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.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
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 (126 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (31)
3 star
 (30)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.6 (43 )
5 star
 (16)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (6)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (6)
Story
3.8 (39 )
5 star
 (19)
4 star
 (6)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (5)
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
  •  
    Kathleen COUPEVILLE, WA, USA 09-05-03
    Kathleen COUPEVILLE, WA, USA 09-05-03 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    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
  •  
    Amie Houma, LA, United States 02-09-12
    Amie Houma, LA, United States 02-09-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    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.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Groton, CT, USA 11-30-05
    Carol Groton, CT, USA 11-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    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
  •  
    Eun Sol Laie, HI, USA 05-04-09
    Eun Sol Laie, HI, USA 05-04-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    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...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-29-13
    Peggy Washington, DC, United States 12-29-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    198
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    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
  •  
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 12-27-12
    Y. Madison, MS, United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    51
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "***Great story***"
    If you could sum up A Lesson Before Dying in three words, what would they be?

    Well written, true to the era, reflecting


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narration of each character. The gripping solemn last tale of Jefferson, heart-felt.


    Have you listened to any of Lionel Mark Smith and Roger Guenveur Smith ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    If you could take any character from A Lesson Before Dying out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Grant Wiggins and Jefferson


    Any additional comments?

    Poignant story. You don't have to bend your knees, you just have to believe.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    My 2 Cents LaLaLand 03-11-11
    My 2 Cents LaLaLand 03-11-11 Member Since 2003

    and a penny for your thoughts

    HELPFUL VOTES
    54
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    133
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Nice book"

    Not the favorite I've ever bought but worth the time. An unusual story with engaging characters. Well read and lovely descriptions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garrett Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-25-10
    Garrett Los Angeles, CA, United States 10-25-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Its great"

    it is a great audio book they skipped A LOT of the school scenes that are in the book but otherwise it is cool.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruno North Shore City, New Zealand 09-12-10
    Bruno North Shore City, New Zealand 09-12-10 Member Since 2004

    "Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Abraham Lincoln

    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    170
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    6
    Overall
    "Narration not good"

    I did not finish this book, as I was unable to listen to this narration for one more minute. It is an account of the cottonfield era of America, not being American, this guilt-laiden book was a bit much. The narrator has a strong Southern accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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.