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The Bluest Eye

Written by: Toni Morrison
Narrated by: Toni Morrison
Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature.

It is the story of 11-year-old Pecola Breedlove--a black girl in an America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others--who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.

©1970 Toni Morrison (P)2011 Random House

What the critics say

“So precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry.” ( The New York Times)
“A profoundly successful work of fiction. . . . Taut and understated, harsh in its detachment, sympathetic in its truth...it is an experience.” ( The Detroit Free Press)
“This story commands attention, for it contains one black girl’s universe.” ( Newsweek)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking...well done narrative

How daunting a task it must have been to describe with such eloquence a very dark subject matter. The reader was led down a picturesque path of every scenario and an insight of every character. She succeeded in not casting judgment however the sadness still prevails for all the "Picolas" out there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It was good

The performance is excellent, the story compelling and the analysis is easily digestible. It is definitely worth listening to. For those who can't stomach things like sexual violence, stay away. but if you're able to pull threw from the few scenes, I recommend whole heatedly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Well done

This was a very emotionally difficult book to get through, challenging to accept, and powerful in imagery. Toni Morrison reads it well, but slowly. I think the slowness is good for comprehension, but if you listen when very tired it may make you more tired. Other than that, very well done. I recommend listening to the author's note at the end as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I did not like the book

I had to listen the audiobook at 1.25x speed.
Not sure whether the reader was monotonous or there was something wrong, but at 1x speed would had been impossible to finish it.
I could not gather what was the plot of the book until the very end when it was explained by the author in the "note from the author". It was really hatd to understand what the author wanted to tell.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • GY
  • 2019-08-13

Overflowing with racial self-pity.

Hateful of whites. Scornful of anyone who has created a stable life for their family. Resentful, bitter, negative, run-of-the-mill contemporary activist worldview throughout.

An 'overall' rating is required here so one star is chosen. This book doesn't deserve even one star, however.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mozart
  • 2016-02-05

Strikingly Beautiful

For this to be her first novel, it's purely astonishing. The rich nature of language and raw aggressive content makes for a longer than prescribed listen. You will rewind. You must rewind! Sometimes three and four times just to take in the magic of her construction of emotions, locations, people and conversations. Epic, tragic and haunting are the words left ed burned in my brain.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Anna H
  • 2017-09-18

What an experience!

Listening to Toni Morrison read her own work aloud honestly makes the experience even richer. This is a difficult book -- and at times disturbing. That being said, it had me 100% engaged the whole time! You really get to feel the cadence of her work in a new way. Highly recommend!!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • MerryJovialL
  • 2012-10-01

Excellent but not an easy story.

Would you listen to The Bluest Eye again? Why?

Yes, it is a very well written story that touched and challenged me.

Which character – as performed by Toni Morrison – was your favorite?

All of the story was impressionable. The character, Pecola, was very strong for me.

Any additional comments?

This was a difficult story to get through but it was important. I plan to listen to it again after I let some time pass. It was a powerful story and had a lot to offer from different views.

25 of 28 people found this review helpful

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  • Aidan Richards
  • 2019-03-01

Beautiful disaster

Absolutely loved it. Ms. Morrison takes the reader on a tragic, poetic, journey through the destruction of a little girl. She shines light on the societal forces responsible and does so without ever coming off preachy, leaving readers to deduce their own personal conclusions.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2016-10-26

READ LIKE ONE LONG BEAUTIFUL POEM!

Ms. Morrison's narration was so melodically engaging. I could listen to her all day! Brava! And this story of not quite knowing how to come to grips with the YOU that you are is one that we all can relate to.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Geneva
  • 2014-09-03

fantastic reading of an excellent book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes-- it was excellent. One of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. The book was great and the author's peerless reading of it only serves to make it all the more of a gripping experience.

What did you like best about this story?

Morrison's prose is so excellent. She perfectly writes with the voice of a child narrator-- indifferent, pragmatic, but never simplistic. I've never read/heard anything like it.

Have you listened to any of Toni Morrison’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This one is my absolute favorite. The delivery is riveting-- so patient and emotive-- downright chilling at times.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • groovykismet
  • 2018-01-06

Wow...this was definitely an experience

This is a tricky book to review after one listening. At first I was thinking that because I usually listen to my audible reads before falling asleep, that I kept missing something. But then I realized the story was being told in a stream of consciousness of sorts, through different character perspectives. The ending sneaks up on you...not because of some plot twist but more because you realize who the story was really about. This is definitely one that I will listen to again and possibly even just read the book to get that experience of 'falling' into the world a little deeper. I loved that the author read it herself; I think it added a little something to the rhythm and cadence of the story that would not have been there if read by someone else. Would absolutely recommend this audible listen to anyone else that enjoys getting lost in the character voices and time period of this book's setting.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Readin' and Rockin'
  • 2015-05-17

Marvelous Performance of My Favorite Book

Morrison is much too hard on herself in her author's note; even after so many readings, I am still deeply moved.

I first read it on New Year's Eve 1991. I cried and cried as one year became another. I knew "Pecola." in a variety of ways. And I knew it was much, much, much too late. Midnight struck a while back.

Thank you.

Robin Markowitz

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Karen
  • 2019-02-21

brilliant and harrowing

Toni Morrison reads this, her first novel, beautifully. it is difficult to listen to because the story deals with multiple traumas, but it is nevertheless wonderful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Geekfreak2000
  • 2018-07-25

Amazing

I listened to this almost nonstop. My soul hurt at times, but I felt all that the characters felt, heard what they heard, saw what they saw. As a black american woman, this book spoke to me in a particular way; I would reccomend it to anyone wanting to learn more about internalized self-hatred in the black community, if you want to understand or at least see how it can begin. Toni Morrison is an amazing author, and I cannot reccomend this book enough.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • D. C.
  • 2018-11-30

A very touching story

I enjoyed the reading by the author, her warm voice full of empathy and tenderness. The slow tempo suited me, each sentence sinking deep. This 1st book by Tony Morrison really touched my heart, it won't be the last !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful