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
Liked the movie... LOVED the Audiobook. A much richer story line. Plus books read by the author seems to add extra heart to them. I highly recommend this story.
Great book, I saw the movie long time ago, excellent narrator, the story is good It brings minority's issues in U.S. And Africa!
Very interesting style of writing. A powerful story of love and courage. Enjoyed the main character's transformation into a business woman who was powerful in her own right.
I love this book and I always have. I read it, first, when I was a teenager and I've read it frequently since then. My favorite part is when Nettie came home. I think I would enjoy it even more if the dialect of the narrator was more like in the movie.
I really enjoyed Alice Walker's reading. Unlike some reviewers, I don't feel her pace is too slow. I love listening to her voice and hearing how Celie and other characters speak.
The story is straightforward in many aspects. I salute Celie's strength and celebrate her triumph. I wish the same victory for all who struggle in life against overwhelming odds and prejudices. This book would be an uplifting read and encouragement for many.
HATE spoilers! Enjoy HOT, sexy books w/a plot. No vampires, paranormal, teens 4 me. Books outside HOT genre = books given to me to review
Unfortunately I saw the movie first but on the other hand, if I read the book I would not have watched the movie. The book was interesting but having seen the movie I was already bit biased in my characters in the book.
I didn't understand the why the language needed to be so crass in the first few chapters. It did not add to the book at all and I'm not one to be easily offended by curse words and strong language. This really bothered me and I almost stopped listening.
I think that had I not seen the movie I would've been totally lost in this book because it jumped around a bit.
While this is a story of how slave mentality affected women differently and the sacrifice & bond between sisters, I don't understand the fascination that surrounds the book. It was solid and the events were descriptive. However, I did not feel in any way that it was a five star read nor creditworthy.
Save your credit, watch the movie
NOTES: Strong language (really strong), graphic descriptions of sex, violence - including rape.
I enjoyed the story overall, particularly Celie's story. I was not as enamored with Nettie's story and at times, felt that her parts dragged on a little bit. The book touched on a lot of different topics, which added to the story. The characters were realistic, interesting and well developed. I liked the ending and how everything came together. I saw the movie years ago, but didn't remember much of the story at all, so this was like reading it for the first time.
The story was told in the format of letters, and it worked for this novel. The author also did an excellent job narrating the story, which in my experience, has not always been the case. However, I can't imagine anyone else doing a better job than she did.
I think that this book, read by the author was quite exquisite.
The characters were bright and individual. Each carried their own merit.
No, but I will.
This book produced many reactions, from laughing to crying.
You would be missing out on a wonderful read if you choose not to listen to it.
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