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To Kill a Mockingbird

Written by: Harper Lee
Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Classics
4.6 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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One of the most notable works of dramatic fiction ever written, the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is here in a complete and unabridged classic American literature audiobook narrated by the brilliant Sissy Spacek in celebration of its 50th anniversary. Through Spacek's perfect narration, Lee's beautifully crafted prose comes to life. You may find you have to pause every so often as you listen to reflect on the overall significance this book has had as a demonstration of human achievements in literature. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

One of the greatest American novels ever written.

Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

A lawyer's advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of Harper Lee's classic novel - a black man falsely charged with the rape of a white girl. Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with exuberant humour the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina of one man's struggle for justice. But the weight of history will only tolerate so much.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an anti-racist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition.

©1960 Harper Lee (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about To Kill a Mockingbird

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First Audible Book

Brilliant book and great narration. Sissy Spacek's voice is beautiful and makes the characters very real. Loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful narration

It was my first audio book and what a fantastic book and story i chose. It was as if I was physically present and all along traveling between landing to finchs’s place to courtroom to school. Thanks to Ms. Spacek for excellent narration and being true to emotions.

8 people found this helpful

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a true coming of age story

it takes the purest form of innocence, a child's innocence, to hold a mirror to the irrationality of adults. This coming of age story is the best I've read so far. the story is beautifully written and the narration exquisite. it transports you back in time so you can almost see the events unfold right in front of your eyes, at the leisurely pace of a country life. it shows you the world as seen from the innocent eyes of children and takes you on a journey of exploration and growing understanding of the biased world they live in as they ask some very uncomfortable and pertinent qs which hold as true today as in any time and in any community of people.

3 people found this helpful

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Great story !

Great story , however the narration has a very strong southern accent, was difficult to understand when not concentrating.

2 people found this helpful

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A Classic very well rendered

Sissy Spacek does an excellent job of putting life and soul into an all time Classic

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Sissy Spacek

The best part about this book for me, apart from the story is Sissy Spacek. Loved the narration.

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Superb narration

I am so glad I bought this book. outstanding story and the narration was one of the best I've heard!

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loved it...it was a lovely read..

my childhood came alive would recommend it to others ;) I remember what stories we made when we were kids

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Great Buy!

beautifully written book no doubt and narrated perfectly and most importantly clearly, by Sissy Spacek.

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Well written

A classic book and was read very well as well. Sissy Spacek has done it justice.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-18

Revived beautifully

It was a struggle to start, but as the pieces starting fitting together, I couldn't stop. I loved it. The way sissy read it made me laugh and cry and sit at the edge of my seat. Stopping what I was doing and listening. The characters have been reawakened, and my day better for it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bhaskar Marripudi
  • 14-07-18

Venkat Marripudi

This award winning classic by Harper Lee was on my list for so long, and I am glad to be able to finish tihis in a short time than it normally would take. A pleasant and dramatic narration made it more interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Donald Hugh McDonald
  • 14-11-17

A Great Story

Very unpredictable a terrific story. one of the best I have read with a great surprising ending.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sukanya
  • 26-09-17

A classic...

Books like these change something within you..in a good way...The narrator was awesome especially Jean Louis voice was awesome...

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  • Abhinav Goel
  • 01-06-17

So good..

It was so good. I'm happy to hear it. ☺
Would recommend. The narrator's voice took some getting used to until I could fully understand what she was saying, but it was worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gary Pollard
  • 22-08-14

I waited too long to listen to this book

What did you love best about To Kill a Mockingbird?

Wonderful story and expertly read by Sissy Spacek. Sissy breathes true life into the characters in her reading.

What other book might you compare To Kill a Mockingbird to and why?

Nothing I have read can compare to this story in this genre, outstanding.

What about Sissy Spacek’s performance did you like?

Sissy Spacek read the novel with such a confident grasp of the narrator that it's hard to believe she is not speaking directly to you.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Don't listen to this story whilst grocery shopping, or if you do, head to the produce section and pretend the onions are getting to you and not the emotions of the story.

Any additional comments?

Why did I wait so long to hear this story, don't make my mistake. It was a great listen and a masterfully told story, five stars all round.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Naomi
  • 11-12-14

The best audiobook you'll buy

Would you listen to To Kill a Mockingbird again? Why?

Yes, it's hard to describe except to say that I don't think I've ever enjoyed a book as much and I read a lot!

Which character – as performed by Sissy Spacek – was your favorite?

Sissy Spacek was the perfect narrator.

Any additional comments?

Buy it now!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Irshan
  • 24-12-19

Fantastic Narrator.

I didnt like the story much. but the way its written, the narrative is deeply creative. Good read. but I spent much time with lots of expectations due to the awards etc. i found it to be okay...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-10-19

Just as good after 40 years

Having studied this book in school I thought I was entirely familiar with it, but 40 years later I’ve enjoyed it as though it was new to me. Sissy Spacek’s performance is perfect, and the way in which Harper Lee frames the sometimes dangerous and terrible adult world through the eyes of a child is as relevant as ever. A captivating and timeless classic delivered with aplomb.

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  • Masosote
  • 09-10-19

A beautifully narrated classic

Ooh Aticus, perfection personified. This classic was way ahead of its time. Narrated beautifully, it brings the sharpest note of your imagination to life

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  • David J Avery
  • 20-07-15

You have to listen to this!

Where does To Kill a Mockingbird rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is the best audiobook I have listened to so far. The narration is impeccable, the story is brought alive in such a way that it is impossible to believe that we are not listening to Scout herself.

What did you like best about this story?

The story in itself is, of course, a classic which made me nervous about listening - sometimes it is difficult for a story to live up to its massive reputation, but I was not disappointed. The cleverness of making a complicated, messy theme simple through the eyes of the child had me spellbound for the entire length of the recording.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I couldn't put it down. I walked everywhere with my kindle trailing alongside catching headphones on anything awkwardly placed.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 05-10-15

One of the greats.

I think every avid reader has one particular book, or maybe even a few if they are lucky which leave an indelible mark on them. I’m talking about the books which don’t simply excite or entertain but they leave you changed in some way. Whether it is through sheer exuberance for the story or because the book carried a message that resonated with us. Either way they never leave us and I doubt it’s unusual that they are often books read during our formative years.

There are, I’m afraid, no prizes for guessing that in my case it was To Kill a Mockingbird. Read during my school years growing up in a multicultural town the central messages behind Harper Lee’s story are not revolutionary, they aren’t massively clever but they go to the core of my struggles while growing up. I am certainly not going to preach about what they are but they have been enshrined in my psyche ever since and some key phrases have often anchored me in times of difficulty. Yes, Mockingbird, was *my* book and spoke to me like few others have before or since.

What struck me as I listened to this audio version 35 years later is that those messages are as relevant and important today as they were in my youth and as they were in the time the book was set. Told through the eyes of innocence, and with no little gentle humour this is actually still not an easy book. It’s no pleasantry and it challenges the reader on the fundamental levels of humanity. I’ve often seen the book described primarily as anti-racist and while that is undoubtedly a strong theme it’s about more than that. It tackles all manner of prejudice and the kind of underlying hypocrisy that still flows through much of human society today.

Of course such a book requires a skilled and appropriate narrator. Not knowing too much about her I wouldn’t have had Sissy Spacek on my shortlist but she captures the atmosphere of the American deep South and its languid nature perfectly. She seems to empathise with the innocence and at times exuberance of the key, younger characters. In summary she does a genuinely fine job as a narrator bringing the book to life for our ears. A bad narrator would have been a crime but fortunately she passes with flying colours.

In all, a challenging book now over half a century old brought to life for our listening pleasure and consideration. This is a genuine treasure, spend it wisely.

35 people found this helpful

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  • Dawn
  • 11-12-14

my number two favourite book ever

Where does To Kill a Mockingbird rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Although I have placed this book number two in my top ten having read the book twice I would place the audio book a little further down the list because although I did enjoy the narration (4 stars) productions of other audio books I would have rated 5 stars

What was one of the most memorable moments of To Kill a Mockingbird?

childhood suspicions, adult prejudices,causing the final revealing of boo Radley

Which character – as performed by Sissy Spacek – was your favourite?

Scout

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Time moves on predjuces does not

6 people found this helpful

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  • B. Lawrenson
  • 11-08-14

A truly wonderful book

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The book and characters are bought to life in this audible edition.

What other book might you compare To Kill a Mockingbird to, and why?

In some ways it is like the book Help with the southern attitude to the African Americans.

Have you listened to any of Sissy Spacek’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the only book that I have listened to by Sissy and the fact that she was reading the book encouraged me to buy it. I was not let down by her performance

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to most of the book and then watched the DVD with Gregory Peck and then re stared the book to catch anything I had missed

Any additional comments?

A remarkable book considering it is the only book Harper Lee wrote

11 people found this helpful

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  • Adam Lewis
  • 15-04-16

Obviously a great book, but the performance let it

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Probably not, maybe try and find a different narrator.

What did you like best about this story?

The story

Any additional comments?

Just didn't enjoy the narration sadly, myself and my wife found she just didn't hold our attention. I read the book years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, but didn't really enjoy the audio book as a result of the narration.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Z. N. Parvez
  • 08-01-16

amazing

Great story, great narration, great book. if i jad ome gripe, its that a fair bit felt left un-said, and the ending felt a little uneventful and sudden conapred to what it felt like it was building up to, but thats being over critical as it wasnt so bad. Not even worth taking a star off! Possibly my new favourite novel.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Lilly
  • 22-07-15

Profound, elegant, beautiful

This is a brilliant, brilliant story; a moral fable told through the eyes of Scout Finch, and her warmth and immediacy and powerful sense of right and wrong, a sense with which she has been imbued by her father Atticus, is the pivot on which an everyday story of Southern bigotry balances. And the effort to understand and value almost all the bigots is one of the key graces of the book.

Sissy Spacek animates Scout and the other characters, particularly Dill, beautifully. She seems less assured dealing with the long narrative sequences told by Scout as an adult, but they are less well suited to dramatic presentation than the dialogue. Ms. Spacek is Texan, which may mean that her Alabaman accent was off, but I wouldn't know. It sounded fine to me.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Nicky Richmond
  • 27-02-15

Superb performance

I was gripped from the first moment. The narration is wonderful. I would recommend this very highly. Moving, touching and humane.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Alison
  • 06-09-15

It's a sin to kill a Mockingbird

An excellent riveting story well read by Sissey Spasek. This is a story about race in the American Deep South in 1935 and set in the Depression. It is told through the eyes is Scout Finch, the 8 year old daughter of lawyer, Atticus Finch. It is about good and bad, morals, religion, prejudice and hypocrisy. Although it deals with an alleged rape by a black man on a white trash woman, a subject hardly appropriate for her age, the 8 year old girl deals with the reality of how it affects all those around her in Makum County Alabama in a sensible way, beyond her years. It is the way Atticus Finch has brought her up after her mother died. On several occasions she is the catalyst for taking the heat out of a difficult situation by what she says, often with words of truth and kindness. One up for women! I didn't read this until I was 65, but wish I had when I was about 17. It would have taught me a lot. There are some superb quotes in the book especially "To kill a mockingbird is a sin" because it sings its heart out for us and never does us any harm like killing etc. It is allegorical to the storyline.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 27-09-14

Wonderful and beguiling story

I am not sure how I had managed to live so long and not read this classic book but if like me you come to this fresh then this is a fantastic introduction to this landmark book. If you love the book, then you are in safe hands.

Sissy Spacek's narration is wonderful, beguiling and seemed perfect. the soft, southern accents perfectly recalling the thoughts and viewpoint of a young girl.

The characters are also beguiling - Aticus Finch must be everyone's ideal father, and the children, Jim, Scout and Dill, are realistic and yet charming. The story is both domestic and intense and also global and significant. As a reader/listener, one certainly has to challenge one's prejudices and views.

A must listen.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Frances
  • 18-05-15

Transported to the wold of Scout and Jem.

Most of us have read the story that takes us into the world of Scout and Jem at least once. However this Audible version brings their world to life in a way that expands our understanding of this beautifully written book. Sissy Spacek makes the characters live in our imagination as she sets the scene and controls the pace of the narrative. Her ability to understand each situation as it develops makes this Audible version an essential part of our family's listening pleasure.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jackie
  • 23-04-15

Loved it

I loved this book when I was a kid, and I haven't read it for a long time, but nonetheless I though I would be revisiting i already knew. What i discovered on the other-hand was that Sissy Spacek's narration added a new dimension to the story that made me fall in love with the characters it all over again.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nicky
  • 21-06-20

Great classic about racism in 1950 s

Interesting to see the parallels with BLM both then and now. In some ways little has changed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-20

Loved this, was sad when it ended...

I listen to audible books whilst walking, this one had me walking more than I normally would just so I could listen. I loved Sissy Spacek's narration and the life she added to the story and in particular Scout. I would highly recommend it.

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  • Steve Cramp
  • 07-05-20

Classic 5-star!

The classic tale by Harper Lee, brought to vivid life by superb narration by Sissy Spacek

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  • John Cooper
  • 04-02-20

Classic

Read this many years ago and enjoyed it then, Sissy Spacek is a superb narrator, an absolute delight and highly recommended.

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  • debk
  • 07-07-16

lkved it

loved it i have always felt like its a book that i should read and im so glad i have

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  • Janice
  • 04-05-15

Exceptional -great read.

Excellent! Enjoyed to the last second. Now to read the "original ". I'm sure it will be as good....maybe better.

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  • Magpie.01
  • 30-08-20

Thoroughly enjoyable

This Classic story narrated by the very talented Sissy Spacek was a joy to listen to. Sissy’s accent lends itself to the child’s character of Scout beautifully. I am going to watch the movie ‘again’ & I know I will come back & listen to this wonderful story narrated by Sissy Spacek again. Highly recommend to Everyone!

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  • Wendy Joy Dombkins
  • 26-08-20

How wonderful

I had loved the movie but found reading the book very hard. Sissy Spacek does a marvellous incredible job. I absolutely enjoyed this audiobook.