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Twelve Years a Slave [Kindle Edition]

Solomon Northup
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,820 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

#1 Bestseller

Now a major motion picture directed by Steve McQueen and starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Paul Giamatti

12 Years a Slave is a riveting true account of a free man captured and sold into slavery in the pre–Civil War South. Solomon Northup’s narrative explores one of the darkest times in American history and captures in vivid detail the unimaginable realities of slavery.

In 1841, the educated musician Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York who is cruelly deceived by the promise of a job in Washington, is drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Once Solomon arrives in New Orleans, he is given a slave name and soon realizes that any mention of his rights as a free man is sure to bring cruel punishment or death. Denied his freedom and ripped away from his family, he spends twelve emotionally and physically gruelling years on a Louisiana cotton plantation enduring the hardships and brutalities of life as a slave. When Solomon eventually finds a sympathizing friend, a daring rescue is attempted that could either end in Solomon’s death or restore his freedom and reunite him with his family.

When Solomon Northup published this harrowing account of slavery in 1853, it immediately stirred up controversy in the national debate over slavery, helping to sway public opinion in favour of abolition. His book 12 Years a Slave remains one of the most insightful, detailed, and eloquent depictions of slavery in America. It demonstrates the extraordinary resilience of one man’s spirit in the face of extreme suffering and his incredible will to survive.



Product Details

  • File Size: 899 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494297396
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (October 22, 2013)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FDS85EM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,269 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 142 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, terrible edition. November 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book that is, unfortunately, terribly edited. I refer exclusively to the Kindle edition. It is replete with typos and missing words that frequently interrupt comprehension and that testify to an overall sloppiness that is difficult to excuse. If I had to guess, this was mechanically transformed from a paper to a kindle edition, with little or no human oversight. This lack of oversight shows on almost a page by page basis - and speaks extremely poorly of the overall quality. This is a real shame, because the book itself is indispensable reading for anyone who wants to *begin* to confront the trauma of slavery - a trauma that continues to inflect American and global affairs to this day.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Read this book February 17, 2014
By bobbi
Format:Kindle Edition
The fact that the manuscript may have been manipulated for Kindle should not be the determining factor in whether or not you read this book! The story is a personal history of one man's life as a slave. It is much more should the reader care to exercise thought and analysis prompted by the story itself. The inhumanity of slavery is well documented. Here the reader has the opportunity to assess also the character of those who held other humans in bondage. Can anyone who claims a human heart and mind defend the innumerable ways in which a slave was denied access to even the smallest comforts, denied access to any possibility of self education or reliance, denied the bonds of family or friends, denied food, denied rest; and rewarded for service that immeasurably enriched his "owner" and his community - even to this very day - with a life of degradation and inhuman cruelty, inflicted however and whenever the mood struck him. I don't think it necessary or relevant to note the exception here. The institution itself denies any credit to those who may have practiced it in a less debauched manner. The discussion should instead focus on how this horror, perpetrated on our citizens, continues to effect lives and communities today. With a deeper understanding of what happened, perhaps there can be a deeper commitment to creating a country where we can make a choice to live in ways that support respect and kindness toward all. Read the book. Think about it. Ask yourself, " Why are there ghettos in our country?" Why is that even tolerated. There, too, live many who have lost all hope. Read more ›
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Years of Slavery October 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Solomon Northup was an educated free man who worked in New York and was brutally kidnapped and sold into slavery and ends up in Louisiana. A true story a man without his family for twelve years.I saw the movie today and was glad I had read the book. The cast of authors in the movie was a heart wretched life to live.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing October 23, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Highly recommend this book I couldn't put it down. The story was eloquently told. I look forward to seeing the movie.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars moving story, very formal English January 14, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wonderful and moving story. Gives much more insight into the characters and what happened than the movie did. Only negative is that it is written in the very formal English of the time and can be hard to read. It was also written as a description, and was not written to entertain. So it can be a little dry in parts. Amazing story, very informative. Very glad I read it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The read is better than the movie March 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An Oscar winning movie is bested by the written word. Perhaps the movie is the best way to get the story told to millions but the mind's eye did an excellent job of understanding the horror of slavery.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1 and 5, average 3 January 3, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
1 - The state of the e-text is horrid, multiple mistakes per page. It is sometimes a riddle to solve; overall making the kindle version quite frustrating to read.

5 - I read this book out of interest, wanted to have it complete prior to watching the movie next week. The story brings out an array of emotions and principles in me as a reader: slavery, inhumanity, simple pleasures, price of honesty, justice, what is right, etc. I was moved by the story. The courage needed to write, the rare situation the writer lived through, the value of his perspective. Wow.

I love books which challenge the reader. This story is true, and that increases its value 100-fold.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult read January 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very descriptive. Wonderful story describing the horrible things he endured. Great historical account. Doesn't flow like a smooth novel. Although it is a great read, it is also a difficult read. I had to reread many parts.
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