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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
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    2,782
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    2,473
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    1,061
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    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
  • Performance
  • Story

Disappointing!

This is the story of a thirty year old woman who is serving fifteen months in prison for a decade old crime transporting drug money for a friend. She transported the money one time but because of US mandated laws on drug trafficking she had to serve the time.

This story was way to nice to be a prison story. If I am reading a prison story it needs shanks, fights and drama. This was like summer camp with a lot of heavy rules or like living in a college dorm with less freedom. There was no drama whatsoever! I was very disappointed!

I wasn't aware this was a TV series until after I finished this book. I selected this book due to all the positive reviews from previous readers. After reading it I cannot get over why there are so many positive reviews. I am thinking maybe the TV series influenced some of them. I'm sure the screenwriters probably did a lot for this story for the series to have such high ratings, to bad they weren't around for the writing of the book.

P.s... I write reviews to help others find good books. Why waste your time and money on bad books? If my reviews help you please click the "helpful" button, sometimes I think I am wasting my time and efforts with this. Thank you!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Tim
  • United States
  • 06-05-14

Women's Retreat

Piper Kerman's experience of being in prison in "Orange is the New Black" is like going to a women's retreat. Instead of being scare straight, her interpretation of being in prison is so delightful, where I would like to go. Movie nights, cheese cakes, mani pedi, yoga? Where do I sign up? Let's not forget that everyone is your friend and you can eat as much as you want on your birthday.

I'm being sarcastic, but if you want to scare your rebel teenager on what it's like being lock up, make them watch "Lockup" on MSNBC. Don't give them this book. They would want to go to prison to have a makeover and have a good time. Not really sure if the author really got locked up because she makes jail to be a field of flowers. Why would anyone want to leave?

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Just watch the show!

What disappointed you about Orange is the New Black?

The TV show is so much better! If you are going to listen to the book just don't watch the show first. Then it will probably be ok.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Wow! An Unexpected Eye-Opener

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I watched the television series by the same name which lead me to the book. I couldn't believe it was based on a true story! Piper's story on its own is very intriguing. Reading her book also give insight to how the war on drugs and for-profit prisons have created casualties of drug addicts and the poor. Eventually, most of 2.5 million inmates in US prisons will be released after serving their time. Branded for life and some of their fundamental rights as US citizens revoked, they'll return to a world where the punishment continues with slim to no chance of gaining a foothold in normal society. As a country, I think we can do better when it comes to justice for all.

7 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Gem

I love this book! It was sad and funny all at the same time. I hope people don't read it thinking they are getting the TV show.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Blah.

What would have made Orange is the New Black better?

First time I've EVER experienced the show or movie being better than the book...

Would you ever listen to anything by Piper Kerman again?

No

What didn’t you like about Cassandra Campbell’s performance?

NA

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Orange is the New Black?

Nothing was wrong with the narrator.

Any additional comments?

NA

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  • Performance
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good story interesting look at womens prison

Folk have told me there is a television show about this. I suppose it is a bit more exciting than the book. reading performance is choppy.

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Can't put it down

what a great story that made me feel like i was a part of the book.

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a fabulous read

This book is wonderfully descriptive. Reading, I felt as if Itruly knew each person she encountered. She is a great story teller and this is a fabulous read!

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  • Di
  • 08-28-17

It was okay. Kind of boring.

That's pretty much it: kind of boring. There wasn't much conflict. Just simple observation. Not very impressive.