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Publisher's Summary

The astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street.

At the age of 20, Chris Gardner arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. However, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm, Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him part of the city's working homeless with his toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving from shelters, "HO-tels", and soup-lines.

Never giving in to despair, Gardner makes an astonishing transformation from being part of the city's invisible to being a powerful player in its financial district. Here is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children, a story that appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.

©2006 Chris Gardner (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Gardner is honest and thorough as he solidly depicts growing up black and male in late 20th-century urban America." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Pursuit of Happyness (Abridged)

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Book Better

I enjoyed both the movie and the book, but the book gives an in-depth look of the author's childhood, which wasn't covered at all by the movie. It helped me see the context of how Chris got to where he was. How his birth mother had struggled with her relationships with men and the impact on Chris. His was not an easy childhood by many standards, but it was real and it was his and I enjoyed hearing how life growing up was for someone who had it very different from me.

It also, to my surprise, validated that the movie didn't use much literary license in telling the story. While some of the details may not have been accurate, (days he spent in jail, pay during his apprenticeship, etc.) the central core of the story in the movie was surprisingly true.

I recommend both highly. I first saw the movie and then read the book. And if you see the movie on DVD be sure to see the special features about how they made the movie. That was very good.

<note: seems you can't edit the title for the review once you've submitted it. I would have changed it to "A Good Pair.">

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Good Story!

I actually enjoyed this book. It kept my attention from the beginning to the end. The narrator does and excellent job with the narration of this book which really means alot when it comes to listening to an audiobook.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

OK - in parts

This book starts out ok with a few rough spots, then flourishes during the time the author is caring for his son on the street. Once the author becomes affluent, it's downhill from there. The book loses its family focus and becomes a self-absorbed narrative. The son evaporates into thin air.

Not a bad book, but disappointing.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narration was not like the book

The overall the story was amazing, this story is all about the American Dream. I was using the audible along with the book. The audible made me skip pages, lines, paragraphs. It wasnt true to the book. I would have to constantly pause the audible when I was getting into it and read on my own the parts it skipped over, then start the audible back up again. It was really annoying and agitated me.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Narrator!

Loved it! Touching story. Couldn't wait to get back to listening whenever I had to stop.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Empowering

Is this the right book? I thought to myself at the beginning. it seemed nothing like what the movie appeared to be. To be fair, I have yet to see the movie, just clips on YouTube.

None the less, I gained valuable knowledge and vision ona personal level. I believe we can all benefit from this reading.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just get it. You won't be sorry!

What made the experience of listening to The Pursuit of Happyness (Abridged) the most enjoyable?

I felt like I was taking the journey with Chris

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Pursuit of Happyness (Abridged)?

After the theft of the stereo equipment. Did not see that coming!

Which character – as performed by Andre Blake – was your favorite?

The perspective of Chris

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

about once every 10 minutes of listening.

Any additional comments?

I was moved to tears multiple times throughout this audio-book. One of the top 2 books I've ever read / heard

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Nothing Like the Movie

Good book but it is nothing like the movie. Read it for the self help insporational book it is not because you saw the heart wrenching movie.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

If more people.....

lived their lives like Chris did this world would be so much better off. It's not a black/white/red/yellow or pink thing it's a REAL, TRUE LIFE THING.

It's so sad that more people don't have this kind of determination to make their lives better.

Way to go Chris!!!! People need to copy this determination and resolve to make their life better.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing! Two thumbs up

One of the best audiobook ever. Thank you so much! I highly recommend this book.

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  • Gutterstargazer
  • 08-07-16

Wow Wow Wow

Made me laugh, made me cry but most of all it inspired me to be humble enough to learn from others.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chirag
  • 12-05-20

motivating

I love this book. Really positive and motivated. This is absolutely amazing. I can read this over and over again .

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 11-14-20

Always wanted to read this book

I'm glad I was able to listen to it instead as I hadn't much time to sit down and read. The narrative wasn't what I had in mind but give it a go and it'll give you a greater story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-14-20

Not the best... But good final third

Do not confuse this with the heartwarming film starring Will Smith, all it is the same source material. This was a mess in parts and didn't help with its Liberal undertones and plays of identity politics. Overly long intro without getting to the meat until the final third of the book. There were some inspiring moments but these were few and far between as Gardener would pat himself on the back for accomplishment after accomplishment with some graphic struggles thrown in.

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  • Reps
  • 04-04-19

really good listening. Engaged from the start

loved listening to this book was engaged right from the start. very good insight into the struggles of Chris Gardner

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  • Filippo
  • 11-11-17

An Extraordinary Story.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audio book. It would have been great though if it was 'unabridged' rather than 'abridged'. I have watched the film 'The Pursuit of Happyness' staring Will Smith. However the film does not even compare to the content contained within Chris Gardener's autobiography. This audio book will show you that no matter how dark the road of life becomes, there is always hope and a brighter future. Happy listening.