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Their Eyes Were Watching God Audiobook

Their Eyes Were Watching God

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: I loved this book when I read it, but it wasn't until I listened to Ruby Dee's performance that I realized how much I had missed. Hurston's book is filled with rural Florida dialect and vernacular that is hard to appreciate on the printed page, but becomes poetry in this glorious recording. Dee paints each character vividly with her rich and velvety voice. —Beth Anderson

Publisher's Summary

Their Eyes Were Watching God, an American classic, is the luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern Black woman in the 1930s, whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to 70 years.

This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in Black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates boldly and brilliantly African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a Black woman who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard.

Originally published in 1937 and long out of print, the book was reissued in 1975 and nearly three decades later Their Eyes Were Watching God is considered a seminal novel in American fiction.

©1937 Zora Neale Hurston, Renewed 1965 John C. Hurston and Joel Hurston; (P)1997, 2000, 2004 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"For readers who know Hurston's work, this program will be a joy; for those who are lucky and wise enough to discover her here, it will be an exceptional experience." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (2801 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rina 12-12-16
    Rina 12-12-16
    ratings
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    1
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    Story
    "different from the movie"
    What did you love best about Their Eyes Were Watching God?

    It's a good story about a woman finally finding love


    Would you be willing to try another book from Zora Neale Hurston? Why or why not?

    yes


    What about Ruby Dee’s performance did you like?

    yes, she did a good job


    Any additional comments?

    The only issue I have with the book is that it seem like they really were not in love in the book as in the move. I didn't really feel the connection as much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J.B. 12-11-16
    J.B. 12-11-16

    Reading, the arts and physical activity clarify, explain, illustrate, and interpret life’s goods and bads.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Story of Love, Tragedy and Cultural Life"

    Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston. Read by Ruby Dee. The story of the negro south in the 1930s, love and happiness and unexpected and undeserved catastrophe. This book is: Great!

    I had read this book some six year ago when purchased but did not recollect the story or its import. For some unfathomable reason, I felt the urge to give it a quick second read. Well perhaps it’s wrong to say for some unfathomable reason. I was oblivious obviously of the import of the work, when I first read the book. Must have been during one of my dumb periods of life. Then recently I read several individual reviews of the novel and was at a loss to know why I had not remembered the story and its monumental import? So the reread, and how very happy I am that I did return to the book once again.

    Their Eyes Were Watching God is a poetic tale told in prose. Read by a goddess of cadence, the enchanting reader, Ms. Ruby Dee.

    The backdrop to the story is the 1930s Afro American middle Florida community, but at the time of event the Black society, depicted in the novel, did not use anything as proper as Afro American or Black to describe themselves. That visit into 1930's Black Floridian society in itself would make the story worth the read. Yet, the real driving force is the life and loves of one Janie Crawford – and what she can teach you about what is love and what is the value of giving love.

    The book is a primer on why one must set our own course in matters of love; and not comply or assent to the wishes of one’s family or society. Follow your own passions.

    In addition, if you want to know the original elements of Black society; or at least the components that came out of the Afro American milieu of the 1930s then this book will teach of the prevailing cultural structure that preceded the emergence of the civil rights era.

    Do you want to read a true tragedy? One where peculiar choices, which are seemingly rational at the time they are made, lead to misfortune and heartbreak. Well then Their Eyes . . . is a book you must read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sophy 11-23-16
    Sophy 11-23-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "A perfectly read, heartbreakingly beautiful story"
    What made the experience of listening to Their Eyes Were Watching God the most enjoyable?

    Having never read it in high school, I didn't know much about this story. I'm so glad I chose to listen to it rather than reading it. Ruby Dee was so incredibly spot on, she made every single character come to life in a way that my white, New English brain would never have been able to. This is the first book I've listened to that I plan to go back and read.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Gray 11-22-16
    L. Gray 11-22-16
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    "Rich like Everglades Muck"

    Wow, amazing virtuoso performance by Ruby Bell. The characters were voiced with such depth and richness. Switching between the elegant, scholarly narrator and the rough banter of the townspeople is quite a trick and she nails it. Tremendous book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Stachelski 11-14-16 Member Since 2015
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    10
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    "Wonderful"
    If you could sum up Their Eyes Were Watching God in three words, what would they be?

    Such a wonderfully written story. This would be an excellent book to teach writing for a college class. The adjectives used are simply amazing!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The ensemble was wonderful.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The poetry of the words and the ability to take me to a far away place is what I most enjoyed.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Corydon, IN United States 11-13-16
    Amazon Customer Corydon, IN United States 11-13-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Powerful"

    I found a list of the top 100 American novels and this book was ranked high. Audible showed that this book was under 7 hours, so I chose it to listen to for a weekend trip driving 8 hours. The "reader" was lively, gripping and felt authentic to the book. The book is full of eatherial thoughts of the main character Janie, woven through the story's twists anf turns. Those thoughts are so deep and striking, the whole book rests upon them. Engaging book! I loved it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Rodriguez Northern California 11-12-16
    J. Rodriguez Northern California 11-12-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Ruby Dee is Awesome!
    "

    The amazing story is narrated to perfection! I was amazed at her skill and love!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kai Sun 11-04-16
    Kai Sun 11-04-16
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    "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

    I disliked the over exaggeration of characters' voices. It was hard to listen to her talk and I found it quite annoying. However, her emphasis on the character's voices helped me understand the book better

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy 11-04-16
    Tommy 11-04-16
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    "Class Work"

    This was a lifesaver. I couldn't understand anything just reading the book but it was easy to understand with the narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lorin 11-02-16
    Lorin 11-02-16
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    "In love all over again..."

    They say literature is supposed to bring you pleasure in the form of companionship & escape this story did just that. I read this same book in HS and now again in college. The love I had for this story was given a whole new light by being able to hear it out loud. Everything has a whole new feel I just couldn't stop listening. I learned more and realized how different a story I saw this as now that I'm older and with child. I felt connection to the characters & their experience based on my own. This was an amazing story and I will certainly be purchasing more books. Thank you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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