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If Beale Street Could Talk

A Novel
Written by: James Baldwin
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 7 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (49 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 27.75
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Publisher's Summary

In this honest and stunning novel, James Baldwin has given America a moving story of love in the face of injustice. Told through the eyes of Tish, a 19-year-old girl in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin's story mixes the sweet and the sad.

Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and is imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions - affection, despair, and hope.

In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.

©1974 James Baldwin. © renewed 2002 by Gloria Baldwin Karefa-Smart (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Masterfully Written

Baldwin captures the grittiness of day-to-day living and his words paint such a vivid reality you feel as if you are there with Tish and Fonny. Bahni Turpin's narration adds life to the characters and helps you to really feel their struggles.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Laurel Futures
  • 2018-06-08

Exquisite Narration

The narration captures the range of voices and adopts throughout the personas of Baldwin’s female characters. Such a tender story delivered tenderly, yet Baldwin’s poetic depictions of daily violence, subjugation, hunger, wariness, fear are not drowned by the protagonist’s sweetness. Baldwin drives us into his world view and sculpts a girl-woman in words.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Vicky
  • 2016-03-22

The narrator did her thing, I love it!!!

This book is a mirror of my life. From jail, their ages, their families, the charges, the innocence, to the mother venturing out and seeking truth. I am with my husband this very day 23 years later. I know this kind of love, Mr. Baldwin nailed it. Well done.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Lynne Charles
  • 2019-01-11

Hated for it to end.

Greeaatttt book! Love Bahni Turpin's voice. Only disappointment was the ending. Came away wanting to know more about the characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Erica
  • 2018-05-28

Absolutely Amazing

This book was amazing. James Baldwin has such a way with words. I will definitely come back to listen to this book a few times!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-01-04

Amazing story. Amazing performance

The woman who did the performance of this book was outstanding to say the least. I have never listed to an audio book with such an amazing and provocative performance.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Oriana Bledsoe
  • 2019-03-07

a great book to listen to while driving

I love the story . the narrator was great she was blessed to change for each character made the characters come alive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • seashell3000
  • 2018-12-14

Wow!!!

All I can say is wow! This story is so concurrently painful and beautiful. James Baldwin’s lyrical writing is performed so perfectly by Bahni Turpin.

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  • alicia moore
  • 2018-12-11

story line amazing loved it

the reader actually made me feel as if I was in the story, just great.

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  • S. Davis
  • 2018-12-07

Soaring and painful

This book is so powerful and yet so simple. Young love in the context of the painful truth of being Black in a country that hates you for BEING at all.

JB is masterful at keeping hope alive.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • L. Henderson
  • 2018-12-04

The narrator's voice is as smooth as silk!

I loved the story and I got chills hearing it told by this Narrator. Listen

1 of 1 people found this review helpful