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Twelve Years a Slave [Kindle Edition]

Solomon Northup
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,052 customer reviews)

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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 Description

Review

"For sheer drama, few accounts of slavery match Solomon Northup's tale of abduction from freedom and forcible enslavement." --Ira Berlin, from the Introduction "When I read ["Twelve Years a Slave"] for the first time, it was like the first time I read Anne Frank's diary. And I wondered to myself, 'Why isn't this book on everyone's bookshelf.' . . . For me, it's a classic. It should be in every school." --Steve McQueen, director of the film adaptation of "Twelve Years a Slave, "in "Entertainment Weekly" "Frightening, gripping and inspiring . . . Northup's story seems almost biblical, structured as it is as a descent and resurrection narrative of a protagonist who, like Christ, was 33 at the time of his abduction. . . . Northup reminds us of the fragile nature of freedom in any human society and the harsh reality that whatever legal boundaries existed between so-called free states and slave states in 1841, no black man, woman or child was permanently safe." "--Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "The Root"" "A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's 'many thousands gone' who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation. It is also a chilling insight into the 'peculiar institution.'" --"Saturday Review"

Synopsis

Born a free man in New York in 1808, Solomon Northrup was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841. He spent the next 12 years as a slave on a Louisiana cotton plantation. After regaining his freedom in 1853, he published this gripping autobiographical account of his captivity. As an educated man, he was able to present a detailed and accurate pictur

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 899 KB
  • Print Length: 154 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1494297396
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial Classics (22 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FDS85EM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,052 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #426 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
199 of 213 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When All Else Fails, Only Hope Remains 27 Oct. 2013
By Anari
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The cruelty of the human race never fails to amaze me. I have no doubt that Solomon Northup's narrative is as accurate as it can be, but the content of this book is truly shocking. This glimpse into African American enslavement is one of horror and shows just how brutal man can be to his fellows.

Solomon is captured and enslaved against his will, removed from his wife and two children and transported by sea to begin his new life as the chattel of another man. What he witnesses in his 12 years of enslavement is harrowing, to say the least. This is a land where Mothers are forcibly removed from their children, brutal whippings occur with frightening frequency, near starvation and being worked literally to death were common occurrences. Slaves were not even given the most basic privileges of a knife and fork or plate upon which to eat. Imagine a life where you cannot travel, marry or even post a letter without your owner's permission!

Thankfully, Solomon eventually finds a way out of his predicament, but it was a risk that might have caused his own death had it backfired on him.

Conclusion: A 5 star read. Once I picked it up, I simply could not put it down. Let's just hope that the world continues to endeavor to allow every man the right to his freedom.
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132 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking 19 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of Soloman Northup is both horrifying and heartbreaking and all the more devastating when you know that it is true. I have seen the film and although it is excellent, I feel that the book explains in more detail exactly what happened. There are parts in the film where I would have wondered why situations developed as they did and the book fills in those gaps. The language in the book is evocative of the time in which it was written and for me was all the more powerful because of the understated tone.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 years a slave 4 Jan. 2014
Format:Paperback
Book was as good as expected from the reviews if not better, found it very informative and highly engaging. Book leaves you in the mind frame of thinking alot about your roots but i think the book is definitely worth having.
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179 of 193 people found the following review helpful
By Red on Black TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"12 Years a Slave" is one of those books that was important and popular in its day but unexplainably over the years it fell from view and into obscurity. In every sense this book by Solomon Northup is the non fiction equivalent of Harriet Beecher Stowe's classic anti slavery tome "Uncle Tom's Cabin". Indeed in many respects it is a better read. Yet whereas the reputation of the latter has played a key role particularly book in the historiography of the origins of the American Civil War, Northup's book only re-emerged in the 1960s after being rediscovered by two Louisiana historians. The books fame will receive a well deserved boost with the forthcoming release of Steve Rodney McQueen's heavily British driven film version. It is already an Oscar contender in the US and is clocking a remarkable 97% rating on the film critics web site "Rotten Tomatoes". There is some inevitable controversy over the films interpretation of the book but that is for another review. Whatever the case the central performances of Chiwetel Ejiofor as "Northup" and Lupita Nyong'o as "Patsey" are said to verge on acting master classes with potential award glories to follow.

First published in 1853 the base line for the book charts the story of Solomon Northup. He was born in Minerva, New York in July 1808, to a liberated slave and his wife. Northup's life as a a free man and brilliant musician takes up the first part of this very powerful short book. In 1841 an encounter he had outside Washington DC with two men "Merrill Brown and Abram Hamilton" changes everything. They essentially kidnap him and sell him into slavery. This base duplicity leads to the telling of a story of a free man forced into bondage and its horrors. He is sold to the notorious Washington-based slave trader James H.
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No small wonder it is now a film! 23 Oct. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an appalling first person diary of human cruelty and maltreatment, but it does make for page-turning without cessation...it beggars belief on many levels, but also tells the story of the curse of human bondage. If you are a history buff, you'll enjoy the look into a pre-Civil War life, gain many insights to the mechanics of slave trade, and see how slave owners were loathed and loved as well, depending on their behaviour to their property. The film should be fantastic, but be warned; if it is as graphic as the book's accounts, it'll be disturbing. More than anything, this book is about lousy luck!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 Years as a Slave 4 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thought provoking, a good read indeed. Unfair, unjust, deliverance. Glad justice prevailed!!
Cannot wait to to see the film adaptation.
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48 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hard read - but well worth it. 12 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
it's taken me longer than usual to read this book. Not because it was uninteresting or boring. I honestly found it difficult to read for long periods of time. I felt such despair and frustruation throughout I needed to stop reading for a while. I am humbled by Soloman Northrup and all of those who endured the relentless pain of slavery. I am utterly speechless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "This is no fiction, no exaggeration" 17 Nov. 2014
By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is powerful, maddeningly brutal, heartfelt and hard to forget.

I've put off reading this for several months, knowing the content from the Oscar-winning film. Actually, it wasn't as hard to read as I'd feared, but scenes will linger for me.

I've read The Long Song, Chains, Uncle Tom's Cabin, Beloved. Solomon made it more real for me, the husband and father doing what he can to get home.

His writing style is very much of the period, which I don't have issues with, though some descriptions of farming procedures held little interest in the context of the book for me.

Some of the more shocking scenes were actually those in which slaves are 'granted' three days holiday for Christmas, treated to sumptuous meals and dances by their usually whip-wielding 'masters'. The enjoyment and laughter resulting had me in floods of angry tears.

Solomon wisely state facts and leaves opinion to us his readers. The actions of the participants speak for themselves. Bass I would want awarding medals. To stand out against public opinion and speak as he did - commendable.

It's a book that by rights should be reqiired reading by every secondary school student in the UK and USA. More than textbooks, films, question sheets, students will be forcsped to think about what nations did in their past, what happens when greed trumps humanity.

Not a book you will enjoy but one you won't regret letting into your conscience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
this book did not grab me I found it hard to pick up and read
Published 8 hours ago by anne morris
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book, a true storyabout a man who was ...
A brilliant book, a true storyabout a man who was lured to a job under false pretenses only to find he is now a slave in the deep south. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A read I will not forget!
I truly believe this Well worth a 5 star rating! Enjoyed perhaps not the right word but a wonderful account of the lives of the enslaved of this time.
Published 1 day ago by Lynndeeloo
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good Book. I can recomend it
Very good Book.I can recomend it.
Published 4 days ago by Margaret Barrass
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thought provoking book. Upsetting, but very well written.
Published 6 days ago by DOUG SUTTON
5.0 out of 5 stars is just fantastic and harrowing
The book, highlighted by the recent film, is just fantastic and harrowing. It feels almost perverse to get the enjoyment of reading such a horrific tale but the penmanship is... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Scrim
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good but sad story
Published 7 days ago by MR r.e.HUNT
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Found it really hard to get into this book.
Published 7 days ago by Carmela Colorado
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible!
Was looking forward to reading this as I remembered the movie had great reviews. I thought it was terrible and I really struggled to finish it. Read more
Published 9 days ago by SD
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok if you like a report
It is a heartbreaking story but because of the way it was written I didn't particularly enjoy reading it. For me it is more of a report than a novel
Published 9 days ago by Kasia
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