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Publisher's Summary

Two girls who grow up to become women...two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal ¿ or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.
©1973 Toni Morrison (P)2002 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Enchanting....Powerful." ( Chicago Daily News)
"In characters like Sula, Toni Morrison's originality and power emerge." ( The Nation)
"Exemplary....The essential mysteries of death and sex, friendship, and poverty are expressed with rare economy." ( Newsweek)
"Extravagantly beautiful....Enormously, achingly alive....A howl of love and rage, playful and funny as well as hard and bitter." ( The New York Times)
"...Morrison provides an audio gem that can be cherished within the whole body of audiobook recordings. Her smooth, mellifluous voice has so much command over each word. She honors each sound and expresses each image vividly. While most listening can accompany other tasks like driving or exercising, Morrison smoothly draws the listener to complete attention. This is compelling listening: a dazzling presentation of Sula and Nel's lives, loves and losses, and of Morrison's brilliance." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    240
  • 4 Stars
    112
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    22
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    21

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    228
  • 4 Stars
    69
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    25
  • 2 Stars
    9
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    14

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    73
  • 3 Stars
    38
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • Bethlehem, PA, United States
  • 04-11-11

Good against evil and a riotous story to boot

This was a well thought out, well put together novel. Everything draws together at the end. In addition, the author knows how to tell a story.

The characters are real, unpredictable, flesh-and-blood people. People you have known in your life, or wished to know. The reader is immersed into the culture of a backwater black neighborhood of the early 20th century.

The story has twists and turns, some back stories, but I followed it easily while alone cleaning my kitchen. I can usually predict a plot twist, but not this time. Something was happening every 5 minutes, or so it seemed.

Similar to the books of Thomas Hardy, there are all of these characters, all of these lives and interactions within a community, an interesting plot, and a thread of morality winding through it all. I didn't really notice the thread, but many things made me feel uncomfortable with both Nell and Sula. All is explained at the end and justice prevails. I felt better only to discover that I had been "had" by the moral questions now raised within myself.

Some people complained about the narration. I had no problem with it, but I listen on my computer instead of a device, if that makes any difference. The author speaks deliberately, but without a lot of expression. This way you can interpret her words as you wish, just as if you were reading it.

In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has everything one could wish for. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in fine literature.


8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A moving and dangerous book.

One of the most intense and beautifully-written books I've ever read. Experiencing the emotions and ideas within this story could change you. In my estimation, this short book is on a par with Homer's Odyssey. No, actually, it's definitely better. (I *know* this sounds like hyperbole, but I really mean it.)

Morrison's reading is terrific.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gretta
  • ALLSTON, MA, United States
  • 04-15-11

Beautiful

Morrison's tone is soothing and beautifully, poetically just. I strongly recommend this reading of it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kimm
  • Jacksonville, FL, USA
  • 07-26-10

A bit too complicated for easy listening

I must actually read this one - as it does sound interesting but a bit too foreign for easy listening - i'v started it over and again but do recommend for someone who can do nothing while listening - hope this helps.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 10-01-16

performance 10

this was the most unbearably beautiful reading. I want to start all over. she is simply extraordinary.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not my favorite Morrison novel

My daughter and I listened to it together for a college assignment she had. I was surprised to find Ms. Morrison's reading so unengaging, and badly paced. But I did like her characters and the evolution of the story. It was very insightful, and rather painful, to listen to. I hope to read the print version someday, I think I would like it better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • grants pass, OR, USA
  • 03-07-09

Terrible

I love Toni Morrion's books and have read several. I purchased Sula and Beloved. What a mistake. She is a terrible reader, slow, wispy, frequent pauses. I suffered through Sula but after the first chapter gave up on Beloved. Listen to a sample of the book, prior to purchase, to evaluate the reading style. It may work for some but it definitely did not work for me.

10 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brand new

I first listened to this book as a young adult on actual cassette tapes. Unfortunately for me then I didn't understand much of what was going on with the "grown folks" in the book. Now having listened to this through the mind of an adult it has opened a whole new world of knowledge surrounding this book. I love Toni Morrison and am thrilled to bits she narrated this story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I love this book!

I love Morrison as the narrator of her own work. Her cadence adds a dimension that makes Sula warm, yet steely. As you read, you can't help but see yourself in every space of life wherein you didn't meet external expectations and ask whether you have the temerity to be fully you.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Okay book, but a little stumbling

I had to read this book for school. It was defiantly not the most entertaining book, but it did convey a powerful story. The performance was mostly good and clear, but she read the story in mostly one voice and in a few parts lost track and reread a paragraph.