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Extended Audio Sample Beloved Audiobook, by Toni Morrison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 53.9 out of 5 3.90 (31 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Toni Morrison Narrator: Toni Morrison Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2006 ISBN: 9780739342138
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Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding audio transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Written with a force rarely seen in contemporary fiction. . . . One feels deep admiration. USA Today
  • “Compelling . . . . Morrison shakes that brilliant kaleidoscope of hers again, and the story of pain, endurance, poetry and power she is born to tell comes right out. The Village Voice
  • “A book worth many rereadings. Glamour
  • “In her most probing novel, Toni Morrison has demonstrated once again the stunning powers that place her in the first ranks of our living novelists. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • “Heart-wrenching . . . mesmerizing. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • “Shattering emotional power and impact. New York Daily News
  • “A rich, mythical novel . . . a triumph. St. Petersburg Times
  • “Powerful . . . voluptuous. New York
  • “A brutally powerful, mesmerizing story. . . . Read it and tremble. People
  • “Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist but a major figure in our national literature. New York Review of Books
  • “A work of genuine force. . . . Beautifully written. The Washington Post
  • “There is something great in Beloved: a play of human voices, consciously exalted, perversely stressed, yet holding true. It gets you. The New Yorker
  • “A magnificent heroine . . . a glorious book. The Baltimore Sun
  • “Superb. . . . A profound and shattering story that carries the weight of history. . . . Exquisitely told. Cosmopolitan
  • “Magical . . . rich, provocative, extremely satisfying. Milwaukee Journal
  • “Beautifully written. . . . Powerful. . . . Toni Morrison has become one of America’s finest novelists. The Plain Dealer
  • “Stunning. . . A lasting achievement. The Christian Science Monitor
  • “A masterpiece. . . . Magnificent. . . . Astounding. . . . Overpowering. Newsweek
  • “Brilliant. . . . Resonates from past to present. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “A masterwork…Wonderful…I can’t imagine American literature without it.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • A masterwork. . . . Wonderful. . . . I can’t imagine American literature without it. John Leonard, Los Angeles Times
  • “A triumph. Margaret Atwood, The New York Times Book Review
  • “Toni Morrison’s finest work. . . . [It] sets her apart [and] displays her prodigious talent. Chicago Sun-Times
  • “Dazzling. . . . Magical. . . . An extraordinary work. The New York Times
  • “Written with a force rarely seen in contemporary fiction…One feels deep admiration.”

    USA Today

  • “A work of genuine force…Beautifully written.”

    Washington Post

  • “A brutally powerful, mesmerizing story.”

    People

  • “Toni Morrison’s finest work…[It] sets her apart [and] displays her prodigious talent.”

    Chicago Sun-Times

  • “A masterpiece…Magnificent…Astounding…Overpowering.”

    Newsweek

  • “There is something great in Beloved: a play of human voices, consciously exalted, perversely stressed, yet holding true. It gets you.”

    New Yorker

  • “Superb…A profound and shattering story that carries the weight of history…Exquisitely told.”

    Cosmopolitan

  • “Toni Morrison is not just an important contemporary novelist but a major figure in our national literature.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Compelling…Morrison shakes that brilliant kaleidoscope of hers again, and the story of pain, endurance, poetry, and power she is born to tell comes right out.”

    Village Voice

  • “In her most probing novel, Toni Morrison has demonstrated once again the stunning powers that place her in the first ranks of our living novelists.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • “Beautifully written…Powerful…Toni Morrison has become one of America’s finest novelists.”

    Cleveland Plain Dealer

  • “Magical…Rich, provocative, extremely satisfying.”

    Milwaukee Journal

  • Winner of the 1988 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005
  • A 1987 New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Recipient of a 1988 American Book Award
  • Winner of the 1988 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for Fiction
  • A 1987 National Book Award Finalist
  • A 1987 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Izzy | 2/20/2014

    " A really good book but I found it hard to connect with which I think was probably the point. The author is very talented and the writing embodies the people and the essence of them amazingly. I didn't always understand what was going on but in them times you don't need to and can just feel the raw pain of the characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sasha | 2/13/2014

    " The best book I've read all year. Simply incredible. Morrison's language flows beautifully, at times a subtle narrative, at others an honest stream of consciousness, but always full of flavor and meaning, always a precise and exact communication of an event, of a mood, of an idea. The way she writes about heavy pasts, about isolation within society, about human brotherhood or lack thereof, and most importantly, about women and men, and all of the flavors and overtones of her own wisdom that she adds, is inspiring and irrefutable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Thomas DeWolf | 2/9/2014

    " Having not experienced Beloved for a long time, I decided to listen to the audio version this time. How wonderful that Toni Morrison herself read her own story. When an author reads their own work you just know that every pronunciation, inflection, and emphasis is exactly what was intended. Having Sethe, Denver, Paul D and Baby Suggs brought alive by Ms. Morrison is such a treat. I've been on the road for much of the past 6 months on tour with my own new book (Gather at the Table) which focuses on the legacy of slavery as a traumatic, unhealed wound. Being accompanied by Ms. Morrison's voice as a traveling companion in the car and in flight was simply perfect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lizzypants | 2/8/2014

    " I suppose it was pretty good for having to read it in school. Exremely well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheila | 2/4/2014

    " Part love story, part ghost story. Moving and creepy. Will make you cry but read it anyway. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sean Burres | 1/28/2014

    " Oh, there's a reason Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 93. She's the real deal. When I started reading it, I was ready to give it the high hat. Shame on me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diana | 1/24/2014

    " Beloved is just one of those books you have to read. If you're here looking at it, you know it's a classic. But it more than just the tale of slavery the summery suggests, it's about hardship and love. Loving too much, loving too large, or loving not enough because it was just too painful. There is no true way of trying to describe this book. Just read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erika | 1/22/2014

    " This is a hard review to write. Beloved is literary perfection, but it was hard book to read. Each night when I picked it up I felt reluctant, like I was going back to a nightmarish horror movie, and I'm not a fan of horror. I wanted to get through it with my eyes closed. The book was devastatingly effective, bringing forward the most brutal and shocking elements of 19th century slavery in America, so that I felt viscerally how all humanity was stripped away as I read. Morrison's writing is poetic, creative, and perfect. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elena | 1/13/2014

    " This book had multiple personality disorder or something. It kept wanting to be paranormal/historical fiction and it was weirddd. I'm still digesting it... :/ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benson | 12/19/2013

    " It is evident why my AP lang class studies this gorgeous book for language. My deduction of one star is nothing against the book; I just personally prefer books that are quicker and plot-y. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Wes Metz | 12/11/2013

    " I've read better ghost stories; this would have been more effective had there been no ghost. As a story about the difficult life of a black woman, The Color Purple was much better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 debbie maclin | 11/28/2013

    " This was a difficult book to rate. I loved the story, but I'm not a fan of the writing style. Definitely worth reading, but difficult to follow. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 6/23/2013

    " Maybe I was expecting too much. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon Driskell | 5/6/2013

    " Such an amazing use of language, cultural experiences, and history! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Madea Brooks | 3/28/2013

    " Hated it! Disgusting... Can't even say more "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela Sikorski | 3/16/2013

    " I know, I'm supposed to love Toni Morrison and I do most of the time but....I'm not into the supernatural and ghosts and spooks. Real life is scary enough "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khaled | 1/13/2013

    " An extremely well thought-out novel dealing with racial identity & belonging. Morrison writes non-linear, and though at times difficult to follow, it is greatly rewarding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe Millin | 1/4/2013

    " One of the finest works of modern american fiction ever written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clare | 11/10/2012

    " I thought this was an amazing novel - really moving and the writing is superb. First one of Toni Morrison's I've read - I wonder which one I should read next? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yalí | 9/28/2012

    " Heart-breaking and delicious at the same time. It's an extremely powerful book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lana | 6/15/2011

    " was not one of my favourite of morrison i must admit, have read better books by her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taylor | 5/25/2011

    " A masterpiece. I think of Sethe’s terrible deed as demanding a kind of teleological suspension of the ethical, à la Kierkegaard: we can neither condone it nor condemn it; it eludes moral judgment. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fenny | 5/19/2011

    " love the film also, Brilliant "OPRAH WINFREY" in cast. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 5/11/2011

    " A beautiful, lyrical book that draws you in completely. It's a story that talks about slavery, motherhood, love, death, loneliness, forgiveness and retribution. It's a really difficult subject but it's one that's told with real compassion and humanity and a sense of time and place. Love it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amanda | 5/9/2011

    " I hated this book! Only finished it because I had to for a college class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 5/9/2011

    " was lost the first time I read it. amazed the second. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darya | 5/8/2011

    " Everything you never wanted to know but couldn't help learning because Toni Morrison is such a damn good writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nirmin | 5/8/2011

    " I think this book is really sad and will bring tears to your eyes.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 5/7/2011

    " classic that will stand for 100 years. Beautifully written, the story unfolds a little at a time until you know the truth - and the truth is unspeakable. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 5/6/2011

    " Not a book you can forget...not necessarily one to enjoy. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Liandyr | 5/5/2011

    " I had to read this book in Senior English and could not stand it. Years later I went back to read it again when I was trying to read as many "classics" as possible. I found that I still disliked this book and found Morrison to be completely over-rated as an author. "

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About the Author
Author Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a Pulitzer Prize. She is the author of several novels, including The Bluest Eye; Beloved, which was made into a major film; and Love. She is the Robert F. Goheen Professor Emeritus at Princeton.