Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup

Twelve Years A Slave

By Solomon Northup

  • Release Date: 2013-10-22
  • Genre: Biography
Score: 4
From 300 Ratings
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#1 Bestseller

Now a major motion picture directed by Steve McQueen and starring Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Paul Giamatti

12 Years a Slave is a riveting true account of a free man captured and sold into slavery in the pre–Civil War South. Solomon Northup’s narrative explores one of the darkest times in American history and captures in vivid detail the unimaginable realities of slavery.

In 1841, the educated musician Solomon Northup, a free man living in New York who is cruelly deceived by the promise of a job in Washington, is drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Once Solomon arrives in New Orleans, he is given a slave name and soon realizes that any mention of his rights as a free man is sure to bring cruel punishment or death. Denied his freedom and ripped away from his family, he spends twelve emotionally and physically gruelling years on a Louisiana cotton plantation enduring the hardships and brutalities of life as a slave. When Solomon eventually finds a sympathizing friend, a daring rescue is attempted that could either end in Solomon’s death or restore his freedom and reunite him with his family.

When Solomon Northup published this harrowing account of slavery in 1853, it immediately stirred up controversy in the national debate over slavery, helping to sway public opinion in favour of abolition. His book 12 Years a Slave remains one of the most insightful, detailed, and eloquent depictions of slavery in America. It demonstrates the extraordinary resilience of one man’s spirit in the face of extreme suffering and his incredible will to survive.


  • An amazing read

    By Shaany95
    Firstly it's rare I read a book but this is a must read especially seeing the film first the history and horrific journey these slaves endured are so captivating the book goes into much more depth ... Love love love the book what an incredible man and heart retching story
  • Mr D Powell

    By Daddy 2222
    Fantastic book! Read it before watching the film. Enjoyed it more .
  • Brilliant read

    By Billy boy 4
    This book is a brilliant read couldn't put it down, it had me hooked from start to finish,,the pain that this man went through must have been unbearable,,,,!
  • Twelve years slaves

    By Embrodiery
    I ready enjoyed reading this book wated to read more and more right tii the end .I think everybody should read this book because is interesting and is a true story.
  • Great!

    By DebsWanderer
    Really excellent read
  • Really engaging!

    By Funtasmo
    This is a wonderful yet tragic story and at almost every stage I found I had to remind myself that this actually happened... It's so hard to believe that our recent history contains such terrible acts in our so called civilised society. Nevertheless it was a truly rewarding read
  • Twelve Years a Slave

    By Eeg49
    A bit tedious
  • Twelve years a slave

    By Shazzzza123456789
    Very interesting read. Gives a good in sight into the suffering the poor slaves had to go through, enjoyed this very much.
  • 12 years a slave a must read!

    By Margaret boo
    Very moving story could not put it down. A difficult story but so glad I read it.
  • 12 years a slave

    By Fluff8
    Thoroughly enjoyable read Gripping from the first chapter to the last can't wait now to see the movie.