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Publisher's Summary

Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament—the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together.

After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by 50 years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.

©2008 John Carlin (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

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More detail than the film

Would you listen to Invictus again? Why?

I loved the film Invictua and truly appreciated how the book filled in details beyond the film, but also reassured me that the basic story of the film was correct. The most valuable part was the description of the communication between Mandela and the radical Afrikaner groups that were threatening war.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Invictus?

Fascinating details about the final game -- namely that Mandela went into BOTH dressing rooms before the game, which seemed surprising. The author allows how showing up in a springbox Jersey in the All-Black dressing room may have thrown players off the game.

What about Gideon Emery’s performance did you like?

Pleasant with an effort to give different accent to different characters. Mandela's accent is just ok.

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

No. Too much detail.

Any additional comments?

It's great when a book reinforces a good film rather than shows its faults. The book gives more balance to the players at lagre, less emphasis on the Matt Damon charcter Pinear, which is only fair.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Slow beginning, great ending

The beginning was slow and dry, but the ending was intense. The narrator spoke Xhosa (a South African language) surprisingly well.

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Excellent!!!

I knew very little about mandela or South Africa prior to this book. Mandela is truly inspiring!

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  • Roger
  • South Orange, NJ, United States
  • 12-19-12

Inspiring

This is a great illustration of the series of challenges Mandela faced in attaining his goal as well as the ways he dealt with and overcame them. Unlike most revolutionaries, he was concerned not just with eliminating the injustice against which he fought, but also in creating the society that was to follow. Accordingly, the ways in which he fought apartheid were also calculated to create the nonracial society the ANC espoused.

I had known the general outlines of this story, but I had not been aware of, and was particularly impressed by, how many whites, of all political persuasions, Mandela was able to persuade to join him at each step of his struggles.