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The Color Purple

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  471,768 ratings  ·  12,918 reviews
The Color Purple is a classic. With over a million copies sold in the UK alone, it is hailed as one of the all-time 'greats' of literature, inspiring generations of readers.

Set in the deep American South between the wars, it is the tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls 'father', she has two children
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Paperback, 295 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Pocket (first published 1982)
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Stef Rozitis It is a wise choice as it illustrates the world best. It is a wise choice as the feeling and soul truth of the book challenges our feelings of…moreIt is a wise choice as it illustrates the world best. It is a wise choice as the feeling and soul truth of the book challenges our feelings of cultural superiority as we have nothing but grammar and style to defend against urgent truth with. "Grammatical education"? The women in the book would have love some as a luxury. Witness Nettie who is so happy when allowed to gain an education but Celie has been pulled out of school around age 14 and never given the time or freedom to be educated. And yet through bad grammar and functional illiteracy the story and pureness of love shine through. That is part of the exceptional art of Walker, she does not tell us about Celie's world she shows it to us in every broken sentence about an initially broken life. And then she makes it incandescent! Wise yes, because she shows us our foolish delusion of superiority in this and makes us cry.(less)
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) If you read the book, it's a reference to something Shug says to Celie. She says that she thinks God gets angry when you walk past the colour purple…moreIf you read the book, it's a reference to something Shug says to Celie. She says that she thinks God gets angry when you walk past the colour purple in a field and don't notice it. This means when people ignore the beauty and good that is in the world.(less)

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  471,768 ratings  ·  12,918 reviews


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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, symbolically on B
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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 i
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Educating Drew
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
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Matthew
Before I get into this review I should let you know that the ONLY thing I knew about The Color Purple is that it was a movie in the 80s. I knew nothing about the plot or subject matter – except for a few impressions of seeing Oprah and Whoopi in promotional stills or videos over the years. Also, I try to avoid reading book summaries unless absolutely necessary as I feel they often give too much away. I felt it was important to say this because as I have posted statuses and comments while I was r ...more
Lisa
"Who you think you is? he say. You can't curse nobody. Look at you. You black, you pore, you ugly, you a woman. Goddam, he say, you nothing at all."

And yet, she is one of the strongest characters I have ever met in literature. Long before women began speaking up about their different experiences in the #metoo movement, Alice Walker's Celie and her sisters resist the violence and power of the men around them and go on living through the pain and frustration, only to find life worth fightin
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Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”You got to fight. But I don’t know how to fight. All I know how to do is stay alive.”

When I think about “The Color Purple” the first few words that pop into my mind are: classic, banned and touchy subjects. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with that. I mean it’s a book every reader heard about. Some of us had to read it in school, others saw the movie, and still others only knew that it’s one of those highly controversial books. I belonged to the latter category and even though I read a few reviews abo
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Raeleen Lemay
Done my second book for #booktubeathon!
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel, by American author Alice Walker, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize, for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. It was later adapted into a film and musical of the same name. Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of African-American women, in the Southern United States, in the 1930s, addressing numerous issues including their exceedingly low position in American social culture.
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Kai
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.”

4.5/5 stars

The colour purple was devastating from page one. I started reading this without knowing much about it. I knew it had a POC main character, heard that it was about women's rights and about abuse. I heard it was a great book. But I still did not expect this.

The main character's life is miserable. I still don't understand how she made it through to a certain p
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Fabian
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In awe of the magnificent depths within "The Color Purple." Would rather debunk Great American Novel contenders such as Great Gatsby, On the Road, or Huckleberry Finn with this Definitive American classic novel. The steel-strong bonds of family, the global importance of friendship, and the ever-mystical soul-defining actions of sisterhood are all immortal themes that are drawn in lush exquisite, sometimes brutal, hues (the purple of a field of violets, the purple of a deepening bruise). In terms ...more
Debra
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
A Masterpiece!

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.”
― Alice Walker, The Color Purple

From the time I first read this book (I have read this many times), it has been a favorite. Walker has brought to life the story of two sisters: one a missionary in Africa and one a young abuse wife living in the south. Even though there is distance between them, there is great love, great devotion and great compassion. This b
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Maxwell
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, kindle, 2018
This was fantastic. I am so glad I finally read it after having known about it for so long and never having been assigned it in school. It’s beautifully written. Celie’a voice is so strong and all of the characters are well developed. I especially loved Shug and Sofia. And now I’ve got to see the film.
Dannii Elle
Despite finishing this over a week ago, I have staved off from writing a review as I feel anything I could write would not do the sublime elegance and exquisiteness of this book justice. The characters and their emotions are displayed in a raw and unapologetic way, their stories are dynamic and compelling, their plights are austere and penetrating, and the writing is evocative and exalted. I urge anyone and everyone to read this hard-hitting, powerful and corporeal book as it has such an importa ...more
Monica
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bookclub
Wow such an amazing book! Although many parts were so difficult to read, so heart breaking, its a story that sticks with you. I loved when the story expanded to include Nettie's life as a missionary. Celie's courage to endure all the hardships and losses, including the hardest loss of her sister, makes many of today's problems seem so insignificant to me. This is truly a remarkable book that I highly recommend!
Aubrey
I'm glad I got to this before my school curriculum did, cause all I would've had instead of Celie and Shug and Nettie was Miss Eleanor Jane prancing in front of the classroom at 70 to 80 years old, full of pity and the hell of good intentions that hasn't rendered the speaking of the N word despicable to her despite all proof of the contrary. Sure, I'm glad the prof didn't shaft this woman of color writer like she had with others near the beginning, but I have to wonder about those students for w ...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
The language was harsh at first but once the flow arrived it was swift. Hardships were told in stride and empathy makes the reader want good things to happen to a few of the characters. And then, good things happen to them but they still aren't happy but they now seem content. This book was fun to read with surprisingly happy nuances described during tragic conditions.
F
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, usa
My gran got me this book years ago and just getting round to reading it now. It was a quick read but really emotional. Had elements in it i didnt expect.
The Africa parts bored me and were very slow.
Puck
“I believe God is everything, say Shug. Everything that is or ever will be. And when you can feel that, and be happy to feel that, you’ve found him.”

The Color Purple is a powerful book with an amazing cast of strong female characters, but in my opinion, it was 100 pages too short. I can certainly see how this book made such an impact by its discussion of (painful) topics and its feminist messages, but it was mainly the second half that brought this book down to its 3 star-rating.

The first half of th
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Calista
What an incredible experience this is. It's such a hard book about persecution and yet it's also about redemption. The book starts off in the darkest of places and the light is shed more and more as the story goes on. This story is about the tough side of the human condition.

One of my favorite lines is and I paraphrase, "I may be ugly, I may be nothing but a woman, I may even be a bad cook, but I'm here. I'm here." You can feel the freedom in those words. This book is about the freedom of the s
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Russ
Jul 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
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, ove
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Johann (jobis89)
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.“

The Color Purple has an abundance of strong, inspiring and unforgettable female characters. Each woman has their own unique story, but they are all linked by the different forms of abuse, prejudice or oppression that they have suffered.

Our protagonist Celie writes letters to God and her sister Nellie, telling her story as well as the stories of those around her. The overar
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K.D. Absolutely
Apr 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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 out the nature of the many ...more
Bradley
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Few books express just how damaging and painful a life of ignorance and poverty can be, but this one comes close to taking the cake.

This is the purple of bruises.

So many people have read this and have their own opinions. I'm sure no one needs a rundown on the topic. It's about women, plain and simple. Black women, certainly, but women primarily. It's a topic close to my heart.

Reading this book induces a great depression in me. It made me physically ill and gave me a squirming heada
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Candi
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Heart-stirring and powerful, The Color Purple is truly inspiring - I don’t know what took me so long to get around to reading this novel! Most readers will know the background to this one, either through the book or the movie. So, I won’t rehash the plot here, but I will share some quick thoughts. My feelings were all over the place with this one. Sometimes outraged, often saddened, occasionally amused, but ultimately I felt joyful as I reached the final page. When I initially started this book, I was ...more
Louize
Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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._____ gi/>
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Sidharth Vardhan
“It is the very mark of the spirit of rebellion to crave for happiness in this life.”
- Henrik Ibsen


The African village Natie visits in this book had this ritual where members are initiated to community though facial scarring. Something easily accepted by most villagers, but with which embarrasses a more conscious Tashi:

“ Tashi is, unfortunately, ashamed of these scars on her face, and now hardly ever raises her head.”

It is a novel about people reacting to very similar scars given to/>
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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 years o
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Adira
I can't believe I ever gave this a three star rating. I'm glad I reread this book now that I'm older and can appreciate what's being written. It really is a masterpiece.
Stepheny


I’ve had The Color Purple on my TBR list for a long, long time. I had had it on my kindle for almost 2 whole years prior to me reading it. But, I’m a mood reader and I wait for the book to call to me. I started it, put it on hold while I did a couple buddy reads and finally got around to finishing it.

There was only one thing in the whole book that bothered me and it was the character that is consistently referred to as Mr.____. Throughout the whole book his last name is omitted and I still
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Amanda Prado
tag this as lgbt u fuckos, celia is a gd lesbian, dont gal pal her and shug!!!!!

at one point celia says all men look like frogs to her. an american hero.
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Alice Walker, 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, and Possessi ...more
“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” 1675 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.” 545 likes
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