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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

4.5 (2161 )
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  •  
    J. Torres-Purifoy CA 02-29-16 Member Since 2014

    jdpurifoy

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    "Wonderful; everything you thought and more!"

    One of my favorite movies and this book is even better! Im usually skeptical about author narration but Ms. Walker did a great job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lizzie 02-16-16
    lizzie 02-16-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The best of all time"

    I've seen the movie a million times... but I still couldn't put the book down. it was still exciting and suspenful. there is so much backstop and additional information. I think I could actually listen to it again. favorite movie and book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Roberts 02-11-16
    S. Roberts 02-11-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better the second time around"

    Like many, I read this book when it was first published. I loved it. I loved the story and how the characters grew. This time, I listened to the audio book which brought the story even more alive. This time, I grasped the nuances and the many themes of human behavior.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharaya 02-10-16
    Sharaya 02-10-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Captivating and Tear Jerking"

    Beautiful story! I never read the book or saw the movie. I didn't think I would like it as much as I did.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Baumeister San Diego, CA USA 02-06-16
    D. Baumeister San Diego, CA USA 02-06-16 Member Since 2015

    Sceptic Wife

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    "Sad but brilliant story"

    I really enjoyed this book and the performance, couldn't stop listening. The performance was riveting and was like watching a play. The story was heart touching and unexpected....so much pain, loneliness, loss, and ultimately love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bebe South Carolina 02-05-16
    bebe South Carolina 02-05-16 Member Since 2009

    English major, Attorney then CEO of 5000 employee company (in that order). I have over 1200 books in my Audible library.

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    "Awesome Book"
    Any additional comments?

    The Color Purple is a truly fantastic book. It is the story of a young black girl, Celie, who is sexually abused by her father, birthed babies when she was just a little girl herself, and had her babies stolen away from her. She is married while still very young to an abusive man who needs a housekeeper and a caretaker for his outrageous misbehaving children. Now I know this sounds very depressing, but it is not a "downer" book. In fact, much of the book is humorous. The story line is very entertaining and you find yourself pulling for Celie throughout her life as she longs for her lost sister, and her lost babies. You grow to love Celie and her makeshift family. You also hate her husband and some of the other characters in the storyline. There are many great characters in this book - all are very well drawn by the author. Speaking of the author, instead of hiring a performer, she is the reader of her book. I usually find that when authors read their own work I am disappointed; however, Alice Walker does a really fine job as reader. I was not disappointed at all! The movie of this book is excellent too. Oprah Winfrey played the character Sophie in the movie. She was very young and I believe this was the first movie she was in. She really nailed the part - it was very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    theresa 01-28-16
    theresa 01-28-16
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    "A wonderful experience. This story helped me"

    This story helped me heal through a rough patch. It helped me to understand a relationship that I had with a woman that changed my life. Beautifully written and wonderfully shared.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly 01-21-16
    Kimberly 01-21-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Good book/Bad performance"

    I enjoyed reading the, however I could not listen to the book. The author was terrible as the narrator. Sometime authors need to leave the narration to those that know what their craft.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debug 01-19-16
    Debug 01-19-16
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    "not impressed"

    wasnt too impressed with the story line it had a lot of disturbing images. it seems like they had some awful things happen and a lot of things that could have been left out

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aisha Shelby, NC, United States 01-07-16
    Aisha Shelby, NC, United States 01-07-16 Member Since 2011

    I love reading and I love audiobooks!

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    "One the Greats"

    This book is great. Alice Walker is an amazing writer and an amazing narrator. I have seen the movie probably over 50 times and it never gets old. If you think the movie is great then you will love this book. It goes so much more in-depth and I got a lot more information that the movie didn't provide. This book is a definite must-have!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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