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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, 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:
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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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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... "

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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.