The Bluest Eye

Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,637 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is the story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

©1970 Toni Morrison (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

“So precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry.” ( The New York Times)
“A profoundly successful work of fiction. . . . Taut and understated, harsh in its detachment, sympathetic in its truth...it is an experience.” ( The Detroit Free Press)
“This story commands attention, for it contains one black girl’s universe.” ( Newsweek)

Featured Article: Great Listens from African American Authors


Contemporary Fiction. Mystery & Thriller. Sci-Fi. Fantasy. Horror. Talented Black authors stand out in all the major categories. To help inspire your search for some of the most essential Black voices writing fiction today, here are three outstanding African American authors in each of five categories, with 15 must-listens from today’s most acclaimed and top-selling African American authors. You can decide which audiobook you might want to check out first.

Featured Article: The Essential Works of Toni Morrison


Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison left behind a legacy of powerful books. These are her most essential listens. In August 2019, we lost a giant of the literary world. Toni Morrison died at the age of 88, leaving behind a decades-long legacy of remarkable writing and achievements. She was one of a few American authors whose work has had an indelible impact on readers and writers everywhere. Toni Morrison’s books are essential listening for anyone who wants to study American literature or experience books filled with powerful storytelling and brilliant prose.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Strikingly Beautiful

For this to be her first novel, it's purely astonishing. The rich nature of language and raw aggressive content makes for a longer than prescribed listen. You will rewind. You must rewind! Sometimes three and four times just to take in the magic of her construction of emotions, locations, people and conversations. Epic, tragic and haunting are the words left ed burned in my brain.

16 people found this helpful

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Beautiful disaster

Absolutely loved it. Ms. Morrison takes the reader on a tragic, poetic, journey through the destruction of a little girl. She shines light on the societal forces responsible and does so without ever coming off preachy, leaving readers to deduce their own personal conclusions.

9 people found this helpful

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What an experience!

Listening to Toni Morrison read her own work aloud honestly makes the experience even richer. This is a difficult book -- and at times disturbing. That being said, it had me 100% engaged the whole time! You really get to feel the cadence of her work in a new way. Highly recommend!!

16 people found this helpful

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Excellent but not an easy story.

Would you listen to The Bluest Eye again? Why?

Yes, it is a very well written story that touched and challenged me.

Which character – as performed by Toni Morrison – was your favorite?

All of the story was impressionable. The character, Pecola, was very strong for me.

Any additional comments?

This was a difficult story to get through but it was important. I plan to listen to it again after I let some time pass. It was a powerful story and had a lot to offer from different views.

26 people found this helpful

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Amazing

I listened to this almost nonstop. My soul hurt at times, but I felt all that the characters felt, heard what they heard, saw what they saw. As a black american woman, this book spoke to me in a particular way; I would reccomend it to anyone wanting to learn more about internalized self-hatred in the black community, if you want to understand or at least see how it can begin. Toni Morrison is an amazing author, and I cannot reccomend this book enough.

5 people found this helpful

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Wow...this was definitely an experience

This is a tricky book to review after one listening. At first I was thinking that because I usually listen to my audible reads before falling asleep, that I kept missing something. But then I realized the story was being told in a stream of consciousness of sorts, through different character perspectives. The ending sneaks up on you...not because of some plot twist but more because you realize who the story was really about. This is definitely one that I will listen to again and possibly even just read the book to get that experience of 'falling' into the world a little deeper. I loved that the author read it herself; I think it added a little something to the rhythm and cadence of the story that would not have been there if read by someone else. Would absolutely recommend this audible listen to anyone else that enjoys getting lost in the character voices and time period of this book's setting.

5 people found this helpful

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READ LIKE ONE LONG BEAUTIFUL POEM!

Ms. Morrison's narration was so melodically engaging. I could listen to her all day! Brava! And this story of not quite knowing how to come to grips with the YOU that you are is one that we all can relate to.

11 people found this helpful

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fantastic reading of an excellent book

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

Yes-- it was excellent. One of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. The book was great and the author's peerless reading of it only serves to make it all the more of a gripping experience.

What did you like best about this story?

Morrison's prose is so excellent. She perfectly writes with the voice of a child narrator-- indifferent, pragmatic, but never simplistic. I've never read/heard anything like it.

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

This one is my absolute favorite. The delivery is riveting-- so patient and emotive-- downright chilling at times.

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

Yes

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 02-03-20

A 26 year Reread...

A 26 year reread...now I comphrend why I do not remember this book. How could that be, it was required for my ungrad African American Literature class, you just don't read a book, you dig in! I must have found a personal vein, and covered it up quickly, to avoid a mental cave in, during a extremely stressful time in my life, because I remembered nothing, absolutely nothing about a book that explains so much about me! Wowed, j3

4 people found this helpful

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Marvelous Performance of My Favorite Book

Morrison is much too hard on herself in her author's note; even after so many readings, I am still deeply moved.

I first read it on New Year's Eve 1991. I cried and cried as one year became another. I knew "Pecola." in a variety of ways. And I knew it was much, much, much too late. Midnight struck a while back.

Thank you.

Robin Markowitz

9 people found this helpful