Editor reviews

One of the most notable works of dramatic fiction ever written, the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is here in a complete and unabridged classic American literature audiobook narrated by the brilliant Sissy Spacek in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Through Spacek's perfect narration, Lee's beautifully crafted prose comes to life. You may find you have to pause every so often as you listen to reflect on the overall significance this book has had as a demonstration of human achievements in literature. Available now from Audible.
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Summary

Beautifully narrated by actress Sissy Spacek, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning literary masterpiece is unforgettable. Capturing an ephemeral moment in Southern history, it explores uncomfortable truths about justice and the human condition.
'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'
A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the '30s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will tolerate only so much.
To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an antiracist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition. Out now as an unabridged audiobook, narrated by Sissy Spacek.
©1960 Harper Lee (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks
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Regular price: £23.99

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By B. Lawrenson on 11-08-14

A truly wonderful book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The book and characters are bought to life in this audible edition.

What other book might you compare To Kill a Mockingbird to, and why?

In some ways it is like the book Help with the southern attitude to the African Americans.

Have you listened to any of Sissy Spacek’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the only book that I have listened to by Sissy and the fact that she was reading the book encouraged me to buy it. I was not let down by her performance

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to most of the book and then watched the DVD with Gregory Peck and then re stared the book to catch anything I had missed

Any additional comments?

A remarkable book considering it is the only book Harper Lee wrote

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Simon on 05-10-15

One of the greats.

I think every avid reader has one particular book, or maybe even a few if they are lucky which leave an indelible mark on them. I’m talking about the books which don’t simply excite or entertain but they leave you changed in some way. Whether it is through sheer exuberance for the story or because the book carried a message that resonated with us. Either way they never leave us and I doubt it’s unusual that they are often books read during our formative years.

There are, I’m afraid, no prizes for guessing that in my case it was To Kill a Mockingbird. Read during my school years growing up in a multicultural town the central messages behind Harper Lee’s story are not revolutionary, they aren’t massively clever but they go to the core of my struggles while growing up. I am certainly not going to preach about what they are but they have been enshrined in my psyche ever since and some key phrases have often anchored me in times of difficulty. Yes, Mockingbird, was *my* book and spoke to me like few others have before or since.

What struck me as I listened to this audio version 35 years later is that those messages are as relevant and important today as they were in my youth and as they were in the time the book was set. Told through the eyes of innocence, and with no little gentle humour this is actually still not an easy book. It’s no pleasantry and it challenges the reader on the fundamental levels of humanity. I’ve often seen the book described primarily as anti-racist and while that is undoubtedly a strong theme it’s about more than that. It tackles all manner of prejudice and the kind of underlying hypocrisy that still flows through much of human society today.

Of course such a book requires a skilled and appropriate narrator. Not knowing too much about her I wouldn’t have had Sissy Spacek on my shortlist but she captures the atmosphere of the American deep South and its languid nature perfectly. She seems to empathise with the innocence and at times exuberance of the key, younger characters. In summary she does a genuinely fine job as a narrator bringing the book to life for our ears. A bad narrator would have been a crime but fortunately she passes with flying colours.

In all, a challenging book now over half a century old brought to life for our listening pleasure and consideration. This is a genuine treasure, spend it wisely.

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29 of 31 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Gary Pollard on 22-08-14

I waited too long to listen to this book

What did you love best about To Kill a Mockingbird?

Wonderful story and expertly read by Sissy Spacek. Sissy breathes true life into the characters in her reading.

What other book might you compare To Kill a Mockingbird to and why?

Nothing I have read can compare to this story in this genre, outstanding.

What about Sissy Spacek’s performance did you like?

Sissy Spacek read the novel with such a confident grasp of the narrator that it's hard to believe she is not speaking directly to you.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Don't listen to this story whilst grocery shopping, or if you do, head to the produce section and pretend the onions are getting to you and not the emotions of the story.

Any additional comments?

Why did I wait so long to hear this story, don't make my mistake. It was a great listen and a masterfully told story, five stars all round.

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4 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Naomi on 11-12-14

The best audiobook you'll buy

Would you listen to To Kill a Mockingbird again? Why?

Yes, it's hard to describe except to say that I don't think I've ever enjoyed a book as much and I read a lot!

Which character – as performed by Sissy Spacek – was your favorite?

Sissy Spacek was the perfect narrator.

Any additional comments?

Buy it now!

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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