They tell me I'm lucky to have a son who's so verbal, who is blisteringly intelligent, who can take apart the broken microwave and have it working again an hour later. They think there is no greater hell than having a son who is locked in his own world, unaware that there's a wider one to explore. But try having a son who is locked in his own world, and still wants to make a connection. A son who tries to be like everyone else, but truly doesn't know how.
Jacob Hunt is a teenage boy with Asperger's syndrome. He's hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject -- in his case, forensic analysis. He's always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do...and he's usually right. But then his town is rocked by a terrible murder and, for a change, the police come to Jacob with questions. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger's - not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, flat affect - can look a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel. Suddenly, Jacob and his family, who only want to fit in, feel the spotlight shining directly on them. For his mother, Emma, it's a brutal reminder of the intolerance and misunderstanding that always threaten her family. For his brother, Theo, it's another indication of why nothing is normal because of Jacob. And over this small family the soul-searing question looms: Did Jacob commit murder?
Emotionally powerful from beginning to end, House Rules looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way - and fails those who don't.
©2010 Jodi Picoult (P)2010 Recorded Books, LLC
This book seemed more about living with autism then about the characters. Maybe I've read too many of her books, but this one seemed formulaic and predictable. However the education in Autism made it well worth the listen.
Being the Mom of a young son on the autism spectrum I found I couldn't put this book down. I loved that the story is told from many perspectives and it really made me think from everyone's point of view.
The story was very interesting and even though it was a longer than usual listen for me - it went by quickly. My only wish was that the story continued for a bit more - but I guess wanting more is a good thing......
If you love other Jodi Picoult books this one will not let you down. It is great to get some insight in to this family's life makes you a little bit more thoughtful of others in the same situation.
the story is moves at a good pace and keeps you on your toes thinking about what has happended and how it will all end.
You will not be disappointed with this purchase.
First half of book was slow, thought I wasnt going to like it....then I couldnt put the book down...the writer made me frustrated that it took so long for the main character to communicate ...guess thats what the whole book is about...the ability to communicate! Well written, would have liked a more detailed ending tho...
This was a book I'd have preferred in an abridged version. It was interesting, but too long. Actually, in order to finish it, I put my iPod on "fast" for narration speed.
I liked this book because Jodi Picoult didn't use it as a forum to judge mothers. She does this in many of her books. I liked the fact that the reader was able to see life in the point of view of the boy with Asbergers, his mom, brother, father, friends and acquaintances. I guessed the end quit easily, however, I was happy with in anyway. This book is a page turner.
As a huge Jodi Picoult fan and special education teacher, I was very excited to listen to this book by one of my favorite authors and about a subject I have experience with. However, I was a little disturbed by Picoult's portrayal of Asperger's, although I could tell that she was trying extremely hard to be sensitive. Also, the sibling issues were so similar to Handle with Care that I couldn't shake the likenesses. I was a bit disappointed and hope that Picoult's next book is a bit fresher.
I don't want to spoil this, but I was really disappointed when the problem was solved very much like in an earlier book of hers-- just as frustrating for what it said about family. Very unsatisfying, and it requires everyone to behave rather stupidly, like no one ever asking what someone else means.
But great emotion, as always with Picoult. The middle kind of dragged, but there were many really affecting moments. She does cops very well, I've noticed that before.
Great narrators too!
Jodi Picoult is becoming very predicable. I feel like this book is so much the same as my sisters keeper and handle with care. It's as if she's trying to hurry and push books for publication.
I was disappointed also with the ending or lack there of.
Overall, something interesting to listen to as you pass time, but nothing amazing.
Jodi Picoult writes books relevant to current issues facing American society. For the most part, I really appreciate her work. She researches her subject well and allows the reader to be pulled into the story asking herself, "Wow, what would I do if that were my life?" I've read three of her books.
Today, I finished House Rules, and realized I'm tired of Ms Picoult's poor attempts to "wrap up" her story. This book, as well as Her Sister's Keeper, just left me in limbo.
I appreciate writers who allow the reader to make the final decision as to how the book will end, but let's get real here. Ms Picoult couldn't figure out how to finish the book, and cut the ending short. I'm left irritated. I want to know what happened not - some cheesy conclusion about rules between sibs and how they take care of each other. She set up the court scene and was just scooting along to a believable ending when she looked out the window, realized it was time to plant the garden and finished the ending in 15 minutes. She really needs to put as much energy into the plot and ending of the story as she does to her research.
I'm thinking I won't read anymore of her books. I've been disappointed a few too many times. I'd rate this about a 2.5 our of 5.
"Another excellent Jodi Picoult!"
As ever, this Jodi Picoult latest did not disappoint. It's the first time I have had an audio version of one of her novels, and it suited this one perfectly, clearly demonstrating the deadpan, robotic voice of Jacob the son with Asperger's and how his answers to the interrogations could be so misinterpreted. I became truly immersed in the family life and the quandaries and considerations of this complex case, if a little frustrated at the fact that it took a long time for anyone to ask a character, whose condition prevents him from lying, the truth of the matter. For once, I managed to guess the 'twist' at the end long before it came to it, but, having become so involved with the characters, was relieved by the conclusion, if saddened, as always, that such a good read had to come to an end!
"Great listen, good insight and gripping story."
I really enjoyed listening to this book. I trained as a Social Worker and have in the past tried to help young people with Asperger's Syndrome move to live independently and find work and training and I have worked with young people within the criminal justice system. So it was the subject matter that drew me in.
I had never read/listened to a Jodi Picoult novel before and I am still not sure of her genre or who her readership really is but standing alone, this book was a gripping listen. It is told with great insight and from the different character's opinions, so you get to know each character very well. It highlights the way that the legal system can be unfair with young people with disabilities, in this case with Aspergers and lightly raises the question of disability being due to society's intolerance rather than a person's lack of ability. The book is great at bringing out emotion and intersperses humour to balance the trials of life.
There is one overall flaw with the story which is why nobody has the ability to ask the main character the truth when Asperger's doesn't permit him to lie. You find yourself wanting to scream 'just ask him' as you listen, which I think concurs with another review on this site. I also found the ending a little sudden without much conclusion, but without enough open ended questions to lead into a need for discussion with other readers, so somewhat frustrating. But don't let that put you off listening to it. In summary, it is well read whodunnit with an insightful twist and well worth the listen.
Wow. This is one of the best books I've listened to. The narrators are fantastic and I have to really praise the way they expressed the characters Autism through their voices. The story is very good and leads you to care about all the characters. Even though the crime was easy to work out you will find yourself pleading for the truth to come out. I recommend this for people who like forensics, trial stories and also psychological stories.
"gripping drama - great education"
Among many other things I am a trainer within the healthcare industry. While my interests are quite diverse I am always interested in ways the normal world can better understand those 'other' conditions that pepper our society and are generally little understood.
House Rules is a book that does just that. You remember the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, well house rules extends that idea of the rest of us learning about conditions through dramatic stories.
In this storey the realities of Aspergers Syndrome are narated form several different perspectives. From outsiders with no understanding of the character, Jacob, to the family members mother, father, sibling. As I listened to the audio version of this from audible.co.uk I gained a real advantage as the different characters were read by different narrators. This was not a dramatisation - the book was narrated but as large sections are read by the person whose perspective we are seeing this meant that I fully believe an audio version is the best way to go.
No picking up the book and not remembering who was this perspective from. As all characters may say 'Jacob said' it would be important to the story to know who is relating that, something I could not have guaranteed for me if I was reading it.
While I have a reasonable understanding of Aspergers Syndrome both professionally and personally it was superb, for example, to hear Jacob's brother describe their life pressures from the first person.
It all works around Jacob being charged with murder giving the book a real grounding in a gripping story that holds you to the end even though it follows in a predictable direction. Damn good listen.
rest at http://dc13.com/ramblings/book-review-house-rules-by-judi-picoult.html
I have never listened to Jodi Picoult before but her book transforms into and audiobook beautifully. The characters have depth and from the outset you are actively involved in their lives and problems. Well narrated and written.
Excellent characterised narration. A great knowledge of ASD and Asperger syndrome.
I am enjoying this book so much I don't want it to end. A great 'who dunnit' (not my usual sort of book)& as a former special needs teacher I've found the main characters in the book fascinating.
"Tedious with predictable ending"
I had heard such good reviews of Jodi Picoult's books and this subject matter interested me so I was very disappointed not to enjoy this book more. Whilst her description of the traits of an autistic child were informative, the continuous repetition of these made for tedious listening. The storyline was good, but far too drawn out and the ending entirely predictable. I won't be buying any more Jodi Picoult books.
"An insight into a literal mindset"
This was my first Jodi Picoult and I chose it because of the subject matter. I was especially interested in this after I saw the author interviewed about the book, she detailed the extensive research she did before attempting to create the main character. She captures the realities of motherhood and the character of teenage boys incredibly well. The plot was good but not entirely unpredictable. However, I don't think this was intended to be all about plot, any reader who doesn't know much about autism would enrich their understanding of the diversity of people by hearing/reading this novel.
You know sometimes that you never pick up a book by a particular author because you just instinctively think you wont like their work? Well, I have felt that about Jodi Picoult. I only took interest in House Rules because I work with autistic people. I decided to listen to House Rules and really enjoyed it. Maybe I guessed fairly early on where it was leading but the journey was still very satisfying! Will definately keep more of an open mind infuture!
"Fascinating and sad insight"
Amazing, empathetic story of autistic percpetions and expectation. Enjoyed this as a story, but also as an education into another aspect of modern life. Recommended as a good story, but with hints of real life experience.
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