Friday, July 27, 2012

Audiobook and Movie Review of Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston


Janie Crawford returns to Eatonville after long period of absence. The townspeople gossip as they Janie thinking that the young man she ran off with has left her. Janie confides in her friend Pheoby as to what really happened. We soon come to learn about the three men in Janie’s life and how she never gave up in looking for true love.

My thoughts on the audiobook and the book itself:

When I first tried to read the book in print, I was struggling with the Southern black dialect that dominated the telling of the story. I found myself too busy trying to sound out the words in my head instead of paying attention to the story. After the third time in re-reading the first chapter, I decided to listen to the audio instead because I really wanted to know what the book was about.

Ruby Dee reads Their Eyes Were Watching God and she did an excellent job in portraying the characters and making the story flow together. I was able to understand what she was saying and was able to focus more on the story than the Southern words. I’m really glad I opted to listen to the audio because it’s a beautiful story.

Janie is a strong woman who knows what she wants. She is married off to an old man for her own protection but leaves him in search of love. Janie soon becomes Mrs. Joe Starks and helps him build Eatonville and help Joe become mayor. Unfortunately, Joe tries to control her and make her very submissive. After his death, Janie runs off with a much younger man named Tea Cakes and she finally finds love.

I really liked how the book is able to portray major emotions: pain, happiness, love, and loss. I felt so much sympathy for Janie yet I admired her tremendously how she overcame her hardships.

I give it 4 stars

My thoughts on the TV movie:

This movie stars Halle Berry, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, and Michael Ealy. Halle plays the strong willed Janie and does a very good job along with the other cast. The sets and costumes were right on the time period and the cinematography was beautiful. I really enjoyed watching the scenes where Janie dives into the water to “free” herself.

The feelings of love, pain, and loss are portrayed well. The scenes between Janie and Tea Cakes was sizzling and the scene of spousal abuse was heart wrenching.

As the movie alone, I give it 4 stars.

My thoughts on book-to-movie adaptation:

It’s very rare when movies stay true to the book so my hopes are not too high when seeing these kinds of movies. The TV movie was more of a romance story and kind of ignored the racism, sexism, and violence against women.

I rate the adaptation 3 stars because it missed major themes from the book.


  1. Stopping by to let you know I've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. I hope you like it!

    Helene @ Helene's World of Books

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    Hosted BY Parajunkee & Alison Can Read.
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    My Summer Read was…Things Fall Apart By Chinua Achebe (Author) it was interesting ☺