Extended Audio Sample

Download Mules and Men Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mules and Men Audiobook, by Zora Neale Hurston Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,104 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Zora Neale Hurston Narrator: Ruby Dee Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 ISBN: 9780060886707
Regular Price: $10.99 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $10.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

"Simply the most exciting book on black folklore and culture I have ever read." --Roger D. Abrahams

Mules and Men is the first great collection of black America's folk world. In the 1930's, Zora Neale Hurston returned to her "native village" of Eatonville, Florida to record the oral histories, sermons and songs, dating back to the time of slavery, which she remembered hearing as a child. In her quest, she found herself and her history throughout these highly metaphorical folk-tales, "big old lies," and the lyrical language of song. With this collection, Zora Neale Hurston has come to reveal'and preserve'a beautiful and important part of American culture.

Zora Neale Hurston (1901-1960) was a novelist, folklorist, anthropologist and playwright whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage are unparalleled. She is also the author of Tell My Horse, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Dust Tracks on a Road, and Mule Bone.

Ruby Dee, a member of the Theatre Hall of Fame, starred on Broadway in the original productions of A Raisin in the Sun and Purlie Victorious, and was featured in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. She is also an award-winning author and the producer of numerous television dramas.

Download and start listening now!

BK_HARP_000060

Quotes & Awards

  • “One could almost accuse Ruby Dee of being a witch doctor. Her narration of this seminal collection of black American folklore is nothing short of extraordinary…She tells stories, she interrupts, she cuts up, she teases, she banters—she inhabits, not mere characters, but groups of characters—friends and neighbors gathered on the porch, in the dance hall, in a card game, hanging around the country store…As later African-American literature became increasingly militant, Hurston was accused of turning black experience into a minstrel show. But her accomplishment, unappreciated for fifty years, was in revealing so intimately and eloquently how these people made it through their days—and nights.”

    AudioFile

  • “Simply the most exciting book on black folklore and culture I have ever read.”

    Roger D. Abrahams, Hum Rosen Professor of Humanities Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania; American Folklore Society Fellow

  • “A classic in style and form…Introduces the reader to the whole world of jook joints, lying contests, and tall-tale sessions that make up the drama of the folk life of black people in the rural South.”

    Mary Helen Washington, professor, University of Maryland

  • “Authentic in feeling, plenty of race humor, [an] excellent cross section.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline | 2/17/2014

    " Often termed as anthropology but reads like a story. Hurston blurs the boundaries of the genre to produce this wonderful book "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Waheedah Bilal | 2/13/2014

    " Ms. Hurston was a gifted storyteller, but she was also a trained anthropologist. Both skills are captured in this text, which is one of the finest collections of Black American folktales assembled. Her use of dialect is the most authentic anyone before her or since has done; it is simply spot on -- not demeaning or insulting, just dialect. I read these stories to my children when they were young, then consulted them when I was a grad student. Another classic; she was a genius. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul Haspel | 1/31/2014

    " Folklore is all around us, it seems. At a time when anthropologists were seeking out the most isolated populations possible, in order to find what about them was "quaint" or different, Zora Neale Hurston had the presence of mind to perceive that a brilliant and resonant folk culture was to be found in her own hometown of Eatonville, Florida. Therefore she left her university studies in the North and returned to her Southern hometown to gather examples of African-American folk culture. The first part of Mules and Men shows Hurston arriving in Eatonville, establishing rapport with her fellow citizens of the town (making sure to let the townspeople know that her university education has not caused her to take on fancy airs), and gathering stories and songs from all over Central Florida, though she exposes herself to some danger in the process. In the second part, she travels to New Orleans and goes to great lengths to learn about vodun ("voodoo"). One can see in this book foreshadowings of the novelistic work that Hurston would do in her masterpiece, Their Eyes Were Watching God. Some readers might want to see more synthesis and interpretation of the folklore, especially in the first section. But Hurston seems to have been content to gather and present the material, and to let this African-American folklore of the American South speak for itself. A helpful appendix contains songs (with their musical arrangements), along with vodun formulae, paraphernalia, and prescriptions. This edition also includes a helpful afterword by Henry Louis Gates Jr., along with the moving and evocative essay "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston" by Alice Walker. Highly recommended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike McQuillian | 1/4/2014

    " Recommended for: those interested in folklore, black culture, history, oral storytelling, voodoo. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 12/23/2013

    " I love any book by Zora Hurston . . . I think I have read most of her works! Never disappointing and always a growth experience in widening my mind and heart. Wish I could have met her! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ronald Wilcox | 12/19/2013

    " An excellent collection of "lies" or stories as told by African-Americans in the early twentieth century. I also found the section on Hoodoo at the end enjoyable but wish she had presented this information in a story format rather than in a reporting style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Graeme Hinde | 11/30/2013

    " An exciting work of ethnography/anthropology. The book is in two sections; in the first she hangs out in the Florida panhandle collecting black folk tales, and in the second she goes to New Orleans and infiltrates the voodoo scene. There's a joy present in her writing that contrasts in interesting ways with the gloom of Invisible Man, which I had just read. "

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

    " Sits on our shelf next to Grimm and Joel Chandler Harris and Yeats. Tales it takes years for hundreds to make up, but still only get told by one at a time. Th best part is, you can cheat and change them yourself if you like. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 11/24/2013

    " super cool!! turpentine camp section is great, and the voodoo part--woah. awesome. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 11/15/2013

    " I couldn't believe I hadn't ready this yet as I have a Zora Neale Hurston obsession but was so happy I hadn't as it is great to read while doing fieldwork. It traces her research in Florida and Louisana presenting the data/folklore she collected. "

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

    " Amazing work. What a treasure of oral tales and folklore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia Beale | 10/2/2013

    " Yo read the hoo-doo section. Hurston was a trained in anthropology at Barnard under Margaret Mead. Hurston was not making that stuff up. Everything she did was for real. My great-grandmother used to talk about people planting roots on her and John the Conquerer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 9/10/2013

    " It was really exciting to be reading this book in New Orleans as Ms. Hurston described the old art of hoodoo/voodoo. I love this first person anthropological research style of book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine | 5/24/2013

    " A classic, the perfect reading. A discovery to another litterature, for an European. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 4/24/2013

    " Class assignment turned into a favorite! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oakley | 3/18/2013

    " An amazing work of ethnographic research by Hurston, who's writing I like a lot. It's a collection of African American song lyrics, folk tales, voodoo recipes and personal narratives from the rural South. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 11/29/2012

    " I love everything about this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolina Dean | 5/27/2012

    " The book chronicles the author's journey all over the South collecting myth and folklore of American's black culture. Here you will find stories, myths, songs, formulas, spells, and customs as well as the author's own adventures working with various rootworkers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan Mishap | 2/15/2012

    " Folklore collection from the South of the U.S. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zach | 12/4/2011

    " My interests in African-American history, anthropology and music all rolled into one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 M.m. Garcia | 4/3/2011

    " Zora pioneered the field of folklore back before people gave a damn about their own cultures. This book is particularly fascinating for scholars of the occult as she includes real voodoo rituals in the back of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Whitaker | 3/4/2011

    " A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nancy | 10/19/2010

    " I read the book as part of a Humanities book club. I was not alone in my struggles to read the book. To read this book you will have to read it in small parts as it will tend to run together. The first part of the book is stories from the author's heritage. The second part is about Hoodoo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 8/10/2010

    " Recommended for: those interested in folklore, black culture, history, oral storytelling, voodoo. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oakley | 3/16/2010

    " An amazing work of ethnographic research by Hurston, who's writing I like a lot. It's a collection of African American song lyrics, folk tales, voodoo recipes and personal narratives from the rural South. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shannon | 3/6/2010

    " It was really exciting to be reading this book in New Orleans as Ms. Hurston described the old art of hoodoo/voodoo. I love this first person anthropological research style of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancyc | 4/29/2009

    " I discovered this author in an essay by Alice Walker. I can't wait to get through this book and her novels. What a great find! This is maybe the most significant book of African-American Folklore. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/20/2008

    " Fantastic collection of folklore done as only Zora Neale Hurston could do. As she states - she went off to college, and then used anthropology as a looking glass to examine her life.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emilia | 11/9/2008

    " Apparently voodoo is in all actuality hoodoo. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ryan | 11/3/2008

    " Folklore collection from the South of the U.S. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 10/28/2008

    " super cool!! turpentine camp section is great, and the voodoo part--woah. awesome. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jacqueline | 5/20/2008

    " Often termed as anthropology but reads like a story. Hurston blurs the boundaries of the genre to produce this wonderful book "

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 Author
Author Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston, the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God, was deemed “one of the greatest writers of our time” by Toni Morrison. With the publication of Lies and Other Tall Tales, The Skull Talks Back, and What’s the Hurry, Fox? new generations will be introduced to Hurston’s legacy. She was born in Notasulga, Alabama, in 1891, and died in 1960.

About the Narrator

Ruby Dee is an award-winning actress, playwright, screenwriter, and activist, perhaps best known for starring in the 1961 film A Raisin in the Sun and for her role as Mama Lucas in American Gangster, for which she received an Oscar nomination. She is also known for her civic work with husband Ossie Davis. She and Ossie had a series on public television called With Ossie and Ruby, and later published With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together, a book about their life experiences during their fifty years of marriage. Now in her nineties, Ruby continues to perform, most recently as a narrator for the Lifetime original movie Betty and Coretta.