Audiobook(Cassette - Abridged, 2 Cassettes, 3 hours)

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Overview

A Lesson before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines, Roger G. Smith, Lionel Mark Smith, Roger Guenveur Smith

Set in a small Cajun community in the late 1940s, A Lesson Before Dying is an "enormously moving" ("Los Angeles Times") novel of one man condemned to die for a crime he did not commit and a young man who visits him in his cell. In the end, the two men forge a bond as they both come to understand the simple heroism of resisting--and defying--the expected. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781570422232
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Publication date: 02/01/1995
Edition description: Abridged, 2 Cassettes, 3 hours
Product dimensions: 4.67(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.67(d)

About the Author

Ernest Gaines was born on a plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish near New Roads, Louisiana, which is the Bayonne of all his fictional works. He is writer-in-residence emeritus at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In 1993 Gaines received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his lifetime achievements. In 1996 he was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of France’s highest decorations. He and his wife, Dianne, live in Oscar, Louisiana.

Ernest Gaines’s A Lesson Before Dying, A Gathering of Old Men, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Bloodline, and Of Love and Dust are available in Vintage paperback.

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A Lesson before Dying 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 294 reviews.
Fully More than 1 year ago
This is a modern day classic. I've read and taught this book since 1998. I never get tired of the story and I constantly find new facets of the book that I am just now seeing. From the Christ figure of Jefferson to Grant's ambiguous atheism, Gaines takes an interesting look at the problems of faith for black men in the 1940's Deep South. Also, Grant's journey to manhood parallels Jefferson's. Could either of them have done it without the other? Their are other themes present as well: Human dignity, Community Responsibility, Running away from one's problems,and Universality are some of them. I've found that I learn something from this book every single time I read it with my classes. The humanity of Jefferson's diary always moves my students. Even though Jefferson isn't an educated, or even a smart man, he is still a man deserving of dignity and decency and justice. While seeming to be a rather dark subject, A Lesson Before Dying is an uplifting story of hope and redemption. I can't imagine not having this book in my classroom.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A Lesson Before Dying is a book about a mentally retarded man, Jefferson. Jefferson is wrongly convicted of a murder. He is called a 'hog' during his trail. His aunt, Miss Emma, wants him to become a man before he dies. Miss Emma asked the community's teacher, Grant, to make her son a man before his execution.
Grant is left with an enormous task when he reluctantly agreed. Grant has to break down the barriers surrounding Jefferson, who refuses to eat and talk to his visitors, but in the end, two complete opposite people become the best of friends.
I really enjoyed this book. It has a moving plot that makes you think about the life you are living. At times in the middle of the book it got a little tedious waiting for the end, but it picked up speed again toward the end of the story.
This book is a historical fiction book set in the 1940's while whites still had the upper hand. This book is for advanced young adults readers and older.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This has got to be one of the best works of fiction that I have ever read. Some of the most beautiful and moving passages ever written -- especially the writings by Jefferson. Felt like I was there. Unforgettable!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book taught me what true shame is about, but it also taught me humility and strength.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing book. I have read it several times.  The first was when I was in high school.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm reading this in class, and it is really suprising. I love the concept of the story and the plot. The movie is also something to look foward to, but it may look boring but I thought it would be good read because i have black/ french heritage so i could relate ancestors with this novel!
jsiriann More than 1 year ago
This book was great,I recommend this to anyone that can relate to the coming of age. This novel brings you to a small town in the southern states in the 1940's. A uneducated black man named Jefferson is in the middle of a shootout, where Jefferson is the only survivor. Jefferson is put on trial for murder, and as Jefferson and his friends and family are put though life changing events where they learn about each other and their ideals. Jefferson learns about heroism and how some push to be a hero and some fail to try.
Duker79 More than 1 year ago
This was a great book I really enjoyed this book it was an easy read and I could not put it down once I started! I originally picked this book up because I read the first chapter on an online review page and on this website you are limited to one chapter so after I had read the first chapter I was hooked on the book I tried to get the book as soon as possible so I could read it. I loved this book so much that I would be willing to read this book a second time and I have never considered reading a book twice that is how much I loved this book. Throughout the book Jefferson displays the theme of redemption in death. At the end of the novel Jefferson redeems himself in front of his community because he defies his society that tells him that he is a hog but instead of acting like the hog that everyone says he is he makes his community proud by standing strong at the execution being the "strongest man in the room." This novel is a heart wrenching book that made me feel for Grant Wiggins, Jefferson and Jefferson's friends and family and at points made me wanted to cry. The only thing I did not like about this book was that it went into extreme detail for instance the author would explain what the characters were eating and it said things that were not important sometimes, but other than that Ernest J. Gaines is a brilliant author. This book should be considered a classic literature but I do not think that it should be taught in high schools just because it had some bad parts and some not so good language it is definitely considered a young adult book it has some mature themes in it. One of the many things that I liked about this book is how much smarter Jefferson is than everyone gives him credit for. One thing that I like about the main character Grant Wiggins is that he never calls himself a teacher but in the end he teaches a "hog" to be a man and is a very smart man. One thing that I would change about this book is just not putting in every detail about Grant Wiggins and Vivian's relationship because I did not see how it tied into the story. This book reminds me of the movie The Green Mile. The Green Mile is about a guard who works in the jail for the people that are going to be executed. Tom Hanks plays a character that feels bad for a jailer that is to be soon executed. This movie reminds me of this book because there is a guard in there named Paul and he is emotionally compensated about the execution of Jefferson. This book has been a truly inspiring book it has taught me many life lessons for instance choose wisely on the people you hang out with it might cost your life.
Anonymous 24 days ago
Hahahahahahahehehehe!
Anonymous 3 months ago
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DarleneGinn-Hargrove More than 1 year ago
HEARTFELT........THIS BOOK WILL DEFINITELY LEAVE YOU THINKING ABOUT THIS STORY LONG AFTER THE LAST PAGE IS TURNED. MOTIVATIONAL, THIS BOOK WILL HAVE YOU WANTING TO BE A BETTER MAN OR WOMAN AFTER EXPERIENCING EVERYTHING THAT JEFFERSON WENT THROUGH. THE BOND THAT JEFFERSON AND GRANT DEVELOPED WILL LEAVE YOU IN AWE. I AM NOT WHAT YOU SAY I AM!!! I AM NOT WHAT YOU THINK I AM!!! I AM NOT WHAT YOU CALL ME!!! I AM A CHILD OF GOD!!! I AM WORTH MORE THAN MY CLOTHES, EDUCATION, AND ENVIROMENT. I AM A HUMAN BEING AND I AM WORTH MORE THAN YOU KNOW!!! THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR EVERYONE. WE ALL CAN LEARN SO MUCH FROM THIS STORY. AND AFTER LEARNING, WE ALL MUST ACT ON WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED. I HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK FOR READING.........ENJOY!!!
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I loved reading this book and can hardly wait to read other Ernest J. Gaines masterpieces. A tale of weakness, strength, and redemption and of two very different men living on a Lousiana plantation in the 40's. Lots of tears shed, not a lot of good times and well worth the time and expense. I highly recommend it.l
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