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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

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2637 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Roxenheimer 10-02-17
    Roxenheimer 10-02-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
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    24
    4
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    Story
    "Learn from the past"

    It's hard to express how I felt as a white woman reading this book. I'm very ashamed of the way black men and women of all ages were treated during this timeframe, prior to, and after. The first-hand experience described by Solomon was heartbreaking at times to listen to. I truly wish that this book had become a success before Solomon's passing. Maybe things could have been different sooner for the black population. The narrator did an extraordinary job of conveying the sorrow that Solomon experienced during his 12 years as a slave. I truly felt that I was with him on the Red River in Louisiana. I would highly recommend this to any person who is interested in our history as Americans. Even if you aren't into history I would still recommend reading this book so that you may have a better understanding of what black men and women went through prior to gaining their freedom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Diego, CA, United States 09-29-17
    David San Diego, CA, United States 09-29-17 Member Since 2011
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    "A moving memoir"

    As a memoir of a man who was born free, suffered slavery, and regained his freedom, this is an important piece of American history. It shows just how difficult life was for black Americans in the 1800s. There were many small details (related to the processing of sugar cane, the picking of cotton, the swamps of Louisiana etc) which showed Northup's keen memory and eye for detail.

    The narrator did a very solid job with this piece. The reason why I am not giving him or the book five stars is that while it is compelling, I feel that this is a book that should be read or experienced with maps and other materials. Just as an audio format, I feel there were things I missed out on. The plugs for the "Enhanced" edition at the beginning and end of the Audiobook also took me out of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-29-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "good book"

    I truly enjoyed it. This book will suck you in, having you wanting to learn more about this time period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leatherneck51 NY, USA 09-26-17
    Leatherneck51 NY, USA 09-26-17 Member Since 2017
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    2
    2
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    "A Birdseye view"

    I love the story, it’s amazing that someone made his life history. Wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator but he did a great job. I just wasn’t trilled by his voice. The detailed descriptions of what occurred between the characters was great. I imagined being there and was just saddened by how they were treated. Definitely a great listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rodger P. Paxton Milton, NH 09-21-17
    Rodger P. Paxton Milton, NH 09-21-17 Member Since 2017
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    21
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    "Wow!"

    The movie was fantastic, but hearing this first-person account was even more chilling. And Louis Gossett, Jr.'s tone was perfect for the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-20-17
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    27
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    "Incredible Story... "
    Where does Twelve Years a Slave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not the best audiobook I've listened to, but that doesn't mean this isn't an incredible story


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The ONLY thing I did not like about this audiobook was the narration. I love Louis Gossett, Jr.; however, this narration was very mundane and dry. Many times I caught myself wandering off in space and just going distant.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reese 09-13-17
    Reese 09-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    30
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    "Painfully appreciated"

    I've never been so emotionally overwhelmed by a book of truth. This book should be required reading for anyone learning about history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickie Stapleton 09-13-17 Member Since 2017
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    5
    5
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    "Poor narration."

    Louis Gossett, Jr. was a very poor choice to narrate this book. Listen with ear buds to make it easier to understand. He sounds like he's trying to talk with a mouth full of crackers. The book sometimes drones on and on needlessly and I had to make myself finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 09-08-17
    Russell Bernard Salt Lake City, Utah United States 09-08-17 Member Since 2014
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    "The injustice of it all"

    This is a worthy true story of slavery that should not be misssed. The narration is a little difficult to get used to and I feel a younger narrator should have been used.The story is wonderful and worth your time. If you are interested in slavery or the history of the blacks in our country this is a must listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia L Fotheringham 09-06-17 Member Since 2017
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    15
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    "Heartbreaking"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Twelve Years a Slave to be better than the print version?

    This book took me a long time to listen to, I think the best way is to break it up into 30 - 60 minute listening periods. I think it is a must read for everyone, this happened it's real. People really went through this and we must do our best to never go backwards.


    What about Louis Gossett, Jr.’s performance did you like?

    His intonation and the cadence of his speaking voice was soothing at times when the story was a bit rough.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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