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on November 5, 2017
It's rare that I like a movie more than the book. I experienced that feeling with this book. I was expecting a lot more than was offered in the movie. Instead, I felt like I was slogging through the storyline: the pace and storytelling of the book simply did not capture the emotions or intensity that I experienced with the movie. I am sorry, but it's just my personal feedback.
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on April 8, 2017
A sublime story of love, forgiveness, family and growth in the south. Celie has been used badly by everyone in her life. Shug uses her too. But she allows her mind to expand and see the world; through Nettie; through her God given talents; through love and sexual gratification. Extraordinary book...
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on November 16, 2017
The Color Purple is an incredible depiction of life in the south for African American sisters. Beautifully written with feeling and humor it is sad, heart wrenching but ultimately inspiring. Characters in the book are larger than life who do what they can to make a bad situation better and endure hardships with resilience and hope. Superbly written, full of history and overall a tremendous read that will stay with you for a while if not longer.
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on March 26, 2014
This review is for people (like me) who didn't like the film, and are considering reading the book. It contains only minor spoilers as to themes.

I took a VERY long time reading this (decades!), and only then at the urging of my pal Jorge, because I didn't like the film (except for Whoopi Goldberg's and Oprah Winfrey's stunning performances). I didn't like the knee-jerk portrayal of men and white folks as the bad guys, combined with its general negativity. After reading the book, I like it even less. For me, the film was WOEFULLY incomplete and a hatchet job, contrary to the spirit of the book, which, with an exception or two, does NOT dwell on resentments, ills, injustice. (not that there WEREN'T egregious injustices, or GROUNDS for ills and resentments, it's just that these specifically were NOT the focus of the book).

The book's most important aspects were left out of the film. What a delicate, artful dance of one person's (and others') almost imperceptible evolution over time. Also handled with astonishing subtlety and perceptiveness was the interplay between men and women, black and white, involving both need and interdependency, and power dynamics. Walker doesn't draw parallels, she's much more subtle and gifted than that- indeed, every person and relationship in this book is unique, individual.

The story of Nettie, Celie's lost sister, was given short shrift in the movie, and it's as important to the narrative as Celie's. Her experiences were seemingly light years' removed, yet universal. Another aspect I loved was the DETAIL, so particular, so realistic. Walker's keen eye (she said she channeled the book, I can believe it) spotted and reported the details that would stick with an observer, would be noticed, if just in passing, in every scene. Walker gives you the seedlings, the saplings, the trees in such a way that by the end, the entire forest fills your heart. This is a book about change, RESILIENCE, the passage of time, the nature of love, forgiveness, so MUCH that is profound and inspiring. Don't miss it!
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on April 15, 2017
I've seen the movie the color purple many times in my child and adulthood but I've never read the book until now and I'm so glad I did. The colorful description and writing of the characters draws you in from the very beginning and you become completely involved in each of their lives. I would definitely recommend this book.
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on February 24, 2014
Only a few novels depict the harsh cruelness of a world riddled with rape, sexism, and racism. The Color Purple is a novel that speaks honestly with every sentence written. Folks who love The Help, or stories with brutal sincerity will enjoy this book.
The novel starts with Celie, a young African-American girl that writes to God about being sexually abused by her step-father. The beginning is derogatory and graphic, which sets the tone for the rest of the novel. The story continues throughout Celie's life as she marries, has children, grandchildren, and meets inspiring characters that motivate her to become self-confident. The characters are real, and jump out of the page as the reader learns who they are in connection with Celie. Readers will be there with Celie as she overcomes her abusive relationships, and unfurls into a happy, independent woman.
Despite it's colorful characters and realism, The Color Purple also has a few flaws. For instance, the novel is immersed with Celie's uneducated dialect, which is confusing at times. Walker also gives no explanation to who some characters are (as a real person would not if they were explaining to something to God) which is also befuddling. It takes a few pages to understand what's going on and to feel comfortable with reading a book that exceeds normal everyday talk. In this way, the flaws are also good things. After getting used to the writing style, readers can enjoy the unique voice of Celie and follow her incredible adventure.
I would recommend this book to mature readers that are curious about complex relationships involving abuse, both sexually and mentally. This book is inspiring, and is definitely worth a read.
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on September 22, 2017
I am disappointed. It has nothing to do with the film although it is a very warm correspondance between 2 sisters, one in the US and the other in Africa. The film was too fast and I wanted to read it.
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on August 1, 2017
I could read this book over and over. Love Alice Walker's writing style and the Color Purple is a classic. Appreciate her ability to present social issues in a story that captures the readers heart.
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on May 27, 2017
Wonderful book. Wonderful movie. If you've seen the movie, you owe it to yourself to read the book. They had to leave out so much to make a movie. The book is incredibly more rich - really remarkable.
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The Color Purple is my favorite book and favorite movie. This story resonated to me as a child and now as an adult. I am deeply moved each and every time I read this story. I experience a wide range of emotions. Thank you Alice Walker
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