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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 (3900 )
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4.3 (2622 )
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  •  
    notadum1 VA, United States 01-21-12
    notadum1 VA, United States 01-21-12 Member Since 2015

    notadum1

    ratings
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    3
    3
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    "Beautifully read!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Poisonwood Bible the most enjoyable?

    I cannot express enough how I loved this narrator. It appears Audible incorrectly identifies her as Dean Robertson and I wish I knew who the narrator actually was b/c I would select other books read by her. I have read criticisms about her reading this book and I don't agree with a single one of them. She is fast but I much prefer a fast reader so that I'm lulled into sleepiness by a boring old narrator. This narrator also has the southern accents and voice down perfectly.


    Which character – as performed by Dean Robertson – was your favorite?

    My favorite character was Adah. The narrator read her part beautifully.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a magical book in which the Congo comes to life with each line you listen to. The book is an honest look into how damaging religion can be, and how arrogant we are as white Americans (and even the Europeans) are to think we can come in and

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Penrith, Australia 01-20-12
    David Penrith, Australia 01-20-12

    I am legally blind and talking books are the way I survive.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    11
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    "What a feast"
    Where does The Poisonwood Bible rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The Poisonwood Bible is a must read. We listen to a wide range of books from the the most trivial fiction to the most challenging of literature. This ranks as the most challenging book I have read in the last year. It has challenged the very basis of my belief system. Kigsolvers' characters are well drawn and easy to identify with.


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

    Any criticism of her reading of this book is misplaced. It is read at a steady pace that allows the reader to travel with this troubled family through their struggle to find their sense of identity.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary United States 01-15-12
    Mary United States 01-15-12
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    "Terrific Read"

    A most unusual, enlightening, and riveting story about culture differences and religion. It may cause you to think and feel differently. It did me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elise SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 01-14-12
    Elise SOMERVILLE, MA, United States 01-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    16
    14
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    "Loved it!"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was amazing. I almost finished it in one sitting. I was wary at first because of the negative comments about the narrator's voice, but was pleasantly surprised. I actually found the narrator's voice especially suitable for the story. She sound like the characters she was speaking as.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann 12-30-11
    Ann 12-30-11
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    1
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    "my favorite book"
    Would you listen to The Poisonwood Bible again? Why?

    I have never written a review before but for this book I will. I first got it at the library on cd and listened to it over and over again. On sale it is a must have for your audio library. The story is a mixture of history, religion, politics, culture and some parts that make you laugh out loud. I love the narration too. The story of an American family of six that travel to the Congo on a religious mission. The father is a Southern Baptist Preacher and a WWII vet. He has definite mental problems. The mother is the


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Delmar, NY USA 12-02-11
    Amazon Customer Delmar, NY USA 12-02-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    85
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    375
    23
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    "Don't be put off by the narrator reviews"

    I don't have much to add about the story that has not already been said. It's thoroughly engrossing on a number of levels, and you will probably irritate your family and others around you as you enjoy the marathon listen.

    What I did want to take a moment to say is that, unlike many of the reviewers who wrote the reviews I find at the top of this list, I thought the narrator was perfect. I didn't think she read too fast - most often I took that as a convincing rendition of what a teen or a child would sound like recounting her part of the story. Certainly not distracting or difficult to understand. Also, what some took for monotone, I found more atmospheric and appropriate to life in this difficult, gritty place.

    Do listen to the sample, but if you are unsure, forge ahead!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Syracuse, NY, United States 11-13-11
    Janet Syracuse, NY, United States 11-13-11 Member Since 2011
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    2
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    "Breathtaking!"

    This is an utterly breathtaking novel and the performance of the reader is perfect. I hated to see it end and will be thinking about this book for a very long time. The writing is so great I often listened to portions over again just to hear the masterful way she uses our language. Love, love, loved it!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gisele Fougerolles, France 10-04-11
    Gisele Fougerolles, France 10-04-11
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    "An exciting discovery"

    I really enjoyed that story told in so many different characters' point of view. I ignored how Us citizens were able to be so compassionate for their African counterparts. Bravo, one of my all time best listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RLS 10-01-11
    RLS 10-01-11
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    "Provoked strong emotions throughout the story"

    Good story but I felt cheated on the ending. Also, the narrator reads very fast in some areas which was irritating at first until I realized it was an expression of one character's personality. Definately worth the time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorene Laytonville, CA, United States 09-24-11
    Lorene Laytonville, CA, United States 09-24-11 Member Since 2014
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    15
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    "The Poisonwood Bible"

    The way Kingsolver constructs sentences is pure magic. The story itself is fascinating, educational; the characters, developed to be known and loved...or hated. I fully enjoyed this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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