Their Eyes Were Watching God Audiobook, by Zora Neale Hurston Play Audiobook Sample

Download Their Eyes Were Watching God Audiobook

Their Eyes Were Watching God Audiobook, by Zora Neale Hurston Play Audiobook Sample
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Author: Zora Neale Hurston Narrator: Ruby Dee Publisher: HarperAudio Audio Length: Release Date: October 2005 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9780060842765

Plot Summary

Their Eyes Were Watching God is the inspiring story of Janie Crawford, an independent African-American woman living in the racially charged deep South during the early 1900s. The story is told from Janie's viewpoint as she conveys the events of her life to her best friend so that she may pass it on to the community at large, which is nosily curious about Janie's colorful life. Covering three major portions of Janie's life with each span of time corresponding to a marriage to a different man, this seminal novel is at its core a powerfully moving love story. Throughout a life of difficult circumstances, numerous tragedies and great hardships Janie never abandons her most sacred ideal - that a marriage cannot exist without love.

Poignant and poetic, Their Eyes Were Watching God is a celebration of early 20th century African-American heritage and culture. Written in a uniquely lyrical and sensual prose this novel is celebrated as not only a watershed moment in African-American literature but women's literature as well.

First published in 1937 and now available in this wonderful unabridged audiobook adaptation, Their Eyes Were Watching God enjoys widespread critical acclaim and recognition as a treasured classic in American literature.

Publisher Summary

“A deeply soulful novel that comprehends love and cruelty, and separates the big people from the small of heart, without ever losing sympathy for those unfortunates who don’t know how to live properly.” —Zadie Smith

One of the most important and enduring books of the twentieth century, Their Eyes Were Watching God brings to life a Southern love story with the wit and pathos found only in the writing of Zora Neale Hurston. Out of print for almost thirty years—due largely to initial audiences’ rejection of its strong black female protagonist—Hurston’s classic has since its 1978 reissue become perhaps the most widely read and highly acclaimed novel in the canon of African-American literature. The audio is performed by the legendary Ruby Dee.

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Quotes

  • “There is no book more important to me than this one.” 

    - Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize winning author
  • “Zora Neale Hurston’s notable story comes to life through Ruby Dee’s fine interpretation. The story of Janie Crawford, her strength and gentleness, was written to be heard. Dee’s deep, melodic tones enliven Hurston’s evocative prose and powerful images…Through Dee’s strong command of dialogue and her mastery of dialect, she conveys Hurston’s sense of drama and spiritual strength in a dynamic program… Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    - AudioFile
  • “Ruby Dee brings this magnificent book to life in a way that feels almost magical. She captures its essence, not only the specific voices of each character but the time and place, the humidity of the Florida swamps, the electricity between Janie and Tea Cake. Hurston’s prose is gorgeous, but hearing it out loud made me realize just how much poetry there is in the novel…Listening to this book was so immersive that finishing it felt like climbing out of a vivid dream.”

    - BookRiot (audio review)
  • “This book is as in touch with the sublime as any American novel before or since. Hurston’s writing in this book is as complex and delicate as woven lace and yet as firm and undeniable as stone.”

    - Literary Hub
  • “Their Eyes belongs in the same category—with that of William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway—of enduring American literature.” 

    -  Saturday Review 
  • “Their Eyes Were Watching God has much more humor in it; and paradoxically—possibly because the author is writing unselfconsciously of her own people—it is more objective. It never comes to the verge of conscious, sentimental ‘sympathy.’ A simple and unpretentious story, but there is nothing else quite like it.”

    -  Saturday Review of Literature, 1937

Awards

  • An Oprah’s Summer Reading List selection
  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005
  • A BookRiot Pick of the 4 Most Perfect Audiobooks Ever
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Literary Hub Pick of Best Second Books by Major Authors
  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of 10 Classics That Never Get Old
  • A PBS Great American Read selection

Customer Reviews

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  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " awful "

    - , 4/24/2019
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " A very different story, but very thought provoking. I really enjoyed this book. "

    - Misty, 2/13/2014
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " This was a must read for school... and I feel I was asleep through the whole thing. "

    - Bess, 2/9/2014
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " A very pleasant read. "

    - Lori, 2/6/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I thought the book would focus more on social issues, instead it was an african american romance novel. Probably the first of its kind. When I first read it i skimmed the book so I understood what was going on I just didnt understand the extent of it. "

    - Anisah, 2/2/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " It was a great book. It was really well written how Jaine had to go threw so many things just to find herself at the end............ it was a nice book. "

    - Daniela, 1/20/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " This was a good book. It took a little while to get used to the speaking, but when you could understand it, it was a great book. "

    - Kylie, 1/18/2014
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " It was an interesting book. A bit fantastical at times, but not so much that it took away from the book. The book had great themes, symbols, and motifs and is rather interesting to discuss with a group. "

    - Katy, 1/6/2014
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " important, beautiful, enjoyable and a quick read. do it. "

    - Natasha, 1/4/2014
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " It was too hard for me to fight through the ebonics to get at a story that did not remotely interest me. Boring and difficult read. "

    - AJ, 12/23/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Janie is a great character! I love following her through all her exploits. She is pretty impressive, because she survives such bad relationships. "

    - Ms., 12/10/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " I read this book many moons ago, but since many of my family members had just recently read this book, I decided to give it another go. Good decision! I dont' remember being quite as in love with this book the first time around as I was this time! What a little gem of an American novel! "

    - Katie, 12/2/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " It's just a wonderful story. I can't put into words how much I loved this novel. "

    - Kelsey, 11/12/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This book was so full of feminist symbolism. I loved it!! "

    - Maria, 10/18/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " It was hard to read the dialect, but Janie's voice is so sincere and real. Really loved the story. "

    - Wendy, 6/20/2013
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Gobbled this one up in a few short hours. Love Hurston's writing style, especially the dialog. Takes a while to get properly immersed, but Janie's story told in her own words as well as a nearly poetry-like prose is amazing. "

    - dejah_thoris, 5/12/2013
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Another college reading assignment. It was interesting - worth a read. "

    - Patti, 2/2/2013
  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    " I wasn't too drawn into the story so found it difficult to get through. "

    - A, 9/1/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " Really good. It had a lot of phonetic dialog and food for thought about being human. It was an interesting commentary that Janie was happier when married to a gambler and working in the fields than when she was the respected wife of a mayor. "

    - DW, 7/10/2012
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " An all time favorite book- love at its core "

    - Jeni, 6/14/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " A book full of beautiful prose. The introduction to Eatonville and Janie is just stunning. A great book overall. "

    - Katy, 6/11/2012
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is one of the great works of fiction of the 20th century, the equal of anything by Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Faulkner. What, am I'm serious? Yes, indeed. If you haven't met Janie and heard her story, do yourself a favor soon. "

    - Ken, 3/20/2012
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " The only thing that bothered me was after all the beautiful descriptions and imagery, I felt she just abruptly ended the story which I didn't remember from my first reading. "

    - Katiedavis, 12/5/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " One of my favorites <3 "

    - Desiree, 5/23/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " This is pretty much the book that made me an English major. I read it in high school and went to college undeclared, but when I re-read this book and wrote about it, I discovered my passion for the written word. "

    - Lauren, 5/22/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " An absolute all time favorite. "

    - Lauren, 5/21/2011
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5

    " Once you get over the language, it's not a terrible story. "

    - Jess, 5/18/2011
  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5

    " Maybe I just didn't get it. "

    - David, 5/17/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " The imagery and metaphor in the book are wonderful. It is a classic rediscovered from obscurity by Alice Walker, studied and emulated by modern writers. One of the best books I have read. Loved it as much as 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. I will read all her work. "

    - Joan, 5/14/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " one of my favorite books of all time. beautiful, sensual, vibrant writing. "

    - Irene, 5/13/2011
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5

    " I listened to this several years ago on audible.com; it was read by Ruby Dee and she really brought the characters alive. Just thought of it recently and wanted to pass along the recommendation. "

    - Pamela, 5/12/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " The dialect takes a little time to get used to, but once you get into it, this is a beautiful novel. I loved entering into that crazy world of the past where race and gossip was such an issue, and the simple pleasures only mattered. A sweet and sad romance. "

    - Tiphanie, 5/12/2011
  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5

    " Quality writing. Quality story. If Hurston is Alice Walker's ("The Temple of My Familiar") favorite author, I can see the reasons why. I am inspired to read more of Hurston's books. "

    - Rose, 5/10/2011

About the Author

Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960) was a novelist, folklorist, and anthropologist whose fictional and factual accounts of black heritage remain unparalleled. In addition to her most celebrated work, the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, her books include Barracoon, a New York Times bestseller.

About the Narrator

Ruby Dee (1922–2014) was a multi-award-winning actress, playwright, screenwriter, and activist. During her seven-decade career, she won a Grammy, Emmy, Obie, and Drama Desk award and was nominated for an Academy Award. She was also the recipient of a National Medal of Arts, a Kennedy Center Honor, and Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. She is perhaps best known for originating the role of Ruth Younger in the stage and film versions of A Raisin in the Sun, but she also had roles in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing and Jungle Fever. She was also known for her civic work with husband Ossie Davis. She also wrote plays, fiction, and a column in New York’s Amsterdam News. Born in Cleveland, she worked initially with the American Negro Theater in Harlem, where she grew up.