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The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah

Narrated by: Benjamin Zephaniah
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
5 out of 5 stars (125 ratings)

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Summary

Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2018

Benjamin Zephaniah, who has travelled the world for his art and his humanitarianism, now tells the one story that encompasses it all: the story of his life.

In the early 1980s, when punks and Rastas were on the streets protesting about unemployment, homelessness and the National Front, Benjamin’s poetry could be heard at demonstrations, outside police stations and on the dance floor. His mission was to take poetry everywhere and to popularise it by reaching people who didn’t read books. His poetry was political, musical, radical and relevant.

By the early 1990s, Benjamin had performed on every continent in the world (a feat which he achieved in only one year), and he hasn’t stopped performing and touring since. Nelson Mandela, after hearing Benjamin’s tribute to him while he was in prison, requested an introduction to the poet that grew into a lifelong relationship, inspiring Benjamin’s work with children in South Africa. Benjamin would also go on to be the first artist to record with The Wailers after the death of Bob Marley in a musical tribute to Nelson Mandela.

The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah is a truly extraordinary life story which celebrates the power of poetry and the importance of pushing boundaries with the arts. 
 

©2018 Benjamin Zephaniah (P)2018 Simon & Schuster UK

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Who Knew?!

I’ve listened to enough audio books by now to recognise that my voice sensitivity is real so for someone like me the quality of narration can be a vexed subject.

When I listened to the sample , I wasn’t enamoured with Ben’s narration ,if I’m honest it sounded a bit wooden . I got the book anyway because i thought he’d have a tale or two to tell.

I’m so glad that I did.This man has been living a life . He readily acknowledges his engagement in the darker corners of street life and the price he paid.Colourful, totally candid and utterly heartfelt I can do no more than commend this story of a man who with good reason is unapologetically himself. Long may it continue.A beautiful story.

4 people found this helpful

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fantastic

fantastic start to finish
brought alive by the author narrating
wpuld give 100 starts if possible

1 person found this helpful

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Inspirational and thought provoking

I downloaded the audio book because I had seen the play “Refugee Boy”., I didn’t know much else about the author. This is simply the best autobiography I have ever listened to. A great orator and a very thoughtful voice. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

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Captivating.<br />

I would like to meet this man, to talk and spend an afternoon drinking tea in a sun dappled garden. His life experience is very different to my own, but I feel we could be friends.

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A big flat.

This didn't captivate me. He has done so many cool things in life and is an animated character. This feels like he has been restricted by formalizing his life on paper. He needs to be seen AND heard.

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Outstanding

I loved this book. The energy, the performance, the history of racism in the UK. All of it informative and entertaining. Benjamin has an honesty that is engaging and powerful.

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Brilliant book! So sad to finish it.

It was wonderful to hear about the interesting and varied life of this inspiring man.

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Brilliant. Utterly wonderful

So wonderful to hear it in his own voice 💜 I can imagine listening to this again and again

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Brilliant retelling of Benjamin's life journey

I absolutely loved this book. There's a beautiful simplicity to the narrative - the chronology of events, no unnecessary flashbacks etc - that keeps you going on Benjamin's path.

And what a path, what a life story! From receiving letters from Bob Marley to meeting Nelson Mandela and The Queen... it never stops.

A brilliant man, a brilliant book and brilliantly performed.

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AMAZING from start to finish!!!

I loved it so much, I want to start again from the beginning. So good