I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I hesitated for months to listen to this because I had preconceived notions about the storyline. I thought it would be a formulaic family drama, syrupy or maudlin - the kiss of death for any book in my estimation. My mistake. It is nothing like that.
This is a brilliantly written, suspenseful novel made all the more impressive by the fact that it's Landay's first book. He makes none of the mistakes with clumsy dialogue that can sometimes plague new writers. He can jump around on the timeline and never lose you. Really, it's masterfully executed and incredibly suspenseful.
All along the way I was sure I'd figured it out. I thought about it when I wasn't listening and came up with all kinds of "Aha!" moments. I was wrong every time. I just love it when a book can do that to me. Not one of my plotted scenarios was ever right.
Grover Gardner has a way of narrating that makes you think every single thing he says is the gospel. There's a unique timbre to his voice that's easy to listen to, captivating and very convincing. Though he's not the most dramatic of narrators, he's really perfect for a book like this when the character just needs to tell his story.
Without a doubt, this book is firmly in the company of other 1st rate legal dramas by Grisham and Turrow. Excellent.
This was quite an enjoyable listen. I thought this was going to be another book about a kid getting bullied to the breaking point but was surprised to find it more than that. I thought it predictable but surprised that it wasn't.
It is sad as a parent to find out things about your children that you would just as soon not know. Not just about the child who is bullied but the child who was murdered. Neither parents knew about these sides of their children.
Grover Gardener read this so well. Loved it! Hated it! But such a good read.
. . . I can't breathe. This one is still keeping me up at nights. I did not see it coming. This is a very well written book with lots of twists and turns, but the ending is shocking. I hoped as I drew near the end of the story that something would happen to cinch it for me as not being predictable. Well, it was not predictable. I just can't decide if that is the very thing I like or dislike about this book. It has been a week since I finished it, and I think I am only now grasping the meaning of the story. It is more fascinating as time goes on. Would I recommend it? Yes, but not to everyone. Only if you can handle the unkindest cuts of all. This is not a happy story with a fairytale ending. But it is intriguing. I think the air is still knocked out of me.
My only complaint about the book was that it was hard to find a truly lovable character. I could sympathize with them, but I just couldn't love them. But I do get that the author wanted them that way for a reason. Yeh, I get it. There are no warm fuzzies here.
"This is a 3 to 4 star legal thriller. The narrator was great, I enjoyed the inflections in his voice"
I enjoyed the book, however I think one time was enough. I bought it on a $5.95 special which made it a great value. Although it is worth credit.
I thought it was touching when Jacob's grandfather involved himself despite the animosity. Grover Gardner did a really good job at adding a lot of personality to the characters.
Of course, I'm sucker for happily ever after.
Defending Jacob is an entertaining book somewhat of a drama/ thriller and lastly a mystery. The mystery was very predictable however there was an unexpected twist at the end.
The author is a good storyteller. I'm an adolescent therapist, and the portrayal of the therapist and the parents' responses to the therapist made no sense. The therapist described a psychological profile that was laughable, and used diagnoses that aren't even used with children. I hope Mr. Landay speaks with a child/adolescent clinician next time.
So much to learn, and so little time to sit down and read. Thanks Audible.
The story is well-written and held my attention throughout. It is a book that kept my mind racing as I listened, and is not a story you'll quickly forget. It is definitely worth spending a credit on.
Grover Gardner was a phenomenal reader for this book. I would give him 6 stars if I could.
I am a public speaker and entertainer that lives in The Beautiful Lake of The Ozarks in Missouri.
I usually don't listen to mysteries more than once. I may in a few years when the story has left me some.
This isn't really the kind of story where you have a favorite character. The story doesn't really have any good guys. It is just a group of people in pain trying their best to get through what their life has become. These are all characters you pity. You have no desire to emulate any of them.
He sounded so much like Futarama's Zapp Brannigan that it took a lot for me to take him seriously. For me, his voice took away from the story. Grover Gardner has a great voice, but it is a voice that is perfect for a Seth McFarlane character or a any male character that thinks he is amazing but is more of a joke.
I would not like to spend time with any characters from this book.
It truly was a great book. Excellent actually. I crossed over to be a stay at home mother to take care of my only child and to back my husband in his career. I have a son and it was so easy to relate to the mother in the story because her set up is so similar to my own life. I felt a lot of compassion for her and feel like she is the hero of this story. The story took me by surprise at some points. When Andy Barber got to the end of talking about their vacation I gasped out loud! Oh my! Andy was an easy character to sympathize with until the very end. At the very end you just can't believe that he could be so intent of believing what he believes. As a parent though I realize my love for my son is endless. It may not be that hard to fall into the trap that Andy Barber had fallen into. I wished that it hadn't ended so suddenly. I would have liked to know what happened to Andy and his wife.
Typical cat lady: lazy, sings off-key, craves spicy bloody marys.
Our lives are exhaled right into these characters with William Landay's exquisite prose. We recognize the Barbers in ourselves, our families, our neighbors, our co-workers--it's as if he picks what may seem the most mundane aspects of our lives and describes them with delightfully accurate metaphors, urging us to believe in how we live, nodding, yes, like *that*, while at the same time unraveling a frightening mystery of gruesome nature. Great narration by Grover Gardner. Really, a terrific listen.
This book is overwritten. Paragraphs full of filler. The author belabors the point - over and over. Other writers can manage asides and character details through prose styling. I wanted to know how the mystery was resolved so I pushed on, finally skipping paragraphs to make it through.
Defending Jacob makes you question how blind you become as a parent to your own child's horrendous behavior. Is it just impossible for some parents to believe that their child could have done something unspeakable even when all the evidence points that way? What is interesting is that the father is the one who cannot fathom that his child is anything but a good kid, not the mother as most authors would have predictably written. It is an interesting story, but I did feel the courtroom scenes (a very high percentage of the book) belabored the minutia and repetition of a trial. I think for the sake of the story, the author would have been well served to compress some of trial detail as it got to be tedious.