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Publisher's Summary

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

This tale of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against history's most dramatic political parables.

The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has brought forth her most ambitious work ever.

©2004 Barbara Kingsolver; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

Critic Reviews

"Haunting..A novel of character, a narrative shaped by keen-eyed women." (New York Times Book Review)
"The book's sheer enjoyability is given depth by Kingsolver's insight and compassion for Congo, including its people, and their language and sayings." (Boston Globe)
"Beautifully written....Kingsolver's tale of domestic tragedy is more than just a well-told yarn.. Played out against the bloody backdrop of political struggles in Congo that continue to this day, it is also particularly timely." (People)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Fabulous

I have discovered that listening to a book i enjoyed reading can bring a whole new understanding to the topic. The complexity of the plots will keep me entertained through a couple more readings at least.

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The best way to learn history

I wanted to find out about the time when the Congo became independent (a period Belgians still refer to as "the events") and I was not disappointed. This story brings that period to life and shows us how little we learn from history.
The narrator has just the right tone and I had no trouble distinguishing the voices of the various characters.

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Great book... I don't like the narration...

The book is great.

I did not like the audiobook format for this particular book (I've listened to over 70 audiobooks over the past several years and this is one of 2 or 3 I did not like). The book switches between different women, most of them children. The voice is EXACTLY the same. I just couldn't keep up. I was confused. After three hours... I quit and bought the kindle version.

The book itself is pretty darned good. There are so many neat phrases and sentences... which I totally missed during the audiobook version because they just weren't emphasized enough and the narrator is quite a bit faster than most other audio books. It may work for a dean kootz novel, but certainly doesn't work for this.

Take my review with a great of salt as there are a bizillion great reviews. :) Everyone is different.

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  • Peter
  • Middleton, WI, United States
  • 05-16-15

A Perfect Novel

Would you consider the audio edition of The Poisonwood Bible to be better than the print version?

For me it was. i read the book 15 years ago and don't recall that the sense of place or the characters were as wll dveloped for me in w ritten form as they were in spoken form. The narratror was perfect with a soft southern accent and perfect timing and cadence. I did not remember the writing to be as beautiful as it was.

What did you like best about this story?

The story of the 4 daughers evolving in their different ways, each with their own unique story

Any additional comments?

It is very unusual for me to get ahold of a perect novel, like The Poisonwood Bible. This book has it all. The charaters are well-dveloped and all unique. The story is exciting. The issues that Kingsolver deaLs with through her story are relevant and important.. The historical backgound is fascinating. The prose is wonderful and occaiaonally brought me to tears as I was listening. This is a moving and improtant book. It's a book that I would listen to again.

  • Overall

Beautfully written, amazing story

I tried years ago to read this book but did not get far. I'm so glad I chose to listen to it. What an amazing story and the description of life in Africa is riveting. I enjoyed it thoroughly and learned so much.

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Amazing

Amazing book! Great character development! I highly recommend this to anyone who is interested in missionary work and loves African culture

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Different and well written

If you could sum up The Poisonwood Bible in three words, what would they be?

Well written and informs about the history of the region. Good treatment of the effect of a strict religion upbringing.

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Well written and performed by Barbara Kingsolver

All stories do not have happy endings but this story is real, raw, and although fictitious, it is hand held along side recent history which made it more interesting. Barbara Kingsolver's performance enhanced her story.

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Love it!

My all-time favorite book.! I love the journal format of the book and the readers accent blends well with the backdrop of the story

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Unforgettable

If you could sum up The Poisonwood Bible in three words, what would they be?

Captivating,insightful,sad

What did you like best about this story?

The strength of character revealed in the twin sisters.

Which scene was your favorite?

The girls get together for a sister reunion and discover how different and yet alike they really are

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

No. It needs to be digested in segments

Any additional comments?

It seems like it could be a true story.