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Are you looking for a book that exposes the harsh realities of poverty and housing insecurity in the United States? Look no further than “Evicted,” the Pulitzer Prize-winning book turned audiobook by Matthew Desmond. As the title suggests, “Evicted” examines the ways in which poverty and profit intersect in American cities, shedding light on the struggles faced by those who have no place to call home.

In this review, we’ll take a deep dive into the audiobook version of “Evicted,” exploring its themes, characters, and impact on society. From the author’s perspective to the critical reception of the book, we’ll cover it all. So sit back, plug in your headphones, and let’s explore “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.”

Key Takeaways:

  • “Evicted” exposes the harsh realities of poverty and housing insecurity in American cities.
  • The audiobook version of “Evicted” provides a deep dive into the book’s themes and characters.
  • The book’s impact goes beyond the literary world and has helped spark policy discussions about poverty and housing issues.
  • “Evicted” is a powerful and emotional audiobook that will leave listeners with a greater understanding of the struggles faced by marginalized communities.
  • If you’re looking for a thought-provoking and impactful audiobook, “Evicted” should be at the top of your list.

Understanding the Author’s Perspective

Matthew Desmond, a sociologist and professor at Princeton University, was inspired to write “Evicted” after spending several years researching poverty in America. His work focuses on the lives of low-income families and their experiences with housing insecurity in Milwaukee. Desmond’s perspective as an academic and researcher is evident in the book, as he draws upon extensive data and analysis to present a nuanced and compelling narrative.

However, Desmond’s passion for social justice and advocacy is also a driving force behind “Evicted.” He brings a personal and empathetic touch to the book, based on his experiences living in impoverished neighborhoods and working with disadvantaged communities. Through his writing, Desmond aims to shed light on the structural issues that perpetuate poverty and provide a platform for marginalized voices.

Overall, understanding Desmond’s perspective is crucial to fully appreciate the depth and significance of “Evicted.” His interdisciplinary approach and personal investment in the subject matter make for a powerful and impactful narrative that touches on themes of inequality, resilience, and hope.

Synopsis of “Evicted”

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” is a non-fiction audiobook written by Matthew Desmond. In this compelling narrative, Desmond explores the social and economic issues of poverty and housing insecurity in the United States.

The audiobook follows the lives of eight families as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads, navigating the harsh realities of eviction and homelessness in Milwaukee. Desmond’s research and interviews provide a vivid portrayal of the hardships and systemic inequalities faced by those living in poverty.

Through vivid storytelling and thorough research, “Evicted” sheds light on the complex ways in which poverty and eviction are interconnected, highlighting the role of landlords, policymakers, and communities in perpetuating these issues. The audiobook offers a potent indictment of profit-driven housing policies that have led to a crisis in affordable housing.

Central Themes

  • Poverty
  • Housing insecurity
  • Eviction
  • Systemic inequalities
  • Profit-driven policies

Main Characters

Character Description
Arleen A single mother of two struggling to find stable housing
Tobin A landlord struggling to make ends meet
Vanetta A woman with a history of evictions who befriends Arleen
Scott A former nurse who is evicted and becomes homeless

Overall, “Evicted” is a poignant and thought-provoking audiobook that offers a powerful critique of America’s housing policies while humanizing the real-life struggles of those impacted by poverty and eviction.

The Social Impact of “Evicted”

The audiobook “Evicted” has had a profound social impact, shedding light on the harsh realities of poverty and housing insecurity in the United States. By vividly portraying the lives of families struggling to keep a roof over their heads, Matthew Desmond’s work has stimulated public discourse and policy discussions surrounding these issues.

As a result of the book’s impact, the public has become more aware of the need for affordable housing and social welfare programs that provide meaningful assistance to those in need. Furthermore, policymakers and elected officials have been inspired to take action, implementing policies that prioritize affordable housing and support structures for marginalized communities.

The impact of “Evicted” on the public’s understanding of poverty and housing insecurity is underscored by the recognition and acclaim it has received. The book was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction in 2017, cementing its place as a landmark work on the subject.

Narration Style and Performance

One of the most important aspects of any audiobook is the narration style and performance of the narrator(s). A skilled narrator can bring the story to life, capturing the emotions and nuances of each character and scene, while a lackluster performance can detract from the listening experience.

In “Evicted,” the audiobook is narrated by Dion Graham, who delivers a powerful and compelling performance. Graham’s voice is rich and resonant, with an impressive range of accents and inflections that bring each character to life.

“Dion Graham has a deep, warm voice that is perfect for the subject matter of this book. He captures the heart and emotion of every scene, and makes you feel like you are right there with the characters.”

Graham’s narration style is engaging and conversational, drawing the listener in and making them feel like they are part of the story. He skillfully navigates the complex themes and messages explored in “Evicted,” seamlessly transitioning from one chapter to the next.

overall listening experience of “Evicted” is enhanced by Graham’s exceptional performance, making it an audiobook that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

Character Development and Storytelling

One of the strengths of “Evicted” is Matthew Desmond’s adept characterization and storytelling techniques. The author introduces readers to a diverse cast of individuals struggling to make ends meet in a system that seems stacked against them.

Through vivid descriptions and compelling dialogue, Desmond brings these characters to life, allowing readers to empathize with their struggles and root for their successes. Characters like Arleen and Scott reveal the harsh reality of living in poverty and the constant battle to maintain a stable home.

At the same time, Desmond weaves in broader sociological themes, exploring the impact of eviction on individuals and communities. By blending personal stories with academic research, he creates a narrative that is both engaging and informative.

Overall, “Evicted” is a triumph of character development and storytelling, offering a frank and unflinching look at the impact of poverty and housing insecurity in the American city.

Character Development and Storytelling

Research and Analysis in “Evicted”

The research and analysis conducted by Matthew Desmond in “Evicted” form a critical basis for the audiobook’s exploration of poverty and profit in the American city. Desmond draws upon meticulous research and personal observations to present a compelling and nuanced portrayal of the housing crisis in America.

Desmond’s research is extensive, ranging from in-depth interviews with tenants and landlords to data analysis of eviction records and housing policies. This multi-faceted approach allows him to paint a comprehensive picture of the complex web of factors that contribute to housing insecurity and homelessness.

The author’s analytical approach is equally impressive, as he effectively synthesizes his research into a powerful and persuasive argument about the systemic inequalities that perpetuate poverty and housing insecurity. Desmond’s analysis sheds light on the ways in which profit-driven systems disproportionately impact marginalized communities, highlighting the urgent need for systemic change.

Desmond’s research-based arguments in “Evicted” have had a significant impact on public discourse surrounding poverty and housing insecurity in the United States. The book’s insights have informed policy discussions at the local and national levels, calling attention to the need for greater social and economic equity in housing.

In conclusion, the research and analysis in “Evicted” demonstrate the author’s commitment to uncovering the hidden dimensions of poverty and housing insecurity in America. Through his meticulous research and analytical approach, Desmond presents a powerful and persuasive narrative about the urgent need for systemic change in housing policy.

Themes and Messages Explored

“Evicted” explores a wide range of themes and messages that are relevant in today’s society. One of the most prominent themes is the cycle of poverty and its far-reaching effects on individuals and communities. Through the stories of those facing eviction, Matthew Desmond shows how difficult it is to break out of poverty, even with hard work and determination.

The book also addresses systemic inequalities in the housing market, highlighting the ways in which landlords and property managers take advantage of vulnerable tenants. By focusing on marginalized communities and the struggles they face, Desmond sheds light on the need for broader policy changes to address these issues.

Additionally, “Evicted” highlights the importance of empathy and understanding towards those who are facing eviction. It encourages readers to see beyond stereotypes and biases, and to recognize the humanity and dignity of all individuals.

“We have failed to fully appreciate how deeply housing is implicated in the creation of poverty. Not everyone living in a distressed neighborhood is associated with gang members, parole officers, employers with benighted views of their applicants’ worth, and single mothers struggling to do right by their kids. But nearly all of them are living in bad housing. If we want to get serious about poverty in America, we need to get serious about how we house the poor.” – Matthew Desmond

Critical Reception of “Evicted”

“Evicted” has generated widespread acclaim for its insightful and empathetic portrayal of poverty and housing insecurity in the American city. The book has received numerous awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, and the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

Expert reviewers have praised Matthew Desmond’s rigorous research, compassionate storytelling, and ability to illuminate the complex issues surrounding eviction and poverty. “Evicted” has been hailed as a “groundbreaking” and “heartbreaking” work that exposes the harsh realities of life for many low-income Americans.

“[Desmond] has written a remarkable book that everyone should read… It is beautiful, devastating, unvarnished truth… [and] one of the most important books of this century.”
– David L. Kirp, The San Francisco Chronicle

Readers have also responded warmly to “Evicted,” with many noting its emotional impact and relevance to contemporary social issues. The book has maintained a high rating on Goodreads and Amazon, indicating a strong and enduring public appreciation.

Overall, critical reception of “Evicted” has been overwhelmingly positive, with many praising its willingness to tackle difficult subjects and its potential to spur change and foster empathy.

Notable Awards and Accolades for “Evicted”

Award Year Category
National Book Critics Circle Award 2016 Nonfiction
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction 2017 Nonfiction
Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction 2017 Nonfiction

Personal Reflections and Takeaways

Listening to “Evicted” by Matthew Desmond was truly eye-opening. The vivid accounts of poverty and housing insecurity in the American city left a profound impact on me, both emotionally and intellectually. The author’s honesty and compassion for those struggling to make ends meet is palpable throughout the audiobook, and I found myself deeply invested in the lives of the characters portrayed.

One major takeaway from “Evicted” is the systemic nature of poverty and how it traps individuals and families in a cycle of hardship. The book highlights the ways in which landlords, banks, and other institutions profit from poverty, contributing to a perpetuation of the problem. This was a sobering realization for me, and it underlines the importance of confronting the issue at a societal level.

Another key takeaway was the importance of empathy and compassion in tackling social issues. “Evicted” tells the stories of real people, and the author’s ability to capture their humanity and complexities reminds us that poverty is not simply an abstract concept but affects the lives of millions of people every day. It is crucial to approach poverty and housing insecurity with understanding and a desire to create solutions that work for those affected.

“The struggle for decent affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues of our time. ‘Evicted’ offers a critical examination of the forces that contribute to this crisis and a compelling argument for why we need to address it now.” – Barack Obama

In conclusion, “Evicted” is a vital and poignant work that sheds light on the realities of poverty and profit in the American city. Its impact on public discourse and policy discussions is undeniable, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of addressing social issues with empathy and compassion.


In conclusion, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond is a powerful audiobook that provides a sobering look at the realities of poverty and housing insecurity in the United States. Through the lens of real-life characters, Desmond highlights the systemic inequalities and injustices that perpetuate this cycle of poverty and profit.

The audiobook’s strengths lie in its impactful storytelling and thorough research, which provide a nuanced and thought-provoking perspective on the issues at hand. While the narration style and performance could have been more dynamic, the potency of the book’s message more than makes up for these shortcomings.

Overall, “Evicted” is an essential listen for anyone looking to gain a deeper understanding of poverty and housing insecurity in the American city, and the broader societal issues they represent. Through its powerful themes and messages, “Evicted” challenges listeners to rethink how we approach these complex problems and consider the impact of our actions on those most vulnerable.


Is “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond available as an audiobook?

Yes, “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” is available as an audiobook.

What are the main themes of “Evicted”?

The main themes of “Evicted” are poverty and profit in the American city.

Can you provide a brief synopsis of “Evicted”?

“Evicted” explores the intertwining stories of landlords and tenants as they navigate the challenges and consequences of eviction within the context of poverty and profit in the American city.

What is the social impact of “Evicted”?

“Evicted” sheds light on the realities of poverty and housing insecurity in the United States, sparking important discussions and influencing public discourse and policy surrounding these issues.

How is the narration style and performance in the audiobook?

The narration style and performance in the audiobook effectively capture the emotions and nuances of the story, enhancing the overall listening experience.

How is the character development and storytelling in “Evicted”?

Matthew Desmond employs powerful character development and storytelling techniques that portray relatable characters and construct a compelling narrative arc in “Evicted”.

How does Matthew Desmond use research and analysis in “Evicted”?

Matthew Desmond conducts in-depth research and employs analytical approaches in presenting the issues of poverty and profit in the American city, enhancing the credibility and impact of his arguments.

What are the main themes and messages explored in “Evicted”?

“Evicted” delves into themes such as systemic inequalities, the cycle of poverty, and the struggles faced by marginalized communities, delivering important messages that resonate with today’s society.

How has “Evicted” been critically received?

“Evicted” has garnered critical acclaim, receiving positive reviews from experts and readers alike. It has become a prominent part of the literary and social justice discourse.

What are some personal reflections and takeaways from listening to “Evicted”?

Listening to “Evicted” evokes strong emotional and intellectual responses, leaving listeners with a deeper understanding of poverty and housing issues in the American city and its impact on individuals and communities.

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