Customer Reviews for

Twelve Years a Slave (Barnes & Noble Signature Editions)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

139 out of 150 people found this review helpful.

Highy Recommended- Buy It!

This book was about the life and Journey of Solomon Northup, who unfortunately was stolen from freedom and made a slave. Born in New York State in 1808 as a free man, he was well educated, learned how to swim (which is very rare to find in an African American at the ti...
This book was about the life and Journey of Solomon Northup, who unfortunately was stolen from freedom and made a slave. Born in New York State in 1808 as a free man, he was well educated, learned how to swim (which is very rare to find in an African American at the time) and an exceptional worker. But in 1841 he was kidnapped in Washington D.C. where he was forced to work as a slave for the next twelve years on a Louisiana cotton plantation.

This book is definitely going on my list of favorite books. It has such a detailed and vivid description of his experience that I almost felt like I was there with him. He incorporates sadness, depression,and death with happiness, excitement, and love. This is sometimes very hard to achieve when writing about slavery but somehow he brought it all together in the best of ways. One of my major "likes" about this book was that he showed a side of slavery that doesn't get recognized all too often; compassion. Solomon made friends with other slaves that stood by him and showed him sympathy whenever he needed it. But the major shocker is that one of his many masters, a man named Ford, treated Solomon with respect and even said that he was better than a white man (Tibeat), right to his face. Thats when I started to adore this book and wanted to keep on reading. My only real "dislike" was that after a while, not much was happening besides him being a slave and going through what they normal experienced, but that did not stop the fact that is was a great book.

This book gives detailed descriptions of the fear, brutality, and hardships that slaves went through which makes it a must read book because people should know the history of our country and recognize the ones who were there.

posted by Max23 on September 23, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 146 people found this review helpful.

Fiction disguised

This is the worst fiction disguised as history I have ever seen. Many of the atrocities as described did happen and leave their scars on the souls of decent men. BUT, in spite of an apparent skill at writing, there is just too much exaggeration to be credible. Some "whi...
This is the worst fiction disguised as history I have ever seen. Many of the atrocities as described did happen and leave their scars on the souls of decent men. BUT, in spite of an apparent skill at writing, there is just too much exaggeration to be credible. Some "whippings", described as "500 lashes" or even more, are too much a stretch of imagination. (Even for today's politicians) The poor man's back would, long ago, be stripped to the bone, and the hours of whipping would have to been done by a machine!

posted by ThePearlEH on September 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2000

    The Painful Truth

    I grew up in the 60's and 70's near the area in which Northup was enslaved. I am amazed that such brutality once was accepted, even condoned, so near the peaceful places where I experienced childhood and young adulthood. We have much to learn from his story. I wish that this book had been required reading in our mandatory Junior High Lousiana History class, which typically presented only superficial discussions of slavery in our state.

    51 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2008

    A reviewer

    The story of Solomon Northup's life, as a free man, a slave and then his struggle for justice against his kidnapper's, is a horrifying and detailed narrative. Unfortunately, his story is similar to other African Americans during this period of history. His strong will to fight, literally against a particular master, at any cost demonstrates his desire to take a stand against wrong doers. An attempt to make more money for his family cost him twelve years of freedom, pain and enslavement. I could not stop reading this book after I started. His words are realistically descriptive and brings the reader into the pages of the book.

    23 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2001

    A painful, enraging read in American and Louisiana history...

    This is the story of Solomon Northup, in his own words, a citizen of New York kidnapped in 1841 and taken to Louisiana as a slave, where he was found twelve years later on a cotton plantation near the Red River. It is a story that will break your heart as Solomon was torn away from his family for over a decade. According to a quote from 1853, when Solomon first published his memoirs, 'Think of it: For thirty years a man, with all a man's hopes, fears and aspirations--with a wife and children to call him by the endearing names of husband and father--with a home, humble it may be, but still a home...then for twelve years a thing, a chattel personal, classed with mules and horses. ...Oh! it is horrible. It chills the blood to think that such are.' And indeed, this story will both chill--and boil--your blood.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2014

    I was assigned to read a memoir for my AP Language & Composi

    I was assigned to read a memoir for my AP Language & Composition class, so I decided that, due to the movie version’s critical success, it would be the perfect opportunity to read 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup. Because the memoir was written in the 1800s, I was apprehensive at first that the language would be difficult to follow. However, I was pleased to see that Northrup used words that are still commonly used today. In addition to having accessible diction, the book was easy to read because it was very fast-paced; Northrup wasted few pages before he describes being kidnapped by the men who would sell him into slavery. He was brutally honest about the realities of slavery and confirmed many of the details that basic history classes only brush upon. His honesty made 12 Years a Slave a truly emotional memoir and had me engrossed in the story from cover to cover. While those who enjoy history should undoubtedly add this book to their shelves, I think it would appeal any other teen or adult as well.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2014

    To # 1 review ( lies)

    First off were you there to see or go through it.? You have no idea of how these people were treated but i do believe it to be true after what happened to my ansestors the cherokee indians taken from their land during the civil war days and were made to walk what was later called the trail of tears i have a picture of myself standing in front of the bronze plack telling the story when i was back in Mo, going thru the ozarks, no i do not believe for a minute this book is lies but i think in the minds of some this could bring the thought of racisim into thought only because they look back on how their own people were treated and in some instances still feel treated look up your own history and you might have a different thought hopefully gain the knowledge it takes to be humble and realize civil war era was quite different than now

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    Should become part of high school literature

    This is a heartbreaking story of a man with a strong constitution. He recounts his time in slavery with a detail that can be appreciated by free people. The story will allow the young as well as old an insight to the daily life good and bad of a slave.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2013

    A great read

    A first hand account during our darkest time in america history. Its shows the good and bad in people. Read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Inspirational...Very Well Written...

    Solomon Northrop did an amazing job leading us through his 12 years in captivity.
    The way he wrote was very eloquent and typical for that time period which at times made it hard for me to understand. But that's my problem not the writers'.
    Still have a hard time believing we treat each other as human beings this way.
    GOOD READ !

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Solomon Northup is eloquent!

    The movie was great and the book is even better! Of course there are parts that didn't make the movie, but this book is so eloquently written. To read first hand the trials Mr. Northup endured for 12 years as a slave is inspiring. This is a historical MUST READ!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    12 Years a Slave

    I am not even finished with this. I want to read it before seeing the moviee. This is a strraghtforward accoounting of some pretty awful events told by the real man. So far I really am interesyed. There are no wasted words and I appreciate that!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2012

    Sad story

    I had to read this book as a requirement for one of my college classes for history. As much as i hate required reading material, this book was easy to read. The story its self is heart wrenching. The life of a slave through the eyes of Solomom(Platt) is often very sad and distrubing. The horrors he endured should never have occurred.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    As usual...

    ...the book was better than the movie. Thank goodness i read it first. It was definitely worth my time. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for the movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Ender || Blacktail

    The tiny she puffed out her fur, daring him to make a move. "Stop being such creep. Leave. Cassie doesn't want to be bothered by you." She huffed, her ears pinned tightly to her skull.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Ender

    Blinked boredly, turning to Travel in an apology. "Sorry, bud. I have to go." She sneezed, vanishing in her glitter cloud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Scr

    Slept peacefully

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    Be very careful if you buy this as a Nook e book. . My e book ca

    Be very careful if you buy this as a Nook e book.
    . My e book came as very, very small print. The B&N store could not change it
    either. B&N work do NOTHING to reimburse my money. To bad, so sad was their
     response. I was able to read it with my iPad somewhat.
    Still small print but readable.
    Very good book however.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2014

    The description of every character was impressive I felt I was t

    The description of every character was impressive I felt I was there at the time. Truly a good read.

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  • Posted March 31, 2014

    Good book!

    This book is worth your time to read. It lets you know what the lives of slaves were like. I enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    Story filled with profound suffering and resilience

    A little difficult to understand the writing style from that period of time at first, but it grew on me. I felt like I was taken back in time and reliving all the heartache and hardships the author endured. It captivated my attention and showed me so much of what it was really like to be a salve. Some parts were difficult to read, knowing the horrific scenes described actually occurred.

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  • Posted March 28, 2014

    Unbelievable what people can do to other people

    I wanted to read this before seeing the movie. I'm glad I did. The movie can't possibly show all the horror that is described in the book. Solomon Northup did an amazing job of describing his experience. No one could ever say he was uneducated or ignorant. So glad there were people like him who persevered and survived to tell the story.

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