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Twelve Years a Slave Audiobook

Twelve Years a Slave

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2013 AudioGO Ltd (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • 10 Best Audiobooks of 2013 (Salon)
  • "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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (25 )
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4.5 (22 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alison Wren Australia 01/08/2014
    Alison Wren Australia 01/08/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Everyone needs to know this story."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Twelve Years a Slave to, and why?

    I can't compare this to anything else.


    Which character – as performed by Hugh Quarshie – was your favourite?

    Solomon Northup is the story and so it follows that his strength of character and recounting of his ordeal makes him my favourite.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Joel
    NEWPORT BEACH, CA, United States
    23/01/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Caro
    Miami
    1/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Diva Bryant
    18/02/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    Better than the movie!!! Excellent ❤️this book should be added to the high school preferred reading list. Love this book

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Omar Ali
    31/12/14
    Overall
    "Required reading"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • P. E. Cole
    Oregon
    14/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "SAD, SAD, SAD!"
    Where does Twelve Years a Slave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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!


    Would you ever listen to anything by Solomon Northup again?

    Yes, definitely.


    What does Hugh Quarshie bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Easy to listen, too. Amazed that he can read the story without choking.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Timothy
    7/06/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "It Will Make You Cringe"
    Which scene was your favorite?

    I really enjoyed the description of the Christmas feast.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Tammy
    Millet, Alberta, Canada
    10/02/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The best but hardest story to listen to"
    Where does Twelve Years a Slave rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's definitely in my top 10.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that this story is in Solomon's own words


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

    No I haven't but he was amazing. The perfect voice


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

    Yes. I had to know what happened and I basically did listen in one sitting. Thank goodness for 2x speed.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fox
    11/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • J.C.D.
    25/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A MUST READ FOR ALL AGES"
    What did you love best about Twelve Years a Slave?

    The story was touching and a prime example of man's inhumanity to man. At time it was heart wrenching.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Solomon - he went through the fires of hell here on earth.


    Which character – as performed by Hugh Quarshie – was your favorite?

    Solomon - his will to survive helped him through terrible times while his pragmatism made him understand few could be trusted.


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

    Yes. I would have if I didn't have such difficulty getting past the stilted language.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Corjenay
    7/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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