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Lesson Before Dying
Lesson Before Dying
Author: Ernest J. Gaines
In 1948 Louisiana, a young teacher is asked to impart some of his own pride and learning to a young Black man awaiting execution, only to come face to face with his own cynicism and hopelessness.
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ISBN-13: 9780679455615
ISBN-10: 0679455612
Publication Date: 9/29/1997
Pages: 272
Rating:
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 14

3.8 stars, based on 14 ratings
Publisher: Knopf
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 119 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
The rich writing and characterisation reminded me of 'To Kill a Mockingbird.' Despite a situation in which a black youth finds himself victimised and a community marginalised the characters find small ways in which to empower themselves. In the story the narrator and main character, Mr Wiggins, and Jefferson, the 'hog', both stand as heroes in different ways in order to give their female relatives something to be proud of. Each is as reluctant as the other to take on this responsibility. This book is both a history lesson and a critique of the justice system and death sentence which has contemporary value. The characters inspire in their sense of community, sense of family and ultimately, their sense of pride as they cope with and negotiate their way through, the hand they have been dealt. The themes of mean spiritedness, racial prejudice, endurance and self-empowerment are as relevant today as they were in the 1940's when the book was set. Its a story and a lesson that stays with you long after the last page has been turned.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
This is a well written story, along the lines of To Kill a Mocking Bird. It's not a light read--very intense content, but slow moving. It did make me cry at the end which surprised me because I didn't think I was that into the characters--especially the main character. It's a good read for anyone who likes to get a feel for that era and how it felt to be an African American during the 40's.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Extraordinarily moving, solemn and beautiful. This book both brought me to tears and gave me a whole new perspective on Sundays.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A book pretty simple in appearance but full of meaning nevertheless.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 204 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Excellent story of injustice in the South in the 1940's. Well developed characters, made me want to read some other books by this writer.
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reviewed Lesson Before Dying on
I read it a few years ago and have held on to it. Really enjoyed it.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on
This ISBN is actually a paperback.

This is a powerful story.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 35 more book reviews
Excellent story, although a bit sad. National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, 1993, and Oprah's Book Club.


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