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Publisher's Summary

Two girls who grow up to become women...two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet as children in the small town of Medallion, Ohio. Their devotion is fierce enough to withstand bullies and the burden of a dreadful secret. It endures even after Nel has grown up to be a pillar of the black community and Sula has become a pariah. But their friendship ends in an unforgivable betrayal ¿ or does it end? Terrifying, comic, ribald and tragic, Sula is a work that overflows with life.
©1973 Toni Morrison (P)2002 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

What the critics say

"Enchanting....Powerful." ( Chicago Daily News)
"In characters like Sula, Toni Morrison's originality and power emerge." ( The Nation)
"Exemplary....The essential mysteries of death and sex, friendship, and poverty are expressed with rare economy." ( Newsweek)
"Extravagantly beautiful....Enormously, achingly alive....A howl of love and rage, playful and funny as well as hard and bitter." ( The New York Times)
"...Morrison provides an audio gem that can be cherished within the whole body of audiobook recordings. Her smooth, mellifluous voice has so much command over each word. She honors each sound and expresses each image vividly. While most listening can accompany other tasks like driving or exercising, Morrison smoothly draws the listener to complete attention. This is compelling listening: a dazzling presentation of Sula and Nel's lives, loves and losses, and of Morrison's brilliance." ( AudioFile)

Featured Article: Toni Morrison Quotes on Life, Love, Freedom, and Oppression

Few creators have had the depth of knowledge, raw emotion, and resonating passion as the legendary late Toni Morrison. Not only was she the first African American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, but she wrote and inspired countless readers and listeners over her extensive careers.

What listeners say about Sula

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  • SE
  • 2021-04-27

Toni Toni Toni

After listening to Sula I truly understood why Toni Morrison is one of America’s greats. I don’t know how she beautifully fit an entire world/story in less than 200 pages. She’s a master of her craft

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Engrossing

The text- poetic. Toni Morrison's voice - smooth as honey. The plot details - sometimes shocking. The characters - Bea, Hannah, Sula , Nel, Shadrack bizarre but relatable.

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Boring and uneven

I had high hopes for a novel by Toni Morrison read by her. But she reads very unevenly—changes in pitch and volume, all with a soporific drawl. The story is hard to follow and keeps reintroducing characters with languid descriptions but no clear purpose in the narrative. Certainly not Morrison’s best.

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  • Vikings2473
  • 2019-04-06

Fabulous story, beautiful voice, terrible holes in narration

Very good story, and Toni has a beautiful voice. I just wish she’d used it more! The breathiness is very effective for some parts, but there are whole important parts of the plot that you miss because she’s almost at a whisper! If you listen to this (which I recommend, because it’s so wonderful and sad and beautiful), I’d recommend listening only with earphones, on high, so you can get every word. Otherwise you miss a lot. I had to keep up with online chapter summaries.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • 2011-04-11

Good against evil and a riotous story to boot

This was a well thought out, well put together novel. Everything draws together at the end. In addition, the author knows how to tell a story.

The characters are real, unpredictable, flesh-and-blood people. People you have known in your life, or wished to know. The reader is immersed into the culture of a backwater black neighborhood of the early 20th century.

The story has twists and turns, some back stories, but I followed it easily while alone cleaning my kitchen. I can usually predict a plot twist, but not this time. Something was happening every 5 minutes, or so it seemed.

Similar to the books of Thomas Hardy, there are all of these characters, all of these lives and interactions within a community, an interesting plot, and a thread of morality winding through it all. I didn't really notice the thread, but many things made me feel uncomfortable with both Nell and Sula. All is explained at the end and justice prevails. I felt better only to discover that I had been "had" by the moral questions now raised within myself.

Some people complained about the narration. I had no problem with it, but I listen on my computer instead of a device, if that makes any difference. The author speaks deliberately, but without a lot of expression. This way you can interpret her words as you wish, just as if you were reading it.

In summary, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It has everything one could wish for. I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in fine literature.


37 people found this helpful

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  • Jaded Buddha
  • 2013-06-04

A moving and dangerous book.

One of the most intense and beautifully-written books I've ever read. Experiencing the emotions and ideas within this story could change you. In my estimation, this short book is on a par with Homer's Odyssey. No, actually, it's definitely better. (I *know* this sounds like hyperbole, but I really mean it.)

Morrison's reading is terrific.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-30

Very descriptive

I really like how she strings her metaphors and similes together. At times I felt like I was hanging out with the girl, or at the water's edge.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Monica
  • 2019-12-26

I just didn't get it

Sorry, I just didn't get this book and why it got great reviews. Toni Morrison's voice is a whisper, so I had to switch to reading the book. I read it for book club, and a few of the group got way more out of it than I did. But everyone who listened had a hard time hearing Toni Morrison.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Raquel Saltiel
  • 2018-08-17

my experience

I love the story I love Toni Morrison's voice, but this time I thought she whispered too much or she spoke too softly and sometimes words could not be understood

6 people found this helpful

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  • sitatdesk
  • 2019-03-28

Super Natural

Toni Morrison's magical storytelling once again reveals deep emotions of US (especially Mid-South) history. A brilliant, impressionistic piece of literature.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 2016-10-01

performance 10

this was the most unbearably beautiful reading. I want to start all over. she is simply extraordinary.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kimm
  • 2010-07-26

A bit too complicated for easy listening

I must actually read this one - as it does sound interesting but a bit too foreign for easy listening - i'v started it over and again but do recommend for someone who can do nothing while listening - hope this helps.

15 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Donna
  • 2009-03-07

Terrible

I love Toni Morrion's books and have read several. I purchased Sula and Beloved. What a mistake. She is a terrible reader, slow, wispy, frequent pauses. I suffered through Sula but after the first chapter gave up on Beloved. Listen to a sample of the book, prior to purchase, to evaluate the reading style. It may work for some but it definitely did not work for me.

21 people found this helpful