• Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone

  • A Novel
  • By: James Baldwin
  • Narrated by: Kevin Kenerly
  • Length: 14 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (148 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At the height of his theatrical career, the actor Leo Proudhammer is nearly felled by a heart attack. As he hovers between life and death, Baldwin shows the choices that have made him enviably famous and terrifyingly vulnerable. For between Leo's childhood on the streets of Harlem and his arrival into the intoxicating world of the theater lies a wilderness of desire and loss, shame and rage.

An adored older brother vanishes into prison. There are love affairs with a white woman and a younger black man, each of whom will make irresistible claims on Leo's loyalty. And everywhere there is the anguish of being black in a society that at times seems poised on the brink of total racial war.

Overpowering in its vitality, extravagant in the intensity of its feeling, Tell Me How Long the Train's Been Gone is a major work of American literature.

©1968 James Baldwin (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Kevin] Kenerly's control of accent and dialect is masterful. There are sections that could come across as rants that he turns into passages of moving emotional development." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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A masterpiece!!! A naked truth.

I was hooked from the first chapter.... Only a bold artist could expose such a naked truth.... I'm in tears on how real and timeless this book is.... This book has made it into my top 10 books....

11 people found this helpful

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What a story

This was a incredible journey to listen to. The details were incredible. Looking forward to hearing more of Mr. James Baldwin stories.

6 people found this helpful

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Exquisite

Beautifully written and wholly engaging. I had never heard of this particular work by Mr. Baldwin before I stumbled upon it while browsing Audible. I am so glad I did! Kudos to the narrator, who was absolutely pitch-perfect.

2 people found this helpful

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Another look at relationships in the U.S.

I thought the narration was very strong. I don't find this one of JB's best novels but well worth several hours to enjoy.

2 people found this helpful

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I want to meet Leo the Lion!

I am not worthy of writing a review of a story so grand and eloquently written and read. Thank you Kevin Kenerly for your voice is hypnotic and beautiful. I will surely revisit this book and any more writings available by this marvelous author. I wish to hear you read other books of Mr. Baldwin’s works.

2 people found this helpful

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Some good insights

some good insights on how it was and how it is for black folks, but the book is mostly about the protagonists relationships with the people he's having sex with.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant Writing, Excellent Narrator

This narration really brings the characters to life. Of course James Baldwin’s writing is fresh and humanizing and endearing and the story and characters are so well written. Definitely an audiobook that you’ll want to listen to more than once.

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Extraordinary reading

Of the many audiobooks I’ve listened to, this is among the best performances. Such a remarkable book deserves an equally remarkable reading. Bravo!!

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent

Excellent story. Excellent reader. Kevin Kenerly excels at bringing Baldwin's characters to life. It's a marvelous performance. 

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Beautifully written book!

I thoroughly enjoyed the performance as well. It was as if Baldwin was reading it himself.