I wanted this book to be so much better than it was. A friend and I decided to read it together, so I kept plugging along. It was OK. I debated giving it a 2, but it was slightly better than that. There was an interesting turn at one point , but overall, I'm not sure I would recommend it. The narrator was lacking as well. If you want to read it, but it towards the bottom of your list. It will pass the time, but is certainly not a page-turner.
I would not simply for the fact I do not have time to listen to books more than once. I would most highly recommend this title, and would love to see what could be done as a movie!
I did not really have a favorite character here, but I felt a huge amount of sympathy for all sides in this tale. All of them felt so true to life...a really outstanding job on character development.
Mr. Gardner had the perfect voice and tone for this tale. His voice grounded the story, made it feel more "real."
Listen or read this book immediately. It will keep you wondering and guessing until the end...and then gut punch you. If you like murder mysteries and court room dramas, please check this out. Wow.
" I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.
I'm not into Legal books (Like Grisham, etc...) much, but the way the book was put together was great & made it much more interesting all the way to the end, so there is a spoiler...
I love books that have some spin at the end or somewhere in the book, the more180 degree's or tangentially crazy the better (as long as it fits). Its told in an interesting perspective, I guess 1st person with a 3 person twist? I don't know the exact word but it also is linear from a time perspective which is great if the author can do it
Worth the credit, and makes me think about my 3 boys while biting my fingers LOL
This was an excellent suspense audio! The narrator did a superb job with the character changes. The storyline was very believable - it could happen to you! I especially liked that the family was written like anyone of my neighbors. It kept my interest right to the end. The mother, Laurie. She was the backbone of the family and although it appeared throughout the trial she gave that role up to Andy (the father) she came through in the end.
The character development was excellent, only to be exceeded by the story line.
The best part was unexpected turns in the story line.
I see the mother as being the most memorable character, probably because I too am a mother and could identify with her emotions and her moral quandary.
The performance was exceptional, so real.
Interesting story, took a while to understand the format, but worth the listen.
Narrator did a great job of portraying the characters and bringing our their stories.
The mom. When you hear the book, you'll understand.
From start to finish I was on a hook. I kept trying to figure out how the story might end and I was thrown for a loop. There is a point where you think everything is wrapped up neatly just to find out that it is not at all.
This is a court-room drama, a mystery, a story about family dynamics...It contains coming of age and coming undone.
I really enjoyed it and at the same time it made me think. It is a good listen for any parent, Could this happen in your family?
The narrator is good. It is worth the listen.
Super riveting listening....a little long winded in the court room scenes perhaps ...but a great book overall.
Liked Grover Gardner's style of reading, speed and clarity
It is not often that a book takes me by surprise but Defending Jacob did, I so did not see that ending coming, I don’t want to give too much away you just need to read this book. This novel revolves around the Barber family; Andy Barber, top Assistant DA, his wife Laurie and their 14 year old son Jacob; living in the prestige town of Newton Massachusetts. Jacob is accused of murdering his classmate, Ben Rifkin and in the state of Massachusetts must be tried as an adult. Throughout the book Jacob claims he is innocents, William Landay will keep you dithering throughout the book- guilty .. not gulity – he certainly had me question Jacob’s guilt or innocents. To throw you off we hear Andy being questioned in front of a grand jury – but why? Defending Jacob is well written, Landry will keep you on your toes with lots of twist and turn but the ending will definitely leave you with your mouth open. A must read!
Grover Gardner narrated this book and was superb.
The story had compelling characters with great potential for the storyline. However, the longer the story went on, the less I was impressed. It became difficult to tell who was the main character, Jacob or his father. I suppose I might have forgiven the muddled character lines had I been enticed to care about Jacob at all. There was never interjected any insight to his character. Only a steady stream of reflections by the narrator, Jacob's father.
The initial intrigue of the murder was a draw in the first part of the narrative. The boy had been accused of the most horrible crime and his life was hinging on his father's determination to prove him innocent. However, Andrew Barber, attorney at law, cannot seem to separate himself from his son. He goes on and on defending his son, but the story is really about himself. It becomes a lengthy exercise in self-awareness and guilt-mongering which never reveals Jacob at all. Perhaps the plot was designed to leave the reader uncertain, but it only made me less interested as the story played out.
The old Irish thug, Father O'Leary. He was a minor character, but at least he was mysterious enough to be interesting.
No. I would not recommend it.
In fairness, I am not a fan of this type of story. It was told me that William Landay's writing was very John Grisham-like. I can't see that comparison at all. The story was not a complete flop, but had I not been vested with hours of travel time with the audio, and had I been reading the novel, I likely would have tossed it aside well before I reached the end.