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Download The Big Sea: An Autobiography Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Big Sea: An Autobiography Audiobook, by Langston Hughes Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (512 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Langston Hughes, Arnold Rampersad Narrator: Dominic Hoffman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9780307939470
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Langston Hughes, born in 1902, came of age early in the 1920s. In The Big Sea he recounts those memorable years in the two great playgrounds of the decade--Harlem and Paris. In Paris he was a cook and waiter in nightclubs. He knew the musicians and dancers, the drunks and dope fiends. In Harlem he was a rising young poet--at the center of the "Harlem Renaissance."

Arnold Rampersad writes in his incisive new introduction to The Big Sea, an American classic: "This is American writing at its best--simpler than Hemingway; as simple and direct as that of another Missouri-born writer...Mark Twain."

Cover design by Sara Eisenman. Cover photograph by Roy DeCarava © Sherry Turner DeCarava Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gilbert Garcia | 1/20/2014

    " I thought It was a enjoying collection of his Memoirs,short stories and poetry and showed his genuine talent of poetic and biographical literacy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 EclecticReaderGirl | 1/2/2014

    " Most people know Langston Hughes as a famous poet. While he does shows his poetic side in this autobiography through vivid sensory detail and poems, he also shows other sides to himself. He travels to Mexico, Africa, Italy, and Spain to work and soak in the culture. He revels and participates in the Harlem Renaissance in New York. Most importantly, he takes pride in his race and fights for its voice while appreciating other cultures, despite the prejudice and racism he endures in America and abroad. This autobiography shows Langston Hughes not merely as a poet or a black person, but as a human being striving to live life to the fullest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria Elena | 1/2/2014

    " This is one of my favorite books of all time. Langston Hughes had a remarkable life, and reading about it in his own unmistakeable prose is truly a treat for the soul. Pick this up and his other autobiographical masterpiece, I Wonder As I Wander. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avigail | 12/1/2013

    " Full disclosure: I listened to the audiobook. I loved The Big Sea for providing a little window into the Harlem Renaissance history that I already know so well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim O'Loughlin | 11/30/2013

    " This was an odd autobiography. It was a pleasure to read, but it left out so much of what Hughes did that I came away from it feeling I had to get a Hughes biography. It gives you little sense of how Hughes became the poet he did, but he does come across as you'd expect: an unpretentious guy who would have been a lot of fun to hang out with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 11/14/2013

    " love his voice in this, though i get tired of the laundry list of famous rich people he sees at parties. pretty scary observations about sailors' lives. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank | 10/28/2013

    " A great read. I think my seniors will enjoy this as summer reading next year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/3/2013

    " He's an oddly flat narrator of his own story, which makes it a little hard to relate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David | 9/20/2013

    " This is an autobiography of one of the best known African American poets, a man who celebrated being black. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Howard | 9/2/2013

    " More a memoir than a biography, Hughes' voice is powerful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine | 8/19/2013

    " This amazing poet traveled to the Soviet Union in its infancy and to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. A life well worth reading about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 6/22/2013

    " I love this memoir. Having never formally studied Hughes, I was delighted to learn so much about him, even though the book is far from being a tell-all. Fascinating and, of course, well-written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 1/22/2013

    " One of my favorite books. Great tales of wunderlust through a poets eyes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila Rocha | 12/24/2012

    " Compelling biography of a two part testament to the life of Langston Hughes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 12/1/2012

    " The only book I read in college that I actually could say I loved. I was so intrigued and impressed by the life of Langston Hughes. He was so adventurous and confident and I admired that about him. This is a rich story about the life of a man who created his own destiny. Inspirational. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 5/26/2012

    " What a fascinating life Langston Hughes lived! You must read about this famous poet's life to understand his experience. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/15/2012

    " I much prefer Hughes's poems to his prose writing - at least when it comes to his autobiographical writing - I haven't read his fiction work yet. It was interesting to read about his life, but I was hoping his writing would be a little less utilitarian given that he is a poet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacie | 12/25/2011

    " Not much of a "true story" fan, this book is amazing...Langston Hughes tells a very interesting story of his life, travels, struggles, and success. Well written and fun to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Orme | 12/2/2011

    " Poetry in a book. Fantastic writing with a very engaging story. I would highly recommend this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kindle-aholic | 10/5/2011

    " Read this in my Harlem Renaissance course in college, and it still sticks with me (umpteen years later). The life story of one of my favorite poets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roger | 9/15/2011

    " One of my favorite books. Great tales of wunderlust through a poets eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kindle-aholic | 1/3/2011

    " Read this in my Harlem Renaissance course in college, and it still sticks with me (umpteen years later). The life story of one of my favorite poets. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 10/7/2010

    " He's an oddly flat narrator of his own story, which makes it a little hard to relate. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 9/13/2010

    " Poetry in a book. Fantastic writing with a very engaging story. I would highly recommend this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marlene | 5/20/2009

    " It is one thing to be interested in an author or artist because you admire their work...but to find an interesting life is a whole other thing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stacie | 1/11/2009

    " Not much of a "true story" fan, this book is amazing...Langston Hughes tells a very interesting story of his life, travels, struggles, and success. Well written and fun to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 9/9/2008

    " What a fascinating life Langston Hughes lived! You must read about this famous poet's life to understand his experience. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elaine | 8/25/2008

    " This amazing poet traveled to the Soviet Union in its infancy and to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. A life well worth reading about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Booker | 2/7/2008

    " early autobiography on Langston Hughes....learns the difference between color and race on a trip to Africa... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 12/28/2007

    " Compelling biography of a two part testament to the life of Langston Hughes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Howard | 11/12/2007

    " good history book about 1920 america "

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About the Author
Author Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes (1902–1967), was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist. He was one of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form jazz poetry. Hughes is the author of more than sixty books. He is best known for his work during the Harlem Renaissance. 

About the Narrator

Dominic Hoffman, winner of eight AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration, is a Los Angeles–based actor of stage, screen, and television. He has appeared in such television shows as The Shield, NYPD Blue, and The Jamie Foxx Show. He attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art as well as the American Conservatory Theater.