In 1964 Kitty Genovese was murdered on the street near her apartment in New York. As many as 38 people may have witnessed the attack, and yet not one of them came to her aid. In Acts of Violence, Ryan David Jahn has fictionalised the events of that night, crafting a series of stories about the victim, the killer, and the bystanders: the terrified Vietnam draftee; the woman who thinks she’s killed a child; the former soldier planning suicide and the man who saves him.
In this terrifying novel, Jahn explores the lives of those whose lives are touched, however briefly, by the murder in their midst, and creates an insightful portrait of America in the throes of the Vietnam War and at the height the Civil Rights movement.
The dual narration of the audiobook remains true to the formal nature of the book. Narrators Lauren Lefkow and John Guerrasio - a New York native who remembers the crime the novel is based on - deliver compelling readings that bring Jahn's highly crafted book to life. Guerrasio voices the multitude of witnesses, while Lefkow delivers a sensitive and nuanced performance of 'Katrina Marino', the murder victim. Shocking and compassionate, angry and gripping, Acts of Violence is a sprawling, cinematic tour-de-force, a terrifying crime novel unlike any other.
What members say
Acts of violence
Just left me filling uncomfortable throughout, and wanting to not listen to this voyeuristic experience. Not one for those who want to enjoy their audiobooks.
15 of 18 people found this review helpful
A thought-provoking inspection of the darker side of modern day society. Very well written and performed. Will be buying more audiobooks by this author as they become available.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Gripping - but disturbing
You'll either love it or hate it. I can't say I "enjoyed" it, but I couldn't stop listening and it is certainly well told, well narrated, and worth the time. A dark story, but ultimately not without hope and humanity.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
- Patricia A. Thompson
Fact and Fiction Intertwined
Not exactly pleasant listening, but very compelling and involving.
I didn't realise until I'd actually listened to this book that it was based on a real crime which shocked the US many years ago, when it was discovered that there were many witnesses to a murder yet no one reported it to the police as it was happening.
The author has written his own take on events and weaved a story around many of the fictitious witnesses he wrote into the account. He made them believable and some to be judged with sympathy and others not so likeable.
I was so interested in the story that I did a little investigating of my own after listening to it, to find out the true account.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Never got past 30 minutes
I've tried several times to listen to this book but I can't get past the first 30 minutes. I can't put my finger on exactly why other than I just didn't like it.
This was a truly dreadful book.
I certainly have nothing else to say about it.
I hope I don't make such a bad choice again.
A collection of short stories
This book reads far more as a collection of short stories, each one with several chapters devoted to it, rather than a 'normal' book. The stories relate to the lives of the people present on the night that a violent attack takes place but little of the book is directly devoted to the attack and it's victim. The female narrator, who reads the part of the victim, is truly excellent.
It's a very interesting book, unlike almost anything I've read before. Uncomfortable listening but gripping in places.
Bleak and cynical, although well read by actors
This book is full of cynicism and nastiness with an entirely unbalanced and negative view on humanity.
Probably the most depressing book i have ever read / listened to. I wish i had read the reviews before buying!
Acts of Violence - Ryan David Jahn
Disappointed a little as the story line was hard to follow and not what i had expected.