Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Voices and Silences” as Want to Read:
Voices and Silences
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Voices and Silences

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
(Limelight). As this book explores the upbringing of James Earl Jones so does it discover his beginnings as an actor. As Jones delves deeply into his memory, so we venture deep into the rural south of his origins and early life, deep into his turbulent family history, and deep into the roles he's played both on the stage and on screens large and small. In the new epilogue ...more
Paperback, 421 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by Limelight Editions (first published September 13th 1993)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Voices and Silences, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Voices and Silences

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
I've always liked James Earl Jones as an actor, and I enjoyed reading his autobiography. He came from a very humble background, and he has maintained that humility in his life. He developed a stutter as a child and then stopped talking for four years. He attributes these problems to emotional issues as a result of being abandoned by his parents, but he doesn't spend a lot of time wallowing in self-pity.

He writes a lot about his career and the many roles he's played in the theater, film and TV.
Bernard Jr.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this book. James Earl Jones describes the challenging life of an actor on and off Broadway, in television, and the movies. He relishes his early childhood memories on the farm and yearns to return back to that life. He also treasures the lessons he receives from his mostly absentee father and other actors he admires.

The book is heavy on stage and acting pressures, politics and dynamics. Thespians will thoroughly enjoy it. I yearned for a little less Broadway and a lot more James
Oct 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: biography buffs, movie buffs
Facinating! JEJ is one of my favorites ever and to learn more about where he came from really gave insight into who he is now. The voice is know everyone knows, from CNN to Darth Vader to Mufasa...knowing that voice emerges from a child who chose not to speak for years fills both reader and entertainment fan with awe and curiosity.
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
An interesting look inside the life of a man whose voice filled my childhood, but whom I knew nothing about. I had no idea James Earl Jones grew up as a farm boy, that he stuttered, or that he had such a wide-ranging and rich theater career. A thoughtful, well-spoken autobiography.

(Note for Star Wars fans: he mentions being the voice of Darth Vader, but doesn't say anything else about it. More like a footnote, really; the stage was his passion moreso than film or voice-work.)
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: famous-people
This autobiography is a full look at one of acting’s most recognizable voices. James Earl Jones goes into wonderful, unsparing detail about boyhood on farms in Mississippi and Michigan, his struggle to overcome stuttering and muteness, and his slow but steady rise in the world of acting, first on stage and then in television and movies. His look back and thoughts on some of the iconic characters that he has played over the years, such as Othello, are deep and extraordinary. I did not realize wha ...more
May 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was at Ashland, James Earl Jones spoke there as part of a lecture series. My mother, two of my girlfriends, the mother of one of those girflfriends, and I had a little girls evening and went to see James speak. This book was purchased at the lecture with the intent of having him sign it. Mr. Jones, however, had a NASTY respiratory infection and I didn't want part of that. So, I have an unsigned copy of his book. Which is not a bad book.
Allen Price
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book for what I learned of his origins and talents (he was a stutterer). I also learned his prodigious talents blossomed over a long time. So don't give up, friends, that hope of making it to the New York stage! Well... maybe some of you should.

Highly recommend this book.
Dec 20, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Had this signed back when it came out 17 years ago. Engaging, but could have been somewhat better written.
Feb 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this bio, and learning more about an actor I have admired and enjoyed watching. :)
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended by a friend. Still my favorite autobiography!
rated it it was ok
Oct 25, 2017
Kathy Dennison
rated it it was amazing
Apr 09, 2015
Michele Fitzpatrick
rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 14, 2010
Linn Browning
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2012
Dan Eggleston
rated it really liked it
Aug 07, 2014
rated it did not like it
Nov 16, 2009
rated it really liked it
Jan 14, 2017
rated it really liked it
Aug 03, 2015
Jane Howard
rated it it was amazing
Nov 11, 2014
rated it it was amazing
May 10, 2012
rated it really liked it
Nov 15, 2014
rated it it was amazing
Oct 17, 2008
rated it it was amazing
Jan 18, 2017
Paul Rocchio
rated it it was amazing
Nov 23, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jul 23, 2011
rated it liked it
Oct 15, 2010
rated it it was amazing
Apr 02, 2012
Alistair Taylor
rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2013
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »