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Defending Jacob Audiobook

Defending Jacob: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years. He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob. But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.

Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy. Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him. Andy must. He’s his father. But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble and the trial intensifies, and as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own - between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he’s tried to bury and a future he cannot conceive.

Award-winning author William Landay has written the consummate novel of an embattled family in crisis - a suspenseful, character-driven mystery that is also a spellbinding tale of guilt, betrayal, and the terrifying speed at which our lives can spin out of control.

©2012 William Landay (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Landay has proven himself to be an extraordinary writer, and Defending Jacob is an amazing novel. Do yourself a favor and read it. It’s that good.” (Nicholas Sparks, #1 New York Times best-selling author)

“Harrowing . . . This searing narrative proves the ancient Greek tragedians were right: the worst punishment is not death but living with what you—knowingly or unknowingly—have done.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

“[Landay] reaches a new level of excellence with this riveting, knock-your-socks-off legal thriller. With its masterfully crafted characterizations and dialogue, emotional depth, and frightening implications, the novel rivals the best of Scott Turow and John Grisham. Don’t miss it.” (Booklist, starred review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-15-15
    Big jim Picotto Great White North 01-15-15 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic story, twist, and narration."

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey S PLEASANT HILL, CA, United States 06-30-14
    Jeffrey S PLEASANT HILL, CA, United States 06-30-14
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    "Well written, but depressing from start to finish."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 12-17-12
    Chris Reich Northern, CA 12-17-12 Member Since 2009

    Business Physicist and Astronomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb!"
    Would you listen to Defending Jacob again? Why?

    Oh yes. The story is riveting and nuanced. There are lots of twists and we have a bit of an unreliable narrator. Brilliant.


    What other book might you compare Defending Jacob to and why?

    Crime and Punishment---While Crime and Punishment is better, of course, this book is loaded with tension.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Couldn't say. Great book start to finish.


    If you could rename Defending Jacob, what would you call it?

    Stupid question.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader, Grover Gardner is superb---he could be reading his own story. Perfect read.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 09-17-12
    Elisabeth Durham, NC, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2016
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    Story
    "A Father's Blindspot"

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Coppell, TX, United States 02-14-12
    Bill Coppell, TX, United States 02-14-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Well written and very good narrator."
    Would you consider the audio edition of Defending Jacob to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narrator helps me visualize the story better than if I were readin the book.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-11-12
    Richard Delman San Francisco 02-11-12 Member Since 2016

    I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant first novel. Very suspenseful."

    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.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 02-03-12
    Janet ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 02-03-12 Member Since 2009
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    "I was surprised!"

    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.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rhonda 02-12-14
    Rhonda 02-12-14
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    "Take it or Leave it"

    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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 03-15-13
    Sher from Provo Utah 03-15-13 Member Since 2015

    Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.

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    "I was hoping for a plot twist, but . . ."

    . . . 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.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    andrea Annandale, NJ, United States 02-08-12
    andrea Annandale, NJ, United States 02-08-12 Member Since 2011

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Good Book!!"

    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!!

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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