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A Lesson Before Dying Audiobook

A Lesson Before Dying

Jefferson is an innocent and unwitting party to a deadly liquor store shoot-out in the 1940s. As the only survivor, he is tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, a university-trained teacher at the plantation school, is persuaded to visit Jefferson in his cell. Wiggins is torn between staying in his native Cajun community or moving on. The 2 men gradually form a bond as they jointly discover the simple heroism of resisting - and denying - the expected.
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Publisher's Summary

Jefferson is an innocent and unwitting party to a deadly liquor store shoot-out in the 1940s. As the only survivor, he is tried and convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, a university-trained teacher at the plantation school, is persuaded to visit Jefferson in his cell. Wiggins is torn between staying in his native Cajun community or moving on. The 2 men gradually form a bond as they jointly discover the simple heroism of resisting - and denying - the expected.

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©1995 Ernest J. Gaines, All Rights Reserved, Abridgment Approved by the Author; (P) and ©1995 Time Warner AudioBooks and Juneteenth Audio Books, Time Warner AudioBooks Is a Joint Venture of The Atlantic Group and Time Warner Trade Publishing

What the Critics Say

  • An Oprah Book Club selection.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (202 )
5 star
 (71)
4 star
 (50)
3 star
 (46)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (14)
Overall
3.7 (106 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (14)
Story
3.8 (100 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (19)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (9)
Performance
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  •  
    James Huntsville, AL, USA 04-04-06
    James Huntsville, AL, USA 04-04-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    "Just like the old Sears radio hour"

    This is too good to be true. I remember long ago listening to the old Sears radio hour and listening to the show while imagining what was happening. This book is very well done.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amie Houma, LA, United States 02-09-12
    Amie Houma, LA, United States 02-09-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Misses the mark"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    There is a significant amount of the novel not included in this reading. I was very disappointed that so much is skipped and left out.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen COUPEVILLE, WA, USA 09-05-03
    Kathleen COUPEVILLE, WA, USA 09-05-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Wonderful narration!"

    The narrator(s) brought the characters emotionally alive and unambiguous. The story is wonderfully written -- tightly woven but the author takes his time so you can get to know the characters. I look for more from this team.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eun Sol Laie, HI, USA 05-04-09
    Eun Sol Laie, HI, USA 05-04-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "diappointed"


    it helps me to read book..but..
    it is not full contents
    that makes me sad...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Groton, CT, USA 11-30-05
    Carol Groton, CT, USA 11-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    81
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "An emotionally gripping story..."

    Skillfully written, deeply emotional, and well worth my time. Very eye opening and exquistely eye-opening. This story unlike anything I had read or heard, but now in retrospect, I am very appreciative of the opportunity to have come across this marvellously written piece of work.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marie 12-11-14
    marie 12-11-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    81
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book, but skip the audio and get the Kindle."
    If you could sum up A Lesson Before Dying in three words, what would they be?

    This is a beautiful story. Tragic and breathtaking, but the narration kills it. Jefferson's voice is mealy-mouthed and terrible. He's narrated in a way that is almost condescending, which takes away from the beauty and strength of his character. It might work if the voice changed to match the change in character, but this unfortunately does not happen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Lesson Before Dying?

    This entire book was memorable.


    What three words best describe Lionel Mark Smith and Roger Guenveur Smith ’s performance?

    The one who narrated Jefferson needs to find new work. The person who narrated Grant did a great job. They may be the same person. I didn't actually check who narrated which.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Breathtaking.


    Any additional comments?

    Just read it. It's amazing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jaxon 01-18-16
    Jaxon 01-18-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not what I thought"

    For what it was, the performance was good. However, This story skips a lot of things in the story which made it impossible to read along with.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arlene 12-08-15
    Arlene 12-08-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Missing parts"

    There were many parts missing from the audiobook that were in the text. When I read along I had to pause the audiobook and read the chunk that was missing. Some parts that were left out seemed semi-important.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Estevan 08-30-15
    Estevan 08-30-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such a good book. touched my heart."

    great great book!

    be warned** audio skips a lot of text from actual novel. make sure to know that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M 08-29-15
    M 08-29-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving"

    I had to read this book for class. I thought I would hate it, at the end of the book I was moved by Grant and all the other characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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