Twelve Years a Slave is an account of actual events that took place in the life of Solomon Northup, during the pre-Civil War era of the 1840s. It follows the trials and tribulations of an educated African American man that was born into freedom and later kidnapped, taken away from his family, and forced into slavery.
His story brings to life a shockingly common practice that took place during those times. In his journey, Northup, who is a native of Saratoga, New York, and has a wife with three kids, gets lured into leaving his home town by two circus promoters who ask him to accompany them to Washington, D.C., while getting paid to perform at a musical gig.
This trip, which he thought would only take a few days turned in to an unimaginable voyage of deceit and great misfortune. Those few days turned into 12 long years, in which Northup was placed back into slavery in the isolated plantation country of Louisiana's Bayou Boeuf where he quickly learned that the mere mention of his past freedom would result in severe punishments or possibly his own death.
His story takes a drastic turn when a heroic friend risks his own life to help deliver the news of Northup's whereabouts to his wife, in order to help him regain his freedom. This heroic act could ultimately get Northup killed or help return him back home, to his family and freedom.
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What a great book!!!
Of the many audio books that I have listened to, this is definitely one of the most beautifully written autobiographies.
It gives an excellent firsthand account into the daily life and unfortunate occurrences that took place during that time in American history. Northup did a great job at putting his life events together in this book.
The story is also told very well by the narrator, making this a real pleasure to listen to. Cannot praise it any higher, it will make a wonderful addition to any library…
- Andrew Robbin
Splendid start and a magnificent finish!
Interestingly, this stirring story embarks listeners on a bumpy ride filled with unpredictable suspense, struggles and fiery trials, it’s definitely a knock-out! This phenomenal book blasted off with a captivating prologue. Indeed this story depicts a free man betrayed into to slavery and it bears a unique plot which will stun unaware listeners. The conspiracy of his disappearance and redemption from slavery triggers goose bumps through my entire body. The exquisite characters were shining with glamorous descriptions and flawless execution thanks to the embodying of Stephen L. Vernon. I enjoyed every millisecond of this exceptional story!
- Janio Jackson