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 .
Native Son Audiobook

Native Son

Regular Price:$30.79
  • 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

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.

Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.

©1993 Ellen Wright; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (825 )
5 star
 (526)
4 star
 (186)
3 star
 (70)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (15)
Overall
4.4 (702 )
5 star
 (455)
4 star
 (145)
3 star
 (55)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (19)
Story
4.6 (693 )
5 star
 (492)
4 star
 (144)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Valerie 06-17-15
    Valerie 06-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    253
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pay attention to this book"

    If the people of America had paid true attention to this book when it was published 75 years ago (many read it - a best seller) - I believe we would not have the ongoing human blights of racism, gender discrimination and increasingly gross economic division. It is beautifully narrated and exquisitely written. It is prophetic. Are we ready to listen, read, and pay attention in 2015?

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-01-15
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 04-01-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2056
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1333
    350
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1397
    9
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "75% Art, 25% Protest"

    Native Son, written in 1940, was ahead of its time, and represented an important voice in an age on the brink of change.

    The first two books of this novel were quite excellent, a personal story that felt honest and impactful, with well-drawn characters and an exciting plot. The book then proceeds into the third book with a long question and answer dialog, and long monologs, reminiscent of Dostoevsky, but seemed too heavy handed to me. The first two books of this novel, through character and story, made the points better than the exposition of the third book.

    Native Son has been criticized as being “protest fiction”, limiting its artistic value. This is true, but only true of the final book of the novel. The first two books are artistically executed and powerful. Somehow I think the novel would have been more powerful if this ended without third book.

    The narration was terrific, clear and subtly powerful. The narration adds greatly to the experience.

    Although I am glad I listened to this, the last book was tedious, reducing the overall experience. Yet, this was an historically important novel and may be worth reading for that reason alone.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 06-30-14
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    166
    42
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    26
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastic"

    This book somehow manages to be a classic AND a page-turner. Delivers a very diffcult, important commentary. A necessary read as well as an enjoyable one, with a great plot and fast-paced drama (except for the overlong court scene which could have been whittled down some). Fantastic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Ryder 08-17-17
    M. Ryder 08-17-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    348
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    159
    106
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful, and Painfully Sad!"

    Bought this audiobook on sale many months ago, but kept thinking that the story was pretty long, and likely a bit dry, so avoided giving it a chance. What a mistake!!! I loved everything about it; from the way the author presented the subject matter, to the excellent narration. Of course, it's difficult to listen to, without there being lots of feelings stirred up, but it also serves as a really important teaching tool. Grab the kleenex, and keep them handy, especially near the end. Surprisingly, I felt for Bigger, the main character, and understood why he had so much anger inside. He was certainly a product of his environment. As for Peter Francis James performance, all I can manage to say is WOW! He was incredible! Each of his voices was spot-on, and he brought the characters to life. Frankly, if not for Mr. James, I'm not so sure I would have been this hooked. It's the kind of novel that you'll get even more out of the second time around. Enjoy! 😊👍🏼

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 11-01-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    14
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "CDs converted to Digital Format"

    The story never ceases to amaze. The reader is great. The only drawback is that it was not recorded for this format. Instead they converted the CD recording to the digital format. The Disc End messages were not edited out so it is quite annoying hearing so many breaks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DL 06-27-12
    DL 06-27-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    38
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Now I will get the Jeopardy! question"

    I confess that the motivation behind purchasing this audiobook was so that I had another 20th century classic in my arsenal for Jeopardy! I bought this without researching the plot. I only knew that it was about black v. white and that it is frequently considered one of the must-reads in African American Lit. I think it's good to listen to this story without knowing anything about the plot. It makes the twists and turns more surprising.

    The performance by the narrator was fantastic. There were no fake voices or falsettos. It was just the narrator with a powerful voice and he was a perfect match. I'm not sure I would like this book as much if I read it on the page. The audio made it a performance. I buy audiobooks in order to entice myself to go to the gym more. I rely on the book to be interesting enough for me to want to listen and thus go workout. This story delivered.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah New York, New York 11-11-10
    Noah New York, New York 11-11-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    146
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    179
    65
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "Simply a classic"

    Native Son is an expertly-written thriller about crime and race and misguided ambition, read by one of the best narrators I have ever heard. It is, however, a very difficult book to listen to, as it deals hyper-realistically with the tragic life of a young black man who has all the potential in the world and ends up throwing it away because of the hate, ignorance, and prejudice that society has instilled in him. I have almost never come across such a believable protagonist; Bigger Thomas' story is the story of many, many angry young men out there in the world. The book struggles with issues of individual vs. societal responsibility, racism, interpersonal relations, and the moral nature of humanity, and never gives the reader any easy answers.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Sun Prairie, WI, United States 08-21-10
    Patrick Sun Prairie, WI, United States 08-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    132
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "excellent!"

    Great Narrator!! Switches voices between characters in a very convincing manner. Heartbreaking and terrifying story. Spellbound.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 09-06-17
    Andrew 09-06-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    34
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book - fix the production. "

    I felt like I needed to read this book but did not anticipate just how good the book is. Incredible writing. So much thought in every sentence. So much to think about and wrestle with. I felt deeply uncomfortable with myself for much of the book. Wright serves the reader up to himself on a plate to see the mess we live in. To see the gaping wound and the festering sore the comes from our history. Do not miss the chance to read this. The narrator is flawless. He's a famous narrator for a reason. Hard to imagine anyone reading this book better. The words of Bigger are delivered so perfectly. Worth listening to just for this. Finally, audible, get your act together. Literally in the middle of paragraphs a strange voice announces the disk has ended and then announces the new one has started. It would take very very little editing to clean that up. It's lazy to literally rip this from CDs and sell it as a new product without doing even the most basic editing. It's also slightly annoying that there are 322 "chapters" because each audio track on the CD is treated this way. There seems to be no logic to where they fall either. You have a brilliant product and loyal customers, just do the little things right to honor the bargain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 09-01-17
    09-01-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I truly loved this book! Enjoyed every minute of it."

    Where to begin? So, well written and performed brilliantly. I couldn't get enough. This book really is an eye opener to the way of the world during the time period that it represents, and an extreme cautionary tale as to what we don't want to repeat.

    Can't help but have sympathy for Bigger Thomas and his way of life, although his actions are wrong. In this book, there is no real hero and nothing is truly solved but you get an accurate historical account of the world and that's probably more important than anything. The women didn't deserve to die but you understand why Bigger felt like he had no choice in the matter. Racism, Classism, and Greed run rampant and are the main themes.

    Read this book, you will learn something and probably..at least temporarily become a better person because of it.

    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.