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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 (5357 )
5 star
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4.5 (3973 )
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Story
4.4 (3934 )
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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Performance
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  •  
    B. Siemens Vancouver, BC 01-28-14
    B. Siemens Vancouver, BC 01-28-14 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deep calls out to deep"

    "Deep calls out to deep ...", Psalms 42:7. Many passages from the Bible (including the Apocrypha) are quoted in The Poisonwood Bible to give insight into the characters and their thoughts. I don't remember seeing this one, but it is a passage that provides insight into my own thoughts as I read this awesome novel. I enjoy browsing reviews after finishing a book and I was struck by how polarizing this book was. This work of fiction certainly gives much to offend the reader, where few stones (of the human experience) are left unturned.

    Some negative reviewers reacted to what appears to be an anti-American-Christian-culture message. May I suggest a different understanding? The newly landed, missionary family encounters a tree in the Congo that appears to be useful but the inhabitants warn the family away from the Poisonwood tree because it is poisonous to contact. This is a lesson that the all-knowing, father, with his colonialist mindset, learns slowly. I am left understanding the importance of learning the deeper role that factors play in this world; that accepting the surface message as whole can be dangerous. Good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne maniscalco san anselmo, ca United States 01-24-14
    anne maniscalco san anselmo, ca United States 01-24-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "start to finish I was hooked"
    What did you love best about The Poisonwood Bible?

    everything, the story , the characters, the rich Congo history , the narrator nailed it the whole way thru! I had no idea he was a man. His readings made me enjoy the story even more.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The twins


    What about Dean Robertson’s performance did you like?

    Everything!! again I did not know he was man. He nailed the book for me..totally enjoyed the narrative and story immensely


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Myra Albuquerque, NM, United States 01-11-14
    Myra Albuquerque, NM, United States 01-11-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Story of a family's survival in the Congo"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Poisonwood Bible to be better than the print version?

    I never read the print version, but truly enjoyed this audible version. The narrator of the story does a wonderful, wonderful job in portraying each of the daughters' version of what is happening.


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

    I don't want to give away the story, so I will only say the 'running from the Congo' after a significant loss.


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

    I don't know of the narrator's works. (Dean Robertson is a male, and the narrator of my book is female).


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When the family finally, after struggling, decides on a whim to actually leave the Congo after the loss of a family member.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is not an 'un-Christian' book as I've heard it said. Instead, it is a portrayal of how extreme Christian beliefs affected one family who serve on a mission to an extremely harsh (by US standards) environment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PhilsPham Fayetteville, NC 12-30-13
    PhilsPham Fayetteville, NC 12-30-13 Member Since 2016

    A reading family. We enjoy a reading from a variety of family friendly, enlightening works. Mom, Dad, elementary and preschool listeners.

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    "Thought Provoking and Entertaining"
    If you could sum up The Poisonwood Bible in three words, what would they be?

    Enlightening, Entertaining, Complex


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

    Kisses from Katie or Little Bee, but better than both in style, information and skill of writer.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Scenes abound, but the story told by the daughter Ava was just brilliant. The authors ability to differentiate personality and voice in the storytelling of different characters was very clever. The literary ingenious of this particular character made me want to rewind and re-listen to her story especially


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. I enjoyed swallowing the story in chapter sized bites.


    Any additional comments?

    This work was obviously born in the heart of the author to expose a western perspective on Africa that needs improvement. The variety of personalities telling the story helps to see the situation from different points of view which help to understand the whole picture from a broader perspective due to the contrast.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Portland, OR, United States 12-04-13
    Paul Portland, OR, United States 12-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "WORST NARRATOR EVER!!!"
    Would you try another book from Barbara Kingsolver and/or Dean Robertson?

    please amazon, pay someone else to read this book. i wouldn't want to have a 2 minute conversation with Dean Robertson, let alone listen to her for 15 hours. I bought this book over the thxgvg weekend for $5 and still feel like i am being ripped off. i'm not sure that it would be any worse to just feed the book into a text to speech tool and listen to a computer read it. no emotion, no voice acting, no emphasis on funny or meaningful sections or anything that you would expect from someone who knows what they are doing. it sounds like a neighbor telling you a quick story over the fence - a neighbor you don't even like.

    do not buy this audiobook

    side note - it was recorded 15 years ago. for such an important book, isn't it time to re-record with someone who actually wants the job?


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Walker Conway,AR 11-28-13
    S. Walker Conway,AR 11-28-13

    Woodworker

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    "better second time around"
    If you could sum up The Poisonwood Bible in three words, what would they be?

    Educational, uplifting, inspiring


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oleana, the mother


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

    I heard more than when I'd read it.


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

    It made me laugh and cry and understand what was going on during that time period when I wasn't paying attention.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Maloy 11-08-13
    Dawn Maloy 11-08-13 Member Since 2007

    6 kitties

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    4
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    "Fabulous, Stunning and Enlightening"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, because I would not want them to miss such an engrossing story that is so well told.


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

    Many moments both great and small.


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

    The narration only enhanced an already incredible story. I loved her voices, the richness of her tones. Beautifully interpreted prose.


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

    I had very strong reactions to this book and am looking forward to listening to it again some day. The author and narrator took me on an unforgettable journey that I will not soon forget.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christie chesterfield, VA, United States 10-19-13
    Christie chesterfield, VA, United States 10-19-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If you love a classic.....here it is"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Poisonwood Bible to be better than the print version?

    Great book with very good narration. One of my more favorable books. If you have not listened...jump in and take the ride!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chanda Goshen, KY, United States 10-18-13
    Chanda Goshen, KY, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Ruined by the reader"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I think this book would have been very good, but the reader was horrible. Her timing was awful; it was like listening to a robot with a bad voice read for hours and hours.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in this book, read it, don't listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniela PORTLAND, OR, United States 10-04-13
    Daniela PORTLAND, OR, United States 10-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    7
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    "The narrator reads way too fast!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better narrator!


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narrator reads WAY too fast. The language is dense and lyrical and I had no time to absorb it. She also doesn't vary her voice at all for the various characters, making following who is speaking when very challenging.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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