We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
The Butler Audiobook

The Butler: A Witness to History

Regular Price:$10.49
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The story that inspired the major motion picture...read by its stars David Oyelowo, Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey

When acclaimed Washington Post writer Wil Haygood had an early hunch that Obama would win the 2008 election, he thought he'd highlight the singular moment by exploring the life of someone who had come of age when segregation was so embedded in the culture as to make the very thought of a black president inconceivable. He struck gold when he tracked down Eugene Allen, a butler who had served eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan.

Forest Whitaker narrates the story of this remarkable man who, while serving tea and supervising buffets, was also a witness to history as decisions about America's most momentous events were being made.

With a foreword by the Academy Award-nominated director Lee Daniels, The Butler also includes Wil Haygood's essay exploring the history of black images on celluloid and in Hollywood, read here by David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey.

©2013 Wil Haygood (P)2013 Simon & Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (261 )
5 star
 (73)
4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (50)
2 star
 (30)
1 star
 (49)
Overall
3.3 (228 )
5 star
 (70)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (27)
1 star
 (42)
Story
3.6 (224 )
5 star
 (81)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
 (40)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (31)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Greg Key West, FL, United States 12-16-13
    Greg Key West, FL, United States 12-16-13 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "NOT the book"
    Would you try another book from Wil Haygood and/or the narrators?

    Yup the reviews are correct - this is just an essay about Civil Rights - OK for what it is - but if you use the Movie Poster as the cover, then have the content be that story....


    Has The Butler turned you off from other books in this genre?

    YUP


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I just quit listening.....


    Any additional comments?

    Don't buy this until you read all the reviews....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer KNIGHTDALE, NC, United States 12-05-13
    Kindle Customer KNIGHTDALE, NC, United States 12-05-13 Member Since 2011

    I love a good book...

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    324
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Commercial"

    I was expecting more of the story similar to the movie. What I got instead was a commercial like a "Making of...". It was interesting to listen to how the movie came together, how much of a struggle it was to get financed but it was really more of a commercial to entice me to go watch the movie. I should not have had to pay $8 in order to be cajoled into going to a movie. Skip the audio book, go see the movie.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Yorston 10-31-13
    K. Yorston 10-31-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is not a book but an advertisement"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It seemed this book was really just an advertisement for the movie. It was not enjoyable. Felt cheated by wasting a credit.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Orting, WA, United States 10-08-13
    Lynn Orting, WA, United States 10-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story!"
    What did you like best about The Butler? What did you like least?

    I was pleasantly surprised that this is written from the perspective of the writer of the newspaper article about the Butler. So it is very different from the move. I really liked that. I didn't like the "history" of African Americans" at the end of the book. It seemed like it was just filler and unnecessary to the story. I would have preferred more history about butlers.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Eugene Allen is definitely the best character.


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Eugene Allen, the Butler.


    What else would you have wanted to know about Wil Haygood’s life?

    I would have rather learned more about Will, than had a history lesson on African Americans in film, what did that have to do with a Butler in the White House?


    Any additional comments?

    The core story is GREAT. I also loved learning that the writer of the newspaper article kept in touch with his subject and really cared about him. It was heartwarming to learn that they developed such a close bond.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy in Tempe 09-24-13

    OLD enough to remember listening to radio shows in the bedroom and in Dad's car. Poised on the edge of the bed with my older brother eagerly awaiting the amazing stories on the radio or sitting quietly in the back seat of the car listening to dad figure out the Minute Mysteries on the radio. I remember all to well the sounds on the air ways.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nothing like the movie"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Not really. I tell them to see the movie.


    What could Wil Haygood have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    detals historical details explain his life as it should have been told


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

    Definately see the movie, a picture of history


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marybelle 09-16-13
    Marybelle 09-16-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awful, no story line"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    simply a lecture with an intro about the article it is based on


    Would you ever listen to anything by Wil Haygood again?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    save your money

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan 09-14-13
    Susan 09-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not about the butler!"

    This book title is misleading in that it is merely a description of the author's researching and interviewing, and not about the butler himself. I am very disappointed and feel cheated out of a credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HappyMom2013 Newark, NJ, United States 09-14-13
    HappyMom2013 Newark, NJ, United States 09-14-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bland.....Heartwrenchingly disappointing"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    It really isn't about the story. I watched the movie and I thought it was sensational!!! So I thought, I could really do justice to this title by getting the book and as is customary there would be those little things in the book that weren't on the screen. Was I wrong!!!!


    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator could have sounded a lot more interested in the content he was delivering. Ten minutes into a 2hr plus set of content I was still wondering if I was listening to the introduction....Nope! It was the actual 'book'...smh


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    DISAPPOINTED. I'm glad I had downloaded another book with it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Parrish, FL, United States 09-12-13
    William Parrish, FL, United States 09-12-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    273
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just an advertisement for the movie"
    Any additional comments?

    I thought this was going to be a story about Eugene Allen. But it is just a poorly written advertisement for the movie with very little about Mr Allen specifically. This was probably due to the fact the Mr Allen was very discrete about what he saw during his years in the White House and chose not to dish out the dirt as so many are prone to do these days. I can't believe they actually charge for this book!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene SANDY HOOK, CT, United States 09-09-13
    Gene SANDY HOOK, CT, United States 09-09-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "save your money - see the movie"

    This book is a waste of time - nothing like the movie which is infinatly better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.