At a New England boarding school, a sex scandal is about to break. Even more shocking than the sexual acts themselves is the fact that they were caught on videotape. A Pandora's box of revelations, the tape triggers a chorus of voices - those of the men, women, teenagers, and parents involved in the scandal - that details the ways in which lives can be derailed or destroyed in one foolish moment.
Writing with a pace and intensity surpassing even her own greatest work, Anita Shreve delivers in Testimony a gripping emotional drama with the impact of a thriller. No one more compellingly explores the dark impulses that sway the lives of seeming innocents, the needs and fears that drive ordinary men and women into intolerable dilemmas, and the ways in which our best intentions can lead to our worst transgressions.
Read by a full cast.
©2008 Anita Shreve; (P)2008 Anita Shreve
This is a review of the director's choice of narration. Having different narrators for different characters/POVs is nothing new and often works. This is the first book I've listened to where the different characters read as if reading a play, but with the inclusion of "he said," or "she said" being spoken by the character whose POV we are in. This technique works in other audiobooks, namely those by Orson Scott Card because I think the director chooses in those books to omit the "he said" and let it read like a play or dramatic reading.
That being said, this is an entertaining and well written book. If you want to experience this book, I don't recommend this format.
Regardless of some of the book's flaws, this should be required reading for High Schoolers. If anything, it illustrates how just ONE stupid action (no matter how stellar your life so far) can come with disastrous consequences and impact you and your family's life FOREVER, which as we all know is a very long time. I personally found the ending uplifting, as at least one character found wisdom and salvation. I think it is a book meant to be read and discussed, and if it only saved one teenager from doing something stupid,well what more could you ask for?
This was a book I couldn't stop listening to. The lives of young people changed forever by a single evening. Anita Shreve has again hit upon a topic that impacts the hard realities of current life.
Audio Book Fiend
I think the concept of the book was good, with the same story re-told from different perspectives with different narrators. However, I was able to predict the ending about 2/3 of the way through, so it wasn't the shock that I think the author was trying to get. Also, having the different stories and different voices narrated by different people was really annoying to me. I prefer one reader, and I don't even care if they do different voices for different characters. If you like this "theater" type of reading, you may like this more than I did.
I fell in love with Anita Shreve years ago, in college. I read "All He Ever Wanted" and "The Last Time They Met". However, I never was able to get into Bodysurfing, and although I own all of her books on my shelf, it's been a long time since I finished her novels.
I downloaded this novel and started listening. It is an incredibly delicate story, written by an author whose novels are classy and poignant, even when dealing with sensational or taboo subjects. The narrators are the best of the best. They bring this story to life. Some books are even better an audio and this is one of them. This performance reminds me of why I love the delicate but heartbreaking writing of Anita Shreve!
If you like Anita Shreve, (and I do), you'll love this book. Very thought provoking, and has you finding sympathy with unlikely characters. I was really torn about my reactions to this book...Highly recommend it!
I love the way it is narrated by a voice for each character. The music works well too. It's more than just an audio book.
Lot's of them. Of course the end but I liked the narration for "the girl" whose name eludes me. I wondered if that personality came across so well in the book.
The varied cast of characters.
Probably Mike. Mostly because he had the quality in which you liked him and disliked him, he was sympathetic and annoying at the same time.
It's a good book to listen too.
This is one of those books I am so glad I listened to instead of read. The cast of narrators really brings a differentiation and personality to each character, as if you were really listening to different people tell their version of the same story.
This is a story of misconceptions, flawed choices, overreactions, and assumptions, all told through the testimony of witnesses. Not only does Shreve skillfully display how each person's interpretation of an event can be subtly or even substantially different, but the different voices provide complexity for the listener to sort through.
Very well done, and worth the listen.
The story itself was bland and trite. The plot was predictable and so were the characters. Many of the characters were supposed to be high school students, but it seems as though Anita Shreve really has no concept of high school students at all. The dialogue was cheesy, and the descriptions lasted forever and accomplished nothing.
The story is supposed to be cleverly written because it constantly alternates between characters, time, and perspective, but the plot and the characters were so blah that I couldn't bring myself to appreciate the style.
The performance was fine, but the story was awful to the point of distraction.
I will probably read a non-fiction.
I would skip everything and just get to the end. The entire story is painfully drawn out, and I guess by not revealing the entire story until the very end, Shreve is attempting to create some kind of suspense. I would fall asleep listening to this and wake up and have to rewind and then realize that I was probably better off never rewinding at all.
I wonder if the paper edition really has every single high school student avoiding contractions.
I adore Anita Shreve's books. They are always deep profiles of what goes on inside a person's mind. very twisty, never loses my interest.
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