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Publisher's Summary

On Christmas Eve in 1985, a hunter found a young boy's body along an icy corn field in Nebraska. The residents of Chester, Nebraska, buried him as "Little Boy Blue", unclaimed and unidentified - until a phone call from Ohio two years later led authorities to Eli Stutzman, the boy's father.

Eli Stutzman, the son of an Amish bishop, was by all appearances a dedicated farmer and family man in the country's strictest religious sect. But behind his quiet façade was a man involved with pornography, sadomasochism, and drugs. After the suspicious death of his pregnant wife, Stutzman took his preschool-age son, Danny, and hit the road on a sexual odyssey ending with his conviction for murder. But the mystery of Eli Stutzman and the fate of his son didn't end on the barren Nebraska plains. It was just beginning....

©2010 Gregg Olsen (P)2002 Gregg Olsen

Critic Reviews

"A riveting and deeply disturbing chronicle of true crime. Olsen has done a superior job." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    42
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    37
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    38
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    11
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    15

Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    36
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    32
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    14
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    7
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    5

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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    32
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Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

YUK, Don't waste your time or your money!!

What would have made Abandoned Prayers better?

I spent years as a cop and don't consider myself a prude, but this book was one I could barely get through, more about his sex life than a crime book. I also listened to Starvation Heights by the same author and it was alright. This book was just way too much even for a person who spent a life time in law enforcement. I am amazed that anyone gave this book higher ratings.

Has Abandoned Prayers turned you off from other books in this genre?

No I would never let one book or even author sour me on other books or authors. However I do have another crime book in my library that tells a terrible story, (beyond bad), hopefully it will be told in such a manner to not totally turn off the listener.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was ok, it's just too bad what he had to work with.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Honestly... none that I can think of, it was just way to much after listening for just a short time I would want to turn it off. I kept listening thinking maybe it would get better, but no such luck.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • PJ
  • 11-03-11

Interesting story, but confusing

The story was interesting, but it was so complex with so many different characters, I had trouble keeping track of who was who and what their role was in the story. It was a true story, so it is what it is, but I can't help thinking that some of this could have been edited down to make for a better flow. I was not put off by the sexual detail as I think this was central to the main character. The performance was solid. It was worth a listen, but not something I'm going to tell everyone they need to hear or read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Uncomfortable listening at times

A detailed account of a true crime incident, and the events that led up to it, but the graphic details of homosexual encounters made for uncomfortable listening at times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paula
  • Raleigh, NC, United States
  • 10-28-10

long...but very intense

This book is very thorough it goes into great detail into the life of Eli Stutzman. From his childhood throughout his life you are given an intense look into this man who killed his son.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Thao
  • Wichita, KS, United States
  • 12-02-10

disappointed

This story was written with too much emphasis on the homosexual acts. The story became very dry and hard to finish.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Birdy
  • San Diego, California USA
  • 09-17-10

If I could give it fewer stars I would

Unless you love filler, and especially lurid filler, this is not the book for you. The author has a subtle bias, or maybe not so subtle, and it drags everything into a muddle of details that are not needed to tell the story, as a result the book drags on and on, and on. The narrator's flat delivery doesn't help, but doesn't really hurt.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Lots of Explicit Gay Sex

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really. I liked the story but the sexual content was way to explicit, I mean it went so far as to actually explain positions, and what the men where even doing to each other. Gay or Straight I'm not into books with a lot of sex detail.

Would you be willing to try another book from Gregg Olsen? Why or why not?

I love Gregg Olsen but was surprised by this book, it was hard to believe he wrote it.

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

He was a decent narrator

Did Abandoned Prayers inspire you to do anything?

Read the reviews closer.

Any additional comments?

This book should be rated XXX

  • Overall

Terrible book

I normally have a hard time getting rid of books even if I only read them once but I couldn't wait to get rid of this book. I am doing so Right now.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

ok listen

narrator should have consulted locals on town pronunciations such as (phonetically) Carnee, Mazoola, Hebrun.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not What I was expecting....

What did you like best about Abandoned Prayers? What did you like least?

The descriptive backround history of this offender

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

How he could evade the police for as long as he did

Did Jeffrey Kafer do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes, he has a very good voice and tempo when telling the story

Was Abandoned Prayers worth the listening time?

Yes and no, seemed to jump around alot and I would have like it more if it had more continuity.

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  • carly
  • 11-09-17

Little bit disappointing

I don’t like to be critical when I write reviews , but I found myself quite disappointed. It may be due to the year the book was written or the way the world was back then but I found there was a lot of unnecessary details about what kind of sex everyone was having. I understand the fact the main character Is gay and the conflict with the religious upbringing and society at the time, I just found it wasn’t needed to hear all the detail about what sexual toys they used or what kind of sex they had - it was almost like it was implied that because he was gay and enjoyed certain experiences that must contribute to the fact he was a murderer. I understand also the need to talk about people in his life and their experiences but again I found it very focused on sex and that when they were referring to a person in the book it was his “gay friend “ and having “gay sex “, the word gay seemed to be thrown around a lot. I don’t feel i have a lot of insight into the character or what he did or why, His relationship with his son, and maybe those things are unknown. But I just felt there was a lot of useless info there and it was hard to make a pictie of the character or events. Only my perspective and others may differ.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Madison
  • 06-17-16

Hard to get into to

Maybe this book just wasn't for me, I normally love true crime books but I found this hard to get into as it dragged on more about Amish culture at the beginning then the case of the murdered boy. Overall it was ok but not one I would ever listen to again.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Lee
  • 06-13-16

Insight into the Amish life

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes, book took a little to get into but had you by chapter 3.

What other book might you compare Abandoned Prayers to, and why?

Have not read a book like this previously

Have you listened to any of Jeffrey Kafer’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No

Did Abandoned Prayers inspire you to do anything?

Keep my children safe and love them.

Any additional comments?

A book about a man born in the wrong time and religion. If he had been born to a normal Texan family, I doubt this would have happened.