A Lesson Before Dying

  • by Ernest J. Gaines
  • Narrated by Lionel Mark Smith, Roger Guenveur Smith
  • 3 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

An Oprah Book Club selection.


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Customer Reviews

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A Lesson Before Dying

Very heart felt story beautifully told. Such a sad narrative. I find it difficult to accept that people can judge so unfairly, with devastating consequences. How many innocent people were murdered by the law this way? The journey of the incident right through to the very end is about Jefferson, how his family Nan Nan and everyone is impacted. The defence were right, the murder and robbery was not Jefferson. Not a thing, or a hog but a strong, innocent man with the support of the teacher. Some seriously thought provoking story, told brilliantly. Saddening, true and disgusted by the attitudes and inequalities which should be told to allow anyone to see what happened, what one mans support for another and to prepare him to stand strong and be a man is a difficult journey to hear. The impact and difference one teacher has on Jefferson, provided him with strength and courage with new experiences which helped him.

This should be listened to by everyone, after all no money for the book, or the couple of hours you spare to listen are priceless. The lessons you learn, with your perspective and thoughts challenged and understand why change was needed to allow equality for all. Every one has rights and a voice. Be grateful for this.

Already listening to this again. Beautifully written and narrated and heartbreakingly honest like the book the colour purple.
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- Sonia

Book Details

  • Release Date: 16-12-1999
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio