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28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Injustice, and Tragedy [Paperback]

Michael Bryant
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 21 2012

A night that began with a dinner to celebrate his twelfth wedding anniversary ended in a jail cell for Michael Bryant. He was charged with dangerous driving causing death and criminal negligence causing the death of cyclist Darcy Sheppard. Ironically, he had helped write the legal test for the same charges sixteen years earlier.

Bryant, as Ontario’s attorney general, was the man responsible for administering 500,000 criminal charges every year in that province. He now faced prosecution by the same justice system. The charges were eventually dropped, but nothing could undo what had happened to Sheppard—or Bryant.

28 Seconds offers the never-before-told personal story of the events leading to Sheppard's death and the aftermath.

It also includes behind-the-scenes revelations about Bryant's most popular and controversial political work.

In 28 Seconds, Bryant chronicles the fateful aftermath of that late-summer evening in August 2009. He looks at the realities of the adversarial court system and a prison system filled with addicts and the mentally ill, speaking publicly, for the first time, of personal challenges and his own battle with some of the very demons shared by Darcy Sheppard.


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Product Details

Product Description

About the Author

Michael Bryant is a former Ontario Cabinet Minister, former Attorney General, and Harvard-educated lawyer. Bryant is currently a Principal at Ishkonigan, a consulting and mediation firm owned and operated by former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine. It assists indigenous communities, governments and the private sector to do business together. He also teaches at the University of Toronto. Bryant lives with his two children in Toronto.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enraging read; broader topics than expected Oct. 27 2012
Mr. Bryant has provided thoughtful and thorough commentary on a number of topics, including the Ontario legal system, alcoholism, and how society failed Darcy. It's definitely not just about the accident. I found the book an easy and engaging read and, in parts, very emotional. It's particularly interesting to read Bryant's perspective of the criminal court system now that he's experienced it from the "wrong" side himself.

One reviewer states that Bryant's "shallowness and lack of introspection...shines through." I found the opposite - a majority of the book speaks directly to how deeply introspective he was compelled to become through his experiences.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book Sept. 2 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It was well-written and enlightening. At many points it was difficult to put down. I admire Mr. Bryant's attempts to educate the reader about the justice system in Ontario, and the many issues facing the addicted. Unfortunately I found those sections a little more dry (yet still worthwhile). Recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read Sept. 2 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a great read. I sat down to read it and could not put it down. A gripping story of how our lives can change so drastically and so quickly. Michael Bryant courageously takes the reader through the halls of power, the trials of addiction and the long road to recovery. Highly recomended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another Boring Book Nov. 19 2012
By candy
First chapter fools u into thinking it is going to be a good book..sadly it focussed a lot more on his career as opposed to the event that changed his life
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little more contrition maybe Sept. 4 2012
By SteveM
I bought this book against my better judgment, after hearing Mr. Bryant on the radio. I would had hoped for a little more contrition from a man who was involved in another man's death. Instead, it's a fascinating insight into a man who had the world on a string, and had it fall apart around him and yet he is able to pull out of it. Mr. Bryant has my sympathies, as I can never imagine what it would be like to know that one was so tied to someone else's demise, but I'm not sure Mr. Bryant needs it. He seems to have recovered very nicely thank you.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An honest book, warts and all Sept. 26 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recommend this really unusual book by former AG and former MPP Michael Bryant.

At its core, 28 seconds is an unpleasant story of the "28 Seconds" that changed Michael Bryant's life. One evening while returning from an anniversary dinner with his prominent lawyer wife, his car bumped an inebriated and belligerent Darcy Sheppard. In the resulting altercation, Sheppard was killed after attacking Bryant and his wife while they sat in the car and tried to avoid him.

Sheppard was ultimately found responsible in part for his own death. But not before fate reduced Bryant's stature, his fortune, and his marriage to nothing.

Michael Bryant in this book talks about how his life was so great until the 28 seconds - he had enjoyed a series of incredible political victories - and about his underlying problems - his alcoholism and the gradual disintegration of him marriage.

Many, including myself, appreciate the irony of one of the most powerful lawyers in the province coming under the incredible weight of a full prosecution stemming from the police laying charges for his killing of Sheppard.

The shallowness and lack of introspection of Bryant shines through the whole book. That is why this book is so interesting. Bryant wrote it honestly, warts and all, in spite of the fact that he emerges from it as an unsympathetic character.

The worst part of the book is chapter 13 - "Uncomfortably Numb" which features the Bryant's philosophizing on how to be a better person as he stumbles through a weak and unaware recitation of the tenets of secular humanism.

For fans of Queens Park, there is lots of good gossip and stories here. Including an section on page 73 where Bryant goes into detail about cabinet deliberations - which I will assume Bryant had sworn to keep secret. Again, this stuff is well worth reading.

Overall, a book well worth reading, if you can get past its difficult and tragic core story line.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 Seconds Oct. 4 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A very frank assessment of a life chamging event for the Author. Michael Bryant. It was hard to put the book aside once I started reading it. I always hope for a happy ever after ending, but this was not the case for Michael Bryant, although he has moved on in life. He is a very different person than the one who started out in, what seemed to me to be a charmed life. An easy to read book and for those in public office, a very interesting account of what can happen to ones reputation when events are skewed and made public by the media.
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