Hugh Quarshie reads the extraordinary autobiography of Solomon Northup. His harrowing true story, first published in 1853, was a key factor in the national debate over slavery prior to the American Civil War, significantly changing public opinion on the topic of abolition. It tells the horrifying tale of Solomon Northup, an educated, free black man living with his wife and children in New York State, whose life takes an appalling turn when he is kidnapped, drugged and sold into slavery.
Shipped to New Orleans, he endures the life of a slave in Louisiana's isolated plantation country. For twelve long years, he endures the unimaginable brutality and inhumanity of daily life, while keeping his dignity intact and dreaming of one day returning home to the arms of his family.
Twelve Years a Slave is soon to be a major motion picture, starring Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender.
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"The resurgent interest in '12 Years a Slave' has everything to do with Steve McQueen's masterful film adaptation, but the book has more to offer than the movie, and the Ghanian-British stage actor Hugh Quarshie's conversational delivery stands out among a slew of newly released competing audiobook adaptations." (Kyle Minor, Salon)
"A moving, vital testament to one of slavery s many thousands gone who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the peculiar institution.” (Saturday Review Online)
Definitely. This harrowing yet most eloquently told story is essential reading/listening for all. It is compelling, horrific, sad and yet uplifting. It is also an education, a really necessary one.
I can't compare this to anything else.
Solomon Northup is the story and so it follows that his strength of character and recounting of his ordeal makes him my favourite.
I cried hard at the end, so glad was I that he escaped the hell he was living. I cried for the years he and his family lost and also that he couldn't free all the pour souls he was imprisoned with.
I read this after seeing the movie. Normally that doesn't work for me, it's better the other way around but in this case, I believe it helps to have seen the movie first. It makes you better able to envision it all. The narrator, Hugh Quarshie is superb. Highly recommended. I think everyone should listen to this, so they know and hopefully can learn.
"What an Experience"
In mid-2013 I first saw the trailer for the movie Twelve Years a Slave and knew right away I wanted to see it. I've got to be honest I'd never heard of Solomon Northup nor his story. What I appreciated most about reading Twelve Years a Slave was it was the most honest telling of that time period I've ever read. The descriptions that Solomon had on being a slave, his masters, and his fellow slaves made you feel like you were back in the mid-1800's in the South,
What can I possibly say that hasn't already been said before. To me Twelve Years a Slave should be required reading for all students in America. It shows slavery through the eyes of a slave not something we have many first hand accounts of. I'm so glad I read Twelve Years a Slave and cannot wait to see the movie.
"Hugh Quarshie performance -- strongly recommended"
After seeing the movie, I wanted to read or hear the book and had to decide which of several versions to go with. So glad I selected the Hugh Quarshie audible.com performance. I can't imagine a better reading. It felt as though I was hearing it straight from Soloman Nothrup, including some of the pronunciation nuances.
Believing this understanding should be part of every American's education, I have read a number of very enlightening slave narratives/histories. I do agree with another reviewer who said that Northrup's story, because it is told from the perspective of a free as well as enslaved man, is special and builds a helpful bridge that a 21st century free person can relate to. Normally I wouldn't say this, but I do recommend seeing the movie before reading the book. In this particular case, it enhanced my ability to "see" what was happening.
Better than the movie!!! Excellent ❤️this book should be added to the high school preferred reading list. Love this book
This book reads like a novel. The events depicted are raw and emotional. Just an inspiring effort written with con conviction. Maybe in the next life I can thank Solomon for this gift.
"SAD, SAD, SAD!"
This is a moving, gut-wrenching story. I absolutely cannot believe that one human could treat another as they did in this story! And in the name of a God, who is love! They must be in the darkest part of Hell today!
Easy to listen, too. Amazed that he can read the story without choking.
"It Will Make You Cringe"
I really enjoyed the description of the Christmas feast.
This book is a tremendous recounting that provides gruesome insight into the details of the tragedy of slave life. Anyone with a conscience should read this to remind them how terrible humankind can be when we fail to do what is clearly right.
"The best but hardest story to listen to"
It's definitely in my top 10.
I liked that this story is in Solomon's own words
No I haven't but he was amazing. The perfect voice
Yes. I had to know what happened and I basically did listen in one sitting. Thank goodness for 2x speed.
"Great book and what a sad truth of our American history"
I'm grateful to have been raised in a free nation. How sad to hear an accurate depiction from a slaves point of view. Sadness, respect and reverence to our slave ancestors and those who helped abolish slavery.
"A MUST READ FOR ALL AGES"
The story was touching and a prime example of man's inhumanity to man. At time it was heart wrenching.
Solomon - he went through the fires of hell here on earth.
Solomon - his will to survive helped him through terrible times while his pragmatism made him understand few could be trusted.
Yes. I would have if I didn't have such difficulty getting past the stilted language.
"I suggest you read this book"
I loved the book it's great. I read it all in one day. This is a must read. I loved hearing the words of someone who experienced slavery and not someone saying what they think slaves went through.
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