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Uncle Tom's Cabin

Narrated by: Richard Allen
Length: 20 hrs and 8 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (9 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Uncle Tom's Cabin opens with a Kentucky farmer named Arthur Shelby facing the loss of his farm because of debts. Even though he and his wife, Emily Shelby, believe that they have a benevolent relationship with their slaves, Shelby decides to raise the needed funds by selling two of them - Uncle Tom, a middle-aged man with a wife and children, and Harry, the son of Emily Shelby's maid Eliza - to a slave trader. Emily Shelby hates the idea of doing this because she had promised her maid that her child would never be sold; Emily's son, George Shelby, hates to see Tom go because he sees the old man as his friend and mentor.

When Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852, it became an international blockbuster, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United States alone in its first year. Progressive for her time, Harriet Beecher Stowe was one of the earliest writers to offer a shockingly realistic depiction of slavery. Her stirring indictment and portrait of human dignity in the most inhumane circumstances enlightened hundreds of thousands of people by revealing the human costs of slavery, which had until then been cloaked and justified by the racist misperceptions of the time.

Public Domain (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"It is a compelling adventure story with richly drawn stories & has earned a place in both literary & American history. " ( Barnes & Noble)

What listeners say about Uncle Tom's Cabin

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Outstanding

My first thought in finishing this audio book is that this has to be one of the best novels ever written. I'd never really heard of it until recently. It has blown me away. What an incredible story. I laughed and I teared up many times. It's kind of hard to describe why it's so good, but I think at its heart it's a story of Christian faith, of hope in suffering, of life, joy, family, and human dignity. I found it deeply encouraging in my faith, and many passages were so beautiful they brought tears to my eyes. The joy that Tom and the other Christian slaves had is so inspiring. His relationship with Eva and her own faith was so beautiful. His hope in God from beginning to end was beyond human comprehension. I look forward to meeting many men like Tom in heaven, African American men and women, slaves who put their hope in Jesus Christ and endured through the hardest trials to the end. I also loved the ongoing theological and political debate throughout the story between many of the characters regarding slavery and the ethics of it. Each character had a slightly different position - the Shelbys, the traders, Miss Ophelia, the St Clairs, etc. Each position was fleshed out perfectly, articulated clearly, and then the pro slavery arguments were dismantled with reason, and with true Christian doctrine. It is a rebuke to the ignorant fool who tries to use the Bible to support evil like the slave trade. It is also a loving rebuke to Christians who are supporting moral evil or injustice in their day simply because it's legal, or at least refusing to take a stand against it. A perfect equivalent in our day I believe is abortion, which disproportionately affects the African American community in the US today. It is beautifully written, every character is vivid and perfectly developed in your mind. I grew so attached to every character, as every character is so deeply human, and it's so easy to sympathise with each one - Tom, Chloe, George and Eliza Harris, Augustine St Claire, etc. The narration is perfect. Not suitable for young kids, the N word is very frequent and some of the descriptions of the treatments of slaves is heart wrenching and tragic. But thankfully it is not overly hideously violent or dark. At its heart it is a story of joy and hope through Christian faith, from beginning to end. It is not just a dark and depressing tale of the horrors of slavery, even though it has some necessary dark moments. It's a deeply beautiful story of joy and hope, and faith. I think this should be required reading for high school students. In our age of moral confusion, this book would give a much needed example of the power of faith and love to overcome injustice. This book is a timeless classic, and it deserves to be loved by each new generation. Needless to say I loved it.

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  • Todd
  • 13-03-2009

Wonderful

This is a powerful, moving beautiful book that made a great impact on American history. The narrator does a beautiful job. Highly recommended!

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Makani
  • 10-09-2009

A great listening experience

As with other classics, I first read this book as a teenager. Recently, I decided to purchase it in audiobook format for a "re-read." The story is still terrific and Richard Allen does an absolutely masterful job in the narration.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Lazaro C. Ojeda
  • 06-05-2012

Wow! Wow! Wow!

I was hesitant to listen to this classic due to its duration, but I was sold by the excellent reviews Richard Allen, its narrator, obtained. Wow! This narrator is arguably the best I've heard, and I have listened to many books. The combination of Uncle Tom's plight, the inspiration that led to its writing, and Richard Allen's reading make this an excellent novel. You won't be disappointed.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven
  • 12-07-2010

More on Richard Allen

This book is classic but I have to give the narrator his due. This guy really brought the story to life. He does women's voices and also sings. I felt like I was being read to by my father.

35 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael
  • 16-09-2009

Thought Provoking

This book took a little getting into but once in it gripped me and made me think not only of the cruelties of slavery but of man's different personalities and his constant ability to find something to differentiate himself from his neighbour.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Wendy
  • 02-04-2011

Richard Allen is Incredible!

The book is engaging in itself, but Richard Allen does an unbelievably great job at narration. He excellently reads male, female, young, old, white, black, and he sings!! This has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I'm so glad I picked this version to listen to.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Lynn
  • 23-10-2013

A Masterpiece

It took decades for me to finally tackle this book, because I always expected a sub-par literary experience. But it is a masterpiece -- written with wit and humanity, fully alive characters, and a gripping story. Yes, it is a melodrama (very popular in the 19th century), and the Christian theme is heavy-handed in parts, which is why it's considered more of a period piece than real literature. Richard Allen's reading is extraordinary and heightened the enjoyment of listening immeasurably. Now I know that Uncle Tom was not a pathetic bow-and-scrape type of man, but a saint-like and heroic character.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 06-05-2016

Not what I expected and glad of it

I had expected a story filled with the horrors of slavery. It had its share of heart breaking moments. However, I found it to be more of a Christian testimony of how the life of one faithful man could change so many. Amazing and spiritually uplifting.
I had tried to read this before but was unable to enjoy it due to the way the characters' spoken words were written. Mr. Allen did an amazing job bringing this book to life. I hated to turn it off. I highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debra
  • 05-02-2010

Why did I wait so long to read this book?

Probably for Richard Allen's narration.... When you finish Uncle Tom's Cabin, you'll understand why it's a classic. I hope our current generation will see its value and application to the petty, heartless discriminations of our society.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Whitney B.
  • 09-04-2016

Great Book

I was intrigued by this story . I found it to be a well-written and historical Tale.

2 people found this helpful