Reader reviews and comments on The Poisonwood Bible, plus links to write your own review.

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The Poisonwood Bible

By Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible
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  • Hardcover: Oct 1998,
    543 pages.
    Paperback: Sep 1999,
    560 pages.

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There are currently 129 reader reviews for The Poisonwood Bible
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Dlee (05/15/12)

Poisonwood Bible is Poisonous Crap.
This book was highly recommended; yet I am struggling like mad to get through it. I am not impressed. You have to really like slow books to like this one.
Scott (02/26/12)

Could be better
I picked this book up after reading reviews on cover. It started well but lost its way about half way through. Kingsolver has done a beautiful job of describing the country and the character development of the daughters was great, but the male characters (Nathan price & Anatole especially) were single dimensional and shallow.

The reaction of Ruth-mays death from Nathan was feeble and Anatole's prison experience wasn't even mentioned. Rachael's character just plain annoyed me and I felt it would have been more poetic if she had ended up destitute. Overall quite confusing with place and timing details towards the end. I didn't know at one stage how Leah got to America, very confusing. Less pages and more male character development would have made this a much better book sorry. Disappointed.
Michael (06/26/11)

Fell Asleep on Page 50
This book was a waste of my time. Confusing at times with all the character switches and narrations. It was filled with religious allusions which bugged me to no end (and I'm even religious!) Drawn out and boring in large sections. As one review said earlier its was very hard to sympathize with the characters. The Father who was a Baptist priest was shown in such a bad light I hated him strongly. Oh well. So read something else.
BHLee (10/06/10)

Eyes Wide Open
An excellent study of the power of Faith, blind or otherwise. I'm a Christian but I am not in any way offended by Kingsolver's portrayal of the Prices. In fact, the family's journey in the story made me more reflective and appreciative of the need to understand the true meaning of life's destiny. I will definitely be looking out for other titles written by this writer, whose style is at once vivid and intimate.
Elizabeth (07/18/10)

Haunting and a page turner
"Beto nki tutasala? What are we doing?" quote from Page 523......and...I asked myself that question throughout the book as the Price Family continued with their missionary work and all the hardships and heartache the family endured.

The Price Family...Father Nathan, Mother Orleanna, and their four daughters pack for their mission in the Congo trying to figure out what they should take...not knowing that most of the things they take will be useless and not knowing what is in store for them in terms of day-to-day living. While they are there, the country fights for its independence from Belgium.

I enjoyed the Price family...all except the father...the daughters made some life decisions that definitely had their father's influence.

The book is superbly won't want to put it down. You also learn that your childhood and what you learn does follow you throughout your entire life, influences your decisions about career and spouse, and that you are like your parents no matter how much may not want to admit it.

A definite must will haunt you long after you have completed the last page.
Meredith (07/24/08)

Come on...
Come on. Really? Is this author that hateful towards Christians that she has to make them look this awful?

It's a drawn out, wreck of a book that only tries to make Christians look ignorant and supremest, white people foolish, and Africans victims of missionary activities.

I couldn't read more than a page before I got bored of the story. I can't connect with the characters. It's ridiculous.
Sarah (04/03/08)

Book of Burdens
Kingsolver's ability to convey the guilt of foreign powers over the oppression of the Congo and its inhabitants is one of flair and a real depth of understanding as yet unachieved by many authors previous attempts. The use of Orleanna's passages evoke this sense of guilt at the beginning of each book, standing as a constant reminder to the reader of the burden of guilt she and we as readers must bear.

Kingsolver's use of narrative perspective through the four Price women and her refusal to give Nathan a voice makes the sense of breaking free from oppression even more poignant Not only does The Poisonwood Bible portray the Congolese's plight for independence, it also conveys Orelanna and her children's escape from Nathan's grasp and the oppression of a man whose belief in himself as the "bringer of light" is overwhelming.

Kingsolver's grasp of language and her ability to create images such as the jungle that 'eat's itself' conjures up the idea of regeneration that is ever prominent in her depiction of the Congo, greatly contrasting her open criticism of western intervention which is filled with portrayals of corruption and destruction.

This family saga with a much deeper message than simply the plight of a western family in the Congo, creates a novel worth of recognition and despite losing some poignancy towards the end, Kingsolver recaptures her message in her final emotive paragraph.
Cassandra (01/28/08)

Cry Me a River-Build Me a Bridge
Though Kingsolver's style of writing is on its own intriguing this book just. . . didn't do it for me. It had a large number of important points and showed many different sides of the same issue through all the different points of view but it simply could not keep my interest. There were so many unnecessary things added into the plot that sometimes I skipped whole pages just to move on to something that was worthwhile. Not to mention that the characters themselves annoyed me to no end. All they did was piss and moan. They are so self-centered it was hard for me to feel any sort of connection to them. There were some moving moments but in the long run this novel should have ended up being half the length it turned out to be. It just kept dragging on and on. I definitely would not recommend this one for pleasure reading.
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