The Color Purple
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The Color Purple

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  286,742 ratings  ·  5,343 reviews
Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to “Mister,” a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sist...more
Paperback, 295 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Pocket (first published 1982)
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Samadrita
I give this book 5 stars to spite the myopic David Gilmours and the V.S. Naipauls of the world who think books written by women are irrelevant. I give this 5 stars to make up for the many 1/2/3 star ratings it may receive simply because of Alice Walker's forthright, honest portrayal of unpleasant truths that are often conveniently shoved under the carpet so as not to disturb the carefully preserved but brittle structure of dogma and century-old misconceptions.
And I award this 5 stars, symbolica...more
Rowena

I read The Colour Purple in my early teens, was traumatized by the graphic abuse portrayed, and vowed to never read it again. I was curious about why so many of my GR friends rated it so highly and was eventually convinced to give it another go.

Years after my first read, I still (of course) have the same visceral reaction to the abuse but that no longer blinds me from seeing the magnificence of Alice Walker’s storytelling, and how she brings her characters to life.

Celie is the protagonist of the...more
K.D. Absolutely
May 10, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: The Filipino Group 100 Favorite Books; 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2010)
Walker's characterization is one of the best I've encountered so far in my reading. There are many memorable characters in this book, The Color Purple that I will probably remember for a long time. Walker's characters are not caricatures as they are well-developed and multi-dimensional, i.e., not only with both their good and bad sides revealed to the readers but also the reasons why they behave or think that way. Even the secondary characters like Squeak or Mary Agnes contributes in bringing ou...more
Russ
Jul 13, 2007 Russ rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women, students, anyone who is not prudish
Shelves: 2007, novel
I first read this in high school, and really enjoyed it. I re-read it in 2007, and enjoyed it just as much the second time.

First thing I should mention: This is not the book for you if you object to blunt language about sexuality, and strong language in general. The themes in this one are very real, and very shocking. However, if you can get past that, the story does offer some very touching moments.

The story, in a nutshell: Celie, a poor black girl living in Georgia, overcomes poverty, sexual o...more
Aubrey
Purple is for pride, didn't you know? Purple is the royal pride to boot, the one that can afford full protection and wears its self-assumed precious state on its sleeve. There's some in love and some in hate and some, perhaps the most, in the calm reserve that takes what it gets and builds itself a home. For purple is also piety, and the potential of the purpling palimpsest is breathtaking.

If you look up 'purpling', you will find both a transformation and an act of love, the latter grounded in g...more
Louize
Apr 21, 2011 Louize rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adult readers
Since its release in 1982, The Color Purple had been a subject of frequent censorship due to its violent sexual content and language. Not to mention the casual and constant change of partners, lesbianism and the polygamous society of the Olinka tribe. Written in epistolary form, the book is a series of letters addressed to God through which our protagonist, Celie, found solace in her chaotic life. She exists in a time of male dominance and fixed gender roles.

“Well sometime Mr._____ git on me pr
...more
Patrizia O

La vicenda narrata in questo libro racchiude diversi temi, ciascuno dei quali propone una possibile chiave di lettura. La storia della protagonista, Celie, ha luogo nel profondo sud degli Stati Uniti, in un arco temporale che, più o meno, va dalla fine del 1800 sino agli anni '40.
E' però riduttivo individuare un'unica protagonista; in realtà la storia di Celie si intreccia con quella di molti altri personaggi, ciascuno dei quali svolge un ruolo essenziale nell'economia del romanzo.
Senza dubbi

...more
Christina (Reading Thru The Night)
Wow. I mean. Really. Wow.

You know how there are some books and their words wrap around you like a comforting blanket? Well...

This. Is. Not. One.

The Color Purple rips the clothes right off of your skin, leaving you bare and vulnerable. From the first freakin' moment opening the page. You are just THERE and you can't be anywhere else but THERE. Even when you're not.

Wow.

Have you seen the movie? I had. I thought I was prepared. Because the movie was devastating. I remember vividly being in the house...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meara
It was a beautiful story that made you want to cry, laugh and smile along with the characters. Well put together plot line, the characters were people you could really feel for and identify with. I loved the humanness of it all, way different stories were intermingled with each other and how you felt closure at the end of it all. Read it. Everyone.
Austin Wegner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandi
A couple of weeks ago, my 11th grade niece called to ask which book she should read off her recommended reading list for AP English. When she got to The Color Purple, I commented that I had never read it and I wasn't sure why. Honestly, I do like Alice Walker. Possessing the Secret of Joy has stuck with me for years and there was a short story we read in one of my college lit classes that I loved. Heck, The Color Purple was even turned into an Oscar-winning movie that I never saw. On my next tri...more
Fiona
As many of my companions know I have recently re-read 'The Color Purple' because it was voted as the November group-read by participants of the "Feminist Readers' Discussion Group" which I facilitate. I have so very many thoughts and ideas rattling around in my mind on how to structure our gathering next month that I can barely begin to write this review.

I'll keep it brief...

Quite unsurprisingly, I once again experienced 'The Color Purple' to be a harrowing yet compelling and inspirational read....more
Christy
This is one of my new favorite books.

The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a black woman who finds herself in one abusive situation after another. Her stepfather molests her, her husband beats her, and she is worn down by bearing and caring for children. Over the course of the book, however, Celie learns to stand up for herself and, more importantly, learns to love. Celie's personal development is prompted by her relationship with Shug Avery, a singer and her husband's former lover, who com...more
Andrew
This is a deeply religious book, in a couple of different senses. First of all, the main character, Celie, narrates the book through letters she writes to God. She is trapped in abusive relationships, first with Pa and then with her husband Albert, referred to by her as Mr ______. She writes to God because she has nobody else to talk to after her sister Nettie disappears, believed dead. Gradually, through her relationship with Shug Avery and piecing together the truth about her past, she rids he...more
kisha
"They are the blackest people I have ever seen, Celie. They are black like the people we are talking about when we say, "So and so is black than black, he’s blueblack." They are so black, Celie, they shine. Which is something else folks down home like to say about real black folks. But Celie, try to imagine a city full of these shining, blueblack people wearing brilliant blue robes with designs like fancy quilt patterns. Tall, thin, with long necks and straight backs. Can you picture it at all,...more
Mike
"The Help" was a runaway bestseller on the NYTimes for over one hundred weeks. Now, the movie is a top grosser. I can't deny I liked it. I gave it five stars. There's nothing not to like. It was a sleeper hit. It was a short run first print and a first print of "The Help" will cost you a sweet price. But it didn't win a Pulitzer or the National Book Award. It is not a great American Novel. It will not endure as "The Color Purple" will.

Sure, the maids in Jackson, Mississippi, have it bad. It take...more
Thomas
"There is a way that the men speak to women that reminds me too much of Pa. They listen just long enough to issue instructions. They don't even look at women when women are speaking. They look at the ground and bend their heads toward the ground. The women also do not "look in a man's face" as they say. To "look in a man's face" is a brazen thing to do. They look instead at his feet or his knees. And what can I say to this?"

What a sad and splendid book. The Color Purple tells the tale of 20 year...more
Chaymâa
Try to walk by a school today and count how many children are crying; so many to count, right? Little girls cry because they want a pink candy rather than an orange one, because their Barbie lost its hand or because mommy can’t fly. Spoiled-happy princesses cry for no reason while abused-sad girls don’t. They fight!
“All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain't safe in a family of men.”

Celie, Nettie,...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page

Normally, I wouldn't read a book like The Color Purple , because it's not my usual genre. Not that I don't read literary fiction books, but the themes of abuse and rape and all those things kind of make me squirm and feel general discomfort. I treat books as an escape from real life, so reading a book with several injustices isn't really my priority.

But don't get me wrong -- every now and then, I read these kinds of books, too. When I do read them, I have to admit t...more
Dominic
When talking about the power of books, I often mention something I call "the human spirit." However I would define it if I could, I believe The Color Purple comes closer than any other book to embodying, for me, this wonderful enigma. Walker's story, even after what is probably a dozen readings, continues to come to life like no other book. It pulses with the stuff of real human possibility and both the magic and wonder of the human experience. It literally moves me to tears every time I read it...more
Brian Robbins
Raided from the local library, for when I driving. Had seen the film, but never read the book. The film (on second viewing - didn't like it first time - was good,) but the book outclassed this by a long way.

Alice walker, as reader of the story was excellent, as well as excellent in the role of author.

She is one of the few authors who made 'good' characters believable and attractive. Ceilie is wonderful. Loved the way the story worked out into a reconcilliation of the main characters - even Miste...more
Pauline
"But sleep remain a stranger to this night." - Thoughts on The Color Purple by Alice Walker

I can’t beleef I’s took long to read this book. But then again, books have they way of coming to your life when’s you need them most.

I first hear of The Color Purple back when’s my friends taking up class in Film and Litratur. They was made to read it before them teacher show the movee to class. Sure was curios, them says it about poor black womans with lesbian tendesis. Plus the fact that Oprah had someth...more
Emily
I have to give it five stars. I don't know how you can't, but it's a very disturbing and yet so penetrating image of love. Is there a person off-limits to love? Does your suffering justify where you find love? What is the difference between a man's love and woman's love? Is one better than the other? Is happiness only found in loving someone? And the greatest question, what does God say about it all, if He is even there? Is He made happy by what makes us happy, or is it something bigger than tha...more
Brad
This review was written in the late nineties (just for myself), and it was buried in amongst my things until today, when I uncovered the journal it was written in. I have transcribed it verbatim from all those years ago (although square brackets indicate some additional information for the sake of readability). It is one of my lost reviews.

I always avoided this book because I thought it would not be for me, and it might hurt my viewing of Spielberg's film version if I ever got around to watching...more
rachel
I didn't love all parts of the book -- mostly, I loved the trajectory of Celie's story so much that Nettie's missionary experience in Africa had me itching to get to the next chapter; Celie's parts were all feeling and Nettie's parts were all intellectually-received. But wow, Shug Avery is larger than life and I could have spent all day letting her thoughts on God and gratitude and the abundance of pleasure lap over me. It satisfied my soul.
Visha Burkart
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zanna
I don't feel that I have much to add to the discussion on this book, which has enjoyed so much deserved appreciation and critique (the section in Africa is problematic, I know) I only want to say that my favourite aspect of it is the positioning of the support and love between women as a revolutionary: loving women (not necessarily having sex with women) is a radical act against patriarchy, exclusion and abuse. Walker's comments on her own sexuality are so inspiring for me as is the way Celie ca...more
Kirstine
’The Color Purple’ is the most life affirming book I’ve read this year. Told through letters first to God, then her sister, Celie tells the story of her life, and it isn’t pretty, but it’s real.

I honest to god read the last line of the last page, closed the book and started crying. It touched me deeply.

It will hit you, hopefully often, that gender issues, racial inequality, and privilege are fucking important to address in books, in movies, in any media, because to some people it might be all...more
Vern
I have no good reason as to why it has taken me so long to read this book. I kept putting it aside because I saw the movie several times. I thought there would not be much difference between the two. I was totally wrong. The movie was not a total shot in the dark but like in most cases the book is much better.

Walker presents her characters with so much clarity. Disappointment and misery were Celie's companions early in life. She was molested repeatedly, forced to marry as a teenager, and torn a...more
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Alice Walker (b. 1944), one of the United States’ preeminent writers, is an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Her other books include The Third Life of Grange Copeland, Meridian, The Temple of My Familiar, an...more
More about Alice Walker...
The Temple Of My Familiar Possessing the Secret of Joy In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist Prose Meridian By The Light Of My Father's Smile

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26 trivia questions
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“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” 1219 likes
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it. People think pleasing God is all God cares about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.” 212 likes
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