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28 Seconds: A True Story of Addiction, Injustice, and Tragedy Paperback – Aug 21 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Canada; 1st Edition edition (Aug. 21 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670066443
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670066445
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CanadianWinter on Oct. 27 2012
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michellereads on Sept. 2 2012
Format: Paperback
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stewart Kiff on 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne vB on 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 By Shirley Draper on 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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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael P. Maciuk on Feb. 11 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"28 Seconds" by Michael Bryant is a very easy read but at the same time, one cannot help but feel sorry for all the victims which include the bicyclist, his family and friends, Michael Bryant, his wife, children and family - all in 28 seconds! This book is very honestly written and includes details about his past including his addiction, fame, ministerial positions, being Attorney General of Ontario, successful marriage and his children as well as the unfortunate tragedy which changed the lives of so many.

This book also provides an insight into our archaic and often one-sided police/investigative, prosecutorial and judicial system in the Province of Ontario. What was most disturbing was to see the man that was responsible for over 500,000 yearly criminal charges in the Province of Ontario now himself being on the receiving end of the judicial meat-grinder. The Ministry of the Attorney General for all intent and purposes tried to remain professional and at arms length to avoid any conflict of interest or preferential treatment bad press only ended up treating Michael Bryant unfairly and worst than anyone else awaiting bail or trial.

Most disturbing was the fact that the authorities deliberately avoided interviewing and securing statements from witnesses which would exonerate Michael Bryant, but with a tunnel vision only secured statements which would only assist the prosecution. Witnesses which came forward in defense of Michael Bryant would be deliberately avoided. In Canada, the police are to investigate fairly and with an open mind. The duties of the Crown Attorney (Prosecution)as an officer of the court are to ensure that justice is served honestly and with good faith - this was not the case here.
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