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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)

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  • 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.

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  • Mrs SE Wilson
  • 08-29-21

Heartbreaking

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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.