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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: The only thing better than hearing Ruby Dee give voice to this heartbreaking first novel by Toni Morrison, is to hear the author herself exchange lines of dialogue with the veteran actress and narrate key passages. Although the journey I took with Pecola (the main character) through this novel was difficult, it was also important—something I'll never forget. – Corey Thrasher

Publisher's Summary

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife.

A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison's virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

Toni Morrison was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize for Literature.

©1970 Toni Morrison (P)1994 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Oprah Book Club Selection

"So charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry." (The New York Times)
"Ruby Dee's reading of Morrison's first novel is masterful....This is an outstanding production of a classic work." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    50
  • 4 Stars
    24
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    5
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    3
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible Abridgement

While the pieces that are there are great. The abridged version has missing pieces that are elemental to having a full grasp of the beauty of this important book.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Bellevue, WA, United States
  • 08-16-10

Frustrating...

I love the fact that Toni Morrison and Ruby Dee read The Bluest Eye. They are wonderful, and, I will admit that I should have known better; it is ABRIDGED. But, I am really frustrated right now because I am reading the book in preparation for the High School Senior English classes I will be teaching this fall. I have tracked the sections of the book missing from the tape, and already, so far, on pages 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, there are sentences, and in fact whole pages, missing in this abridged reading. So, if you don't mind missing out on a lot of the book, go for it; but as for me, it is just so frustrating, and I'm not going to be able to use it for my purposes...
just so you know.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • mbv
  • United States
  • 04-09-12

Read Beautifully!

If you could sum up The Bluest Eye in three words, what would they be?

Beautiful, Tragic, Sad

What does Toni Morrison and Ruby Dee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I really enjoyed listening to The Bluest Eye read by Toni Morrison and Ruby Dee. Both narrators read the story beautifully, they made the characters come ALIVE!

Any additional comments?

Awesome audio book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jewelie
  • Indianapolis, in, United States
  • 07-02-13

Everyone should listen

Would you consider the audio edition of The Bluest Eye to be better than the print version?

It is the same

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Bluest Eye?

Spoiler* At the end...we all realize that the result or the outcome or what that little girl became was because of other people. I cried.

What about Toni Morrison and Ruby Dee ’s performance did you like?

Just the perfect voices of both of them to bring the characters to life in my mind while listening to them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • steve
  • BOTHELL, WA, United States
  • 01-30-13

Thought provoking and haunting novella

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Highly recommend this book for someone looking to be challenged by the material and themes and who is open to the humanity of the story

What did you like best about this story?

Morrisons ideas on beauty and virtue

Have you listened to any of Toni Morrison and Ruby Dee ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

My first Morrison and Ruby Dee book but will not be my last

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No but as I was drawn into the story it became impossible to not finish

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Special reading from the author herself!

While this is not my favorite Toni Morrison book, there is something awfully special about getting to listen to an author read her own work for you. Morrison pours such heart and soul into her literature that I knew her reading would be heartfelt, and she did not disappoint.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • j daly
  • Haymarket, VA, US
  • 02-21-18

excellent performance and story

perfectly read and performed. an insightful story of a time and place only Morrison could describe with perfection.

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

Not the whole version

Ratings do not really reflect the story line. I purchased the wrong version :( I will try the version that is not abridged.

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

Beautiful

This book was written and performed beautifully. The words are written so eloquently. They sound like a cool breeze on a summer day... Refreshing, cool, sweet, warm - evoking laughter, rage, and tears. It went so quickly, I couldn't believe it was finished.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

loved it, the narration was so awesome

the narrator's words was so clear and distant, I could tell when the narrator switched to a child and then back to adult. it was like watching a movie, except I picked the actors and actresses.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Keane
  • 09-03-17

So briliant,

Brilliant, moving, story written in the most beautiful language. Exceptional narration. Toni Morrison's first book. Truly incredible