Download Go Set a Watchman: A Novel Audiobook

Go Set a Watchman: A Novel Audiobook, by Harper Lee Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Harper Lee Narrator: Reese Witherspoon Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2015 ISBN: 9780062409898
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Performed by Reese Witherspoon

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Go Set a Watchman is such an important book, perhaps the most important novel on race to come out of the white South in decades…
   — New York Times (Opinion Pages)

A landmark novel by Harper Lee, set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—“Scout”—returns home to Maycomb, Alabama from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise’s homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one’s own conscience.

Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of the late Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Oscar-winning actress and Southern girl Reese Witherspoon portrays the narrator of the masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird…The story features many of the same characters in Mockingbird, but they’re radically different in outlook. All are portrayed by Witherspoon with perfect pitch and pacing and the sure hand of a talented actress who is well aware of the region’s racially fraught past. Lee’s new novel draws on the same theme as Mockingbird—empathy—but as Witherspoon wistfully portrays Atticus, Scout, and others, listeners will need to find new ways of understanding them. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “The novel the world has been waiting for is clearly the work of a novice…The presentation of the South pushing back against the dictates of the Federal government, utilizing characters from a book that was about justice prevailing in the South through the efforts of an unambiguous hero, is a worthy endeavor…[But] the theme of the book is basically about not being able to go home again.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The work in hand is not a sequel but served as source material for Lee’s eventual Pulitzer Prize winner…More significantly, the current work stands as you-are-there documentation of a specific time and place, contextualizing both Mockingbird and the very beginnings of the civil rights movement, and for that reason alone it’s invaluable and recommended reading…If Watchman is occasionally digressive or a bit much of a lecture, it’s good enough to make one wish that Lee had written a dozen works. It’s also a breathtaking read that will have the reader actively engaged and arguing with every character, including Jean Louise…Verdict: Disturbing, important, and not to be compared with Mockingbird; this book is its own signal work.”

    Library Journal

  • “By revealing the insidious prejudice of a man as seemingly upright as Atticus, Lee uncloaks the malignant hatred, anger, and fear that have made the South a land of terror for African Americans…Lee addresses another volatile topic, sexism, primarily in flashbacks to Jean Louise’s reluctant and utterly unprepared passage into young womanhood…[with] the most richly imagined and crisply realized sections in the novel…Though Lee’s prose is frequently stilted in Go Set a Watchman, her transitions awkward, her descents into exposition bumpy, this is a daring, raw, intimate, and incendiary social exposé. A story, perhaps, far too alienating, too candid, and too hot to handle fresh from the typewriter, during that more buttoned-up era. Given the systematic racist invective unleashed during the two terms of our first African American president, and the increasingly visible police violence against African Americans, now truly is the time for Harper Lee’s unsettling confrontation with racism, our national malady.”


  • “Lee, who is plainly on the side of equality, writes of class, religion, and race but most affectingly of the clash of generations and traditions, with an Atticus tolerant and approving of Scout’s reformist ways: ‘I certainly hoped a daughter of mine’d hold her ground for what she thinks is right—stand up to me first of all.’ It’s not To Kill a Mockingbird, yes, but it’s very much worth reading.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Watchman is a messier and more complicated story than To Kill a Mockingbird, both in its themes and its execution. Which is to be expected for a basically unedited manuscript…[and] for a story that took on heavy racial topics as they were unfolding. Readers who pick up Watchman with this in mind will find it a fascinating and thought-provoking look into the development of a modern classic—and the characters it featured…Though it is marred by some underdeveloped plot lines and occasionally uneven pacing, the characters and subject matter are rich…Despite the novel’s shortcomings (and potential disappointments for Atticus acolytes) there is plenty to enjoy…And Lee’s talent for capturing the small-town South is on full display.”


  • A New York Times Pick of Best Summer Reads
  • A BookPage Top Pick for July in Fiction
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal bestseller
  • A #1 New York Times bestseller

Listener Reviews

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  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melissa | 4/19/2016

    " I loved this story. I see why this book would make the reader want to know more about Scout. Reese was the perfect choice for a reader on this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kristi B. | 1/27/2016

    " Wanted to hear a Harper Lee Audio book. Great, Reese Witherspoon, should be good. Wrong. Have no Idea how the book might be. I tried to hang in there. After a while, all I could hear in my mind's eye was Reese in front of a group of people, reading out loud. Terrible narration, just terrible. "

About the Author

Harper Lee (1926–2016) was born in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended Huntington College and studied law at the University of Alabama. She was the author of To Kill a Mockingbird and was awarded numerous literary awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

About the Narrator

Reese Witherspoon is an Oscar-winning actress, film producer, and entrepreneur. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.