by Albert L. French
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Billy by Albert L. French

Albert French lights up the monstrous face of American racism in this harrowing tale of ten-year-old Billy Lee Turner, who is convicted and executed for murdering a white girl in Banes County, Mississippi, in 1937. Constructed in a series of powerfully lean vignettes, Billy is a tour de force of dramatic compression, focusing on how this outrageous event affects an entire community. The high-spirited Billy, his mysterious and passionate mother, Cinder, and his friend Gumpy are realized with depth and authority. Told in classic, unrelieved terms yet with remarkable compassion and restraint, their story is an unsentimental and ultimately heart-rending vision of racial injustice.

“A work of art . . . Billy never lets up, not for a minute . . . The images rush straight to your brain. . . . Magnificient.”—Bill McKibben, New York Daily News

“Althought I only knew Billy Lee Turner for an all too brief 214 pages, I will mourn his death for the rest of my life. That’s how powerfully and dramatically written this book is.”—Claude Brown, author of Manchild in the Promised Land

Billy’s strength is not strictly as a novel; it lives as theater. It is a folk opera that . . . moves with unfaltering pace to its shattering climax.”—New York Newsday

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780670850136
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date: 10/28/1993
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.05(w) x 8.84(h) x 0.85(d)

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Billy 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the book is so good. I read it many times, I like the way A. French explains every detail. He is just amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading Billy I was unable to stop.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far one of the most powerful books that I've read. You will cry for Billy long after you have finished the last page. Albert French produced a masterpiece.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i was given this book back in 1995 and read it in one night. it shows the beauty and harshness of life within its pages. from cover to cover you feel like you're right there. Billy sucks you in and makes you want to read further and further.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the only book that ever made me cry. This is truely a great and realistic novel about racism in the 30ies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
a very hard book to read. somewhat a little unbelievable at times (would they have really sent a 10 year old to the electric chair!) but very well written depicturing that period perfectly.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Billy' was an excellent book. I enjoyed it so much. by looking at it's cover I would've never picked it up except that I had to write a brief thesis on it. The book was excellent. After I read one page I couldn't wait to get to the next. Every word is so compelling that the book actually pulls you into it. It's heartbreaking and the ending is beyond expectations. Overall, it's one of the best books I've ever read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You can taste the south in this extraordinarily moving first novel from Albert French. An astonishing debut, this first book is French's best. It will affect your life in a way that few books do. You will never forget Billy, which in some way is a very good reason to keep well clear of this book! It is so affecting, and so compelling, and you will cry at the end, like everyone else who reads it. And yes, it is a very good read. Don't miss it!