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Publisher's Summary

With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money 10 years ago. But that past has caught up with her. Convicted and sentenced to 15 months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, Connecticut, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424 - one of the millions of women who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

From her first strip search to her final release, Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its strictly enforced codes of behavior and arbitrary rules, where the uneasy relationship between prisoner and jailer is constantly and unpredictably recalibrated. She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance. Heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging, Orange is the New Black offers a rare look into the lives of women in prison, why it is we lock so many away, and what happens to them when they're there.

©2010 Piper Kerman (P)2012 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fascinating....The true subject of this unforgettable audiobook is female bonding and the ties that even bars can't unbind." (People)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,782
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    2,473
  • 3 Stars
    1,062
  • 2 Stars
    244
  • 1 Stars
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Dull. Overrated.

Piper benefits once again simply because of her status in society and the color of her skin. I should have read other reviews before contributing to her pocketbook. Her writing is distant and pretentious. She simply tried too hard to tell her story.

The platform she has in writing this book had the potential to benefit incarcerated women in America. Instead, she overlooked this opportunity to benefit herself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jena
  • SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States
  • 06-07-15

Trite and without any meaning

This was the worst book I have listened to in a long time. There is so much white guilt and bragging about her background and feeling sorry for her cell mates that I could barely focus on the story. She comes from a very privileged background and makes that very clear to the point where none of the other characters are given any voice at all. Horrible. I can't believe this story got popular.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Better off Watching than Reading!

What is rich and nuanced in the television show comes across in print as the poor, poor, pitiful me whining of a rich, priviledged white girl who got caught. I couldn't help thinking about what was happening to the other women--the one's without private lawyers and rich parents to fight to reduce their culpulbility and sentences. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, Piper. Hope she is splitting her riches with the more interesting women in the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Don't waste your time

Boring and dumb
Didn't care about this woman. She is annoying and nothing happens. She did -yoga. Big deal. Yuck.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not worth the buy

Netflix is better. this was kinda boring. read well, but not much story. like more than half the story is missing, no drama, makes prison life sound somewhat easy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A different perspective on life in prison

I read this book before even being aware that it was also a TV show. I have since watched the show on Netflix. The two are completely and absolutely unrelated. The book is a serious look at the experiences Piper had while in prison, and is billed as a memoire, which it is. The TV show is a dramatization loosely based on the premise of the memoire - a woman going to prison unexpectedly - but that is where the similarity ends. The TV show is billed as a comedy. A dark comedy, probably, but still a comedy.

It was an interesting look at prison from the point of view of a non-traditional inmate. Did Piper `learn her lesson` ? Maybe, maybe not, but the story had nothing to do with lessons-learned. It was a glimpse into a world that most wealthy, educated and non-drug addicted women don't experience. I quite enjoyed it, and found that I was surprised at some things (how helpful other inmates were, and how race within prison didn't seem to be a big deal in Piper's experience), and not so surprised at others (funding issues for programs in prison).

Overall it was an interesting "peep behind the curtains" of what goes on behind prison walls - from the point of view of a very non-traditional (and privileged) inmate.

The narration is good. There isn't any detailed sex or violence and only minimal swearing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Glad it was my free book

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The story

Would you be willing to try another book from Piper Kerman? Why or why not?

No. Don't think she has any other books.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was fine.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It is a show and I saw it. The first season was good, that was it.

Any additional comments?

I'm glad this was my free book. Not a very interesting story considering it's about an attractive white woman in a minimum security prison. She acted like it was a hardcore prison. Got tedious after a few chapters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet
  • ARLINGTON, TENNESSEE, United States
  • 01-02-15

Just OK

Would you try another book from Piper Kerman and/or Cassandra Campbell?

Was expecting a really great read since a tv show was based on it. Interesting, but not great.

Was Orange is the New Black worth the listening time?

Only if you've got lots of time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just Okay

What did you like best about Orange is the New Black? What did you like least?

The best part of the book is the enlightenment of what really goes on behind prison bars.

Would you be willing to try another book from Piper Kerman? Why or why not?

Maybe, the book was well written -- it just needed a juicier story. I found it hard to keep going at times.

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

N/A

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Honestly, it was boring

Some interesting insights and descriptions of life in a Federal Minimum Security Prison, but it seemed to go on and on.....Cassandra Campbell has a nice voice,but I thought someone with a slightly grittier vocal tone would have matched the character more accurately.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful