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.
This book is fascinating. You will spend so much time considering "Is Jacob guilty?" "Is his father blind to him?" "Who has their story right?" "What causes a person to kill?" There is so much depth here. I very much enjoyed the story and the narration here is good. The narrator reminded me of what a Connecticut lawyer would probably sound like. That is a good thing. A have a friend who read this book and found it very depressing. So, be warned, this is a difficult topic, particularly for parents.
Didn't really care for the ending.
I don't think I should base his performance on this book.
One of the best books I've listened to.
The father's undying devotion is memorable.
His voice was a little high pitched for my taste at first, but after a few minutes, he had my complete attention and respect.
Sins of the Fathers
The story kept you guessing from start to finish.
He was believable as several characters.
Yes, but that's impossible.
The story is an interesting one and I like the way it was done with the grand jury. The plot does a nice job of keeping you wondering about Jacob's guilt or innocence. The reader did a great job of bringing life to the characters.
I really loved the book. Didn't want it to end where it did!! It would have gotten a 5 except for ending!
Yes, I would definitely listen to this again
I loved the twists and turns in the plot. It will keep you guessing right up to the end. A great read for a book club with lots of discussion about ethics.
Billy Barber was definitely the most memorable.
Say something about yourself!
This book was enjoyable especially having lived in the Boston area it was interesting to understand Massachusetts law to a certain degree. The narrator did a nice job and should be considered for future books.