12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with Love and Filled with Exceptional Insights
We've read about too many school shootings. These are intensely sad events as young lives are ended and harmed while sickening fear is permanently released to further separate communities. We all blame the parents for being so clueless.
I wasn't sure I wanted to read a long novel about such an event. But I'm glad I did. Nineteen Minutes takes the bare facts of...
Published on April 13 2007 by Donald Mitchell
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...
Maybe 3.5 stars...
Jodi Picoult’s 14th novel begins with high-voltage excitement: seventeen-year-old Peter Houghton, an eternally bullied computer programmer, walks into his New Hampshire high school with a knapsack full of guns and kills ten students. With over a thousand witnesses and a video tape of the day's events against him, Houghton's lawyer...
Published 5 months ago by Reader Writer Runner
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with Love and Filled with Exceptional Insights,
I wasn't sure I wanted to read a long novel about such an event. But I'm glad I did. Nineteen Minutes takes the bare facts of such an awful day and helps us see the whole experience from every perspective. And the book does so with a kind and gentle heart.
This shifting of the balance of our perceptions is accomplished by several well-performed techniques including many narrators (different students, three parents, the police, the defense attorney, and his wife), connections among the characters, and multiple back stories that reach literally into the womb. The book's theme is far more universal than school shootings: How we grow away from our real selves and the damage that does to us and others.
I was very impressed by the way that Ms. Picoult viewed every character with mostly sympathy, even when you might think of them as being unsympathetic from the facts. Each character is also mildly funny. She doesn't let the tragedy pull us too far away from the realities of everyday life. It's an extraordinary storytelling gift.
If you are like me, you'll probably feel that your faith in people is increased by reading this story rather than the reverse. That reaction also surprised me.
No matter what your age is I think you'll find this book will draw you back into those turbulent teen years when being popular meant way too much. It'll be an intense and self-revealing visit.
Bravo, Ms. Picoult! This is a remarkable book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Nineteen Minutes review,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes: A novel (Kindle Edition)I really was engrossed and finished the book in one long, "I can't sleep!" night. It was interesting, well written and kept my attention. I vaguely suspected, who the very surprising murderer was. i couldn't put my finger on it but i think there were very suble hints in behaviors that made me suspect who the murder was, but in a way I was also suprised. Like I said, it was a very vague suspistion. I would recommend anyone to read it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great One from Jodi Picoult,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)This was my 3rd Jodi Picoult book. Wow. She's such an amazing story teller! Tragic story, wonderfully told. She hasn't disappointed me yet.
3.0 out of 5 stars More Bookish Thoughts...,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)Maybe 3.5 stars...
Jodi Picoult’s 14th novel begins with high-voltage excitement: seventeen-year-old Peter Houghton, an eternally bullied computer programmer, walks into his New Hampshire high school with a knapsack full of guns and kills ten students. With over a thousand witnesses and a video tape of the day's events against him, Houghton's lawyer Jordan McAfee has his work cut out for him. He bases his defence on the only plea that might save Peter: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by bullying.
"Nineteen Minutes" also features Judge Alex Cormier and her daughter Josie, who used to be best friends with Peter until the popular crowd forced the limits of her loyalty. Picoult mixes McAfee's attempt to build a case for Peter with the mending relationship of Alex and Josie but the more interesting thread is Peter's parents' response to the tragedy. Could they have done anything to prevent the tragedy? How can they keep loving their son after he commits murder?
Unfortunately, the novel slows by the middle and never regains its initial pace or appeal. Picoult fails to flesh Peter out beyond stereotype, focusing only on her twisting plot line. A premise with much potential falters in its exploration of what turns a recluse into a murderer.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story... until the end,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)I liked the story and the characters in the book. I was extremely disapointed in the end as I am with most of Picoult's books. She drags the story on and then in end twists the ending and completly ruins it by rushing the plot at the end. Could have been a lot better.
1.0 out of 5 stars A boring chour to read,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)I read a lot of books in my spare time and I love to read but This book is really hard to get into for the first 200 pages.Over all I didn't enjoy it that much it's far to slow and boring in my opinion, for every good part in the book it seems like there are 10 boring parts.I also found the book jumps around alot too (first they're in high school,then buddys is shooting up the school and then there in kidnergarden,and then in high school,then after the shootings).I found this book a real chour to read and I think it's more for a women then a man to read, but friends insisted I should read it and it was dreadful.
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put the book down,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)This story really makes you look back at your childhood and ahead at your children's and hope that everyone is more thoughtful towards each others needs. I couldn't put the book down.
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Charged,
This review is from: Nineteen Minutes (Paperback)Peter Houghton a seventeen year old high school student has been enduring years of verbal and physical abuse when he is driven ever the edge. One more incident of bullying is the final straw leading Peter to commit an incomprehensible act of violence, a shooting rampage through the corridors of his high school. What could make a student turn against his fellow classmates?.......
This emotionally charged novel explores the consequences of bullying through the eyes: of the perpetrator, the judge assigned to the case and key witness. Jodi Picoult is especially gifted in making her characters seem believable and real, even in situations and circumstances that are uncommon and tragic. They are well defined and portrayed; you feel sympathy for someone pushed over the edge and pity for the clueless adults. The plot is riveting, poignant and provoking, it is presented with different points of view alternating back and forth between the past and the present. This novel's one flaw is the quick ending, which, as other reviewers have stated, does not seem realistic. Overall, an eye opener making you reflect and think, "How well do we know the people around us."I highly recommend this book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Picoult's Best!,
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EMOTIONS EXPLORED WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY,
Sterling, New Hampshire is a quiet town, peaceful almost as if captured in a Norman Rockwell painting. However, Rockwell never painted a school shooting which is the frightening springboard for Picoult's story. Peter Houghton is obviously a troubled youth. In flashbacks his mother, Lacy, recalls him as a "challenging baby" unlike his older brother, Joey. Peter would "cry, collicky, and have to be soothed by putting his car seat on the vibrating clothes dryer. He'd be nursing, and suddenly arch away from her."
Lacy never dreamed that some day he would walk into his high school carrying guns and kill ten of his classmates." What could have driven him to this?
One who survived his rampage is Josie Cormier, a girl unsure of who she really is. Popular? Yes. Good student? Yes. Yet she kept a quantity of Ambien hidden because she felt the time would come when no one would want to be around her any more. When that happened, "It stood to reason Josie wouldn't want to be around herself either."
Her mother is Alex, the youngest superior court judge in the state, and the presiding judge at Peter's trial. Josie's boyfriend, Matt, was one of the victims, and Josie maintains that she can remember nothing of what she saw. It's difficult for Alex to be impartial in this case.
Author Picoult explores the emotions of teenagers and adults with pinpoint accuracy just as she raises important questions about the problems many of us face. Readers will find themselves caring deeply for both Peter and Josie and the families that nurtured them. Law would tell us that there was one villain and all others were victims. But, is that truly the case? Many will shed a tear as the story reaches its inexorable conclusion.
- Gail Cooke
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Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (Paperback - Feb 5 2008)
CDN$ 19.99 CDN$ 14.43