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The Color Purple Audiobook

The Color Purple

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.
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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

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Performance
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  •  
    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 Member Since 2016
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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
  •  
    carolyn reed 04-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "A little disappointed"

    The Color Purple is one of my favorites. I have watched the movie so many times I can re-inact almost the entire movie. I have read the book a few times, and I enjoyed it as well. So it makes me sad to say I did not enjoy the audio version not one bit. You can constantly hear the narrarator swallowing her spit, there was even a snort in between a pause. Very unhappy with the reading of this book. I should have just got it on my kindle!

    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

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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.

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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
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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
  •  
    Tiffany Huntington Beach, CA, United States 12-24-11
    Tiffany Huntington Beach, CA, United States 12-24-11 Member Since 2015
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    "Watch the movie!!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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.


    What was most disappointing about Alice Walker’s story?

    It was long winded.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alice Walker?

    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!


    Was The Color Purple worth the listening time?

    Not at all!


    Any additional comments?

    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. :(

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
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    MelKell Elkins Park, PA, United States 12-12-11
    MelKell Elkins Park, PA, United States 12-12-11
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    "Wonderful "read"!"
    Where does The Color Purple rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best


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

    Alice Walker reading her own work is priceless; it gives an authentic feel to the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle APO, Germany 04-06-11
    Michelle APO, Germany 04-06-11
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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
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    Carletta Chattanooga, TN, United States 03-18-11
    Carletta Chattanooga, TN, United States 03-18-11 Member Since 2015
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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

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