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Their Eyes Were Watching God Audiobook

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Why we think it’s a great listen: Zora Neale Hurston’s classic novel begs to be read aloud, and Ruby Dee answers the challenge with utter perfection, capturing the wide range of characters and their diverse accents with grace and power. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: I loved this book when I read it, but it wasn't until I listened to Ruby Dee's performance that I realized how much I had missed. Hurston's book is filled with rural Florida dialect and vernacular that is hard to appreciate on the printed page, but becomes poetry in this glorious recording. Dee paints each character vividly with her rich and velvety voice. —Beth Anderson

Publisher's Summary

Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in Black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates boldly and brilliantly African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a Black woman who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard.

Originally published in 1937 and long out of print, the book was reissued in 1975 and nearly three decades later Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a seminal novel in American fiction.

©1937 Zora Neale Hurston, Renewed 1965 John C. Hurston and Joel Hurston; (P)1997, 2000, 2004 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"For readers who know Hurston's work, this program will be a joy; for those who are lucky and wise enough to discover her here, it will be an exceptional experience." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1631 )
5 star
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4.6 (1098 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amanda Roanoke, TX, USA 03-18-08
    Amanda Roanoke, TX, USA 03-18-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing!"

    Although I had read the book in print, the narration of this audiobook moved me to tears multiple times. I was stunned at how much of the story and emotion I had missed in the print book. Ruby Dee did a phenominal job as the narrator. I can't imagine this book read by anyone else.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Schwarzkopf 05-09-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    7
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    "Outstanding"

    Narrator Ruby Dee made this book come to life in a variety of voices, emotions, and moods. This book is poetry with a complex main character. It's a definite "must read" for book clubs.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tracy thatcher, AZ, United States 02-26-10
    tracy thatcher, AZ, United States 02-26-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    139
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    342
    62
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    4
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    Overall
    "A Book Before it's Time"

    I think listening to this book really added to the atmosphere of the writing. The reader was SOOO good! I think it would be harder to understand if I had just tried to read it myself. It is written in black southern dialect. -- I can't believe this book was written in 1934. It was definitely way before it's time. I liked the characters and I liked the message of being who you want to be, not just what everyone else wants you to be. --There were funny parts, sad parts, and somewhat intense parts. This book is definitely a five star read!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    10
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    "Buy it now."

    This book is fantastic. The narrator is one of the best I have ever heard. I didn't want it to end.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelby Moreno Valley, CA, USA 12-07-08
    Shelby Moreno Valley, CA, USA 12-07-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Don't miss this one!"

    If you fail to give this one a try you are only cheating yourself out a wonderful experience! A beautifully written story that is fabulously narrated! Definitely will be on my list of "all time favorites".

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebekah Kliewer 04-29-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    8
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    "Beautiful!"

    This is a must read/listen! Couldn't put it down! As a side note this review app sucks won't let me submit it without meeting the word count.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 04-15-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Just loved it"

    I really enjoyed Ms.Ruby Dee narration she made it in grossing. The characters came alive right there for me to see.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharell 06-09-13
    Sharell 06-09-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    126
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    "love the story would have liked a younger voice"

    I had a hard time reading the printed text because I generally have a hard time reading anything written in dialect. I am even annoyed when I get misspelled text messages from relatives written in dialect because I have to reconstruct what they are supposed to say. After reading the text, I thought an audiobook version would be lovely but I have to disagree with most reviewers. This is a beautiful love story and although the main character is older in the novel she strikes me as in her 40s during the telling of the story. Hearing Ruby Dee's narration is sort of like having your grandmother tell you about her love story. Although she did a great job, it took me out of the story a bit and I would have enjoyed a younger voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patty Great falls, VA, United States 10-08-12
    Patty Great falls, VA, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A great read!"
    What made the experience of listening to Their Eyes Were Watching God the most enjoyable?

    The narrators voice and cadence was captivating. She draws the reader into the world of the "old south".


    What did you like best about this story?

    I felt, along with the characters, the influence of the culture on the main character. Her struggle to do the right thing for her grandmother vs keeping her individuality and meeting her oen needs for love and respect are palpable.


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

    No, but she is right on par withToni Morrison's reading of her book "Beloved". I will look for her performances in my future search to find a good audio book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra LI New York 09-20-12
    Sandra LI New York 09-20-12 Member Since 2013

    Bookworm

    HELPFUL VOTES
    77
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    55
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    "At Long Last, Love"

    I can't remember a time that I've ever enjoyed a story, more. Ruby Dee is a classic. No one could have narrated Ms Hurston's novel, better. I downloaded this book for the IPOD in my kitchen and also in my automobile. (I just couldn't stop enjoying it.) Definitely, what is known as a page turner. Years ago, I read this book when I was still in school. But, I don't believe that I appreciated the beauty of it until now. Every line, poetic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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