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Summary

Oprah's Book Club Summer 2018 Selection

"An amazing and heartwarming story, it restores our faith in the inherent goodness of humanity.”
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu 

This program includes a forward written and read by Bryan Stevenson 

The Sun Does Shine is an arresting audiobook memoir of hope, love, justice, and the power of reading, written by a man who spent thirty years on death row for a crime he didn't commit 

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free. 

But with no money and a different system of justice for a poor black man in the South, Hinton was sentenced to death by electrocution. He spent his first three years on Death Row at Holman State Prison in agonizing silence—full of despair and anger toward all those who had sent an innocent man to his death. But as Hinton realized and accepted his fate, he resolved not only to survive, but find a way to live on Death Row. For the next twenty-seven years he was a beacon—transforming not only his own spirit, but those of his fellow inmates, fifty-four of whom were executed mere feet from his cell. With the help of civil rights attorney and bestselling author of Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson, Hinton won his release in 2015. 

With a foreword by Stevenson, The Sun Does Shine is an extraordinary testament to the power of hope sustained through the darkest times. Destined to be a classic memoir of wrongful imprisonment and freedom won, Hinton’s memoir tells his dramatic thirty-year journey and shows how you can take away a man’s freedom, but you can’t take away his imagination, humor, or joy. 

©2018 Anthony Ray Hinton, foreword copyright 2018 by Bryan Stevenson (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"In this intense memoir, Hinton recounts his three-decade nightmare: awaiting execution for crimes he didn't commit...Hinton's life is one of inspiration, which he wonderfully relays here in bitingly honest prose." (Publishers Weekly)

"The actor Kevin R. Free performs this work with flashes of anger cast over a deep humility, and captures the sense of humor that Hinton was, incredibly, able to hold on to during his long years in solitary confinement...This is a story that enrages and inspires." (New York Times)

"The incredible details of Hinton's trial and eventual release are narrated in an honest, easy style by Kevin R. Free.... He captures the Southern rhythms of Hinton's speech with a natural cadence that brings us closer to his pain." (AudioFile Magazine)

What members say

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Excellent

A very human moving soulful story. Extraordinary insight to a hidden side of justice system

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Nearly cried in work on four separate occasions.

I'm a man. I nearly cried in work on four separate occasions.
It a beautiful story. The Green Mile meets The Shawshank Redemption but not just because of incarnation. The characters & the story telling shine.

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  • APD
  • 18-05-18

Extraordinary Man

Mr. Hinton is extraordinary. His outlook on life after his devastating injustice experience is a lesson to us all. His capacity to forgive those who hurt him so much is mind boggling, as so few of us would have the strength and heart to do so. Yet Mr. Hinton succeeds in proving to us that forgiveness is the right path, for so many reasons, the most compelling for me being to not give one more second of our life to those who wrong us. This book reminded me to live fully, to make the most of any situation, and to trust God. It also reminded me of the deep imperfection of our justice system, and of the consequences of this system in need of reform. There are many more lessons in this book, and i recommend it to everyone; it recounts a profoundly sad story, yet Mr. Hinton finds a way to fill us with hope thx to his wisdom and wonderful heart and mind, to lift our spirit and make us appreciate life, to find happiness. Mr. Hinton is extraordinary.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-04-18

DOWN WITH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT!!!

One of the best I've ever read or listened to. I played it as often as I could. The more I listened the more I wanted to listen. Sad, funny, Well worth the time. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as I did. It an eye opener into the debate about CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. As a law enforcement officer for 40+yrs & being on the fence about the death penalty I'm now convinced that it should be done away with. Enjoy the ride because THE SUN DOES SHINE.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Gillian
  • 03-04-18

Finding Humanity Where You Can

If you loved Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy, you'll very, very much like The Sun Does Shine which is a heartrending reminder of how flawed the American justice system is, especially if you're poor and of color.
Ray Hinton spends 30 years on Death Row, despite having an iron-clad alibi for the crimes he's been accused of, despite a practically antique gun's never having been fired for 25 years being tagged as the murder weapon in three crimes.
It's a shock just being accused, it's horrific being convicted, but spending your life on Death Row? There are no words that I can think of for myself.
Fortunately, Hinton has the words to describe his experiences. He goes from numbness to anger to hatred to finding friendship, family, and occasional bliss during his years (in his mind he travels to exotic places, he plays professional baseball, he marries beautiful and famous women. He does whatever he needs to do to survive but one more day). His best friends are all simply human, despite their crimes. He makes no bones about some of them surely being guilty, but accepts them, warts and all, as fellow human beings, trying to live in hellish surroundings.
In The Sun Does Shine, you'll see what true resilience is, what true spirit is and, my God, you'll see what true forgiveness is.
The only flaw is that it's narrated by Kevin Free, who does quite well, it's just that he's a young man, and time goes by for Hinton. He's a man brought down by time, made tired by all he's been through and lived through, one spirit-breaking year to the next (and I cried when someone beloved to him passes and there's nothing he can do about it). The book would've been far more powerful with an older man narrating.
But that's the only, only flaw.
Coming from a death penalty state, I kind of get numb with execution after execution. Fortunately there are books like this that make me angry and that remind me: I'm greater than the worst thing I've done... Aren't we all?

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Ryder
  • 18-07-18

Amazing Man!

This book is incredibly thought provoking! I was surprised by just how much one man was able to endure, without giving up and throwing in the towel. After hearing the story, I’m not sure how anyone could still support capital punishment. It’s inhumane and plain old cruel!!! Narration is great! Definitely buy this audiobook

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeanne Hanson
  • 07-06-18

A clarion call to clean up the legal system

Ray's is a heart-breaking, heart-filling story. it made me laugh and cry, get enraged and get engaged. I heard Brian speak last year and have signed up to support the EJI. Things must change - and will change. As Mama Hinton said, "God can do anything but fail."

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet L. Bleyl
  • 27-04-18

Absolutely excellent. <br />

Best book I've listened to on Audible to date. Unbelievably telling, heartwrenching, and thought provoking. We take so much for granted in our lives, and this book is a testament to one man's faith, love, hope and humanity in the face of unbelievable circumstances. I am so glad he has shared his story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jofi00
  • 24-04-18

One of the Best Books I've ever Heard!!!

The reader was so ON POINT! He read brilliantly and stayed in tone with the emotion of the event he was reading. He was a brilliant reader. I'm going to look for books read byKevin R. Free. I've watched Anthony Hinton on YouTube quite a bit and I could hear some of Mr. Hinton in the reader's slight southern-mixed-with-city drawl. I never stopped listening and never stopped growing from what I read. Anthony Rae Hinton was accused of murder and robbery though he was at work during the commission of the crime. I don't wanna give it all away but he spent 27 years on death row. Instead of allowing hate and bitterness to change him he changed death row! This is a book each and every person on the planet needs to read whether you are for or against the death penalty. His story makes me want to love those who may be unlike me socially or physically because we are all human beings and deserve to be seen as more than our worst act as his mentor, Bryan Stevenson, always says. READ THIS BOOK! I promise you, you won't for get it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie Kent
  • 13-06-18

Life changing.

I want to listen to this book over and over again.
Excellent!!! A must read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher K. Mccaleb
  • 08-06-18

Awesome....breathtaking

My words won't do this book 'justice,' As I wrote the word justice there was no pun intended. Just know that its life changing and incredible. A story of love, family, hate, racism, lessons in the court systems and the lengths people will go to preserve a lie. Anthony Ray Hinton is a walking miracle. His story is worth your time!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-08-18

Extraordinary !

I didn't want this book to end, This book makes you feel, brings out every emotion in you.....I want to meet this amazing human being. What a big heart he has, I've learnt so much, how to be a better person, how you should not judge, how you can forgive, so many lessons......