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Publisher's Summary

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

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    199
  • 4 Stars
    199
  • 3 Stars
    112
  • 2 Stars
    32
  • 1 Stars
    13

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    208
  • 4 Stars
    108
  • 3 Stars
    48
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    141
  • 4 Stars
    128
  • 3 Stars
    80
  • 2 Stars
    24
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • upper darby, PA, United States
  • 01-27-09

Required Reading

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?

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • Jeannette, PA, USA
  • 11-12-08

Horrifyingly Current !

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good Story, Dizzy Narration

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.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Alcohol bad

I feel like this book had the potential to convey a lot but ended up saying very little. There is only one believable character (Rob), and the rest are very one dimensional. The principal is boring, the main boy is perfect, the other boy is a rebellious jock, and the girl is a little more than a generic “sl*t.” The whole time I was listening to this, I just kept thinking: “no one acts like this...”

It has it’s moments, but it falls on this flat theme that teens need more education in terms of sex and alcohol. This is a good idea, but the book is kind of preachy and over the top.

I also just could not get over how the few young girls in this book were portrayed. They were either virtuous to an unbelievable degree or evil to an unbelievable degree. They just weren’t real people at all, and they were forgettable even by the characters in the story. There’s a few moments of “...and the girl - I can’t remember her name.” The entire story, the girls take a backseat to the boys who did the bad drinking. It’s a lot of garnering sympathy for a group of legal adults who messed around with a 14-year old.

This is a somewhat incoherent review, but that’s because this book is kind of all over the place. It blames a lot on alcohol above all else, which is kind of lazy. The story could have been a lot more complex, I think.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Distracting, unconvincing narration

This book may have been better if I had not listened to it. The voices were so dramatic and overdone that it just seemed like a conglomeration of ludicrous voices. I couldn't connect with the characters because the hamfist ed "cast" screamed at the reader how they should be perceived. I like to make these decisions myself. I never knew when a different voice would suddenly pop up in a dialog and the teenager voices were, well, not researched well. The bad were soooooo bad and the good were soooo good. I really hope Anita Shreve has not gone the way of Anne Rivera Siddons, among other gifted writers, who went down a rabbit hole later in their career.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Worth a listen

Not the sort of book I normally read.The reviews caught my interest so I gave It a try.It is well written and well narrated.I recommend it to young people their parent and involved grandparents.It was refreshing to have a story sympathetic to the boys involved.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Good Book, Horrible narration

Good story, compelling characters and style. Unfortunately, many of the 'actors' narrating here are so overly dramatic, it was like listening to bad community theater, or worse. Made it impossible to focus on the story; I had to stop listening halfway through, and ended up checking the book out of the library to finish the story (kind of defeats the purpose of an audiobook, don't you think?)

I have listened to other multiple cast audiobooks, that were done well, with realistic actors/narrators as the characters. This is definitely NOT one of them. Save your audiobook credit, and do what I did----read the actual book itself.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting!

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!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A Little Predictable

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Grace
  • MANASSAS, VIRGINIA, United States
  • 04-06-12

Boring and Predictable

What disappointed you about Testimony?

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.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I will probably read a non-fiction.

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrator’s performances?

Sure

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Testimony?

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.

Any additional comments?

I wonder if the paper edition really has every single high school student avoiding contractions.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful