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
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.
No matter how often you have read the book, watched the movie, seen the musical - your "The Color Purple" experience and appreciation cannot be complete until you have listened to Alice Walker narrate her own work. The skill with which she captures her characters and their times and the subtlety with which she conveys the changes that define them, make this performance a work of art in its own right. The novel got under my skin all over again.
The book was nasty and made it seem like everybody of that culture in that time in that place was into incest and perversion and they had no morals and that's just simply not true very insulting to anybody from African descent or African American descent I couldn't stand it anymoreand stoped the book before I was even halfway finished
All of the scenes that talked about indiscriminate sexuality, cheating on each other spouses, incest,and any of the content that suggested that all black men are rapists and suggested that all black women are so dissatisfied with their lives that they are constantly looking to have an affair. if this were my culture that this book Is referring to then I would really be upset and I'm upset anyway for the people whose culture it is insulting; and I do not care if the author is part of the group that she is insulting that's still not a true representation of everybody even of that particular Group at that time and place I am sure.
I prefer the books that are true stories or some even novels that deal with the incredible People and characters and the heroic ways they handled a horrible discrimination and torture that was put upon them. yet out of that horror and travesty , Triumphed a strong rich culture in spite of it, such that everybody can be inspired by it.
Feeling like I was part of people's lives, lives different from my own.
Celie, with many others a close second. I enjoyed the way she evolved on the outside so her inner self could show. When she said men looked like frogs I just laughed because her description was so accurate.
The dinner scene when women spoke their own minds.
When Mister said Sugar acted more like a man than a women, Celie told him men don't do those things (being strong, direct, protective, etc.) and those traits were more like women.
The honesty of some of the women in this book was amazing, insightful, brave. They were so in touch with what they really felt and observed.
I also learned a lot about history and different cultures. This was an excellent book in many ways. The reading could not have been better.
Ive always hesitated to read this book because I assumed it would be a tough road (just look at the publisher's summary!) but I was completely off base. It is so uplifting and beautiful...yes there are struggles but these women prevail!! This book is about LOVE and strength. Alice Walker's narration is a gift, pure and simple, and I was so surprised after I listened to see that anyone had anything other than a rave to say about it. Also her imagination drummed up some of the most memorable and fantastic characters ever, and her writing is gorgeous. It's a great book.
Addicted to Audible!
I have seen the movie and read the book more than once. Listening gave me gave me a different perspective on the book through the authors eyes.
When Miss Celie spoke up for herself in regard to Mister.
Miss Celie and Sophia. They both need a break.
Narrated by the writer! It was great, thank you Alice Walker for taking the time to narrate this book, you did a fantastic job in both writting and narrating. A story that has been around for many years, I still Love it, and will listen to it again someday, I was sad that the end of the book ended this morning.
I read the book... Loved it... Saw the movie...Loved it... Got the audio version and was saddened by the narrator (Alice Walker). She wasn't horrible, but pretty dang close. Similar to Stephen King reading Bag of Bones... No Bueno. The story ranks high with me, however if I had not read the book before hearing Alice read it I would have stop listening to the book after about a couple of hours. Listening to the book makes the movie look so good. And the movie left some things out, which all do, but Mister in the book is a little guy. Danny Glover is 6'4" ... Ok back to Alice- She attempts to speak in a dialect comparable to the times .. FAIL.. Her ability to act with her voice FAIL... If you have listened to the first few Game of Thrones books, you will hear a master performance by Roy Dotrice . The books by Orson Scot Card are also masterfully narrated. I say all this to say this, Excellent book, Narrator, just so-so.
I watched the movie first and was surprised by the novel with much more detail and a deeper emphasis on spirituality. At the end of the novel, I could see why the author called herself a 'medium'. I felt I was transported to somewhere among the harmonious copice of Eden itself.
Their Eyes Were Watching God is often referred in the reviews, and I could see why.
I read this novel along with the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and although with a very different story and characters, I saw some similarity between Mister/Nettie and Harold/Maureen. It's as if it's never too late to discover something about yourself and others in this mysterious and marvelous world.
I had misgivings about audiobooks read by authors and boy, was my prejudice completely shattered! She makes the story sound so real, it's like I'm listening to Sophia raging and the folks yarning and Shug and Squeak singing and everything right nearby.
I can't imaging a better title just yet.
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