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Download The Poisonwood Bible Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (352,436 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Barbara Kingsolver Narrator: Dean Robertson Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it—from garden seeds to scripture—is calamitously transformed on African soil.

This tale of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction, over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa, is set against history’s most dramatic political parables.

The Poisonwood Bible dances between the darkly comic human failings and inspiring poetic justices of our times. In a compelling exploration of religion, conscience, imperialist arrogance, and the many paths to redemption, Barbara Kingsolver has brought forth her most ambitious work ever.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Haunting…A novel of character, a narrative shaped by keen-eyed women.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A powerful new epic…She has with infinitely steady hands worked the prickly threads of religion, politics, race, sin, and redemption into a thing of terrible beauty.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Fully realized, richly embroidered, triumphant.”


  • “The book’s sheer enjoyability is given depth by Kingsolver’s insight and compassion for Congo, including its people, and their language and sayings.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Compelling, lyrical, and utterly believable.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “A triple-decker, different coming-of-age novel, but also a clever look at language and cultures.”

    San Diego Union-Tribune

  • “A novel that brims with excitement and rings with authority.”


  • “Kingsolver’s work is a magnum opus, a parable encompassing a biblical structure, and a bibliography, and a believable cast of African characters.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • A 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A 2000 Book Sense Book of the Year
  • Shortlisted for the 1999 Orange Prize for Fiction
  • A 1999 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by K.p. Suba | 2/9/2014

    " Posionwood bible is the story of a family of six Americans comprising of an over-zealous, Baptist missionary, his wife Orleana Price and their four daughters who arrive in Belgian Congo in 1959 with several preconceived notions of Africa, to "civilize" a "rough people". Nathan Price's literal mind is too loud to listen and consequently he never learns anything about the local culture. His stubbornness and inability to comprehend the potential irrelevance of himself and his message in a country like Congo makes him refuse his one chance at leaving the country with his family when the politics around him threatens to take over their lives. He is so sure of the simplicity of the people he has come to educate, that he does not realize that the reason they steadfastly refused to be baptized in the river may have more to do with the crocodiles in it and less to do with their assumed obtuseness! In fact, his insistence that "Tata Jesus is Bangala" does not inspire confidence in the people since his American accent converts his intended meaning (Jesus is precious) to Jesus is poisonwood! Leah the paternal approval seeking one-half of a twin and the other, Adah, spouting lyrics and making palindrome nicknames, form the heart and the conscience of the novel. The eldest, a regular Mrs Malaprop, seems like a metaphor for the other half of the universe that vaguely recognizes that there is oppression and greed in the world, but believes that one needs one's "pink mohair twin set" to retain one's sanity. Orleana Price herself is a metaphor for Africa, "occupied by Nathan Price", just as Africa in general and Congo in particular, is occupied by an ill informed, arrogant West that is too loud to listen -- just like Nathan Price. We hear the children and the mother slowly making sense of each other as well as the world around them and learning from Africa and its people. It takes a tragedy to move them physically out of Africa, but they are each forever marked by her. This book weaves the author's global politics neatly with the familial politics of the people in the novel, thus making the reader care. It is also about communication and how it can never be honest if there is no mutual respect between the communicating parties. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Irene Carrick | 2/8/2014

    " when i read it it was my favorite book, now it's part of my favorites. about missionary family in africa and raising their daughters there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eileen Santana | 2/7/2014

    " This book was recommended to me by my daughter. While I enjoyed it, it didn't live up to my expectations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nadine Connor | 2/1/2014

    " In my top 10 favorite books of all time (so far). "

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