an authentic feel to the story.
One of the best novels I have read. Deeply moving and thought provoking, it is a gut wrenching story of tragedy, injustice, and redemption.
It has been many years since I had seen the film, but I remember how much I liked it so I got this audiobook. It was hard to listen to for me, not because of the narrator (who I thought was wonderful), but just because of the brutality and sorrow the characters endured through no fault of their own. There were some similarities with "Push" by Sapphire, which I can only imagine it provided some inspiration for.I hope with the release of this audiobook that people will visit this story again. It is an important American work.
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.
Short, Simple, No Spoilers
"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back," Alice Walker. One of my favorite quotes of all time.
If you haven't read this book or watched the movie, you must do so. Even if you've done both, you need to listen to it again with Alice Walker narrating. She's an emotive, intelligent, confident and as talented an orator as a writer.
The tragic struggle of Miss Celie to survive, find love and inner strength is relatable to both genders and all races.
This is a great, moving, meaningful story. I highly recommend it. However...
Alice Walker is not a terrific narrator. Others are correct to note that she reads too slowly. I also felt she was not credible as the voice of Celie, the main character. Celie is poor and uneducated. She speaks with the grammar and cadence of a poor southern black woman. Embodying this voice is not an easy job, but Walker does not really pull it off. Throughout the recording, I was conscious that it was educated, literary Alice Walker speaking, not Celie.
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