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Twelve Years A Slave by [Northup, Solomon]
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Twelve Years A Slave Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,967 customer reviews

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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"

About the Author

SOLOMON NORTHUP was born in 1808 and lived as a free man in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and three children until his capture and enslavement in 1841. He was one of very few who were able to regain their freedom after being kidnapped and sold into slavery. After he returned to New York, he published his memoir and became an active abolitionist, lecturing throughout the Northeast about his experiences.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1044 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • 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: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 2,967 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,721 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

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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"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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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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Superb account of the trials and tribulations of slavery. Necessarily diluted and compressed for the otherwise brilliant film. I cannot understand why this book hasn't been required reading for the last 150 years.
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I know its probably a sin to say it but I found this book really boring, even the fact it was a true story couldn't keep me gripped. It was too slow for my liking. I can't believe I am saying this but I think I would rather have watched the film!
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I bought this after seeing the film and didn't expect it to be easy to read because it was written such a long time ago. However, the English was very easy to read - it was just the story that wasn't. Such a sobering tale. The film sticks pretty close and the deviations are clearly for a reason - they don't materially alter the story. Saw an interview with Steve McQueen, who directed the film, in which he said that the book was widely read until the Civil War after which the American public were more interested in the stories about the soldiers - I suppose they thought the battle against slavery had been won.
One great thing about this story is Solomon's generosity of spirit. He speaks kindly of one of his masters, suggesting that he had no choice but to be a slaver because he had been raised to that way of life and all his money was tied up in the trade but that at least he was good to his slaves. Steve McQueen suggested that that slaver was actually the worst of all because he knew it was wrong but carried on owning people.
A rare first hand account by an educated man - most slaves didn't get the chance to learn their letters and tell their stories.
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I consider this book to be essential reading for everyone. I read it to prepare myself for the film and am glad I did. It is a very moving personal account of Northup's kidnapping and slavery. The few flaws in the narrative give it an authentic tone. A very moving account.
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It is frustrating that no one has proof read the Kindle edition to remove typos. This seems to be a general problem with old books transferred to Kindle - but it is annoying. Recommed you buy the print edition.
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