Download The Underground Railroad (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel Audiobook

The Underground Railroad (Oprahs Book Club): A Novel Audiobook, by Colson Whitehead Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Colson Whitehead Narrator: Bahni Turpin Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2016 ISBN: 9781524736262
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Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestseller from Colson Whitehead, a magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.
     In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.
     Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Bahni Turpin’s narration is near perfection as she captures the emotional heart of this audiobook. Her sensitive pacing allows listeners to absorb the impact of intense scenes and tugs them along when the plot races. By using well-crafted dialect and authentic-sounding accents, Turpin believably dramatizes the wide range of characters, projecting the cruelty of the white bounty hunters, the determined fear of the runaway slave, and the reserved kindness of the Underground Railroad stationmasters. Turpin’s strong performance combined with author Whitehead’s affecting writing makes this the one audiobook you cannot miss. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Bahni Turpin’s narration is near perfection as she captures the emotional heart of this audiobook. Her sensitive pacing allows listeners to absorb the impact of intense scenes and tugs them along when the plot races. By using well-crafted dialect and authentic-sounding accents, Turpin believably dramatizes the wide range of characters…Turpin’s strong performance combined with author Whitehead’s affecting writing makes this the one audiobook you cannot miss. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE, THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, THE ALA ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL AND THE HURSTON/WRIGHT AWARD ** NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, WALL STREET JOURNAL, WASHINGTON POST, TIME, PEOPLE, NPR AND MORE ** #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
  • Get it, then get another copy for someone you know because you are definitely going to want to talk about it once you read that heart-stopping last page. Oprah Winfrey (Oprah's Book Club 2016 Selection)
  • [A] potent, almost hallucinatory novel... It possesses the chilling matter-of-fact power of the slave narratives collected by the Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s, with echoes of Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and brush strokes borrowed from Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka and Jonathan Swift…He has told a story essential to our understanding of the American past and the American present. Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
     
  • Think Toni Morrison (Beloved), Alex Haley (Roots); think 12 Years a Slave…An electrifying novel…a great adventure tale, teeming with memorable characters…Tense, graphic, uplifting and informed, this is a story to share and remember. People, (Book of the Week)
  • With this novel, Colson Whitehead proves that he belongs on any short list of America's greatest authors--his talent and range are beyond impressive and impossible to ignore. The Underground Railroad is an American masterpiece, as much a searing document of a cruel history as a uniquely brilliant work of fiction. Michael Schaub, NPR
  • Far and away the most anticipated literary novel of the year, The Underground Railroad marks a new triumph for Whitehead…[A] book that resonates with deep emotional timbre. The Underground Railroad reanimates the slave narrative, disrupts our settled sense of the past and stretches the ligaments of history right into our own era...The canon of essential novels about America's peculiar institution just grew by one. Ron Charles, Washington Post
  • "[A] skillful blend of adventure and harrowing historical reflection.”

    BookPage

  • A 2016 Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A BookPage Top Pick for September 2016
  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • Winner of a 2016 National Book Award
  • Winner of the 2017 Carnegie Medal for Literature
  • Short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • AudioFile Earphones Award Winner
  • Man Booker Prize Longlist Selection
  • Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • A London Guardian Pick of Best Books of the 21st Century

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 1/17/2018

    " At first I didn't like it, then I did. Sort of back and forth. But in the end I thought it was excellent. Our book group discussion was very active on this one. Why use the metaphor of the a 'real railroad' ; how the specifics of the events actually crossed over 40 years (not in the span of the specific escape story. Totally worth a read on this one. "

About the Author

Colson Whitehead is the author of nine books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Underground Railroad, which was a #1 New York Times bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. He is a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships.

About the Narrator

Bahni Turpin, winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and several prestigious Audie Awards for her narrations, was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. Publishers Weekly magazine named her Narrator of the Year for 2016. She is an ensemble member of the Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. She has guest starred in many television series, including NYPD Blue, Law & Order, Six Feet Under, Cold Case, What about Brian, and The Comeback. Film credits include Brokedown Palace, Crossroads, and Daughters of the Dust. She is also a member of the recording cast of The Help, which won numerous awards.