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The Poisonwood Bible | [Barbara Kingsolver]

The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.
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Publisher's Summary

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against history's most dramatic political parables.

The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has brought forth her most ambitious work ever.

©2004 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

What the Critics Say

"Haunting..A novel of character, a narrative shaped by keen-eyed women." (New York Times Book Review)
"The book's sheer enjoyability is given depth by Kingsolver's insight and compassion for Congo, including its people, and their language and sayings." (Boston Globe)
"Beautifully written....Kingsolver's tale of domestic tragedy is more than just a well-told yarn.. Played out against the bloody backdrop of political struggles in Congo that continue to this day, it is also particularly timely." (People)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3415 )
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4.3 (2191 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mark Largo, FL, United States 12-23-10
    Mark Largo, FL, United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    4
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    "Very solid"

    The voices of the Price girls are poetic and insightful. I think this book would fall into the realm of chick lit but it spoke to me as well. The end is a bit drawn out and political but overall an excellent listen. Strong reading by Dean Robertson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BethAnn Denver, CO, United States 12-22-10
    BethAnn Denver, CO, United States 12-22-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Didn't get through the first chapter"

    I am sure the book is wonderful, but the narration was TERRIBLE. I bought this book on sale and because I had always wanted to read it, I didn't bother to look at the reviews. Big mistake, since there are many people who complain about the narrator on the reviews here. I won't make that mistake again! I will be reading the print version.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna West Chicago, IL, United States 12-17-10
    Donna West Chicago, IL, United States 12-17-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "a fun and interesting book"

    My daughter and I just came back from a mission trip in Uganda. I can totally relate to the author's portrayal of the Africans and love hearing about the culture from the different family member's perspectives. I loved this book and recommend it to anyone who is interested in other cultures and likes down to earth, sarcastic, funny writing.

    I agree that it was hard to follow the transition from one character to another. But, it didn't ruin the story for me. I thought the narrator had a nice reading voice and I enjoyed listening. I've listened to about 100 audio books and this one has been added to my favorites list.

    My favorites also include Infidel, Ladies #1 Detective Agency series, Sarah's Key, Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, Laughing Without An Accent and the sequel, Freddy and Fredericka, etc. I love these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett United States 12-13-10
    Brett United States 12-13-10 Member Since 2010
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    "loved the book, loved the narrator"

    I loved this book! I also loved the narrator! The narrator has a Southern accent and it added depth to the book, as it was told by five southern Baptist women. She does not do "voices", but it was easy to tell who was speaking at which point because all of the characters were so different. If I happened to pause it in the middle of a section, it took only a few minutes to figure out who was narrating. I saw that there were a number of negative reviews regarding the narrator, so I encourage you to listen to the sample and decide for yourself. I did not think that she rushed or spoke in a monotone. In fact, I found her to be the opposite and really enjoyed listening to her read.

    As for the book, I laughed and cried and loved every minute of it. This book was fantastic to listen to and I often found myself bringing my ipod in from my car and listening to it inside. I highly recommend it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan El Paso, TX, United States 12-05-10
    Dan El Paso, TX, United States 12-05-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I'll Give You 4Goats for the Termite"

    Very well writen novel. I would have given it 5 if the story ended after Exodus. The second half of part 2 was like a very long epilog.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric 12-04-10
    Eric 12-04-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my bag"

    Book is interesting and written from a neat perspective, but I just wasn't all that into it. Just not the style of writing that I am into. Book shows everyone's perspective to different situations, which was very interesting and added a lot of humor to the text, but you really need to pay attention to which character is talking otherwise you'll be lost and have to backtrack... of course backtracking is way easier in a print than on the ipod, so I wouldn't discourage anyone from this novel, but just wasn't my style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodi Meriden, CT, United States 11-30-10
    Jodi Meriden, CT, United States 11-30-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent book -- poor narration"

    This is such a great book, but I wish that I would have read it rather than listened to it. The narrator sounds rushed; sentences blur into one another without pause and it's easy to get distracted by the narration and lose focus on the story. There's very little emotion. It's almost like the narrator is reading the book for the first time. I may have been biased, though, because I listened to this one shortly after The Help, which has to be my absolute favorite audiobook as of yet. Oh, well, it's still a great book and worth a listen if you don't mind the narrator.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Oroville, CA, United States 11-16-10
    Susan Oroville, CA, United States 11-16-10 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration nearly ruined this book"

    What was a well-thought out and beautifully written story was nearly lost in the terrible monotone narration, it sounded as though she was just trying to rush through it. Passages that begged for what in musical terms would be called dynamics were passed over in a flat irrelevant tone. This was the second worst narration I've heard in the years and years I've been a member of audible.com (since the beginning!) and narration really does make or break a book in this venue. Consider reading the book instead of listening to it, as it is quite a story...or wait until Audible.com does it over with a better narrator.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer LA 08-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Beautifully written, just a great story!"

    I love this book and listening to it as an audio book makes it all the more powerful, Dean Robertson makes sense of the poetic nature of this book and gives life to the characters ... perhaps some people have not enjoyed Dean Robertson, but I can't really make sense of their objections? On the strength of this audio book, I also bought the book for my kindle, so I can savor the beauty of Ms. Kingsolver's wonderful writing, but I have to say, I prefer to listen to Dean Robertson.

    I spent a whole weekend listening to this story on my iPod - I couldn't break myself from the journey of the book - transported to the Congo, I lay about, or walked slowing through the Hollywood Hills in a sort of trance, I listened and listened ... so beautiful, so soulful ... the characters and their story moved me greatly, I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharmon Bedford, TX, United States 08-09-10
    Sharmon Bedford, TX, United States 08-09-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Sharmon"

    Disappointing. The narrator was very rushed--sentences were read with barely enough time to absorb what Kingsolver was trying to communicate. Too, I think I would have enjoyed it more if the narrator had taken on each character's persona--as if she were playing the parts. Her voice was very monotonous. Because the narrative alternates between the mother and her four daughters, it was often difficult to figure out who was whom, when I had to stop and pick up again. Sometimes by process of elimination it would dawn on me who was talking, otherwise I would have to rewind for some clue. For me, this took away from Kingsolver's descriptive writing. Rachel had a distinctive southern drawl but that was about it. I'd like to listen again with a better narration. For now I really don't know if I enjoyed the story or not!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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