Customer Reviews for

Twelve Years a Slave

Average Rating 4.5
( 331 )
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(215)

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(20)

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(17)

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(21)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Always Read the Book First - Highly Recommended

If you're familiar with slave narratives, read this and understand the brutal language of slavery accompanied with your own personal experience with freedom. I had always wondered how slavery had been deemed as a 'peculiar' institution, and the narrator uses this term a...
If you're familiar with slave narratives, read this and understand the brutal language of slavery accompanied with your own personal experience with freedom. I had always wondered how slavery had been deemed as a 'peculiar' institution, and the narrator uses this term as if to say, "I experienced it. It's brutal, I can't honestly understand how I lived through it."

The language can be a bit a difficult at times, but I read it fairly quickly, and some of the descriptions brought me to tears. It was in utter helplessness the slave Northup experienced whippings and witnessed acts of cruelty. Moving, cruel and brutal most of the time.

I know there's a movie out now. I don't know if I can see it. Reading it was tough. Using my imagination, I cried. Seeing it on the movie screen, I don't know if I have the stomach for it.

Consider reading Frederick Douglas or even Harriet Tubman's slave narratives as well.

posted by Love2ReadGC on January 7, 2014

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Most Helpful Critical Review

31 out of 99 people found this review helpful.

rip of

The sample is only the table of contents

posted by Anonymous on October 20, 2013

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Page 1 of 17
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    rip of

    The sample is only the table of contents

    31 out of 99 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 7, 2014

    Always Read the Book First - Highly Recommended

    If you're familiar with slave narratives, read this and understand the brutal language of slavery accompanied with your own personal experience with freedom. I had always wondered how slavery had been deemed as a 'peculiar' institution, and the narrator uses this term as if to say, "I experienced it. It's brutal, I can't honestly understand how I lived through it."

    The language can be a bit a difficult at times, but I read it fairly quickly, and some of the descriptions brought me to tears. It was in utter helplessness the slave Northup experienced whippings and witnessed acts of cruelty. Moving, cruel and brutal most of the time.

    I know there's a movie out now. I don't know if I can see it. Reading it was tough. Using my imagination, I cried. Seeing it on the movie screen, I don't know if I have the stomach for it.

    Consider reading Frederick Douglas or even Harriet Tubman's slave narratives as well.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Outstanding testimony

    Just completed reading this book. It stretches the bonds of my credulity that human beings could be so cruel and disinterested as to permit this aborhent practice of other humans. I truely believe that this book should be required reading for every student prior to graduation from high school.

    J M Lydon

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2013

    highly recommend

    This book should be required reading in all schools in America. The history of black men in this country has been so white-washed that people have no concept of what cruelty slaves had to undergo and are still going through. Because America does not publicize their faults, most white people have a white-washed idea of slavery,(Uncle Remus) as well as how African-Americans are still being wronged. This story far surpasses "Roots," which is mild by comparison with this first-hand account of slavery. The book is just marvelous and should be made a part of our history lessons. Just like the holocaust, this should be remembered so we don't make the same mistake in the future.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2013

    I am having a hard time finishing it

    I find this book very hard to read. There are some paragraphs where it is just one sentence and it goes on and on forever and you get lost.

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    An important book!

    This true story of what happened to a free black man with a wife and 3 children living peacefully in New York State should be read by everyone so that more people understand exactly what the Civil War was fought over.

    A well-known local violinist, he was sold into slavery by men who pretended to hire him for a job in Washington DC. He endured twelve years of harsh treatment and despair before he was finally rescued and brought back to his family again.

    This first-hand account of what slavery was really like, written by the man who actually experienced it, should be required reading in every high school.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    Let us not forget

    this cruel and inhumane treatment in history, but this is boring. Reads like a textbook, only got halfway through it, old style prose is hard going and repetetive. How many times can a body survive 500 lashes?

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    12 Years a Slave

    This was an excellent book to read; especially if one wants to learn the real facts about life during the 1880s for African Americans and how dangerous times were in those days for them, I recommend this book for consideration of reading in history classes as well as for general reading, There are valuable lessons in living and treating each other in this book,

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2013

    Recommended, especially for middle/high school students

    Very interesting - just one more example of the horrors of salvery, the cruelity that greed produces, and how hatred must be learned. Written from the first-hand account of Solomon Northup, it simply tells it like it is - Solomon doesn't have hatred in his heart - he recognizes the goodness in people (even some slave owners) - he proivdes a good acocunt of the day-to-day life of a plantation slave. Beyond the obvious, Solomon also gives a good account of the work required to process cotton without the use of modern equipment. So few of us realize the massive effort in growing cotton and producing textiles at that period in history. Putting the issues of salvery aside, the book is also informative about life in the pre-civil war period of America. Much to be learned from this book. His writing is easy to follow.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    To audrey..jacob..erik..terra..etc

    U r all s bunch of idiots

    3 out of 36 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Disturbing

    My review is going to be short. Most people are remarking about the 500 lashes not being realistic. Those who know their history are aware many slaves were cut to bits, disfigured and killed by being lashed to death. One account I read said when the owner's arm became tired, he had his overseer take over the beatings or even had the slaves finish the job. One account had a woman boiled alive for visiting the grave of her child, then her bones and broth were poured over the grave and the dogs set free to eat it. Slaves were considered to be lower than animals. It was not unusual for women for women to have their breasts lashed off. Some whips had nine or more lashes attached to the handle and barbs attached to these so they would rend flesh better.

    AD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2014

    Open your eyes-

    Kindness and hate, we need more kindness in this world!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2014

    Excellent Book - a must read.

    Very informative. This book taught me a lot about the period that I never learned in school. Everyone should read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    borrringgg!

    I sure hope the movie is a lot better than the book in this instance! It was so hard to get through this book. Some parts kept my interest but for the most part, I was bored to death with it.

    1 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Highly recommended - should check it out.

    Interesting, historical and very well written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    Really good read

    But a tough read - hard to remember that part of this Nation's history written so vividly. Very visual book - and the writing was simple. It was almost like you were there with them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    MUST read

    Riveting! And so heartbreaking that a man can be kidnapped to slavery just because of the color of his skin. Mr. Northup showed magnificent fortitude to survive such a horrendous experience. Excellent read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Interesting

    Probably pretty realistic, but 500 lashes? Not sure anyone could survive that, nor not sure any owner would want to damage their property that badly. But the book does give a nice insight into the everyday life of a slave.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Mindblowing!

    I believe this story to be true. On that aspect there no crueler, no viler creature, no more ignorant creature that walks the face of this earth as the human being.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2013

    Excellent

    Loved It!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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