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The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (Oct. 10 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0739324195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0739324196
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 14.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,058,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Grisham's first work of nonfiction focuses on the tragedy of Ron Williamson, a baseball hero from a small town in Oklahoma who winds up a dissolute, mentally unstable Major League washout railroaded onto death row for a hometown rape and murder he did not commit. Judging by this author-approved abridgment, Grisham has chosen to present Williamson's painful story (and that of his equally innocent "co-conspirator," Dennis Fritz) as straightforward journalism, eschewing the more familiar "nonfiction novel" approach with its reconstructed dialogues and other adjustments for dramatic purpose. This has resulted in a book that, while it includes such intriguing elements as murder, rape, detection and judicial injustice, consists primarily of objective reportage, albeit shaded by the now-proven fact of Williamson's innocence. The absence of dialogue or character point of view could make for a rather bland audio. Boutsikaris avoids that by reverting to what might be called old-fashioned round-the-campfire storytelling, treating the lengthy exposition to vocal interpretations, subtle and substantial. He narrates the events leading up to the 1982 rape and murder of a young cocktail waitress with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity, moving on to astonishment at the prosecution's use of deceit and false testimony to convict Williamson and Fritz and, eventually, elation at the exoneration of the two innocent men. Throughout, he maintains an appealing conversational tone, an effect made all the more remarkable by the book's nearly total absence of conversation.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“A gritty, harrowing, true-crime story.” —Time

“A triumph.” —Seattle Times

“Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his best-selling fiction.” —Boston Globe

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cha-cha lady of Montreal on Nov. 27 2006
Format: Hardcover
Normally one to stick with a current craze or bestseller such as "The Time Traveler's Wife," or McCrae's "Katzenjammer" I instead opted for Grisham's latest. This was a nice change of pace. Summoning upon his past successes, Grisham crafts a part thriller, part atmospheric literary classic, and part law firm book, throwing in some baseball and a host of believable and interesting characters. The end result is a fantastic read that I could recommend for those of all ages.

This is Grisham's first non fiction book, and I really didn't know what to expect. It is a true story, based on Ron Williamson's experiences, and it exposes the underbelly of crime, corruption, and police antics. In some ways a muckracking novel, the way Sinclair Lewis's books are.

Also recommended MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kaes Ali on April 27 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Well, this story we all agree is terrible, a young man who had a single dream, failed to achieve it, and collapsed and found himself in the center of a crime he didn't commit, in a utopia were fairness is the rule it shouldn't happen, certainly the character has suffered a lot, and the book faithfully exposes the legal system in that area to an unprecedented degree, it shows how the truth can and in many times is twisted, it has happened before and keeps happening again and on a wider scale internationally as well!

It is great to have a dream to pursue, but we must face the fact and move on when we can't achieve that dream sometimes, such attitude requires a balanced strong person, a thing our main character clearly lacked.

Don't get me wrong, when a person with such a difficult personality lives such a load life style, where a good time of the day and night for all it matters is spent in the places the main character used to hang out in, with such habits as mentioned in the book and in details, well you are bound to get into a lot of trouble and it will be more and more difficult for people to help you, especially if one keeps behaving in the way described, if one keeps scaring friends away. Why was this guy out of hundreds chosen for the crime?, yes the guys in the police department were certainly not the best, but with all the issues the main character had and kept having time and time again, he became an irresistible bait.

I think the story is certainly worth telling, and every one of us will extract different lessons, it is probably not as much worth being published, but probably being presented on a TV show like 60min. I sometimes found it hard to sympathize with the main character, or to be surprised with the mishaps he faced.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There are many, many arguments on both sides of the capital punishment issue. But perhaps one of the most powerful arguments against the use of capital punishment is that, every once in a while, the justice system goes seriously off the rails and makes a tragic mistake.

As a young man, Robert Williamson was an exceptionally skilled baseball player. Thinking himself destined for the major leagues, he began to lead a self-indulgent debauched life style that ultimately would lead to nowhere but trouble, self-destruction and severe mental illness. Robert Williamson and his alleged co-conspirator were definitely not nice people. But neither were they rapists.

"The Innocent Man" is the story of the blind, single-minded quest of the Oklahoma judicial system to arrest, imprison and execute a man for the 1982 rape and murder of a cocktail waitress. It was a very near call but, ultimately, Robert Williamson was proven to be innocent and released before his rapidly nearing date with the executioner.

Even those who believe in either the deterrent or the punishment argument on the pro-side of the capital punishment debate will be un-nerved by this near miss of a system gone so badly wrong.

Unfortunately, the writing in "The Innocent Man" is not as compelling as it might have been give the nature of the subject matter. But it is still quite gripping and certainly important enough that every thinking citizen should read it and make themselves aware that this kind of miscarriage of justice can and does happen.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What would you do if you were suspected by the police of the rape and murder of a young woman? Whom would you turn to if you were convicted of a crime based on circumstantial evidence and shoddy legal tactics? Whoever believes we are all innocent until proven guilty hasn't truly been put to the test.

John Grisham's newest legal masterpiece hits home--and hits hard. Temporarily forgoing his status as a legal thriller novelist, he delves into a non-fiction tale that could be almost anyone's story. Ron Williamson had to rely on officials of a system that was corrupt and desperate, and he paid a terrible price. Twenty years of his life. Haunting, chilling and foreboding, The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town gives us a glimpse into the life of a man hounded by police, found guilty because of fraudulent testimony from convicts and sentenced to death row.

Williamson isn't the only man wrongly convicted and sent to prison. Over the years, many cases have been appealed, and with new DNA testing and other evidentiary sciences in place, both Canada and the US have released convicted felons with little more than a "we're sorry". Grisham, a former criminal defense attorney, reveals a world of political power and policing agencies that show very little remorse for getting it wrong. It's hard to imagine that even now there are people waiting on death row or in prisons who are innocent of the crimes of which they have been convicted. Powerful and emotional, this is one book I couldn't put down!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif
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