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The Water Dancer

Written by: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Narrated by: Joe Morton
Length: 14 hrs and 14 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Every slave plantation is a house of spies and intrigue. No slave walks a straight line or has a single story - deep within their hearts is betrayal and insurrection. But against whom?

Hiram Walker is a man with a gift and a curse. He was born between worlds: his father a white plantation master, his mother a black slave. And, unbeknown even to himself, he was born with a special power. When he is sold to a new mistress as punishment for attempting escape, Hiram discovers her home is a secret hub of the underground railroad: a training ground for its agents.

Hiram fast becomes a highly skilled agent, retrieving the enslaved from the most dangerous circumstances and gradually learning to harness his power - but betrayals lurk everywhere. And eventually Hiram must risk everything to return to his father's plantation and free the friends he left behind.

©2019 Ta-Nehisi Coates (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What members say

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  • Helena Lindgren
  • 14-10-19

Fantastic story and narration

Can’t stop listening to this story, it’s characters that become so alive and the narration adding a level to the mesmerising world of people. Truly fantastic.

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  • Ade Adeniji
  • 05-11-19

Disappointing

I really wanted to like this book - in light of all the hype - and so I persevered. I kept hoping for it to captivate me and it did not. The narrator of the audiobook did a great job and I think if I had the hard copy I would have abandoned the book at some point.

It all started off well - very dramatic- and I got lost somewhere in the middle and by the end I was completely lost. Felt very messy and lacked direction. Probably the type of book that needs to be read at least twice, but I’m not sure I’ve got the energy or interest to embark on that voyage!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-10-19

Joe Morton Exceptional Narration

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the narration. Joe Morton was excellent and I could feel myself transported into the story. It raised many questions for me as a black female. It also helped to paint a picture of slavery in the USA and the struggles that still exists. a powerful tale but also an uplifting one that offered salvation for some.

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  • samantha bryant
  • 06-11-19

Possibly better visual than audible

I struggled to listen to the narrator who moved between accentuating every single syllable in a completely verbose manner to sounding as though he has never had a moment's education..the latter situation probably being the case, as he was brought up by his black nanny.

I think that for me I would have gained more from this book by reading it.. I found that the narrator overshadowed the story and I couldn't get away from him and get lost in the book.

I also couldn't understand half of it.

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  • xan
  • 23-10-19

Brilliant.

A masterpiece. Reminiscent of Frederick Douglass, with threads of fantasy artfully woven in. An important narrative blending painful reality with poignant symbolism. Powerfully feminist in a way that male written and focused stories about this era often fail to be.
Joe Morton's performance is transporting and lends texture to the story that I'm sure reading the text alone would not have given me. You really should read this book.