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.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
First off, I became a Grover Gardener fan from his readings of the wonderful David Rosenfelt/Andy Carpenter series... He is as feeling-perfect as ever here....
But this book is astonishing. William Landay has plotted and peopled a rare perfect novel. There is not a forced idea.The writer and the reader disappear, leaving only you and Andy Barber's challenge in Defending Jacob. I recommend it without reservation. He shows us distress through the mind of senior Assistant District Attorney Andy Barber - a mind powerfully affected by his fatherly love. It is a tale that thickens like quicksand, sucking you deeper with each swirl and tug... This is a life view that will haunt me... and you.
Let's make it simple... buy it... download it... experience it... recommend it.
I'm off to find another of William Landay's work.
I am a young-executive with a voracious appetite for great stories. I read and listen constantly, and am very proud of my book collection.
I really hate books that over-exxagerate the emotion associated with a particular theme. I think writers unable to impart the fear associated with real life events, such as your son being charged in the murder of a fellow student, have to gravitate to hyperbole and excess. Fortunately, this book refrains from excess, which I find to be the best thing about Landay's story. He is able to illuminate for the reader the fear and aftermath associated with justice in the age of a hyper-media! However, it became tedious and redundant. Jacob was not that interesting as a character. I hate to rate this book so low as I feel like it had all the makings of a wonderful thriller, yet it fell short as many opportunities to shine the light of truth were missed. I would recommend this book if you don't want to think too much and want a real easy listen--it will not be a waste of time. Just don't expect to be blown away.
First, anything narrated by Grover Gardner is usually worth a listen. I thought the story was well written, good character development, and an unexpected (tho I wouldn't call it "shocking") ending. Will be looking for more from Landay. Great listen.
I love John Grisham, but I've always been disappointed in how he finishes his books. Landay has that figured out.
Gardner reads extremely well, but occasionally I had trouble determining which character was speaking because he did not vary his voice as the characters changed.
Addicted to Audible!
I am a fan of courtroom drama and of family relationships. This book combines both and totally engaged me from the beginning. The author kept throwing in interesting twists and turns and I was very suprised by the ending. If you enjoy the early work of Grisham, you will enjoy this!
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
As a parent, it is so easy to see how this wonderful novel could happen in real life - - a rare feat for a novel. Careful reading too many reviews - - I got a terrible spoiler as I was deciding about whether to purchase this one, so just let me urge you to buy it. It's a real honest assessment of a family at the nadir of their lives.
Listening to "Defending Jacob" is like watching a train wreck.
You watch with a weird fascination, knowing that what you see is terrible, but unable to pull your gaze away. One bad thing piles onto another bad thing, and you begin to question the truth (as the lawyers, and the author intended). "Jacob" redefines the courtroom thriller. If Grisham were to write a novel that was not formulaic, and was smoldering with emotion and filled with flawed characters (that may or may not be sadistic killers) then this might be it. You will never guess the ending.
Without giving anything away... the DA's son is accused of murder, and as the title of the book suggest, a number of meanings begin to play out. His family is pulled headlong into the muddy fray, and their lives are quickly unraveled with hateful gossip, community backlash, and etc...
Excellent reading by Grover Gardener.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
This comes too close to a being a 1 star novel for me. It's well written and read. It's also a really good trial novel . And it's fair to say I listened with great interest and thought throughout the novel. But it deals with a very subjective and controversial genetic predisposition to violence that I found unbelievable.
So it's interesting, but it ends poorly. It never truly gives a remotely good explanation of what really happened.