The Pursuit of Happyness (Abridged)

  • by Chris Gardner
  • Narrated by Andre Blake
  • 5 hrs and 42 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street.At the age of 20, Chris Gardner arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. However, he surprised everyone and himself by setting his sights on the competitive world of high finance. Yet no sooner had he landed an entry-level position at a prestigious firm, Gardner found himself caught in a web of incredibly challenging circumstances that left him part of the city's working homeless with his toddler son. Motivated by the promise he made to himself as a fatherless child to never abandon his own children, the two spent almost a year moving from shelters, "HO-tels", and soup-lines.
Never giving in to despair, Gardner makes an astonishing transformation from being part of the city's invisible to being a powerful player in its financial district. Here is the story of a man who breaks his own family's cycle of men abandoning their children, a story that appeals to the very essence of the American Dream.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Andre Blake tells the true story of Chris Gardner, a Milwaukee African-American who escaped from his ex-convict mother and violent stepfather by joining the Navy and then becoming a San Francisco stockbroker, only to wind up as a homeless single father of a 19-month-old son. Read by the street-smart Blake, the story's colorful language and no-holds-barred humor make it captivating. It's a happy-ending morality tale that shows how ironclad determination can break negative cultural cycles and lead to financial and personal rewards. Beleaguered men from all dysfunctional circumstances will be inspired by the well-told story of this authentic American life. Few will forget it once they hear it.

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What the Critics Say

"Gardner is honest and thorough as he solidly depicts growing up black and male in late 20th-century urban America." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Book Better

I enjoyed both the movie and the book, but the book gives an in-depth look of the author's childhood, which wasn't covered at all by the movie. It helped me see the context of how Chris got to where he was. How his birth mother had struggled with her relationships with men and the impact on Chris. His was not an easy childhood by many standards, but it was real and it was his and I enjoyed hearing how life growing up was for someone who had it very different from me.

It also, to my surprise, validated that the movie didn't use much literary license in telling the story. While some of the details may not have been accurate, (days he spent in jail, pay during his apprenticeship, etc.) the central core of the story in the movie was surprisingly true.

I recommend both highly. I first saw the movie and then read the book. And if you see the movie on DVD be sure to see the special features about how they made the movie. That was very good.

<note: seems you can't edit the title for the review once you've submitted it. I would have changed it to "A Good Pair.">
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- Steve James

Very Good Story!

I actually enjoyed this book. It kept my attention from the beginning to the end. The narrator does and excellent job with the narration of this book which really means alot when it comes to listening to an audiobook.
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- Lito Da Critic

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-15-2006
  • Publisher: HarperAudio