Extended Audio Sample

Download Juneteenth: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Juneteenth: A Novel Audiobook, by Ralph Ellison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (573 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ralph Ellison Narrator: Joe Morton Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2011 ISBN: 9780307939449
Regular Price: $24.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $19.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

NATIONAL BESTSELLER

"[A]n extraordinary book, a work of staggering virtuosity. With its publication, a giant world of literature has just grown twice as tall."--Newsday

From Ralph Ellison--author of the classic novel of African-American experience, Invisible Man--the long-awaited second novel. Here is the master of American vernacular--the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech--at the height of his powers, telling a powerful, evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century.

"Tell me what happened while there's still time," demands the dying Senator Adam Sunraider to the itinerate Negro preacher whom he calls Daddy Hickman. As a young man, Sunraider was Bliss, an orphan taken in by Hickman and raised to be a preacher like himself. Bliss's history encompasses the joys of young southern boyhood; bucolic days as a filmmaker, lovemaking in a field in the Oklahoma sun. And behind it all lies a mystery: how did this chosen child become the man who would deny everything to achieve his goals? Brilliantly crafted, moving, wise, Juneteenth is the work of an American master. Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_002748

Quotes & Awards

  • [A] vastly ambitious informing allegory, an allegory made rich, as in Invisible man, with the sensory details of which Ellison was such a master. The New York Review of Books
  • [A] stunning achievement.... Juneteenth is a tour de force of untutored eloquence.  Ellison sought no less than to create a Book of Blackness, a literary composition of the tradition at its most sublime and fundamental. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Time  
  • Juneteenth...threatens to come as close as any since Huckleberry Finn to grabbing the ring of the great American Novel. Los Angeles Times

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janne | 2/20/2014

    " I loved the story and the language in this book; but I must admit the the sermons were too numerous and got me wanting to skip pages....... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sonya | 2/13/2014

    " I wish ralph ellison had had time to finish this. It kind of reminds me of the movie AI. You know Kubrick had a vision for the film, but then he died, and then these other people came in and tried to piece together his vision as best they could. Juneteenth has so much that is good in it, but it is a bit confused, it reads as tho it is not finished. "

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

    " absolutely beautiful writing. his discussions of race and democracy set the book apart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 1/30/2014

    " It is unfortunate that Ellison was unable to complete this novel. Invisible Man remains my favorite novel of all time because of the ease with which Ellison navigates such tricky and complex topics. Here, thematically there is much of the same: race, identity, religion, and politics, but Ellison approaches these subjects in a much different way. This is largely third-person (although the novel is constantly shifting) and because of that there is a new distance here. Also, there is no cohesion to the story at all; oftentimes there are italicized monologues, missing punctuation, etc. that really knocks me off track. There is no doubt in my mind that had Ellison finished this, it would have been a masterpiece. Nevertheless, it stands as a posthumous salute to an intriguing literary figure. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 K.M. Weiland | 1/25/2014

    " An Amazon reviewer said it best: This is a brilliant disappointment. The material is rich with possibility - and most of what's here (aside from the abrupt, dissatisfying ending) fulfills that possibility. Really, the problem is that there isn't *more* story to flesh out the nuanced characters and their setting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayse | 1/20/2014

    " Ellison's words have a way of drawing you in and holding you a willing captive and Juneteenth was no exception. I will admit to having numerous questions upon completion of this novel, but that in itself is not a bad thing. Rich characters, dynamic dialogue and a story-line that keeps you guessing (even upon completion). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/8/2014

    " interesting book on texas emancipation history... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron Cance | 12/31/2013

    " Ellison's unfinished second novel, issued years after his death, was panned by critics, yet there's plenty to like here if you enjoy his work. The prose is as good as it ever was - vivid, striking characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 12/29/2013

    " Post humously published. Bliss is a white child adopted at birth by a black reverend and raised to be a preacher. He grows up to be a virulently racist senator. The novel is set in his hospital room after he is shot while giving a speech. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Llana | 12/17/2013

    " I think Ellison is easily one of the most important writers of the 20th century, and although this gets a little meandery at times, I chalk it up to the fact that it was edited after his death. Rich with history lessons and secrets to understanding the U.S. American soul. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janice | 10/17/2013

    " This book was clearly an unpolished work by a master. It was an engaging story but a more difficult read than Invisible Man because it lacked the same shine and charisma of Ellison's polished writings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynical | 9/15/2013

    " Classic Ellison, in that he tackles huge ideas in a very specific, human way. Great writing, but I can see why he wasn't satisfied with it yet. It doesn't quite cohere. Still worth reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexa Dewett | 5/17/2013

    " It is somewhat hard to get into at first but when you realize whats going on it gets really good. Although Ellison unfortunately did not write this in its entirety himself, I consider it to be one of his greatest books. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda | 2/17/2013

    " Tried for 2 weeks to get into the book. I started it over and over again. After struggling for 2 weeks and reaching only page 36! I gave up. Couldn't follow what was going on and at some point, I didn't care. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzette | 10/24/2012

    " ralph ellison's unfinished second book. i read it a while ago, but i remember it felt like a dream. the story of a black man who passes for white and becomes a southern preacher. can't say much more since i haven't read it in a while but i do remember i was excited by this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 10/14/2011

    " Kind of an epic beauty. I would give it more stars, but, of course, it's unfinished, since Ellison died before he completed it. Parts of it sing, parts of it are as elusive as Ulysses. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenn | 8/31/2011

    " I was clear when I started reading this that it was not a finished novel, yet, even this considered I had a difficult time wading through it. Read Invisible Man instead. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don Hackett | 8/20/2011

    " Pieced together from a monster manuscript that Ellison was never able to finish, intended to tell the story of black and white American history as essential to each other. Not a finished work, it contains astounding writing. The revival episode brings song, taste, smell, spirit to life, and moves. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol | 3/27/2011

    " I didn't want this story to end. I was so moved by the oratory of one of the central characters. And this is but a fraction of the 2000 page work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lubna | 11/29/2009

    " I had high expectations for this work as I loved Invisible Man. While there were moments of lyrical beauty, the rest of the work was disjointed and didn't flow. I found the ending very frustrating and I really wish Ellison had lived to finish his book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janne | 6/9/2009

    " I loved the story and the language in this book; but I must admit the the sermons were too numerous and got me wanting to skip pages....... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Demisty | 2/18/2009

    " I have to admit that I didn't finish this one. I got half way through and quit (this was a while ago). There are some very interesting ideas throughout, but I got a little tired of the first person narration that didn't move into dialog or anything else.

    I may pick it up again. Later. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Narrator

Joe Morton is an award-winning actor who made his Broadway debut in Hair and has gone on to perform in many other plays and over seventy films, made-for-TV movies, and mini-series. He and his wife Nora have two children.