The Rib King: A Novel Audiobook, by Ladee Hubbard Play Audiobook Sample

The Rib King: A Novel Audiobook

The Rib King: A Novel Audiobook, by Ladee Hubbard Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Adenrele Ojo, Korey Jackson Publisher: HarperAudio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 6.83 hours at 1.5x Speed 5.13 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: January 2021 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780063066779

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

71:11 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

08 seconds

Average Chapter Length:

33:47 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by Ladee Hubbard: > View All...

Publisher Description

“Ladee Hubbard’s voice is a welcome original.” —Mary Gaitskill

Upstairs, Downstairs meets Parasite: The acclaimed author of The Talented Ribkins deconstructs painful African American stereotypes and offers a fresh and searing critique on race, class, privilege, ambition, exploitation, and the seeds of rage in America in this intricately woven and masterfully executed historical novel, set in early the twentieth century that centers around the black servants of a down-on-its heels upper-class white family.

For fifteen years August Sitwell has worked for the Barclays, a well-to-do white family who plucked him from an orphan asylum and gave him a job. The groundskeeper is part of the household’s all-black staff, along with “Miss Mamie,” the talented cook, pretty new maid Jennie Williams, and three young kitchen apprentices—the latest orphan boys Mr. Barclay has taken in to "civilize" boys like August.

But the Barclays fortunes have fallen, and their money is almost gone. When a prospective business associate proposes selling Miss Mamie’s delicious rib sauce to local markets under the brand name “The Rib King”—using a caricature of a wildly grinning August on the label—Mr. Barclay, desperate for cash, agrees. Yet neither Miss Mamie nor August will see a dime. Humiliated, August grows increasingly distraught, his anger building to a rage that explodes in shocking tragedy. 

Elegantly written and exhaustively researched, The Rib King is an unsparing examination of America’s fascination with black iconography and exploitation that redefines African American stereotypes in literature. In this powerful, disturbing, and timely novel, Ladee Hubbard reveals who people actually are, and most importantly, who and what they are not.

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“Hubbard’s own superpower is her gift for building extraordinary worlds that examine troubled periods of America’s past while shedding light on the unquestionable innovation and determination of African Americans who, perhaps improbably, thrived within them.”

— Los Angeles Times 


  • “A fascinating story about the intersection of ambition, race, and revenge.”

    — Washington Post
  • “Far beyond a story of revenge. It is an engrossing account of Black genius and entrepreneurship in the early twentieth century.”

    — Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • “Hubbard delivers a dazzling tour-de-force in this richly painted, perfectly timed meditation on privilege and fury.”

    — Booklist (starred review)
  • “Finely written…a fantastic choice for book discussion groups. With complete faithfulness to the text, it could also make an excellent movie.”

    — Library Journal (starred review)
  • “Korey Jackson narrates Mr. Sitwell’s portion of the audiobook; his bold, confident delivery suits the story of the future Rib King…Adenrele Ojo captures the dramatic pitch of Jennie’s scenes.”

    — AudioFile


  • A Glamour Magazine Pick of the Month's 7 Best Books
  • A Real Simple Pick of Best New Books of 2021
  • A Ms. Magazine Pick of the Month
  • A Chicago Review of Books Pick of Must-Reads
  • A Harper’s Bazaar Pick of 2021's Best New Books
  • A BookRiot Pick of the Month
  • A PopSugar Pick of Best Books of January
  • A Bustle Pick of the Week

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About Ladee Hubbard

Ladee Hubbard is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She lives in New Orleans. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.

About the Narrators

Adenrele Ojo is an actress, dancer, and audiobook narrator, winner of over a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2018. She made her on-screen debut in My Little Girl, starring Jennifer Lopez, and has since starred in several other films. She has also performed extensively with the Philadelphia Dance Company. As the daughter of John E. Allen, Jr., founder and artistic director of Freedom Theatre, the oldest African American theater in Pennsylvania, is no stranger to the stage. In 2010 she performed in the Fountain Theatre’s production of The Ballad of Emmett Till, which won the 2010 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award and the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Ensemble. Other plays include August Wilson’s Jitney and Freedom Theatre’s own Black Nativity, where she played Mary.

Korey Jackson, an Earphones Award-winning narrator, is an actor, known for his roles in the films 37, Life Itself, and Anesthesia. He earned his MFA in acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.