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Download A Lesson Before Dying Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Lesson Before Dying Audiobook, by Ernest J. Gaines
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (21,129 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ernest J. Gaines Narrator: Lionel Mark Smith, Roger Guenveur Smith Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9781594837647
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A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Malissa | 2/17/2014

    " I wasn't that into it but it had a very powerful last few pages that made me have a better respoect for the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 1/7/2014

    " 8/7.5 -- interesting and sad. What have we done in our lives and what do we leave behind as a legacy? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/6/2014

    " I liked the description of this book and thought I would really enjoy it, but it ended up being really boring. I could barely force myself to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fabian | 1/5/2014

    " What is lesson my character learned in a before dieing my character jefferson learned that you sould watch who you hang with because you can be at the wrong place at the wrong time and can be acussed for something you didnt do.my character was sentce the death penty for been acussed for muder while with his friends. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robin Lerner | 12/27/2013

    " What a wonderful book. Really captures the struggle of an educated black man who returns to his home town after graduating college. He is asked to help a man who has been unjustly accused of killing someone accept his fate. It is his job to transform him from a "hog" into a man. This becomes a struggle for the whole town identity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah Sims | 12/22/2013

    " I really had a hard time getting into this book. The narrator comes across as self-pitying and I found his story annoying at times. The last few chapters are really moving and make it worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina Mucha | 12/18/2013

    " It was ok. There should have been less details. THe overall message was goood though "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bxrlover | 11/29/2013

    " Very poorly written. The story itself could have been an interesting one, but the amateurish style in which it was written completely detracted from the plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leannek | 11/18/2013

    " Redeems itself in the last few chapters but was a little to "he said, she said, then they did this". "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Montrudd | 10/29/2013

    " Excellent novel dealing with self respect. AWESOME!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dee | 7/10/2013

    " This was a story that I started out not liking. But in learning the lesson I get the mood of the story and it is a pretty decent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie Sapp | 5/2/2013

    " Watch the movie and the good but when I read I enjoy much more "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley Mueller | 3/14/2013

    " Must read...then pass it to someone else! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 B Fos | 2/12/2013

    " Very well written and discriptive "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dwan Tape | 7/24/2012

    " Excellent read. I'm very sorry I've not read anything by Mr. Gaines before. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliza | 7/16/2012

    " The first time I read a book by this author was in high school. "A Gathering of Old Men" is a compelling story told from a number of perspectives. "A Lesson Before Dying" is equally provocative and compelling. I highly recommend it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eileen Alva | 11/5/2011

    " Really enjoyed, read it more than once "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karlin | 8/17/2011

    " Gaines books are soaring works about the average and sometimes not so average himan life. You celebrate humanity as you weep. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hannah | 5/18/2011

    " I read this for school, not by choice. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jeanette | 5/16/2011

    " When I read the review for this book, it was compared to To Kill a Mockingbird. In my opinion, it doesn't even come close. It was just OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lisa | 5/10/2011

    " I found myself so engrossed in these characters while my heart ached for them at the same time. A great read!
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Coralee | 5/3/2011

    " This is one of my favorite books beautifully written!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hameeda | 5/3/2011

    " Beautifully written with a great lesson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marmar | 4/29/2011

    " What an amazing book. It makes one think. Truly, there was freedom in taking responsibility for your actions and maintaining your sense of dignity. A very humbling and inspiring story. I cried from the pain and poingnant beauty of this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittany | 4/27/2011

    " I read this book in High School and it's an easy read but by far one of my favorite books!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Victoria | 4/20/2011

    " Powerful. Beautifully written. I loved this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarabeth | 4/19/2011

    " Really loved this stark, sad story - the 'lesson' is worth it. Couldn't believe I'd never read (or even heard of) this Southern, African-American author before. Lovely work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nikki | 4/15/2011

    " This was yet another book I read for school. It was decent, but a little slow for me. My students like it, so I guess that's a good thing. I did almost catch a glimmer of a tear in my eye at the ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 4/15/2011

    " An extremely powerful book by the author of The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. A black teenager in the 1930s rural south is the only one left alive in a liquor store shootout and is wrongly sentenced to be executed. "

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About the Author
Author Ernest J. Gaines

Ernest J. Gaines is a writer-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. His 1993 novel, A Lesson before Dying, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and was an Oprah Book Club pick in 1997. In 2004, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

About the Narrators

A Lesson Before Dying, is set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s. Jefferson, a young black man, is an unwitting party to a liquor store shoot out in which three men are killed; the only survivor, he is convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Grant Wiggins, who left his hometown for the university, has returned to the plantation school to teach. As he struggles with his decision whether to stay or escape to another state, his aunt and Jefferson’s godmother persuade him to visit Jefferson in his cell and impart his learning and his pride to Jefferson before his death. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting—and defying—the expected.

Ernest J. Gaines brings to this novel the same rich sense of place, the same deep understanding of the human psyche, and the same compassion for a people and their struggle that have informed his previous, highly praised works of fiction.

Roger Guenveur Smith, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an actor, writer, and director whose work has been distinguished with the Obie, Peabody, Audelco, Bessie, Helen Hayes, Barrymore, and NAACP Image Awards. He has served as artist in residence at the University of California, as NEA/TCG Playwright in Residence at the Mark Taper Forum, and has received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Charleston. His many collaborations with director Spike Lee include Malcolm X, Summer of Sam, the telefilm version of A Huey P. Newton Story, and his improvised creation of the stuttering hero Smiley for the Oscar-nominated Do the Right Thing. His eclectic range of screen credits also includes King of New York, Deep Cover, Eve’s Bayou, All About the Benjamins, the telefilms Hamlet and The Color of Courage, and the innovative HBO series Oz and K Street.