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Twelve Years a Slave Audiobook

Twelve Years a Slave

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Publisher's Summary

Official Movie Tie-in Audiobook for the Academy Award's Best Picture and Golden Globe's Best Drama winner.

New York Times and USA Today Bestseller.

In this riveting landmark autobiography which reads like a novel, Academy Award and Emmy winner Louis Gossett, Jr., masterfully transports us to 1840s New York, Washington, D.C., and Louisiana to experience the kidnapping and twelve years of bondage of Solomon Northup, a free man of color. Twelve Years a Slave, published in 1853, was an immediate bombshell in the national debate over slavery leading up to the Civil War. It validated Harriett Beecher Stowe’s fictional account of Southern slavery in Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had become the best-selling American book in history a few years earlier and significantly changed public opinion in favor of abolition. Experience our official movie tie-in audiobook for the award-winning motion picture, directed by Steve McQueen and starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Michael Fassbender, and Lupita Nyong'o. This audio edition with an accompanying custom map is based on the research of Dr. Sue Eakin, the nationally recognized authority on Solomon Northup who spent a lifetime authenticating his story.

Hard working Solomon Northup, an educated free man of color in 1841, enjoys family life with his wife and three children in Saratoga, New York. He delights his community with his fiddle playing and antic spirit, and has positive expectations of all he meets. When he is deceived by “circus promoters” to accompany them to a musical gig in the nation’s capital, his joyful life takes an unimaginable turn. He awakens in shackles to find he has been drugged, kidnapped and bound for the slave block in D.C.

After Solomon is shipped 1,000 miles to New Orleans, he is assigned his slave name and quickly learns that the mere utterance of his true origin or rights as a freeman are certain to bring severe punishment or death. While he endures the brutal life of a slave in Louisiana’s isolated Bayou Boeuf plantation country, he must learn how to play the system and plot his escape home.

For 12 years, his fine mind captures the reality of slavery in stunning detail, as we learn about the characters that populate plantation society and the intrigues of the bayou – from the collapse of a slave rebellion resulting in mass hangings due to traitorous slave Lew Cheney, to the tragic abuse of his friend Patsey because of Mrs. Epps’ jealousy of her husband’s sexual exploitation of his pretty young slave.

When Solomon finally finds a sympathizing friend who risks his life to secret a letter to the North, a courageous rescue attempt ensues that could either compound Solomon’s suffering, or get him back to the arms of his family.

AUTHENTICATION: Northup’s harrowing first-hand account was authenticated from decades of research by Dr. Sue Eakin, who rediscovered the original narrative as a 12-year old in 1931 and made it her life’s work.

For additional audio clips, background info and images, see our website at www.12YearsASlaveBook.com.

Download your unique free map based on Solomon's narrative.

©2013 Eakin Films & Publishing (P)2013 Eakin Films & Publishing

What the Critics Say

“...Gossett infuses the words with a quiet, seething power." (AudioFile, 2013)

“I can never read his account of his days in slavery, of his independence of spirit, of his determination to be free…without believing that it would make a difference in today's world if our contemporaries knew of such a man as Solomon Northup." (Dr. John Hope Franklin, past president of the American Historical Association, best-selling author, recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom, nation's highest civilian honor)

"[T]he extraordinary narrative of Solomon Northup is the most remarkable book that was ever issued from the American press." (Detroit Tribune, original 1853 review)
"Its truth is far greater than fiction." (Frederick Douglass, famous writer, former slave and abolitionist)
"It will be read extensively, both at the North and the South." (New York Tribune, 1853, published by Horace Greeley)

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What Members Say

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4.5 (2304 )
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4.6 (2099 )
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  •  
    Kat L 01-11-17
    Kat L 01-11-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Don't Let the Movie Fool You!"

    This is a fascinating story with many aspects of value. It gives an unusual inside view of slavery from an educated man. The story is well-told - much more nuanced than in the movie. It is exciting and personal. Wonderful narration, too!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debby L. Bunn Marietta, GA 11-13-16
    Debby L. Bunn Marietta, GA 11-13-16 Member Since 2015

    book lover

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    11
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    Story
    "Ecxcellent"

    I loved this book and the insight it gave to the injustices of slaves. I would suggest this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Saudia Santure Michigan 11-12-16
    Saudia Santure Michigan 11-12-16

    saudster

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Horrifying and captivating"

    At times both horrifying and unbelievable, this is the true story of Solomon Northrop, a free man living in New York in the 1840s. He is kidnapped and sold into slavery, beginning a 12 year adventure of Southern slavery during this time.
    Follow Solomon (or Platt as he becomes known) through his travels, masters good and evil. All documented after he returns home.
    A great listen, sometimes hard to listen to, but a sometimes painful glimpse into our history.
    Well worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael B. Hill Lebanon, NH 11-10-16
    Michael B. Hill Lebanon, NH 11-10-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    13
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    "Outstanding!!"

    One of the best books I've read in a long time. He is such an eloquent writer. The story is compelling and the narrator is incredibly gifted.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monika 10-31-16
    Monika 10-31-16 Member Since 2011

    Never too busy for a good book!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    96
    43
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    1
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    "An inspirational documentary"

    When I saw the trailers of the movie it inspired me to have a listen to this book. At first I found the narrator a little getting used to, as he sounded very nasal to me. It's a book that should be required reading for all American history classes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robbins Die Hard 10-26-16 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    5
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    "thoroughly captivating"

    great story, well written, although Lou Gossett, Jr. tended to blend words together at times making it difficult to understand him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 10-22-16 Member Since 2015
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    1
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    14
    6
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    "One of the best histories I have ever heard. Ever."

    Your heart will break in a thousand places, but you will not regret this listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-29-16
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    Story
    "Compelling!"

    Palpable reality. Purposeful capture of important history. This story has present relevance and power to change one's perception of the past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xavier Watson 08-31-16
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "okokok"

    it's like good broccoli I wouldn't tell you to go out and get it but it was nice

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan 08-13-16
    Jonathan 08-13-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    41
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    "Life changing"

    This is a compelling and more moving story that sheds a clear light on this portion of American history

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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