This is an exceptionally well crafted novel, with excellent literary qualities, that I wish I hadn't rented. Spending umpteen hours listening in pain to a family emotionally unravel isn't something I choose to do again anytime soon.
I am a 67 year old psychologist. I have been married for 28 years, with two sons who are 27 and 24. I love listening to the books.
Mr. Landay's book is outrageously good. There are lots of ex-lawyers out there who think they can write; they should read "Defending Jacob" so they can see what a great book is. The plot twists and turns in ways that entertain and inform you. The main characters are extremely well drawn. The villain LoGuidice is horrible: nasty, vicious, ambitious, duplicitous. The Barber family is extremely complicated: Andy, Jacob and Laurie are all believable humans. The courtroom scenes are a little drawn out, which is often the case with courtroom scenes. You can forgive this, as these guys spent their careers in courtrooms. The device of interspersing Andy's grand jury testimony, something which clearly occurs at the end of the book, but with which Landay teases you throughout, is one of a kind. I have never seen it used before, and if anyone else ever copies it, Mr. Landay should appreciate the fact that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Grover Gardner is a perfect reader for this book. His voice is friendly and full of humor, even when the text is serious. His reading of the David Rosenfelt lawyer/dog series is so delightful that you want to read every book in it. Gardner doesn't have as many voices as some of the other more technically proficient narrators, but that hasn't stopped audiobook publishers from recognizing his talent. He is warm, knowledgeable and naturally engaging. You will never guess how the book ends, no matter how clever you are. Landay's insights into the world of eighth graders and their parents is true in every detail. I cannot recommend this book more highly; this is the debut of a marvelous talent.
Say something about yourself!
Although initially skeptical of the narrator, he grew on me, and hit it out of the park by the conclusion. Although I am not a rabid fan of the courtroom drama/mystery, i found this to be very fulfilling for what it was. Well done.
Business Physicist and Astronomer
Oh yes. The story is riveting and nuanced. There are lots of twists and we have a bit of an unreliable narrator. Brilliant.
Crime and Punishment---While Crime and Punishment is better, of course, this book is loaded with tension.
Couldn't say. Great book start to finish.
The reader, Grover Gardner is superb---he could be reading his own story. Perfect read.
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.
I did not read the print version.
The narrator helps me visualize the story better than if I were readin the book.
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.
This book had a somewhat interesting plot line and is written in the first person, but it's not a true story. I guess if you are a parent, you can identify with what kind of emotions and problems would occur when your child is accused of a murder. The book is wwaaaayyyyyy too long and tedious in places - particularly in some courtroom exchanges. The questions asked by the attorneys about minute little details regarding knives, etc. that have nothing to do with the story cause you to lose interest - and practically put you to sleep. I found myself saying out loud more than once: "Just move on already!". The book could probably be about 1/2 its length and still tell the story. It wouldn't improve the story line, though, which is just mediocre and - for the most part - mostly unbelievable. I can neither recommend nor not recommend. It depends whether you have 15 hours of your life you don't care if you never get back.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
. . . 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.
I love the outdoors and the warm weather!! And I never leave home with out my I-Nano. It should be surgically placed into my ear. I live and breath for books.
This book makes you think about yourself and your children. The writer wrote this
with a lot of thought about family. And how we as parents may be blind to our
children's behavior. Also about the court system, how your guilty before your proven innocent. The only con was the narrator voice was the same for certain character's. Besides that it was a good book. I enjoyed it!!