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Twelve Years a Slave (film tie-in)
 
 

Twelve Years a Slave (film tie-in) [Kindle Edition]

Solomon Northup
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (711 customer reviews)

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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"

Product Description

An official tie-in edition of this eloquent and powerful memoir, to accompany Steve McQueen's major new film starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Quvenzhané Wallis.



Solomon Northup is a free man, living in New York. Then he is kidnapped and sold into slavery.



Drugged, beaten, given a new name and transported away from his wife and children to a Louisiana cotton plantation, Solomon will die if he reveals his true identity. This is the searing true story of his twelve years as a slave: the endless brutality, daily humiliations and constant fear, but also the small ways in which he and his fellow men try to survive.



Twelve Years a Slave is a unique, unflinching record of slavery from the inside, and the incredible account of one man whose life was ripped from him - and who fought to get it back.



'A moving, vital testament to one of slavery's "many thousands gone" who retained his humanity in the bowels of degradation' - Saturday Review



'I could not believe that I had never heard of this book. It felt as important as Anne Frank's diary, only published nearly a hundred years before' - Steve McQueen



Solomon Northup was a free man kidnapped into slavery in Washington, D.C. in 1841. Shortly after


his escape, he published his memoirs to great acclaim and brought legal action against his


abductors, though they were never prosecuted. The details of his life thereafter are unknown, but he is believed to have died in Glen Falls, New York, around 1863.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2614 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0807869430
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Film tie-in ed edition (12 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H8DTVBQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (711 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,877 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
195 of 207 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When All Else Fails, Only Hope Remains 27 Oct 2013
By Anari TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing 9 Mar 2014
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you decide to read this book you will see that there is an editor’s preface by David Wilson, who did assist Solomon Northup in writing his memoir. This fact, that a white man helped a black man write his experiences may be one of the reasons that when it comes to books by slaves this is often overlooked. At the time of the first publication of this it was quite well known as it came on the back of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ and gave more weight to the abolitionist movement. Solomon did give lectures and such like when this was first published and then dropped out of the limelight, and I don’t think anyone really knows what happened to him, when he died, or where.

Northup was a free man although black, as he was a resident of New York, and his father had been given his freedom in the past. Northup was tricked and then kidnapped and sold on as a slave, which did happen on occasion. It is a part of the slave trade that we seem to overlook when we talk about African American history. You needed to be able to produce documents to prove that you were a free man, and in the case of Northup and many others, they were either stolen, or were not obtained in the first place. Indeed such tricks were quite old and similar ones were played on those Europeans who sold themselves into bondage to eventually achieve something in America.

Solomon gives us his account of how he found himself to be kidnapped and enslaved, and what he went through whilst dreaming of freedom. He was an educated man, practical with his hands and was married with three children and it was truly appalling what happened to him. This story is quite harrowing as most slave literature is and reminds us that such practices still are with us today, and should be stopped.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Born free, captivity borne 4 Mar 2014
By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Although it is unclear to what extent this story was "ghosted" at the time, it is a vivid first-hand account of the experiences of Solomon Northup, born to a freed man in the New York area but tricked and kidnapped into slavery in the Louisiana of the early 1840s.

Having seen the film already, I knew what to expect plot-wise, and assumed that, since McQueen's drama is so powerful, I would gain little from reading the book, the reverse of what is normally the case i.e. books usually out-class the films on which they are based. In fact, I was impressed by the immediacy with which Northup's thoughts come through the language which, apart from occasional wording that seem quaint to us now, is for the most part a very articulate and engaging flow. I was also surprised and pleased how closely the director had kept to the book. There is a particularly powerful scene in the film where Northup is forced to beat Patsy, a young slave woman who is guilty only of going to obtain from a kindly neighbour soap denied her by a jealous mistress. I thought that McQueen must have exaggerated this incident for dramatic effect but found that it tallies with Northup's description. The latter's account of how Patsy is caught between a sexually abusive master and vengeful mistress makes almost unbearably moving reading even when one has seen the film.

I respected Northup's honesty, for instance, in regarding himself as superior to those born to slavery and reduced to a bestial state by their treatment, although at the same time he clearly respected and felt sympathy for those left in bondage after his release.
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55 of 59 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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