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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
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    245
  • 4 Stars
    231
  • 3 Stars
    133
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    15
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    138
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    59
  • 2 Stars
    11
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    180
  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
    97
  • 2 Stars
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    14

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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?

13 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
    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
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So beautifully performed. This a must have audio!

I fell in love with Anita Shreve years ago, in college. I read "All He Ever Wanted" and "The Last Time They Met". However, I never was able to get into Bodysurfing, and although I own all of her books on my shelf, it's been a long time since I finished her novels.

I downloaded this novel and started listening. It is an incredibly delicate story, written by an author whose novels are classy and poignant, even when dealing with sensational or taboo subjects. The narrators are the best of the best. They bring this story to life. Some books are even better an audio and this is one of them. This performance reminds me of why I love the delicate but heartbreaking writing of Anita Shreve!

5 people 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!

4 people found this helpful

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

Rape apologia


14 year old, almost exclusively referred to as “the girl” is statutorily raped by 3 young men and it’s recorded.

But they’re really good at sportball, their mommies still really love them, they were so full of potential. Now their lives are “ruined” and it’s all so very sad for them.

The end.


Was this ghostwritten by a misogynist?

3 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
    3 out of 5 stars

A Little Predictable

I think the concept of the book was good, with the same story re-told from different perspectives with different narrators. However, I was able to predict the ending about 2/3 of the way through, so it wasn't the shock that I think the author was trying to get. Also, having the different stories and different voices narrated by different people was really annoying to me. I prefer one reader, and I don't even care if they do different voices for different characters. If you like this "theater" type of reading, you may like this more than I did.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Ho Hum

I am usually impressed by Anita Shreve's work but this latest could have been better. It is an interesting narrative technique to have all the characters speak in his/her own voice, and she even has one character in the 2nd person. But I found the central theme quite prosaic and I was expecting more of an adult viewpoint and more insight into how the events impacted the adult lives. Instead it was mostly about adolescent agnst, drinking at prep school, and teenage hormones.

Additionally, to have a "full cast" reading of a novel was awkward and when one character had only one line inserted here and there it didn't quite work, sounding staged and artificial.

Still it was enjoyable and distracting, so it gets a "2". But it is far from Anita Shreve's best work.

3 people found this helpful

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

Boring and Predictable

What disappointed you about Testimony?

The story itself was bland and trite. The plot was predictable and so were the characters. Many of the characters were supposed to be high school students, but it seems as though Anita Shreve really has no concept of high school students at all. The dialogue was cheesy, and the descriptions lasted forever and accomplished nothing.

The story is supposed to be cleverly written because it constantly alternates between characters, time, and perspective, but the plot and the characters were so blah that I couldn't bring myself to appreciate the style.

The performance was fine, but the story was awful to the point of distraction.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I will probably read a non-fiction.

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrator’s performances?

Sure

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Testimony?

I would skip everything and just get to the end. The entire story is painfully drawn out, and I guess by not revealing the entire story until the very end, Shreve is attempting to create some kind of suspense. I would fall asleep listening to this and wake up and have to rewind and then realize that I was probably better off never rewinding at all.

Any additional comments?

I wonder if the paper edition really has every single high school student avoiding contractions.

2 people found this helpful