Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £18.29

Buy Now for £18.29

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, this novel about a resilient and courageous woman has become a Broadway show and a cultural phenomenon.

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

Celie has grown up poor in rural Georgia, despised by the society around her and abused by her own family. She strives to protect her sister, Nettie, from a similar fate, and while Nettie escapes to a new life as a missionary in Africa, Celie is left behind without her best friend and confidante, married off to an older suitor, and sentenced to a life alone with a harsh and brutal husband.

In an attempt to transcend a life that often seems too much to bear, Celie begins writing letters directly to God. The letters, spanning 20 years, record a journey of self-discovery and empowerment guided by the light of a few strong women. She meets Shug Avery, her husband’s mistress and a jazz singer with a zest for life, and her stepson’s wife, Sophia, who challenges her to fight for independence. And though the many letters from Celie’s sister are hidden by her husband, Nettie’s unwavering support will prove to be the most breathtaking of all

The Color Purple has sold more than five million copies, inspired an Academy Award-nominated film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey and directed by Steven Spielberg, and been adapted into a Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Lauded as a literary masterpiece, this is the groundbreaking novel that placed Walker “in the company of Faulkner” (The Nation) and remains a wrenching - yet intensely uplifting - experience for new generations of listeners.

©1982 Alice Walker (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Color Purple

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,372
  • 4 Stars
    240
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    9
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,301
  • 4 Stars
    151
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,213
  • 4 Stars
    204
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Even better as an audiobook

Utterly beautiful and poignant - two weeks after finishing this it is still haunting me. One of the few books which is made even better by being listened to - Alice Walker's narration gave a perspective I simply would not have had without the character voices and accents.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Simply outstanding


This is up there in my top ten books of all time.

I very rarely read or listen to a book twice as there are too many books and too little time. However seeing as it was at least 20 years ago since I last read and enjoyed it. I decided to give this a go on audible.

The narration by the author bought so much more to this book than the written word.

It is a simply outstanding book. I can not praise Alice Walkers exquisite delivery of her exceptional book enough.

Thoroughly recommend.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful.

Such a sad, yet uplifting and historically interesting book. All the characters are carved so gently and their weaving stories move with elegant ease from one brutal, ugly act to another without ever letting the listening give up hope.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good solid listen

well read, well written and interesting to listen to. could relate to the chatacters and found them to be very believable, as well as the situations presented. hard not to believe this wasn't based on true life

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 21-12-19

Incredible, moving book

This is obviously a dark and often tragic story, but that doesn't mean it's not hugely compelling. I had read as a teenager but the audiobook is incredible and let's you really get Celie's voice and story

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The colour purple

Absolutely enjoyed listening to this story would definitely recommend. I enjoyed it so much I could listen to again.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

beautiful

such a lovely, well written, well read book. I would reccomend it to anyone.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb book, deserves a proper voice actor

Brilliant story, not to be missed. Sometimes authors do a good job of narration, Neil Gaiman springs to mind, but usually they are disappointing. Good audiobooks require good voice actors. Why would we assume that the author is the correct person to narrate a book - they wouldn’t be expected to act in movie adaptations? Anyway, Alice Walkers narration sounds distinctly amateur, but if this is the only way you have to hear/read the original novel, you should still go for it

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fierce, beautiful, heartful and heartbreaking

As fierce, beautiful, heartful and heartbreaking as I remember it from thirty years ago. Thank you Alice Walker, deep bow.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ru
  • 19-05-20

Couldn’t stop listening

Extremely well written and read book. I’m glad it was read by the author, I could not put it down. Highly recommend to everyone.

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ms. Blacq
  • Ms. Blacq
  • 13-10-19

way better than the movie

I read this book as a girl and so much went over my head. now as an matured woman I caught it all, I think... I'll read again in 20 years to see what i missed this go around. best book I've ever read.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Precious Honey
  • Precious Honey
  • 09-01-19

In depth

having only ever seen the movie it was nice to have a more in-depth fleshed-out look at all of the characters things that are hinted at in the movie play all the way out in the book very much worth the credit

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 14-02-19

spectacular

The narration itself itself is remarkable. Lyrical, subtle and warm. The characters seem full and on the blind cusp of their own unfolding experiences.
Sectacular story as well as audio production.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Melissa Hurwitz
  • Melissa Hurwitz
  • 05-08-19

Amazing. Fortifying. Beautiful.

How did I wait so long to read this? Much more uplifting than I could ever expect.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michael
  • Michael
  • 10-09-20

Simple. If you haven't read it yet, do it not.

What a book, what a voice. Alice Walker reading her novel is a gift to the world.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Patti
  • Patti
  • 10-05-19

what an amazing story, its an emotional love story

A true love story about how deeply we love the people in our life. the authors narration was perfect!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Zelda
  • Zelda
  • 13-02-19

what the heart wants

saw the movie years ago but as usual the movie left out some pretty important details.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ashley N. Martin
  • Ashley N. Martin
  • 11-09-19

Absolutely WONDERFUL!!

Listening to the book gives you so much more insight than the movie! Never thought I would say this, I'd rather read the book than look at the movie!!!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Emily Eicher
  • Emily Eicher
  • 25-08-19

Raw Transparency

Narrated by the author, this story felt like I was part of an intimate setting with a friend who told of the journey of her life.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paul
  • Paul
  • 06-09-20

A Classic of Western Literature

It is wonderful to hear Ms. Walker read her amazing novel. I read it in the early to mid '80s. Now over 35 years later, it speaks to me and moves me all over again.

6 people found this helpful