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Lesson Before Dying
Lesson Before Dying
Author: Ernest J. Gaines
From the author of A Gathering of Old Men and The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman comes a deep and compassionate novel. A young man who returns to 1940s Cajun country to teach visits a black youth on death row for a crime he didn't commit. Together they come to understand the heroism of resisting.
ISBN-13: 9780679741664
ISBN-10: 0679741666
Publication Date: 5/31/1994
Pages: 256
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 37

3.9 stars, based on 37 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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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 + 143 more book reviews
Great book and a winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award For Fiction.
reviewed Lesson Before Dying on + 136 more book reviews
Very depressing


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