Thank goodness for Daily Deals. This is one book I’d probably have never found had it not been featured one day. This book is riveting to say the least. There is really no other word to describe it. There are times when I found myself thinking, “You are not that stupid! Really, you just cannot be that stupid! Are you?” Even with these moments, Defending Jacob is an excellent read and listen. The narrator is awesome. He knows how to bring the listener into the story without over doing it. If you enjoy legal thrillers that will keep tossing things at you that you never see coming, you really need to read this book. There is little I can say without spoiling the story, however, prepare yourself for a great deal of, what the…” and “are you serious…?” moments. I am pretty good at figuring out the endings of books, a quality I do not necessarily enjoy but one that comes from reading a lot of books, but not this one. I was completely blown away by the ending. Don’t misunderstand me. You will have a couple of moments where you just want to skip to the end but don’t do it. You need to catch all of it. Anyway those moments are few and far between. All I can really say is keep track of the Daily Deals and read this book!
I liked the courtroom scenes but the domestic scenes were nothing special at all. Typical parent teenage interactions that are kind of dull. Cutting out about a third would have improved the pace. If you want to read (or listen) to a similar book that is more to my liking, check out Presumed Innocent.
The various twists in the story.
The wear and tear trials may impact on on a family and on each individual. Changes you forever. The love Andy has for his son-touching!
Hope. To see what her perspective was on the family.
Reading with no hands!
Forget what you believe about the ties that bind family and be prepared to wonder if those who populate your life are really who you think they are, and you will have the crux of William Landay's riveting novel Defending Jacob.
To say that this is a heart-wrenching story understates the high emotional toll that events take as they play out in the story of one family's drama. Jacob is the teenage son of Andy Barber, a local district attorney in the tony suburb of Newton, MA, who is charged with the murder of his classmate.
Despite protestations of innocence, the community quickly abandons the Barbers. As the family mounts a defense and deals with this new world into which they've been thrust, we are privy to the tiny fissures that threaten to turn into gaping holes in the fabric of their lives. Two stories, ultimately sad parallels, are intertwined through the testimony of a trial. They reveal the hold that blood can have on one's choices and future.
In a voice that is at once determined and devastated, Andy recounts the details of the build up towards his son's trial and the monumental changes every relationship he has undergoes as a result of the charge. He laments that a 'not guilty' verdict doesn't remove the stain of assumed guilt from Jacob or the rest of the family.
Poignantly threaded throughout, Laurie Barber, the beleaguered wife and mother, grapples with the role she has played, must play currently and will play in the future. She asks the unthinkable questions, thereby providing the foil to Andy's unquestioning devotion.
The gritty discourse moves the story along briskly through plot twists and turns that seem like they've been lifted from today's reality television. Characters are the vehicles through which the story is conveyed. Major and minor roles offer depth to the proceedings and present the unspoken readers’ perspective. Simultaneously they move as the situation demands and answer our queries as they erupt.
Andy's voice is the common and mostly calm water in which the expository elements float. His deposition-like dialogue speaks to his profession and his perfunctory approach to achieving his son's exoneration. It's his steady pacing that leaves you unprepared for the shocking dénouement. This voice was especially powerful in the unabridged audio book. I listened to the entire book in a single day, so compelling was the performance.
This collision of secrets, sensations and saga brew together and form the perfect overflow of tragedy. Ultimately, Defending Jacob confirms that love can drive us to protect in ways that are inconceivably sorrowful. It is a modern day lesson in the perils of believing we know what may actually be unknowable.
I have been searching for a great legal thriller for so long! This is just that!
I liked the way the author always kept me guessing. Every time I thought I had figured it out, I was thrown a curve. No obvious foreshadowing.
Can't wait to read more of William Landay's books!!
This was a really good book. I did not want to stop listening to it the entire time. It kept me engaged with its characters and story.
Without giving anything away, I just want to say that the story line had me going the whole time.....It was highly recommended by other Audible listeners and once again I was not disappointed. I do have to say that at times I did chuckle at the Bostonian "accent"....but the narrator did a great job....switching back and forth between characters was almost flawless...I would/will listen to him again....in as much as the accent was weak @ times, his narration was very articulate and he was so easy to listen to.
I highly recommend this book like the other listeners.....its an excellent story line.
Editor for over 25 years, for 35 books in the R.E. appraisal area & CEO of my own small biz. Got my MFA in creative writing at age 67. :D
The complex relationships among the family members were beautifully realized. The narration was fine: lucid and careful but not at all intrusive. I thought the pacing was masterful as this tale of family love and trauma opened slowly but relentlessly and inexorably to a breathtaking finish.
I can't share this as it would be a complete spoiler. Suffice to say that the denouement haunted my thoughts for weeks after I finished this book.
The narrator, the father in the story.
Again, to share this would be a spoiler. I would not want to spoil this book for anyone! It is just too excellent.
Read it. Think about it. There's morality here, and love, and duty and anguish. WOW.
Since discovering audible, my life is richer. I live in a small rural KS community, with higher than average IQ which can be a bad combo at times. Audible allows me to be myself.
This book deserves a written review. I enjoyed this book very much but I can’t give it a full 5 star rating, rather a 4.5. The premise of the book was unique and I thought I had guessed the ending about mid way through but I was only half right. The ending though is where I had to knock off the half point. It seemed to me the book was so well thought out and the author actually rushed the ending or rather it didn’t seem that logical to me. Overall though, the hype of the book is deserved, it was a good book but just not quite where it would be an awesome book that you would tell people “you have to read this”.
This audiobook ranks among one of the best. We started listening to this story driving to our vacation destination. We found ourselves searching for free time to finish the story!
Favorite character was the mom. I could relate...almost.
I have never heard Grover Gardner before. However, I absolutely loved his reading. His performance was perfect. He made you feel the emotion of the characters in the book even MORE so than the excellent way Mr. Landay portrayed them with his words.
Most memorable was the mom.
Thoroughly loved this book. My husband and I listened to it on our way, as well as during, our recent vacation. The perfect description of all the details made you feel and see everything about this book. Great story with several twists. The narration was terrific and not over the top. One of my favorite audiobooks to date. We still talk about this book over a month later. Really gets in your head! Well worth the read.