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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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  •  
    TucsonTNR 07-16-15
    TucsonTNR 07-16-15
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    "A Wonderful, Uplifting Story!"

    I've always loved the movie, so when I found this e-book on sale, along with the audio version, I snapped it up. The narrator, also the author, did an amazing job of telling this beautiful story in the voice of its characters. I felt like I was right there on that porch enjoying the day while listening to their stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MeanStreaks Helena, Alabama 07-08-15
    MeanStreaks Helena, Alabama 07-08-15 Member Since 2016
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    "A Masterpiece"

    You find yourself stopping to think a lot while reading this fantastic work of art.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ms. Brigette Somewhere in Louisiana 06-28-15
    Ms. Brigette Somewhere in Louisiana 06-28-15

    lover of books

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    "Even Better the 2nd Time Around"

    Read this book years ago when I was in high school. This is the first time I've reed it again. I enjoyed it just as much as I did the first time but better as an adult.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcos 06-25-15
    Marcos 06-25-15 Member Since 2014
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    16
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    "Great book, great performance!"

    The best part was having Alice Walker read her own book; you knew that the characters sounded exactly the way she wanted them to. Fascinatingly powerful portrayal of US culture.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JMM 05-19-15
    JMM 05-19-15 Member Since 2009
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    "An eye opener for a white southerner!"

    I grew up as clueless as some in this book...in Memphis. My daddy was a truck driver, but we had a black woman who ironed for us. My godmother had a full time maid....no children! She was born in early 1900s....grew up in the country...never questioned the way things were...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CR Frisco, TX 05-16-15
    CR Frisco, TX 05-16-15 Member Since 2002

    I own & listen to a variety of audio books constantly in car and gym. My reviews remind me what I’ve read & hopefully are helpful as well.

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    "I guess purple's not my color"

    I hadn’t watched the movie and didn’t really know anything about the book. I didn’t really like it. As a point of comparison, it’s not as moving or memorable as Roots or The Help, both of which I enjoyed. The book started good but got tiresome fairly quickly. It was a twisted tale that I didn’t really care about what happened to the characters or how it ended. It was not so bad that I felt I should not continue, however. Here and there were a few interesting parts, but overall not too special. I’m not religious but I liked the religious themes more than anything else, for example @ 5:07. I was surprised by lesbian scenes. Author’s narration was actually pretty good. Overall, an average book that I don’t recommend unless you're familiar with the book and know what you're getting into.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica United States 05-09-15
    Erica United States 05-09-15 Member Since 2015

    I am a public speaker and entertainer that lives in The Beautiful Lake of The Ozarks in Missouri.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Oh my goodness gracious!!!"

    This is a book here! I remember watching "The Color Purple" in my later years of school and always remembering small catch phrases and thinking of Oprah telling it like it is. I regret that it took me so long to listen to this one. I thought the movie was incredible until I heard this! Why did they leave so many important things out of the movie? I know the movie couldn't be four hours long, but it should have been! The book is such a masterpiece. The ending is so perfect. The story really came full circle. As much as I hated that bastard Master, by the end, I really had grown fond of him in a way. I will say that the first few minutes had my jaw dropped on the ground and me taking the book off of the speaker and putting my headphones on instead. I have got an eleven year old son and some of the words in this book would make me blush! Once you get used to some of the graphic and direct language you understand that it is part of Ms. Celie's character. She was never taught that it isn't appropriate (in my opinion anyway) for A lady to speak that way. I loved the ending. I cried happy tears for them! I hated to let these characters go! I could have listened for days more and it still wouldn't have been enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DickS1 Atlanta, Ga 05-01-15
    DickS1 Atlanta, Ga 05-01-15

    The Duke

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    "Worth the listen"

    Always wondered about but never read, watched or listened to this story. Glad I did. It definitely held my attention.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa N Pass Stone Mountain, GA United States 04-22-15
    Lisa N Pass Stone Mountain, GA United States 04-22-15
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    "Beautifully narrated!"

    A brilliant, colorful story. Beautifully narrated by Ms. Walker. I wish I'd read it years ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chandra 04-21-15
    Chandra 04-21-15
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    "Really got lost in the story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Color Purple the most enjoyable?

    I loved how easy it was to get lost in, very emotionally consuming.


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

    I have no book I can compare to, but a movie... And I would say Forrest Gump. Same inspirational, " from nothing to something" feel.


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

    Sophia


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Don't count your eggs before they hatch


    Any additional comments?

    This was a very beautiful story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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