Testimony

A Novel
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
4.0 out of 5 stars (628 ratings)

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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

What listeners say about Testimony

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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 people found this helpful

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

Perfect if you want to feel sad and depressed

So, overall this feels more like a literature class exercise: tell the same story from a variety of viewpoints. The story - and this is no spoiler because in fact (another dreary thing about the book) you already are told everything right at the start and then you just spend hours chewing it over, over and over - so the story is that a slutty nasty oversexed young girl (14) parties with a group of older boys (18), initiates various sex acts with all of them, being somewhat intoxicated but not drunk. The entire episode is filmed and soon spreads across campus and reaches the administration, which initially tries to handle it internally. Things spiral out of control, everyone life is ruined except that of the girl, who manages to astutely play the victim card and come out of it with many benefits. When I write it like that, it sounds pretty sexist, and I suppose it is, though I also suppose that there actually are girls like that. As the book also makes clear, that doesn't matter, because at the end of the day she is 14 and the boys are much older and should not have partaken of her offerings, which she was legally and psychologically not capable of freely giving. We meet several parents, several administrators, the kids themselves and an assortment of other associated persons and get some glimpses into their own respective problems. But overall I came away with the feeling that this book was just completely unnecessary, that I learned nothing, that it made me feel bad to no good effect and that I wish I hadn't bought it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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 people found this 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.



2 people found this 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 people found this 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 person found this 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 person found this 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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging

Although it felt slow at the start I was engrossed just in time to realize that there was more going on in this novel than meets the readers' eye at the outset. Anita Shreve rarely disappoints, and this book is no exception. The episodic style of the narrative is well managed -- I enjoyed it.

1 person found this 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 people found this helpful