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Extended Audio Sample The Bluest Eye: A Novel Audiobook, by Toni Morrison Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00003056188017 out of 53.00003056188017 out of 53.00003056188017 out of 53.00003056188017 out of 53.00003056188017 out of 5 3.00 (65,441 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Toni Morrison Narrator: Toni Morrison, Ruby Dee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2000 ISBN: 9780375417245
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From the 1993 Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye is a novel “so charged with pain and wonder that it becomes poetry” (New York Times).

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in. Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “So precise, so faithful to speech, and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry.” 

    New York Times

  • So precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry. The New York Times“A profoundly successful work of fiction. . . . Taut and understated, harsh in its detachment, sympathetic in its truth...it is an experience.
  • “This story commands attention, for it contains one black girl’s universe.”

    Newsweek

  • “A profoundly successful work of fiction…Taut and understated, harsh in its detachment, sympathetic in its truth…it is an experience.” 

    Detroit Free Press

  • “Morrison’s brilliant tale is beautifully brought to life by Dee’s dramatic, powerful voice.”

    Barnes & Noble, editorial review (audio review)

  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection for April2000
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nora | 1/10/2016

    " Not only was the story interesting but it was also complex. The narration was great. Ruby Dee's voice is amazing! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill Waldman | 2/18/2014

    " I picked this up out of my bookshelf because I had nothing to read. I've read almost everything else Toni Morrison has written but for some reason never read this one. It's definitely clear that this is her first novel - not perfectly crafted and coherent like her other books. It's also interesting because you see characters and themes from the other books make an appearance in this one - Pilate from Song of Solomon, swinging someone around and killing them from Sula. In fact many of the themes were so familiar that I kept thinking "have I read this before?" But despite its flaws there are moments where you just sit back and think, God DAMN that woman can write. Her power of description and evocation of pain are like no other writer I've ever read. She is definitely the best writer of the 20th century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 2/18/2014

    " Was tempted to flip back the pages to the beginning to read it again. This is a poetic masterpiece. The story of this girl's life is so tragic, but Toni was able to describe all those who played a part in her life's struggle in such a humane eloquent manner. She inspires me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bethany Graham | 2/10/2014

    " I had to read this book for school, and I'm so glad we did. Toni Morrison is an extremely talented author and I loved her writing style. The story was amazing and had a great theme. This was a joy to read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa Neesley | 1/27/2014

    " An interesting book about the devastating challenges of Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl growing up in 1940's Ohio who yearns to have "the bluest eyes". She suffers from racial discrimination and extreme abuse by her family. It is not an easy read, but definitely worth it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer Leos | 1/23/2014

    " Beautifully written, but more than disturbing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 MeLita | 1/20/2014

    " The book is beautifully written. But the story is just so desperate! I always read or listen to book at least twice but this is one of the book that I won't listen to for the 2nd time. It doesn't make me feel good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 1/18/2014

    " one of the most sad books I have ever read. and still brilliant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elle Alley | 1/7/2014

    " Absolutely the best piece of literature I have ever read.. I was introduced to it in my teens.. I understood it in my 20's and I appreciate it in my 30's!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K M | 1/4/2014

    " A very powerful look at some difficult topics: racism, abuse, self-hatred, society's perception of beauty and ugliness, etc. A haunting, yet excellent read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandria Remillard | 12/7/2013

    " This book presents real life issues and feelings. Such a dark book to read but definitely makes you think about your surroundings. Loved it. Doing a literary analysis on it currently for my final paper. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Irene Carrick | 12/1/2013

    " loved this book. very very sad. about a mother who's a maid for a rich family and has to mother the other child more than her own. sad. but - very good and very historically true. i recommend to everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole D | 10/6/2013

    " Read for Am Lit. Disturbing but written nicely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 9/14/2013

    " Very moving. This is not the correct edition. I believe my copy was part of a set and there is no ISBN number. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbi Moomey | 3/2/2013

    " Very well written but very disturbing to read since the subject concerns incest, rape, insanity, and prejudice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Danyel | 1/19/2013

    " Truly a classic. It tells the tale of a young black girl who wishes, hopes and prays that her eyes will become blue. Haunting and touching. A must read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jenna | 10/1/2012

    " This was part of my summer reading list. I couldn't exactly relate to the character. I'm sure I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't forced upon me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Atiya Dhanani | 8/29/2012

    " it was a great book with a meaning "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kstieler | 3/10/2012

    " Quintessential Oprah's book club book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiara | 1/19/2012

    " my favorite author's first book. it's so beautifully written and of course I loved it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathidfsmc | 12/7/2011

    " Typically, I am not a Toni Morrison fan, but I thought this was a well written book(as all her books are) and it was very powerful "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nana' V. | 10/20/2011

    " Been reading this book for the past few years, keep having to start over and read from the beginning. Anything by Toni Morrison is pure perfection to mine eyes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan Klinke | 9/13/2011

    " I don't know the last time a book made me cry. Toni Morrison's descriptions of suffering, shame, cruelty, alienation, loneliness, and longing are incredibly palpable and poignant. Achingly beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lex | 5/19/2011

    " I started reading this book in high school but it was hard to grasp it fully. I finished it this year and I realized a lot of what Morrison was writing about, I and many other black little girls go through in some way in our adolescent years. Its a profound book and one of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelley | 5/18/2011

    " heartbreaking depiction of the pressure to be "beautiful" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kdirewolf | 5/14/2011

    " one of the most sad books I have ever read. and still brilliant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vega | 5/11/2011

    " My very favorite book. Some days. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 5/9/2011

    " Really liked it - read it twice! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Loriann | 4/27/2011

    " I really don't think any of Ms. Morrison's books belong on a Banned Book List! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marissa | 4/27/2011

    " Tragic and moving... I read the version with Toni Morrison's Afterword in it, and that also provided quite a bit of insight into the novel. "

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About the Author
Author Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a Pulitzer Prize. She is the author of several novels, including The Bluest Eye; Beloved, which was made into a major film; and Love. She is the Robert F. Goheen Professor Emeritus at Princeton.

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.