- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 18 hours and 19 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: January 28, 2009
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001SIHRUY
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Help Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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I had avoided it in the past because there was a certain level of hysteria about it, and when people go around quoting books, I kind of get turned off them ("You is kind..."). Also, I had some unease about the idea that the white author was using black stories to sell a book - it felt a little like literary blackface.
ANYWAY, reservations aside, I just completely and absolutely loved this. Lovely characters, nailbiting story (as much as I loved the book, I was terrified the whole time that The Thing was going to happen), beautiful message. It was just great. And it dealt with its subject matter with appropriate sympathy and sensitivity.
For anyone not living on Earth, the story revolves around three characters, Skeeter (yup), a white girl who wants to be a writer and is told by a New York publisher to write about what she cares about, Aibeleen, a domestic helper (they are called "maids" in the book) who has lost her son but nonetheless loves the white people's children she cares for, and Minny, also a maid who has a bit of a problem with talking back to her unreasonable white employers.
Well, it turns out that the thing that Skeeter cares about is civil rights (although she doesn't quite realise it yet). She sets about writing a book about the relationship between white Southern women and their help, and asks Aibeleen, who works for a friend of hers, to get other maids to talk to her. Only problem is that they are actually risking their lives - and certainly their livelihoods - to do so.
The Help is an emotional rollercoaster with a touching message and a strong undercurrent of hope. If you, like me, weren't sure about reading it, I can't recommend it strongly enough.
in two hours. That said, while I liked the movie, the book was far more enjoyable. The author made clever use of the three narrators. At first,
I thought I might be put off by that choice, but once you adjust to the different voices, the rhythm adds an element to the book that a single point-
of-view wouldn't have provided. The three principal characters speak for themselves.
There are profoundly moving moments in the book and the movie. There are some surprising passages. Kathryn Stockett's humor is a riot. I was
reminded of some of the funniest lines in Steel Magnolias, but I think that the humor is much more deftly handled in this book.
I wish that I had written The Help. I'm glad that I read it. What a great book!