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Testimony Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This book really excels in its telling of the tale from a number of different angles, a concept Shreve employs well. On the whole, the voices of the characters Shreve creates really do ring true - quite a feat when you realise the range of ages, professions and view points she is portraying. I really enjoyed reading the various characters' reactions to what happened that night and the fall-out from it. If I were to say anything negative, it would be that the attitudes expressed by Silas and Noelle seemed to be those of much older (and mature) couple and it made me doubt their relationship a little. I also felt that a few of the testimonies in the middle of the novel could have been edited out as they didn't really reveal any extra dimensions to the character or the plot.
All things considered though, Shreve's tale of responsibility and the consequences following dubious actions is well worth reading!
Having read roughly a hundred books in the first six months of this year, I would go out on a limb and say that this is probably the best book I have read so far this year.
TESTIMONY is the story of a sex tape scandal at a boarding school in a relatively small community in Vermont. The novel tells of how this tape and the contents on it has repercussions, not just for those who featured in it, but also for others. Shreve splits the narrative between a few different characters who became involved in the event and its aftermath, offering the reader different viewpionts on the same event. And in some ways, this works well. But there are a few letdowns. As the other reviewer stated, Shreve tends to repeat various views again and again, rather than developing them further. However, I think the fact that you are never really given a 'proper' reason for the tape, actually adds something to what is behind this novel - that one stupid moment in a person's life can change the path they are to take and have consequences which they would never have imagined.
TESTIMONY is not the sort of book which grips you from the first page and keeps you in its thrall - I must admit that I had to persevere with it as it is not a page turner in the sense that you are on the edge of your seat, desperately wanting to know what will happen next. This book, although quite good, is more subtle than that.
First of all, I am underwhelmed by the alleged enormity of the central act in this book: Teenagers having videotaped sex. I understand that Shreve is in her sixties now but we can't use her age as an excuse for her outraged sensibility because she grew up in the 1960's and is writing in the 21st century. How can she justify these exaggerated postures of shock and horror over an act which at worst shows poor judgement on the part of teenagers? Like that's never happened before.
Secondly,the narrative mode irritates on many levels. Shreve chooses to tell us the story from the points of view of about twenty different characters(I've read ten but I'm sure she's not going to stop there). Problem is, that each of these narrative voices are all essentially the same. The differences are superficial and patronising;if it's a young narrator, they speak in short, jerky sentences and use "like" to punctuate sentences. Characters from the older generation are allowed longer, less idiomatic sentences. Everyone has the same voice, which is Anita Shreve's reflective, regretful,it's-not-my-fault voice. If it wasn't for the character's name heading the chapter you'd have no idea who was talking,only which generation they belonged to.
That's, like, all I'm saying.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's an okay book. I had no trouble reading it whatsoever, but I find the melodrama a bit too much for me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I really enjoyed this book. I love the way Anita Shreve writes and in this book I enjoyed seeing the story from many different perspectives. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sarah Good
Testimony tells the story of the aftermath of a sex tape coming to light in a private boarding school in rural Vermont. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Val Robson
Anita Shreve writes beautifully, elevating the mundane to something extraordinary. But with this book, the story of how a sex scandal in a private school ruins the lives of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by A. Reader
I liked this book although somewhat erotic to begin with it does appear to go nowhere after the startling begininning.Published 6 months ago by Mrs. Patricia K. Horne
This is a strange book.
The entire fictional collection of 'testimonies' are based on a sex scandal that takes place at a US high school involving 3-4 boys and one 14... Read more
I really do like this book, I've now read it twice (several years apart). I've read a few of Anita Shreve's books and this is definitely the one I've most enjoyed. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Christabelle