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Extended Audio Sample Going to Meet the Man Audiobook, by James Baldwin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,445 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Baldwin Narrator: Dion Graham Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 1986 ISBN: 9781482973846
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“There’s no way not to suffer. But you try all kinds of ways to keep from drowning in it.” The men and women in these eight short fictions grasp this truth on an elemental level, and their stories, as told by James Baldwin, detail the ingenious and often desperate ways in which they try to keep their heads above water. It may be the heroin that a down-and-out jazz pianist uses to face the terror of pouring his life into an inanimate instrument. It may be the brittle piety of a father who can never forgive his son for his illegitimacy. Or it may be the screen of bigotry that a redneck deputy has raised to blunt the awful childhood memory of the day his parents took him to watch a black man being murdered by a gleeful mob. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Dion Graham’s reading requires him to master an array of voices: hellfire-preaching ministers, deliciously profane Harlem locals,…kittenish women. Graham ranges from tremulous exertion to sudden flashes of rage, his reading flecked by an exhaustion that creeps in at the margins of Baldwin’s prose. Baldwin’s protagonists are weary of a world that allows them no respite from racism and hatred, and Graham echoes that weariness, his voice hushed and low, its register reflecting their struggle to survive.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Many of these situations don’t occur in quite the same ways now, but narrator Dion Graham makes them timely and universally human…a heartbreaking performance…Graham’s reading pulls the listener back to a time when [these stories] were fresh, raw wounds.”

    AudioFile

  • “Timeless in its treatment of youthful innocence, prejudice, addiction, loneliness, fear, and human suffering…Dion Graham is masterly in his rendering of the vast array of characters in these eight disparate tales. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “All of these tales have an undeniable urgency, power, and anger…Symphonic in structure, mixing religious and sexual motifs, encompassing various shades of characters and situations…memorable in every sense; funny, sad, colorful, it is a triumphant performance.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2012Audie Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kit Fox | 2/18/2014

    " The more James Baldwin I read, the more faith I find myself having in the future of the written word. Baldwin feels like that brilliant college professor who exposes you to ideas and experiences that challenge the very core of who you are--or thought you were. "

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

    " i'm almost done with this. so far, i believe james baldwin has become one of my favorite writers. INCREDIBLY powerful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 2/12/2014

    " This book changed my life! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M | 2/4/2014

    " The title story Going to Meet the Man is alright, but among the most memorable short stories I've ever read are The Man Child, Sonny's Blues and This Morning, This Evening, So Soon. The best among them would be Sonny's Blues. Excellent collection overall. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alvin | 1/31/2014

    " Of course Baldwin writes beautifully in terms of word choice and order, but he's also brilliantly insightful about the way our social identities shape our internal thought processes and the way we interact with other humans. "

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

    " Reading again for a research paper. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben | 1/15/2014

    " Fantastic, I love the way he writes, I was happy to discover that a few of the entries continue the stories of characters from Go Tell It On The Mountain, blah blah blah, yes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maughn Gregory | 1/8/2014

    " This week one of my African-American students, 19 years old, told the class he is a racist. When I asked him to explain he only said, "Well, everyone's racist." I first started reading James Baldwin many years ago, before I understood and acknowledged the truth of what my student said. I loved his writing but didn't know what to do with his rage. Today, with my consciousness somewhat raised, I find Baldwin just as compelling and even more troubling. All of these stories were painful to read and I could almost not get through the final, title story. But Baldwin's artistry and, more importantly, his humanity, makes it possible for people like me to confront the myriad awful truths of American racism. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Magali | 1/1/2014

    " Only read Going to Meet the Man... Shocking... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 TC Jones | 12/19/2013

    " Three great stories in this collection. "The Man Child", "Sonny's Blues", and "Going to Meet the Man" "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scroutch | 11/30/2013

    " I read "Sonny's Blues" and "Going to Meet the Man" both of which are absolutely impeccable short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lina | 11/25/2013

    " Read for school, have some of the best short stories I ever read. All the stories are brilliant, and highly recommended "Sonny's Blues" and "This Morning, This Evening, So Soon" as must-reads. Bravo! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 11/5/2013

    " The last short story, the Titular Going to Meet the Man, ruined my day. It was that haunting, and that powerful. In a word: excellent. This book did a fine job of introducing me to Baldwin's fiction, and I look forward to reading more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Larry | 10/8/2013

    " This was my first James Baldwin book,there are two stories that stand out for me. "Previous Conditions" and "Going to meet the man", they were so detailed that you could feed the characters pain and anguish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicci | 8/30/2013

    " I purchased this book in my adulthood as compared to other JB books. I still have it along with Giovanni's Room "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 aya | 7/18/2013

    " Baldwin's stories are paralyzing in their depth, beauty, and grief. He is a genius of subtlety and detail, ensuring that his stories never cross over into self pity or exaggeration. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Josh | 2/10/2013

    " probably the best book of short stories I've ever read. But granted, I don't read a lot of them, or at least don't read a lot of them cover to cover. Obviously, these stories are heavily race-based, but they tackle the subject incredibly viscerally, and with a lot of style. Check it out! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Natalie | 10/31/2012

    " Pretty damn near perfect. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 elissa | 8/18/2012

    " raw. that's a word lot's of folks use to describe Baldwin's writing. more when i'm not late for class... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louis | 2/21/2012

    " A collection of James Baldwin short stories. "Sonny's Blues" is a famous one so I suppose you should read that. The rest are okay. Never boring, but never amazing. I bet these stories were something in the 60s when being a gay, black author meant something. But today they're kind of normal. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremy | 2/1/2012

    " I love this. Occasionally, the agenda takes over the dialog, and i can feel the author's presence and intentions more than I like. But for the most part, these stories are fresh and powerful. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aruna | 1/19/2012

    " Some of the stories were amazing: Sonny's Blues, The Man Child, The Outing, the title story. Others were forgettable but I'm still glad I read them - if only to have gotten a glimpse of Baldwin as an ordinary writer with flaws and such like. (I mean, who knew?) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tishon | 11/6/2011

    " This book contains the story Sonny's Blues. That alone should warrant your reading it. Nothing I could say about Baldwin or his writing would do the man justice. Read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 10/1/2011

    " Why didn't anybody tell me about this before? Wowza. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 C. Adán Cabrera | 8/25/2011

    " Brilliant stories, each with their own virtues "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karena | 5/13/2011

    " Another great classic by JB. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Babyheadache | 3/8/2011

    " I read the short story titled as such by Baldwin. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cina | 2/9/2011

    " Good collection of short stories...my only issue is with two of the stories...I wish there was more to them. I wanted to know what else was going to happen but thus is the nature of short stories. The start and the end in a chapter or two. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pablo | 2/3/2011

    " A much-maligned but important collection of stories by one of America's greatest writers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meredith | 12/16/2010

    " Why didn't anybody tell me about this before? Wowza. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 aya | 11/8/2010

    " Baldwin's stories are paralyzing in their depth, beauty, and grief. He is a genius of subtlety and detail, ensuring that his stories never cross over into self pity or exaggeration. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zachary | 9/5/2010

    " Such a strong short story collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tishon | 8/24/2010

    " This book contains the story Sonny's Blues. That alone should warrant your reading it. Nothing I could say about Baldwin or his writing would do the man justice. Read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kellea | 8/22/2010

    " I only had to read one of the stories in this book, "Sonny's Blues" for my Literary Studies class. I hadn't really read any Baldwin before, however, I will say that from just reading that one story, he's one of the greatest writers of our time. We need more Black male writers like him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shawn | 7/7/2010

    " Read a few stories for my American Lit II class. Read the rest of the book over that following summer. Amazing stuff. It's on my recommendation list to friends who show an interest in good Lit. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alvin | 7/5/2010

    " Of course Baldwin writes beautifully in terms of word choice and order, but he's also brilliantly insightful about the way our social identities shape our internal thought processes and the way we interact with other humans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Magali | 5/16/2010

    " Only read Going to Meet the Man... Shocking... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 4/18/2010

    " The last short story, the Titular Going to Meet the Man, ruined my day. It was that haunting, and that powerful. In a word: excellent. This book did a fine job of introducing me to Baldwin's fiction, and I look forward to reading more. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scroutch | 4/15/2010

    " I read "Sonny's Blues" and "Going to Meet the Man" both of which are absolutely impeccable short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 1/5/2010

    " Baldwin is simply one of my favorite writers on this planet. This collection of short stories always move me. His writing laces his religious background and his turmoil with present day angst. This is my 2nd reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maxwell | 11/19/2009

    " Reading again for a research paper. "

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About the Author
Author James Baldwin

James Baldwin (1924–1987) was educated in New York. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, received excellent reviews and was immediately recognized as establishing a profound and permanent new voice in American letters. The appearance of The Fire Next Time in 1963, just as the civil rights movement was exploding across the American South, galvanized the nation and continues to reverberate as perhaps the most prophetic and defining statement ever written of the continuing costs of Americans’ refusal to face their own history. It became a national bestseller, and Baldwin was featured on the cover of Time. The next year, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and collaborated with the photographer Richard Avedon on Nothing Personal, a series of portraits of America intended as a eulogy for the slain Medger Evers. His other collaborations include A Rap on Race with Margaret Mead and A Dialogue with the poet-activist Nikki Giovanni. He also adapted Alex Haley’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X into One Day When I Was Lost. He was made a commander of the French Legion of Honor a year before his death, one honor among many he achieved in his life.

About the Narrator

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of dozens of Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.