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To Kill a Mockingbird

Written by: Harper Lee
Narrated by: Sissy Spacek
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
Categories: Classics
5 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Beautifully narrated by actress Sissy Spacek, Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning literary masterpiece is unforgettable. Capturing an ephemeral moment in Southern history, it explores uncomfortable truths about justice and the human condition.

'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 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 '30s. 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 tolerate only so much.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story, an antiracist novel, a historical drama of the Great Depression and a sublime example of the Southern writing tradition. Out now as an unabridged audiobook, narrated by Sissy Spacek.

©1960 Harper Lee (P)2014 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

7 of 8 people found this review 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

1 of 1 people found this review 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 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

the first few chapters word difficult to read but after some initial chapters it's very easy to understand the story and it progress at a good pace.
I personally loved the book and found that the views of a child being changed after being or watching these situations.
Some harsh truth about reality makes us feel a bit uneasy but it's the truth.
The way the characters grew up was amazing.
Loved the book!

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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!

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Marvellous

Love it. Sweetly narrated, Sissy Spacek brilliantly immerses you into the world of Jean Loius. Harper Lee's ingenuity is remarkable.

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Absolutely Timeless

I am clearly, and spectacularly, late with this review. Oh well, this is not the only classic that was on my to-read list.

I am glad I read this.

It is an incredibly moving story about... about so many things. About race conflict, about frailty of the social constructs, about the strength of those same constructs, about parenting, about school systems. But mostly, really, it is about kindness, especially the kindness that a father wants his children to internalize.

We get to hear the story from Scout's perspective. Interestingly, I was reading this in parallel to "The Hate you Give", another book which features racism front-and-center, which is also narrated by a child, albeit a teenager in the later case. Both have strong father figures, who try their hardest to harbor, and propagate, qualities they think will make a better world for their children. However, one is a white girl, who is unbound in her curiosity and free from the concept of race - the other is a black girl, who is very aware of stereotypes and fights them internally and out in the world.

It's incredible how well To Kill a Mockingbird has aged. Part of it is because it is sort of a historical fiction to begin with - written in 1960s and set around 1930 or so. But mostly it is because the core value - the very simple idea of kindness - is timeless as well. It's hard to realize how desensitized we are to the notion of kindness. That's when the title really hits you - when you are told it's a sin to kill a mockingbird. In any other context, it might have been easy to brush it off. But when you hear it in the voice of a 6 year old Scout, that her father told her that - well, I must admit I gasped a bit, surprised by how moved I was by that dialogue.

It took me a while for me to come out of the shadow of this book. It's a book that made me think about the values I want to confer upon my child, and reminded me how each of my action affects the way my daughter might think. Yes, there are several social aspects that the story explores. But the chemistry between Atticus and his children is what had the most profound impact on me.

I listened to the audio book version of this book. It was incredibly well narrated. Sissy Spacek's voice and reading is laden to the brim with the child-like wonder and innocence of Scout Finch. She manages to pack in all the other un-tempered emotions that only children are capable of. The book is absolutely splendid by itself. But I have to say that the Spacek's narration made it all the more memorable for me.

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Great story !

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

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Amazing storyline and awesome narration. Sissy Spacek's voice brought the book to life. This was worth every minute I spent on it. Highly recommended.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 1 people found this review 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...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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 of 1 people found this review 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 of 7 people found this review 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 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 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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  • Alix Cheshire
  • 06-07-19

Not for schoolgirls

Read this as a school girl! Enjoyed it so much more as an adult! I remember thinking at school it was so old fashioned, now I would say delightful!

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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.

13 of 13 people found this review 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.

34 of 36 people found this review 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 of 6 people found this review 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

10 of 11 people found this review 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 of 4 people found this review 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 of 4 people found this review 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 of 4 people found this review 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 of 9 people found this review 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.

6 of 7 people found this review 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.

9 of 11 people found this review 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.

6 of 7 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deb Sanderson
  • 21-09-19

Great listening

A classic story told beautifully and simply with great impact. The messages that are in this book are as relevant today as ever. Tolerance, respect and family.

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  • Marita
  • 17-09-19

Incredible

Best narration of a book I've heard so far. Have always wanted to read To Kill a Mockingbird and decided to listen to it. Enjoyed every minute.

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  • Desktop
  • 06-08-19

My alltime favourite novel

I first read to Kill a Mockingbird in year 11 English in 1978, it has been my favourite novel and later favourite film (Gregory Peck!!!!). Now that I have listened to this book ... it is time to read it again : D

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  • Lisa Mouton
  • 06-07-19

I could listen to Sissy Spacek narrate for forever

It's been such a great experience finally finishing this book on my tbr. The writing is exceptional but listening to the narrator create the world was worth it. She knew the story and the characters so well that I could just dive in.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-06-19

classic and powerful novel

loved the book. was very easy to finish being only 12 hours long. a very powerful book which can teach you many things. narrator had a lovely soft voice. I could easily paint the images I'm my head while I listened.

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  • Kerri Warner
  • 08-06-19

Brilliant

Great story, told really well. I would recommend this book to everyone, a lovely story about human nature.