The Butler

  • by Wil Haygood
  • Narrated by Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Lee Daniels
  • 2 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The story that inspired the major motion picture...read by its stars David Oyelowo, Forest Whitaker, and Oprah Winfrey
When acclaimed Washington Post writer Wil Haygood had an early hunch that Obama would win the 2008 election, he thought he'd highlight the singular moment by exploring the life of someone who had come of age when segregation was so embedded in the culture as to make the very thought of a black president inconceivable. He struck gold when he tracked down Eugene Allen, a butler who had served eight presidents, from Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan.
Forest Whitaker narrates the story of this remarkable man who, while serving tea and supervising buffets, was also a witness to history as decisions about America's most momentous events were being made.
With a foreword by the Academy Award-nominated director Lee Daniels, The Butler also includes Wil Haygood's essay exploring the history of black images on celluloid and in Hollywood, read here by David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not what I was expecting

What would have made The Butler better?

If it was the story of Eugene and not the ad lib from the other narrators.


Would you be willing to try another book from Wil Haygood? Why or why not?

Maybe. I just didn't like the end.


What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

I was expecting a story about Eugene and his experiences, not all the added after the fact.


You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I loved hearing about Eugene and his wife.


Any additional comments?

Could have been a little more about Eugene and his experiences rather than about how we now have a black president and look where we are now. Not that I'm against the "look where we are now", it's just that I wanted to hear about events that took place during his time working in the White House. Maybe because I saw the advertisement for the movie, my expectations of the book were higher. It was this advertisement that got me interested in the book.

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- Cris

Not what I expected!... in a bad way.

I like to read books before the movies come out, so when I saw that there was a “Butler” book I snatched it up.

I’m disappointed because it turns out that this is not the story of the Butler, but rather the story of the Movie! Did the publisher’s summary say so and I missed the warning? It was just advertizing for the film.

I prefer these kinds of thing as special features in a DVD; I regret this purchase.
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- Simone

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-30-2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio