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Download The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Colony: The Harrowing True Story of the Exiles of Molokai Audiobook, by John Tayman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (969 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Tayman Narrator: Patrick Lawlor Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2006 ISBN: 9781400172276
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Beginning in 1866 and continuing for over a century, more than eight thousand people suspected of having leprosy were forcibly exiled to the Hawaiian island of Molokai—the longest and deadliest instance of medical segregation in American history. Torn from their homes and families, these men, women, and children were loaded into shipboard cattle stalls and abandoned in a lawless place where brutality held sway. Many did not have leprosy, and many who did were not contagious, yet all were ensnared in a shared nightmare. 

Here, for the first time, John Tayman reveals the complete history of the Molokai settlement and its unforgettable inhabitants. It’s an epic of ruthless manhunts, thrilling escapes, bizarre medical experiments, and tragic, irreversible error. Carefully researched and masterfully told, The Colony is a searing tale of individual bravery and extraordinary survival, and stands as a testament to the power of faith, compassion, and the human spirit.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Tayman’s narrative pulls the reader beyond the superficial, medical horrors of leprosy to the more devastating human horrors that lie beneath. In doing so, he has brought to light the profound dignity of his subjects.”

    New York Times

  • “Tayman’s crisp, flowing writing and inclusion of personal stories and details make this an utterly engrossing look at a heartbreaking chapter in Hawaiian history.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Drawing on contemporary sources and eyewitness accounts of the still surviving members of the colony, Tayman has created a fitting monument to the strength and character of the castoffs in particular, and human beings as a whole.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tanya | 2/16/2014

    " Listening to this book in audio format made it perhaps harder to follow than it would be in print, but I felt like the storyline was constantly jumping all over in time and geography. One minute the author was discussing a nun in Honolulu, then suddenly a businessman in San Francisco, then a writer in Europe...all tied to the leper colony by sometimes the thinnest of threads. I expected a study of the colonists on Molokai. Tayman's book is that, but he goes off on so many long and varied tangents that my interest kept waning. "

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

    " My aunt is a nurse in Kalaupapa and gave me this book to read. I've read other books written by others that live there and this one is different in that it was based on the author's research and seemed more chronologically fact based. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 1/26/2014

    " Fascinating account of the establishment and history of a leper colony in Hawaii. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Warnie B. | 1/25/2014

    " I felt like this got pretty tedious at times, but it was still really interesting. I think I might have enjoyed it more if I'd listened to the audio version instead of reading the print version; I tend to be much more patient when I listen to something like this rather than read it. In any case, I learned a lot, and did find myself very drawn into this story of the events surrounding Molokai. I just wish there'd maybe been a little less detail--sometimes all the who's whos got pretty confusing... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 1/24/2014

    " I read this in conjunction with Brennart's Molokai. The Colony was as moving, if not more so, than the fictionalized portrayal of the Molokai exiles. In hindsight we can see that society's response to leprosy was extreme and inhumane, but we have the benefit of modern knowledge about the disease; they had only fear and the unknown. Modern responses to the emergence of HIV/AIDS followed a similar pattern. leprosy was and is a horrible disease. One of the most horrible things about it is that it continues today and often goes untreated in some parts of the world due to a lack of money and understanding. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susie Nee | 1/22/2014

    " I read this book while I was in Hawaii and loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jason | 1/14/2014

    " Excellent and very readable history of the Lepers of Molokai. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 1/2/2014

    " This was a very interesting book but long. I knew nothing about leprosy and learned so much. If you want to read about an interesting aspect of Hawaiian history this is definitely one to pick up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dolly | 10/13/2013

    " This is an interesting nonfiction history of the leprosarium on Molokai, but it was a bit tedious. Reminded me of Michener's historical fiction where I sometimes thought, "Do we really need ALL this information?" I might have enjoyed an abridged version better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul (formerly known as Current) | 10/8/2013

    " A fascinating history of over a hundred years. Although well-researched and decently told, the retelling so far falls a little flat, remains distant and historical rather than coming strongly to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 10/6/2013

    " Very interesting and engrossing history of the lepers who lived an isolated existence on the island of Molokai. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mollie Chen | 9/20/2013

    " a bit drawn out but really interesting "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim Anthony | 8/30/2013

    " If you're into history this is a fascinating book about the history of the leper colony on Molokai in Hawaii. I LOVED it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhona | 8/3/2013

    " Very Good. factual. This is not a novel or story. It is a collection of facts and diary entrys that lay the foundation for the happenings from the beginning of the Leprosy Colony on Molokai. it was interesting, but a bit redundant. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joy | 3/10/2013

    " This was an interesting book but the author skipped around a lot and I found him hard to follow at times. I do think it's a story that needs to be told. It certainly gave me perspective about the things we do that are supposedly for the greater good of society. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robbie Gale | 10/8/2012

    " Eye opening. Informative history of Leporasy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 t m | 8/17/2012

    " This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is so well-written and so moving; I couldn't recommend it enough. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael Edwards | 5/13/2012

    " An interesting history of the colony, not thrilling, nor overly scientific, but it was informative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 'judy | 4/22/2012

    " non-fiction about the leper colony on Molokai. Fascinating study on human societal behavior as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Opitz | 4/19/2012

    " If you read Moloka'i, you should read this. Understand more, know more, appreciate the full story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashleehalbritter | 3/17/2012

    " Interesting if you're a public health person, but found it very difficult to keep characters straight since they die rapidly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon Moore | 2/14/2012

    " Fascinating book for me. Could not put it down. Really want to visit that place someday. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 8/19/2011

    " Amazingly researched. This book brings history alive. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bea | 5/30/2011

    " I gave up on this, it didn't hold my interest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marla | 4/17/2011

    " Too much fact listing and not enough narrative for my taste. There were way to many people to keep track of and no reason to really care about them anyway. The overall story is fascinating though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 K.h.tracey | 4/10/2011

    " Great! A gripping history, super detailed and personal. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 3/4/2011

    " Incredible story of the people sent to the leper colony of Molokai and the priest who devoted himself to helping them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 t m | 2/23/2011

    " This is one of the best books I have ever read. It is so well-written and so moving; I couldn't recommend it enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robbie | 2/13/2011

    " Eye opening. Informative history of Leporasy. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 12/11/2010

    " A heartbreaking history of the leper colony on Molokai, created in 1866 and not disbanded until 1969; where those afflicted with Hansen's disease were forcefully removed to by first the Hawaiian, (although dominated by the Dole Pineapple Company) and then the U.S. and state governments. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lynne | 10/29/2010

    " Excellent read on the true story of how the U. S. government exiled lepers to Molokai and of how badly they were treated. Also tells of Father Damien's work there and of his eventual contraction of leprosy and his eventual death. This book is recommended for anyone with an interest in leprosy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 10/10/2010

    " Could be dry and lag at times, but generally quite interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 9/19/2010

    " Very interesting and engrossing history of the lepers who lived an isolated existence on the island of Molokai. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lewis | 9/18/2010

    " i read this for a course during med school and thought the recounting of the stories of the people that suffered during this time was really well done. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 9/11/2010

    " Fascinating account of the establishment and history of a leper colony in Hawaii. "

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About the Author

John Tayman’s works have appeared in many award-winning publications, including Outside, GQ, Time, and New York Times Magazine. His bestselling nonfiction book The Colony was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. He’s the founder and CEO of Byliner, the acclaimed digital publishing company.

About the Narrator

Patrick Lawlor, an award-winning narrator, is also an accomplished stage actor, director, and combat choreographer. He has worked extensively off Broadway and has been an actor and stuntman in both film and television. He has been an Audie Award finalist multiple times and has garnered several AudioFile Earphones Awards, a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and many Library Journal and Kirkus starred audio reviews.