Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Audiobook Review: Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
I was a little wary of listening to this book while I worked, worried that it would be too intense or too emotional. Here are my thoughts about the book:
This book is a non-fiction, first-person account of a man who was born free in New York and later kidnapped and sold into slavery. Solomon Northup spent twelve years as a slave in Louisiana. This book tells his story, starting with his background, his married life in New York, his abduction, and his years as a slave, ending with him regaining his freedom. It's not a spoiler... obviously he was freed or there would be no book!
This is an incredible book. If you haven't read it, you should. I have not seen the movie and probably won't see it, simply because of the level of violence. I know that it is probably realistic, but I still don't like watching it. The book also includes a fair amount of violence (as any real account of slavery will), as well as the language that you would expect to accompany it.
The wonderful thing about listening to a first-person narrative in audiobook form is that it feels as if the person is speaking directly to you -- telling them your story. This audiobook is wonderful and the reader does a fantastic job of capturing the emotion involved in the story.
I loved this book and I am so glad I listened to it. It is rare to find a book written by someone who was enslaved, so this book was especially enlightening of the conditions and horror that the slaves experienced. I heartily recommend this book!