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for colored girls who have considered suicide - when the rainbow is enuf

Written by: Ntozake Shange
Narrated by: Thandie Newton
Length: 1 hr and 58 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

This groundbreaking work of literature was originally written as an extended choreopoem, debuted on Broadway in 1976, and is an upcoming star-studded movie. For the first time, it is brought to live in audio in this powerful and moving performance by one of the film's stars, acclaimed actress Thandie Newton.

Playwright, poet, and novelist Ntozake Shange originally composed for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf in as a mesmerizingly original choreopoem. The New York Post called it "rich with the author's special voice: by turns bitter, funny, ironic, and savage; fiercely honest and personal." Now a new audiobook, it chronicles the interconnected lives of a group of women facing shatteringly difficult issues, and evokes the indomitable power of enduring hope and joy.

Thandie Newton, from the movies Crash, The Pursuit of Happyness, and W., captures each emotion with heartbreaking honesty in a fearless, passionate, and inspiring performance of the author's vivid and lyrical language. The New York Times says "Ntozake Shange writes with such exquisite care and beauty that anyone can relate to her message."

©1975, 1976, 1977 Ntozake Shange (P)2010 Audible, Inc

What the critics say

"These poems and prose selections are...rich with the author's special voice: by turns bitter, funny, ironic, and savage; fiercely honest and personal." ( New York Post)
"Extraordinary and wonderful" (Clive Barnes, The New York Times)
"Overwhelming...It's joyous and alive, affirmative in the face of despair." (Douglas Watt, New York Daily News)
"Thandie Newton’s narration works well with the introduction. Her voice echoes the weight and emphasis of Shange’s words…Newton creates distinct voices for each part." ( AudioFile)

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 2011-01-16

Doesn't Work Well as Audio Book

I found it very hard to understand parts of the book. I think that this type of work is probably better either as a play or just in book form. Each character is introduced every-time they speak so effectively for large sections of the book you are mostly hearing, lady in blue, lady in green, and so on with little in-between. I did find the overall work to be very haunting and touching so I don't think that it is a problem with the general material, but rather the form. Possibly like one other reviewer suggested if a cast read the book instead of just one performer this would be effective if they just didn't say who they were each time they spoke. However, I think that this would make it impossible to remember who was who unless they were very distinctive.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • knitica
  • 2011-01-06

Audible--please try again

I bet the play is great, but this doesn't work as a single voiced audio book. Why wasn't it recorded with a full cast? The material is fine, so is the reader, but it's incredibly difficult to follow the sections where each character says one word of the sentence when there is only one reader who has to read something like
Miss Red: I
Miss Blue: bet
Miss Green: the
Miss Yellow: play

...you get the picture. Hearing the sentence spoken by multiple voices would be rich and easy to follow. Hearing one person read it as a script, character name followed by word, is cumbersome at best. I only got through it because it's so short.

This is just the wrong presentation of this particular work.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Shondalicious
  • 2017-09-11

A Must

I'm new to audible and don't particularly care for "dry" reading. I'm familiar with the book and was excited with the first beat. Thandie's delivery of this powerful piece is spectacular. The content is so rich. I will be listening again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-05-04

Different Stories

I liked how this book was told in a series of poems in the different back grounds of women and what they had to endure while living I wanted to get the chance to hear the book since I watched the movie already and I love the connection very powerful

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  • erica
  • 2020-04-19

Added parts

I don’t leave comments EVER but I LOVE THE ORIGINAL BOOK not this version. They took liberties with the work when it was wonderful by itself. They tried to make it “up-to-date” by adding crack and the Middle East amongst other things. Check it out for yourself but the Lady in Red is replaced by the Lady in Orange in the most climactic story in the book. I don’t understand why they made changes but this is literary history...a classic. It didn’t “need” anything.

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  • BeautifulGoddess
  • 2020-02-03

00:02:25 and I am LOVE IT!

I just began listening and I love it, I love her voice and the energy she adds to the words. I will update my review when I finish listening the book.
****Toodles!**

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  • Melissa Randle
  • 2019-04-03

Amazing

Its interesting from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book to others to read.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-02-18

Awesome Experience

I enjoyed the book, I was also cast for the production and played the lady in Orange which Ntozake herself played in the broadway version of the show in 1976. During our shows Ntzokake passed away and brung new meaning to our remaining presentations.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Precious
  • 2019-01-04

Enjoyed

Good food for thoughts. Reality of some women endurance to every day life. Narrator read well. Really enjoy!!

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  • DeeDra
  • 2018-12-20

RAW

Listened to this straight through during a paperwork filled work day and I gotta say how much I love Miss Newton's narration and the way her voice carried these poems. As someone who has read For Colored Girls a few times and have watched both the movie and the play it was refreshing to hear this interpretation. Ntozake Shange has left a beautiful legacy of work behind. Such relatable emotion in every piece.