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Extended Audio Sample Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation Audiobook, by John Carlin Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.38 out of 54.38 out of 54.38 out of 54.38 out of 54.38 out of 5 4.38 (16 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Carlin Narrator: Gideon Emery Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2015 ISBN: 9781464045660
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Beginning in a jail cell and ending in a rugby tournament—the true story of how the most inspiring charm offensive in history brought South Africa together.

After being released from prison and winning South Africa’s first free election, Nelson Mandela presided over a country still deeply divided by fifty years of apartheid. His plan was ambitious if not far-fetched: use the national rugby team, the Springboks—long an embodiment of white-supremacist rule—to embody and engage a new South Africa as they prepared to host the 1995 World Cup. The string of wins that followed not only defied the odds, but capped Mandela’s miraculous effort to bring South Africans together again in a hard-won, enduring bond.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A triumphant conversion…It is a portrait of South Africa’s answer to George Washington and it works because Carlin got so close to Mandela and the people Mandela seduced.”

    Financial Times

  • “Revelatory…A tight, gripping and powerful book that shines a light on a moment of hope, not just for one nation but the whole world.”

    Daily Express (London)

  • “Carlin…personally interviewed most of the principals involved in this fascinating story and undertook the project with Mandela’s blessing. A new slant on the familiar but always inspiring saga of Mandela’s rise to power.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 2/14/2014

    " There are well written sports tales. There are many insightful political tomes. There are many wonderful works of history that brings the lives and struggles of real human beings to the fore. Few works combine all three. I can think of a handful, like "unbroken" and "carlise vs. army". At a time when nation's around the world fell apart and erupted in war, South Africa remade itself as a country and a people. This is the story of a man who transcended race to become a symbol of his new nation, a team that was a symbol of oppression that became a symbol of brotherhood, and a decades long struggle for the soul of a country. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackson | 2/7/2014

    " It really made me appreciate what Mandela has done. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annettemason | 2/5/2014

    " Loved the history of Nelson Mandela and gave me an appreciation for the impact sports can have in our society. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emilia | 2/1/2014

    " Finally gave up on this one, since the writing is egregious. Historically rich, but severely dry. I haven't been that bored since reading all of those "so-and-so begat so-and-so"s in the Old Testament. I might have hung in there if I didn't have so many other exciting books waiting for my attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Babinsky | 1/23/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. Partly because my husband loves rugby as much as any South African and mostly becuase I learned a lot about the culture behind Nelson Mandela. This book isn't totally about politics. It's about charming your enemies and finding all the good in bad situations, and people. This has made me want to learn a lot more about Nelson Mandela, the man who brought South Africa together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cookie Lopez | 1/22/2014

    " I haven't seen the movie, but the book was phenomenal. I learned so much about Mandela. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lucas Garcia Hernandez | 1/20/2014

    " It is interesting to know the story of how Nelson Mandela came to power and the nation joined the match am the final rugby world cup 1995. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 1/7/2014

    " An accounting of the years after Mandela was released from prison, became president and pulled the country together. I wasn't impressed with Carlin's writing but it's an amazing story and a good insight into the incredible person of Nelson Mandela. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara22 | 12/24/2013

    " Los milagros los hacen personas como Nelson Mandela. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyger | 12/11/2013

    " Amazing, eloquent and lovely! Sad inspiring and defiant! Neslon Mandella make me want to cry, shout, and sing at the same time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anoushka | 11/28/2013

    " i can't be objective in my review as these events were my reality way back when... i will always remember the day SA won the 1995 rugby world cup!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhian Gastineau | 6/8/2013

    " This is so much more than the movie. It should be a must read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Heinkel | 2/24/2013

    " Great book, very sad story at first. Incredible resilience. The movie was just the middle part of the book, the historical context and the conclusion was not given. Movie did well the portion of the story it told. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rhea Abramson | 1/1/2013

    " Page-turning, fascinating true account of how rugby and Nelson Mandela overthrew the Nationalist Apartheid system in South Africa. I'm not a sports fan and I LOVED this book. A must read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandra | 12/17/2012

    " Nice to see the background of an event that occurred when I was old enough to appreciate the significance of it. The book is a good mix of fact-telling and storytelling, making it very readable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Batesharbuck | 6/22/2012

    " I get to see the movie tonight; it will be interesting to see how faithful it is to this great story "

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About the Author
Author John Carlin

John Carlin is an acclaimed journalist and author who was the Independent’s South Africa correspondent from 1989 to 1995. He has also written for the Times, the Observer, the Sunday Times, and the New York Times, among others. His previous books include Playing the Enemy: Nelson Mandela and the Game That Made a Nation, which is the basis for the film Invictus, and Knowing Mandela.

About the Narrator

Gideon Emery was raised in England and South Africa, where he won the National Vita Award for Comedy and a Gold Craft Award for Voice-over. Now based in Los Angeles, he has appeared on such television series as 24, Burn Notice, Eleventh Hour, CSI:NY, and Moonlight. His film credits include Primeval, Train, and Takers. He is also an in-demand voice for video games.