Extended Audio Sample

Download The Known World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Known World Audiobook, by Edward P. Jones Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,030 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edward P. Jones Narrator: Kevin R. Free Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2004 ISBN: 9780060774110
Coming Soon! We're adding audiobooks daily and hope to make this one available for download very soon. Submit your vote below to let us know you really crave this title!
Vote this up! This audiobook has 0 votes

In one of the most acclaimed novels in recent memory, Edward P. Jones, two-time National Book Award finalist, tells the story of Henry Townsend, a black farmer and former slave who falls under the tutelage of William Robbins, the most powerful man in Manchester County, Virginia. Making certain he never circumvents the law, Townsend runs his affairs with unusual discipline. But when death takes him unexpectedly, his widow, Caldonia, can't uphold the estate's order and chaos ensues. In a daring and ambitious novel, Jones has woven a footnote of history into an epic that takes an unflinching look at slavery in all of its moral complexities.

Performed by Kevin Free

Download and start listening now!

BK_HARP_000794

Quotes & Awards

  • “Extraordinary…The best new work of American fiction to cross my desk in years.”

    Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World

  • “Exceptional…An achievement of epic scope and architectural construction.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Magnificent…Deeply felt and exquisitely executed, it seems destined for a permanent spot on the…shelf of great American novels about slavery, next to Toni Morrison’s Beloved and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!.”

    Boston Globe

  • “One of those rare works of fiction that both wound and heal.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Jones has written a book of tremendous moral intricacy.”

    The New Yorker

  • Winner of the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • Winner of the2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Fiction
  • A 2003 New York Times Best Book for Fiction
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Winner of the 2004 Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize for Fiction
  • A National Book Award Finalist
  • Pulitzer Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michaela | 2/14/2014

    " Similar to Pope Joan, I think I originally read this years ago. Still an amazingly rendered tale. The author has a unique style of writing and, I suspect, a fair amount of research into this period of time (slavery) as well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nanny | 2/11/2014

    " It was a good book on the history of slavery but the style of writing was confusing and frustrating at times. It took me 100 pages to really get into it. The author introduces so many characters that I had to keep checking the back of the book on who was who. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lghamilton | 2/1/2014

    " World War I battles on Lake Tanganyika? Who knew? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 2/1/2014

    " What an amazing book! This is the story about a free black family in pre-civil war Virginia who own slaves themselves. At first it took me a while to get used to the author's rambling writing style but soon I came to realize the this novel is not just about the Townsend family and their slaves but also it's about the times that they lived and all the people who touched their lives. The known world is the world that they all inhabit and it's all that they know. Notions of right and wrong and proper form in this crucible of slavery in Antebellum Virginia. They own slaves because that's just what people of means do. A fascinating and moving story of slavery and transendance. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prise for Fiction in 2004. Highly recommended! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 GCC Library | 1/30/2014

    " I gave it 100 pages and found myself confused by too many characters. Also, found myself skimming, looking for something to happen. Didn't finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/23/2014

    " nov 2006 book club pick "

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

    " very hard themes and material, but worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 SandHouse | 1/11/2014

    " Technically a great story but too plotless. Couldn't finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 1/6/2014

    " One of the most unique novels about slavery I've ever read. The story switches between characters and it's hard to choose which point of view is our favorite. So well written (unlike my reviews) - a Pulitzer winner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan Winnek | 12/20/2013

    " I started reading this book over a year ago with my adult school mentor, Debra Ratner, but travel interrupted. Now it is the book of choice for my book club for March, and I look forward to reading it again, this time all the way through. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Taitt | 12/4/2013

    " FANTASTIC--very interesting the way it moves in and out of time. Well-developed characters. Poignant and sad, joyous and sweet. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Merna | 11/29/2013

    " I liked this book very much. The characters were well developed & extremely complex. The plot was simply inspiring. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marsha | 10/15/2013

    " This is a beautiful, troubling look at human nature and complex relationships in the midst of slavery in a fictional Virginia county in the 1800s. I HIGHLY recommend it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melody | 10/8/2013

    " Hating this.... the author keeps introducing more who-cares characters. Little voice keeps saying "Quit now!" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi | 8/15/2013

    " Intriguing weaving of fact and fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer Davis | 9/7/2012

    " Extraordinarily interesting story based in the South pitting the slave owners and the freed slaves against each other in a very unique way. Recommended to anyone wanting to explore human connections. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 2/15/2012

    " I'm too old to spend two weeks with a book this sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann Wilcox | 12/30/2011

    " This book is really hard to get into, but it is my book club's choice for this month, so I will keep on keeping on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 12/10/2011

    " I predict this book will be known as an American classic, excellent and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in American history "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachael Thomas | 7/15/2011

    " My favorite book to date. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Smith | 6/27/2011

    " I loved this book. I loved the characters and the setting. It made me feel like I was there with them. This author has a way with words that makes you keep reading long into the night. A pleasure. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amychamberlain | 5/23/2011

    " Perhaps I am not smart enough to enjoy this book. I just didn't find it compelling, and by the time I finished, I was already looking ahead to my next read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 5/23/2011

    " One of the most memorable books I've ever read. I picked this book off the shelf at the library, almost at random. It's been years and it often finds a way of seeping up into my life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Molly | 5/11/2011

    " I didnt like this book. The plot was bouncy and unfinished. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ctb | 5/7/2011

    " Not a lovable book. Too easy to forget. Sleepy. The subject matter could have been much more viscerally told and still have been far from sensationalistic. And why all the "had had" and "that that" and "was was" etc language by an omniscient narrator? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/29/2011

    " I think I had expectations for this book that were too high. The premise of the book is a bit of a twist on the topic of slavery in the south, but I didn't find that the book offered any new perspective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 4/21/2011

    " 3.5 stars - very interesting topic for historical fiction "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carmen | 4/18/2011

    " This book was pretty terrible. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bev | 4/15/2011

    " Hard to read. Characters not particularly interesting and hard to care about. There is a story here but I didn't find much connection with it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolyn | 4/11/2011

    " For all you Richmonder's, read this book. The character's are endearing, hateful, puzzling...another perspective on slavery in VA "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 4/11/2011

    " Loved this book.Characters are abundant and each has such a tale to tell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 4/10/2011

    " Evocative characters and landscape. Brutal. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ahren | 3/30/2011

    " 2 is low, 3 would be high... the best part of this book is the setting and context-- makes you think a bit differently about slavery. i wanted a lot more though. "

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 Edward P. Jones

Edward P. Jones, a New York Times bestselling author, has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and the Lannan Literary Award for The Known World; he also received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2004. His first collection of stories, Lost in the City, won the PEN/Hemingway Award and was short-listed for the National Book Award. His second collection, All Aunt Hagar’s Children, was a finalist for the Pen/Faulkner Award. He has been an instructor of fiction writing at a range of universities, including Princeton. He lives in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Kevin R. Free is an audiobook narrator and six-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. Known for his work with young-adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.