We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
A Lesson Before Dying | [Ernest J. Gaines]

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.
Regular Price:$15.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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.

Check out more selections from Oprah's Book Club.

©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

3.6 (165 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
 (40)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
3.6 (75 )
5 star
 (30)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (12)
Story
3.6 (70 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (9)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    James Huntsville, AL, USA 04-04-06
    James Huntsville, AL, USA 04-04-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    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.


    5 of 5 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
    0
    Overall
    "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
    2
    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...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Groton, CT, USA 11-30-05
    Carol Groton, CT, USA 11-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    74
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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
  •  
    Selin 07-31-15
    Selin 07-31-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A lesson Before Dying"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the narrator had a voice that was understandable it would have changed my entire opinion about the story. The narrator has the weirdest voice that is so hard to understand.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Changed the narrator.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Lionel Mark Smith and Roger Guenveur Smith ?

    Dion Graham.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    NO.


    Any additional comments?

    NO.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vincent 04-09-15
    Vincent 04-09-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful read..."

    Wonderful and very touching...need to be in the hands and heads of our young people...really enjoyed...couldn't stop reading...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shana K Curtis 03-20-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great book for teach in valuable life lessons"

    I really enjoyed this book, but I would have preferred the unabridged version. I felt like I was missing out on some important details. I listened to this version and filled in the gaps with the actual text. Overall, it's a wonderful story to reflect on the ideas of justice and one's obligation to his or her family/community. I would definitely recommend this book. Lots of lessons!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    marie 12-11-14
    marie 12-11-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    55
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-29-13
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-29-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    242
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The past brought forward"
    If you could sum up A Lesson Before Dying in three words, what would they be?

    Hope from hopelessness


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

    The prisoner, described by the prosecution as a hog instead of a man, demonstrates his self image by eating food from the filthy floor of the jail.


    Any additional comments?

    A Lesson Before Dying brings us back to the days when the American South still flew the confederate flag. And perhaps reminds us that in jails across the country those days may still prevail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.