Customer Reviews for

The Color Purple

Average Rating 4.5
( 389 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(248)

4 Star

(93)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(10)

1 Star

(14)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Master of wordsmithing!

Probably one of the most impressive accomplishments of the Color Purple is the slow pace Alice Walker employed to lay out Celie's letters. With the exception of a few jolts and shocks, the letters unfold themselves leisurely, over many years, with a few shifts of focus ...
Probably one of the most impressive accomplishments of the Color Purple is the slow pace Alice Walker employed to lay out Celie's letters. With the exception of a few jolts and shocks, the letters unfold themselves leisurely, over many years, with a few shifts of focus and orientation and character, but overall the same in quality and tone. (Of course, as Celie's world expands, so does her world view and vocabulary, and the "outside" gradually becomes a part of her ever expanding horizon.) This makes The Color Purple, a rather mid-sized book by novelistic standards, feel much longer. The epistolary format of the novel, used to great effect, gives the sense that time is unfolding in a far greater sweep than the 295 pages in the paperback edition. But this is only one of the masterful elements of this novel. Walker has complete command of the art of writing a work such as this, and has fully realized its potential in nearly every area of writing: character development, plot, language, style, the presentation of conflict and its resolution. Reading the Color Purple, for those who write, provides ample opportunities to show how well a novel can work when a writer exercises complete command over her materials. Alice Walker, the master of wordsmithing.

posted by Darsey_spudnick on September 2, 2009

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

If you're a man, don't read this garbage.

If I could give half a star I would. I honestly wish I could provide negative stars because that would be more appropriate. Here is what we get from this book... We learn that women are good and men are bad. Actually, I need to clarify that point. Black women are g...
If I could give half a star I would. I honestly wish I could provide negative stars because that would be more appropriate. Here is what we get from this book... We learn that women are good and men are bad. Actually, I need to clarify that point. Black women are good, but white women are bad, as demonstrated by Miss Millie. Men seem to be evil no matter what skin color they boast. This may sound like an oversimplification of the plot, but it¿s really not. The African-American female characters are relentlessly positive and good. Even when they appear slightly negative ¿ such as our early impressions of Shug and Sofia ¿ they inevitably end up as positive models for us. As for the men, they are portrayed as abusive, molesters, inscest driven, buffoonish or any combination of these plus more. Even a relatively innocuous character like Harpo doesn¿t escape the anti-male wrath he eventually shows up as something of a bad guy too. The is not one positive black or white male character in the entire book or movie. NOT A SINGLE ONE. The lack of balance borders on offensive, but because we see no one positive who isn¿t a black female, such an overall tone is exactly what comes across during this monumental piece of filth. Oh if you've a desire to e-mail me and tell me how wrong I am, don't worry... i'll wait.

posted by Anonymous on September 30, 2006

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 389 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 20
  • Posted September 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Master of wordsmithing!

    Probably one of the most impressive accomplishments of the Color Purple is the slow pace Alice Walker employed to lay out Celie's letters. With the exception of a few jolts and shocks, the letters unfold themselves leisurely, over many years, with a few shifts of focus and orientation and character, but overall the same in quality and tone. (Of course, as Celie's world expands, so does her world view and vocabulary, and the "outside" gradually becomes a part of her ever expanding horizon.) This makes The Color Purple, a rather mid-sized book by novelistic standards, feel much longer. The epistolary format of the novel, used to great effect, gives the sense that time is unfolding in a far greater sweep than the 295 pages in the paperback edition. But this is only one of the masterful elements of this novel. Walker has complete command of the art of writing a work such as this, and has fully realized its potential in nearly every area of writing: character development, plot, language, style, the presentation of conflict and its resolution. Reading the Color Purple, for those who write, provides ample opportunities to show how well a novel can work when a writer exercises complete command over her materials. Alice Walker, the master of wordsmithing.

    10 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    If you liked the movie, you will like the book!

    I watched the movie Color Purple and really loved it and when I was required to read the book I kind of didn't want to read it because I already saw the movie, but I think the book helps you better understand the movie if there was some parts that you didn't understand, and I really loved the book almost as much as the movie. So I think everyone should read this book at lease once!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2010

    Excellent Book

    The color purple is about two sisters named Celie and Nettie who struggle in life. The setting was in Georgia. Their mom died when they were younger. This meant Celie who was the oldest had to take care of the children. They lived with their Stepfather Alfonso who takes advantage of Celie and abuses her physically, mentally, and verbally. He killed Celie's and his baby she had and sold the second baby. After awhile a man named Mr._____ wants to marry Nettie Celie's younger sister but Alfonso doesn't allow it instead offers Celie as a bride. Mr.______ accepts Celie and they get married. Their marriage is horrible he does the same to her as her father Alphonso did. Mr.______ Celie's husband has a lover named Shug Avery a singer. Nettie Celie's younger sister runs away to a missionary in Africa. Shug Avery Celie's husband's lover gets sick and Celie has to take care of her. Shug Avery treats Celie horrifically. Then Shug Avery finds out that Mr._____ beats Celie. She cares for Celie and they become friends. Celie then starts to be attracted to Shug. Nettie and Celie stayed contact they sent each other letters. Celie then finds that the children of the couple Nettie are with adopted to children that were hers. Celie later moves out and lives with Shug Avery. Nettie and Celie reunite and Celie gets to meet her children. This story inspired me to be grateful of my life because others in this world have it a lot more worse then you. What I loved about this book is that anybody can over come problems and you shouldn't let anyone put you down or treat you like you're nothing because you're someone and you have a heart. Everyone should be treated with respect. What other books I would love to read about Alice Walker In Love and Trouble because its inspiring its about African American woman who share a bond not because of their background its because of what they share in common and life experience they had that the other women did to.

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2010

    A Good (but sad) Book

    This epistolary novel is an endearing story about the life and heartache of Celie. This story shows the terrible treatment Celie received from the men in her life. It wasn't until she had an experience with a woman that she began to understand love and acceptance. The Color Purple has some plot elements that are perhaps far-fetched, but it adds to the overall beauty and point of the story. This is a fantastic novel that every student of American literature should read at least once.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    highly recommended

    The author wrote this book knowing it would be timeless and for any reader. People learn about slavery starting at a young age, so I believe people around the age of twenty could read this book and get a real and powerful perspective, but also an old lady could read it and feel deeply impacted. I believe that my age, a sixteen year old girl, is perfect for this book because Celie is around my age. Therefore, I can best relate to her.

    The title was well thought out. In the book, Shug Avery and Celie are walking through a path of purple flowers talking about God and Shug says: "God gets pissed off if people walk by the color purple and don't notice it". I believe this title can be interpreted any way, but purple represents violence and pain so I think she is trying to make a point that people are ignorant and don't recognize something so beautiful, like flowers, or African Americans in this metaphor, and what they are doing to them. It's hard to explain but kind of explains my interpretation of the title. It was obviously well thought out and makes me wonder.

    I do not want to give the end of the story away! But I will say that it was fulfilling and wrapped the novel up beautifully since as a whole it was so moving and powerful.

    The most interesting part of the book is in the structure. Celie writes "Dear God," but he is a distant figure. It seems as if she recognizes his existence but he never real comes to play. Although she tells only him all of her thoughts and feelings, she never goes deeper to explain any relationship with God.

    The most exciting part of the book was when Shug Avery was going to live with Celie. It was toward the beginning of the book, so talk of her abusive past was fresh in the reader's mind. The only light in Celie's letters was her amazement in Shug Avery. She looked up to her dearly so it was very exciting that a foreshadowing of Shug
    influencing Celie was near. It made me love Celie as a character and want to help her in any way so I felt happy for her.

    The author's style is very much trying to get lost in the character. She is Celie. As stated before, it is in first person and Celie writes in the dialect of her time period and setting. This makes the book even more realistic and meaningful because it makes the reader feel like it's all happening as they read. I loved it personally.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    I love this book!

    I love this book and definitely recommend it to anyone. The characters and storyline are developed so well. The book only consists of letters so the fact that Walker is able to develop all the characters so well is awesome. I have read a few books like this with similar characters, the closest is probably The Bluest Eye but this was definitely my favorite out of any book in this genre. I also LOVED the relationship between all of the women in this book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2008

    Women Have Come A Long Way, Baby!

    The dialogue was hard to follow along in reading.I kept wanting to correct spelling, etc. Once you get into it the personalities of the characters grab you, once you get pass the 'ast' and 'gits' which indicated a lack of education or a familiar way of addressing each other. At times anger rose at the conversations indicating that young girls were being used and had no decisions in what happened to them. The kind of book that can be threatening to someone who has been abused and might cause them to abandon it. Found it graphic in some places referring to sexual matters.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2007

    Good Read!

    'I don't say nothing. I think bout Nettie, dead. She fight, she run away. What good it do? I don't fight, I stay where I'm told. But I'm alive.' That basically describes Celie, the main character in The Color Purple. She is quiet and rarely speaks up while undergoing traumatic events. It was the most poignant book I have ever read. Alice Walker¿s The Color Purple is a heartbreaking novel with a descriptive setting and well described characters, a thorough and interesting plot, and connections any reader can make. The main character in The Color Purple is Celie. She undergoes many hardships throughout her life, and then ends up loosing her best friend/sister at a very young age. She undergoes many African American issues because of the time period. Alice Walker really reaches into the soul of Celie and her sister Nettie. She writes it with a unique letter format with no chapters.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2006

    If you're a man, don't read this garbage.

    If I could give half a star I would. I honestly wish I could provide negative stars because that would be more appropriate. Here is what we get from this book... We learn that women are good and men are bad. Actually, I need to clarify that point. Black women are good, but white women are bad, as demonstrated by Miss Millie. Men seem to be evil no matter what skin color they boast. This may sound like an oversimplification of the plot, but it¿s really not. The African-American female characters are relentlessly positive and good. Even when they appear slightly negative ¿ such as our early impressions of Shug and Sofia ¿ they inevitably end up as positive models for us. As for the men, they are portrayed as abusive, molesters, inscest driven, buffoonish or any combination of these plus more. Even a relatively innocuous character like Harpo doesn¿t escape the anti-male wrath he eventually shows up as something of a bad guy too. The is not one positive black or white male character in the entire book or movie. NOT A SINGLE ONE. The lack of balance borders on offensive, but because we see no one positive who isn¿t a black female, such an overall tone is exactly what comes across during this monumental piece of filth. Oh if you've a desire to e-mail me and tell me how wrong I am, don't worry... i'll wait.

    2 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    ¿The Color Purple¿ was genuine in its theme for freedom. Celie b

    “The Color Purple” was genuine in its theme for freedom. Celie battles an inner conflict of self-slavery while those around her enslave her body, soul, and mind till she is a mere pawn in day to day life. She is dissected for her race, her physical appearance, and her lack of courage. Her education seemed useless to the men and not being able to master it was only one more failure she had to suffer for. As a sanctuary of safety, the women that surround her soon after her marriage were strong and would never let any man tell them what do to, let alone beat them. Her new daughter-in-law and friend, Sophia showed her what it looked like to stand up to your husband by leaving. To her, women deserved to have a little fun and with it, she got herself locked in jail and maid to the Major’s wife. Celie shuns the notion of running off and “having fun”, but as secrets begin to pop up with no explanation for what is what, her wits seem to pull her through. She finds her sister’s letters after the long belief of her being dead is dismissed by her new friend and interest, Shug Avery. Together, they manipulate Mr._____, Celie’s husband, into releasing Celie to Shug for a better life. Celie began to sew pants, symbolic of her quest for independence while conquering her love for Shug, physical and emotional. Yet when this new life overwhelms her, she returns to her home with her husband in his new sense of appreciation of Celie. The book holds literary merit with its elements of style and symbols. The theme of freedom shows in her letters, the only place she can express what she truly feels and thinks, but then she feels love for the sister she has loved and regained and the women who found her. The scandals in her life had built her up and in the end had made her the woman she most wanted to be; someone that was strong and could just live.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    !

    Over half of these reviews contain plot spoilers. U have been reported to bn. Then u have the kids who use this site as a chat room or to play kittycat games. U have been reported too. As far as the book goes, very boring and dull.

    1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2012

    Mesha

    Yea

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    Good...

    Hard to understand cause the "mr" names are blanked out but its good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2012

    John M. Book Review

    The Color Purple is one of my favorite books of all time, and I read it ever so often. I have seen the movie too many to count. I believe the book is better than the movie because there is so much that was left out in the movie. I assume because of the duration it would have been too long to fit the omitted parts. However, those left-out parts are pinnacle points in the movie. There is something always has captured my heart, and attention about this story. The story represents pain, struggle in the south as an African American woman, neglect, abuse, trials, life lessons, forgiveness, and finally redemption.
    The story Color Purple describes the journey of a young African-American girl (Celie), in the south during 1930. She is the narrator, and the leading character in the story. Walker uses a writing technique known as epistolary, which is “(of a novel or other work) constructed in the form of a series of letters” (Dictionary, 2012). Celie is shy and withdrawn. In the beginning, she writes her letters to God asking Him various questions, and telling Him what is occurring in her life. These letters represent Celie’s voice. Celie’s voice was stolen from her through pain, and turmoil. She has become an object that nobody takes notice except for her sister Nettie. She has been abused by her stepfather, but at the time she did not know he was her stepfather, and believed that her children are also her brother and sister. Her mother dies, and she is left with her sister Nettie, and stepfather. The stepfather eventually gives her children to a missionary couple; unknown to Nettie she and the missionary couple would cross paths later down in the story.
    Nettie and Celie are very close sisters; they share a bond rarely seen today. Celie believes that Nettie is the only one that loves her in her world, and the only one who shows her genuine love. Nettie is described, as the pretty younger sister, and Celie is regarded as darker skinned and ugly. They both discover that the man at church named Mister has been eyeing Nettie for a long time. Mister finally approaches Nettie’s stepfather for her hand in marriage, but her stepfather refuses to allow it, and gives Celie instead. Mister is hesitant, and decides to accept his offer on Celie despite his affections for Nettie. This was a marriage that Celie had no voice. She was treated like a maid. She took care of the children, cleaned the house, and did field-work. There was no genuine relationship between her, and Mister. When it came time for intercourse, she states “He just climb on top of me and do his business” (Walker, 1982, p. 104). Her sister Nettie comes to live with Celie because the stepfather has been trying to abuse her, but she has fought him off. Mister accepts Nettie, and starts to flirt with her instantly. He makes an advance on her that causes her to be expelled from Celie’s home, and it is a gruesome departure. Celie’s heart is broken, and feels as if she has nobody. Nettie was teaching her to read, but Mister stopped her. Her voice, which was coming to light, has been taken from her again.
    Celie goes into seclusion, and continues to fade into the background while taking care of the household duties and children. In the meantime Nettie finds herself with a mission’s couple, and goes to Africa with them. Nettie discovers that the children the couple adopted are her sister’s children. Nettie begins to write to Celie and pours out her heart to her. However, one of the first le

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 1, 2012

    By far, one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. Amaz

    By far, one of the most beautiful stories I have ever read. Amazing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    Ok

    Wow u people are stupid if you hate this book it made me understand what happens in real lif to black women and white women

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    Amazing

    I have grown up watching the film version of this story with Whoopi Goldberg and Danny Glover, and I just read this book for the first time ever. The movie is amazing but the book is exponentially more so. The parts of the book that are in the movie are exactly as they were in the movie (good job Hollywood) and the things that were left out of the film add so much depth to the story and make it that much more amazing. I love the way you get to watch the characters grow over time and how things come together. Also, the book is written in the form of letters, which, when I first found out worried me, but it still comes across perfectly. And you don't want to put it down, you just want to keep reading and find out what exactly is going to happen next and how. I will be happy to read this book again many more times just as I've watched the movie many times. It's absolutely beautiful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Jamila reader

    Wonderful heart felt story that will have the reader on the edge of their seat

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 8, 2009

    TOUCHED MY HEART

    To begin, this book is truly amazing! It certainly brought tears to my eyes. Just thinking about how those men treated the women in their life is unbearable. Not only did they abuse them physically, but mentally. One of the main characters began talking to God through prayer and poems asking for guidance. After reading this book I was definitely realized how blessed I am. Not to mention how easy to words are. Although, you may have to go back and reread a couple of line in order to understand exactly which character is doing what. Once you start reading it is hard to put down. I will definitely read it again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hispanic looking into past black culture

    I loved it and read it during every free moment I had. You feel bad for the main character as she lives on in her miserable life but you'll wait patiently for her to gain her courage and make decisions that make her happy. I'd love to reread this book and look at the symbolism found throughout the book that I most likely missed. Not a tear jerker but very moving.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 389 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 20