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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 (49 ratings)
Regular price: £19.99
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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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  • PMPM
  • LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom
  • 23-08-18

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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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What a fascinating life.

It was like a history of modern Britain.
Really enjoyed this and would recommend it.

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What a great book

First of all, what a great story Benjamin Zephaniah can tell about his life -- this was really interesting for virtually the whole book, which is rare for an autobiography. I think it would be hard to listen to if you didn't know that of course he makes good in the end, because for a while you aren't sure he is going to make it...

A few of the reviews here mention that they don't like the narration, but I love it, I think it really makes the book. I can't imagine it being read any other way.

One of the best books I've listened to in a long while.

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fantastic

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

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Disappointing

Despite being a professional poet, Benjamin Zephaniah doesn’t read with any flare. The lack of self-criticism in the writing, as well as his tendency to “tell” rather than “show”, made me feel a bit like I was listening to a precocious 11-year-old tell me about their day… “And then this happened… and it was SO cool.”That sort of thing.

However Benjamin has had a fascinating life, so that kept me going. It’s just a shame he didn’t make the book more literary, or at least try to hold the readers attention. Unfortunately it was self-aggrandising in places, with Benjamin repeatedly saying he was proud of having attended such and such political demonstration et cetera. Could also have done with some more of his poetry.

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LIFETIME OF RHYMES

I don’t normally leave a review but in this case I had to. A life that could of ended tragically he was strong enough to turn it around for the better. Gangsters, politicians, racism, punks, reggae & of course poetry all contained in this book. The book itself narrated by Benjamin himself was an absolute joy from start to finish. Highly recommended 10/10.

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Brilliant book

Brilliant book definitely recommend this read, well written was really hard not to continue listening.

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  • d
  • 23-09-18

Entertaining, up to date but a bit too long

An engaging account of the authors interesting life. Dare I say it - not the best narration, would have been a better call to allow someone else to read it. I would have given up if the story wasn’t so absorbing. It would also benefit from being a bit shorter.

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Profoundly Simple

Inspirational, honest, humorous, iconoclastic, fresh, opinionated, wonderful. Even at our lowest we can make a positive choice. Up the Villa

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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.