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The Poisonwood Bible Audiobook

The Poisonwood Bible

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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

4.4 (5621 )
5 star
 (3369)
4 star
 (1472)
3 star
 (507)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.5 (4211 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (4172 )
5 star
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4 star
 (991)
3 star
 (379)
2 star
 (121)
1 star
 (112)
Performance
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  •  
    Jody Santa Rosa, CA, US 10-17-14
    Jody Santa Rosa, CA, US 10-17-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "beautiful prose, but the reader doesn't do it just"
    Would you listen to The Poisonwood Bible again? Why?

    Possibly if by a different narrator.


    What didn’t you like about Dean Robertson’s performance?

    Hurried, clipped, unemotional, no variety of voice or cadence for the different characters


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Gutteridge 10-06-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    7
    7
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    "Fabulous, provocative writing."
    Would you listen to The Poisonwood Bible again? Why?

    Yes yes yes. Such a big story of many lives. Such a skillful way to pose many deep human questions.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Poisonwood Bible?

    Brother Fowles & his wife. Flouting Christian convention but living compassion meaningfully by integrating with the local way of life.


    What about Dean Robertson’s performance did you like?

    Very well paced. Appropriate Southern accents.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made my heart heavy for the way colonization and greed have damaged lands and peoples. The aching question: how can we do these thing to each other, and ultimately, ourselves?


    Any additional comments?

    Possibly the final part of the story was just a little too long, but I would need to listen again to get that clear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eleanor 09-30-14
    Eleanor 09-30-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    56
    31
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    0
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    "Loved it!"
    Would you listen to The Poisonwood Bible again? Why?

    Probably not. It's really long. Perhaps if I went on a long road trip with someone who hadn't heard it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    My favorite character is Adah. Her interesting way of seeing things and communicating as a child was fascinating and compelling to follow and her transformation as an adult was wonderful.I very much enjoyed Rachel has well. While she was not a particularly likeable she was always interesting and often a source of humor in a relatively serious book.


    Have you listened to any of Dean Robertson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The end part went on a bit long. This story could have stood to be shortened a bit at the end.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Poisonwood Bible and why?

    The father! He was both scary and deeply interesting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue B. 09-26-14
    Sue B. 09-26-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great visuals of the Congo"
    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the different personalities of the family members of the missionaries and their unique perspectives and lessons learned from their experiences. Some of the descriptions were so vivid, I started to squirm with the characters.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a little drawn out at the end of the book, like the author wasn't quite sure where to leave it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cj 09-25-14
    cj 09-25-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    15
    9
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    1
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    "NARRATOR RUINS STORY!"
    Would you try another book from Barbara Kingsolver and/or Dean Robertson?

    Not sure. If another book by this author is read by the same narrator or in the same way... the answer is absolutely NO! The whole point of LISTENING to a book is for the narrator to engage the listener! Dean Robertson accomplished the complete opposite.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator ruined the story. The female reader used the EXACT SAME VOICE for EVERY character in the book, and there were at least FIVE different characters from a small child to a mother. I don't know WHAT they were thinking or HOW the author could allow her book to be presented in this fashion. I didn't want to finish listening to it and was actually angry/annoyed while listening throughout the book. I chose the book on the recommendation of a friend who neglected to tell me or rather forgot about the poor narrator. I would have loved to actually "READ" this book. I look for good audible books for long road trips and savor "reading" actual books while not in the car. "Poisonwood" is one book I would much rather have actually read.


    Did The Poisonwood Bible inspire you to do anything?

    "Poisonwood" inspired me to take more care in choosing an Audible selection. However, even if I were to have listened to an audio sample, I would never have known that the narrator NEVER changed the tone or sound of her voice when changing characters. I just wish someone would have pointed that out in customers' reviews.


    Any additional comments?

    I am stupefied by the author's/publisher's decision to allow the narrator to read an entire book using the EXACT same voice for all the characters! It is confusing and extremely disconcerting!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy A. Dye 09-25-14
    Amy A. Dye 09-25-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    92
    11
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    1
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    "Excellent Novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Poisonwood Bible to be better than the print version?

    Take the first chapter of listening to get into the rhythm of the narration; fast Southern speak, which becomes endearing as you move forward and realize all the female characters in the story are given VOICE. Voice is something very lacking in their fascinating accounts of living as missionaries in the Congo with a very mentally, spiritually, and emotionally tormented Pacific War Veteran who had survivor guilt. He brings himself, his wife, and four daughters on what is and what isn't a fool's errand, due to his approach with the natives, the leadership of the village, and to Jesus in general. Deep down one ends up having some hard won compassion for this father figure because of his inability to understand his place in the world, his role in the family as a father, and ultimately himself as a child of God. I purchased this novel as a daily deal on audible, and now will surely be listening to Ms. Kingsolver's other works. She is a literary giant, simply put.


    What other book might you compare The Poisonwood Bible to and why?

    Heart of Darkness, due to setting and topics


    What does Dean Robertson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great Southern drawl; the voice differentials between the girls are excellent. One should give the fast speed of narration a chance ... One has to get used to the faster than normal talking .... However you will see you will have plenty of book even in spite of this. I believe it was 15 hours. Found myself listening to several chapters over again just because of thoughts, concepts, the beautiful prose, the haunting politics ... I did not want it to end.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I just absolutely loved the book hands down. I love audible and own 300 titles. I would say this is in my top 5 books of all time.


    Any additional comments?

    I am now a Kinsolver fan and plan to purchase more of her books. Thanks Audible for putting this novel on the daily deal. It was very appreciated and it is for certain that it was a great business move on your part, meaning that at full price I will end up buying the rest of her books on audio because she is just an amazing author and the narration performance extremely well done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria 09-14-14
    Victoria 09-14-14 Member Since 2008

    RangerGirl

    HELPFUL VOTES
    140
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    118
    72
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    14
    3
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    "one of my favorites"

    Wonderful: story, language, message and the whole athmosphere and moral of the story. One of my favorite books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison 08-16-14
    Alison 08-16-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    48
    6
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    0
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    "Complex, compassionate, amazing."

    This book was one of the most marvelous and moving that I have read in some time. The deep consideration of the various "voices" of the narrators, the rich and complex history expressed so movingly within the story, the crafting of the storyline itself, the amazing number of passages that I marked, to go back to and understand more deeply, the basic human truth and emotional resonance that I have not encountered in a long time, all make this story worth five stars and more. I HIGHLY recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deb Odessa, Saskatchewan, Canada 08-11-14
    deb Odessa, Saskatchewan, Canada 08-11-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "definitely a reread"
    What made the experience of listening to The Poisonwood Bible the most enjoyable?

    I finished this book a few weeks ago and I can't get it out of my head. I actually WANT to hear it again - soon Excellent from start to finish


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mattie 07-29-14
    Mattie 07-29-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Narrator"
    Any additional comments?

    I am so glad this book was not read by the author. I have read some of her other books and loved them, as I did this one. However I have had to return books read by her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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