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Publisher's Summary

Fatal Vision is the electrifying true story of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the handsome, Princeton-educated physician convicted of savagely slaying his young pregnant wife and two small children, murders he vehemently denies committing.

Best-selling author Joe McGinniss chronicles every aspect of this horrifying and intricate crime and probes the life and psyche of the magnetic, all-American Jeffrey MacDonald, a golden boy who seemed destined to have it all. The result is a penetration to the heart of darkness that enshrouded one of the most complex criminal cases ever to capture the attention of the American public. It is a haunting, stunningly suspenseful work that no listener will be able to forget. 

©2012 Joe McGinniss (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Well Written & Great Details!

It's a tragedy that this was a real case but it's a great read. The story is not slow at all. This case was a rollercoaster ride and the author managed to be detailed while getting to the point. I loved it and would totally read it again.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Forget the Abridged Version of Any Book

I've listened to the version done with Christopher Reeve several times while traveling. it's abridged to almost 3 hours. I then purchased the unabridged version. I can only say that a true crime novel needs never to be abridged. the amount of details within the first two hours of this book was astonishing. It puts a whole new light compared to the abridged version. You will not be disappointed and you will come back with a different perspective.
With that being said this is a sad, horrible story of deceit, ego, innocence and the death of the innocent. This version tells the whole story.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Superb

The best True Crime novel outside of Jack Olsen. I will immediately check for anything else by this author.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • norma
  • FARMINGTON, AR, United States
  • 08-11-18

Great to the last sentence.

Excellent insight into Jeff's real life. Not just the life and personality he wanted people to see, but the real person. I felt like I lived next door to these people. They weren't just headlines and a tv movie. This book is as close to a real life look into a the true and actual account of what really happened. For 27 hours there was never a dull or uninteresting moment. I had seen the movie, saw interviews on tv and other documentation about the killings. But this book is so powerful and real, you can see and hear the events as they unfold.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Worth it

This is a long book, but worth it. It is incredibly detailed. I would recommend it to anyone who likes true crime stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Classic

The book itself is a masterpiece of American true crime, and is a classic chronicle of a time its and a generation that belonged to a privileged American subculture that was never really as perfect as people on the outside thought.

The narrator (Fred Sanders) and the voice actor who portrays Jeffrey MacDonald speaking in the first person (Corey Brill) are both superb. Sanders conveys the inherent suspense of the story as expressed through McGinniss’ writing style, and Brill captures MacDonald's sociopathic flat affect so well without overdoing it or acting “crazy.”

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Waste of a life!

This is the true story of the murder of a wife and two daughters by Captain Jeff McDonald. Very depressing to think a man who could of had a wonderful life but personally and professionally destroyed himself and his family.
#True crime
#Depressing

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Intense

The author did a wonderful job. He brought this story to life. I remember parts of the story, but it was nice to know that the husband was caught at the end. He was very cunning and devious, why didn't he just get a divorce? He made sure he could live the single life without any baggage. Hooray for the father in law.

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great book

excellent book, very well written, I was obsessed with getting to the end. Fabulous book!

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Good

I thought this was well written. At times the reading was monotone but I was able to overlook it because it was interesting.

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  • Julia Jones
  • 11-27-18

Fascinating

Excellent reporting of events, great narrative and narators. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Will look for this author's work again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-30-18

Addictive reading

I loved this book, very well researched and written, couldn't recommend highly enough.
Hard to believe someone could avoid justice for so long on the evidence available! What struck me most was the writers passion for the truth and how he put to himself on the line to tell the truth. I would read it again and again!

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  • michael
  • 07-20-18

Gripping

Simply the best book of its type... couldnt fault it...kept your interest throughout..excellent!

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  • M. E. Keenan Lindsey
  • 03-25-18

The True Crime Classic You Must Listen To

Where does Fatal Vision rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the category of true crime this is my favourite

Who was your favorite character and why?

I’m not sure that question is appropriate considering the material involved. All participants are observed with great insight and portrayed in an intelligent and thought provoking way.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

Excellent, his voice has the gravitas necessary for the story.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Always, I read it years ago and it resonance continues, however, for me the psychological aspects and analysis of the people involved are the really stunning aspects of this work. If only McGinnis were still alive and could use his skills to write a biography on Trump.

Any additional comments?

It has to be one of the true crime classic of all time. It’s up there with In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter. Controversial in its time for reasons explained in the last chapter, its an awesome work. The story of how a doctor and Green Beret soldier was found guilty of the horrific murder of his wife and children. It is intense in detail maybe too detailed for some, but that is to my liking. The portrayal of Jeffrey MacDonald and his rather subtle narcissistic personality traits is both fascinating and relevant. These are the days before DNA and it’s a very circumstantial case, however, the real forensic search occurs outside of the courtroom in the dissection of personality, status, excpectations, interpretations and the investigation centres on not only how this most brutal of crimes took place but more interestingly why.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • daniel Jones
  • 03-21-18

Fantastic!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, I think it is a fantastic true crime journey. If you loved 'Son' by Jack Olsen this could be for you.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fatal Vision?

The police questioning of Macdonald and his every changing stories

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

The calm pace of speech

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The autopsy descriptions of the family was very hard to listen to. It was quite sad and upsetting

Any additional comments?

My new favourite

1 of 2 people found this review helpful