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Nineteen Minutes Hardcover – 19 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (19 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340935278
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340935279
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.5 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (260 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 382,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jodi Picoult is the author of twenty-one internationally bestselling novels, including MY SISTER'S KEEPER, HOUSE RULES and THE STORYTELLER, and has also co-written two YA books with her daughter Samantha van Leer, BETWEEN THE LINES and OFF THE PAGE. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and three children. Find out more at www.jodipicoult.co.uk.

Product Description

Review

Superb, many-stranded and grimly topical . . . Picoult binds together precarious alliances with sensitivity, giving depth to characters without losing pace. Inhabited by contradictory, flawed individuals, this intelligent novel draws suspense, moral complexity and a stunning final twist out of what initially seemed a monochrome situation (The Times)

A horrifying, close to real-life read, this novel is incredibly thought-provoking (Sun)

A gripping and chilling read, NINETEEN MINUTES is reminiscent of Arthur Miller's play The Crucible in the way it captures the claustrophobic atmosphere of small town America, where members of a community struggle to cope with their grief and shortcoming in a world they hardly recognize anymore (Daily Express)

Slick, emotive and as readable as ever (Daily Mail)

Book Description

Jodi Picoult explores the issues of bullying and teenage school shootings in this riveting, thought-provoking and compelling number one bestseller.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Zannie on 17 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
Nineteen Minutes sees the return of defense attorney Jordan McAfee (The Pact and Salem Falls) and Patrick DuCharme (detective from Perfect Match) and is another example of Picoult's skillful psychological and social insight.

The protagonist this time is Peter Houghten, a 17-year-old high school student who has endured years of verbal and physical abuse at the hands of his classmates. Even his best friend, Josie Cormier has succumbed to peer pressure and is now part of the gang that instigates the abuse. One final act of bullying sends him over the edge and he commits an act of violence that will forever change the lives of the town's residents.

As per the Picoult formula, the town is small where many lives intertwine and the superior court judge assigned to hear the Houghten case is the mother of Josie Cormier, who witnessed the act. Josie is emotionally fragile and the strain of the court case poses a realistic threat to her relationship with her mother, Alex. She claims she can't remember what happened in the last few minutes of Peter's rampage and Peter's parents compound the tension and pressure in the narrative by ceaselessly examining the past to see what they might have done as parents to compel their son to such extremes.

The overriding theme of the novel is the question that do we ever really know the people closest to us? However, it poses more questions than that - what does it mean to be different? Is it ever OK for a victim to strike back? And who really has the right to judge someone else? This is Picoult's most honest, straightforward and meaningful novel yet - if only she could stretch beyond her currently rather contrived plots, she would be a truly great commentator on modern times.
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 13 April 2007
Format: Hardcover
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 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.

Highly recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Lauren Sampson on 16 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jodi Picoult gives the insight into so many different lives/minds and situations. This book showed how people are pushed into scenario's everyday and with the event of school shootings ever more present in American culture i got an insiders view. This felt like a reconstruction of what actually happened and happens in real school shootings. All seemingly fuelled by heirarchy and popularity at school. Even though we are meant to pity the victims in the story i couldnt help be compelled by the shooter and feel his pain more than any parent of the killed, and understood his situation and the attractiveness of guns to easily end a problem.

Another clever story i really enjoyed
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan E. on 7 Oct. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Having read many of Picoult's books I must say that I am a great fan of hers. She is not frightened of writing about many controversial issues that blight all of our lives.

Dealing with a young boy bullied mercilessly at school who plans and executes slayings of fellow pupils she still manages to retain sympathy for him and the plight he found himself in. The book keeps you riveted and from the first page to the last you do not want to put it down until the very end.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Cook on 21 May 2008
Format: Paperback
This is the first JP book I have read. I have to say I found certain sections a bit stodgy, and did get bogged down in the middle - so much so that it sat around unread for about three weeks. However that said, once I got past the middle bit, it picked up pace and I couldn't put it down to the end. The characters are carefully constructed, and personally, I found myself feeling more sympathy towards Peter than some of his victims. I would have liked less concentration on Judge Cormier, and Jodie's background, (which is where I found it stodgy) , and more on the Houghton family, who had after all managed to produce a killer. I had previously thought of JP books as "Beach Reads" I was wrong. It was far better written, and much more thought provoking than I had expected and I will certainly try others by this author.
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