1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $28.35

Buy for $28.35

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Featured on the Graham Norton Book Club.

Discover Albert French's haunting first novel: a story of racial injustice, as unsentimental as it is heartbreaking.

The tale of Billy Lee Turner, a 10-year-old boy convicted of the murder of a white girl in Mississippi in 1937, illuminates the monstrous face of racism in America with harrowing clarity and power. Narrated in the rich accents of the American South, Billy's story is told amid the picking fields and town streets, the heat, dust and poverty of the region in the time of the Depression.

©1967 Albert French (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Billy is a book that will stay with me in my dreams." (Tim O'Brien author of The Things They Carried)

What listeners say about Billy

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jacey
  • Jacey
  • 07-11-22

A truly sad tale

I also came to this through the Graham Norton Book Club and the episode which discusses the book has an interview with the author which is well worth a listen. Amazing narration of a such a tragic story. It will stay in my thoughts for quite a while I think. Thoroughly recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Betsymakes
  • Betsymakes
  • 01-04-22

Amazing narration, perfect for this story!

This is a beautiful, sad, thought provoking story that is so well written that it draws you in to feel the pain and torment of the characters. This little boy’s life determined in so many ways because of the racist society he was born into.
The emotion in the narrators voice made the experience of listening so real that I was totally encompassed, and whilst it’s a hard listen at times, it’s also enjoyable and very worthwhile.
I’m hoping that Vaughn Johseph will be able to bring Albert French’s other book ‘Cinder’ to life soon too!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ALWAYSTHEBRIDE
  • ALWAYSTHEBRIDE
  • 12-06-21

Heart Wrenching

Well narrated, heart wrenching story. I gasped out loud at parts & cried at others. A glimpse of American Mississippi life in 1937, was to me, quite shocking. I felt for everyone, but as a mum, especially to Cinder

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for A Soldado
  • A Soldado
  • 09-02-21

Holly Smoke!!

Thank you to the Graham Norton Book Club I stumbled on this Book. This is a heart-rending story. Fantastically performed by Vaugh Johseph.
I can't believe that Mr Albert French is not writing any more, I would love to read more from him.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mrs SE Wilson
  • Mrs SE Wilson
  • 08-29-21

Heartbreaking

Found this through the Graham Norton book club. Be prepared to cry - a lot.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for E Wilson
  • E Wilson
  • 08-17-21

A memorable book.

The story is one told so many times, but the brevity of the writing style added pathos to this tale. It almost exaggerated Billy's plight. The narration was perfect, any other narrator would not have done this story justice at all. I'd recommend this book to anyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sarah c.
  • sarah c.
  • 08-06-21

Heart reaching.

Powerful story of innocence, a mothers love, death and a graphic glimpse of history. Such an amazing read. Vaughan Johseph read it beautifully with such emotion. This book should be read in schools.

.