Sunday, February 28, 2010

Testimony, Anita Shreve

Title: Testimony

Author: Anita Shreve

Length: 8:27:42
What you'll love: A very engaging story - you change your opinion about the situation as the story progresses.
What will bug you: Dialogue that does not always match the age of the person speaking.

I needed an audio book! I've been in the midst of a major kitchen and dining room renovation and Testimony by Anita Shreve was just the thing!

The story begins with the headmaster, Mike, watching a video that has been passed to him by a teacher at his school, Avery Academy in Vermont. The video is a home made sex tape portraying three upperclassmen boys having sex with a freshman girl. The rest of the story is told as verbal testimony of the many people involved in the sex scandal - from the students involved, to their parents, to the local townspeople, you name it.

I loved it. I love it when I read the description of a story and form an opinion which begins to change and evolve as the story does. It was very interesting to listen to. The audio book was read by a full cast of characters, which I found to be incredibly helpful, especially since the story was told from the perspective of so many different people. It was easier to keep everything straight.

I changed my opinion of the whole scandal as the story wore on. I love it when books do this. Alright - a possible spoiler alert. Skip to the next paragraph if you need to! Of course the boys should not have done any of this. I completely agree. However, I feel as though Sienna was just as much to blame. I'm not a fan of double standards. It takes two to tango. I got the impression that Sienna "got caught" and was willing to do or say anything she had to in order to keep her parents in the dark, and keep out of trouble. What do you think?

OK, you can come back now!

My complaint? (You knew there had to be one, right?) I felt like sometimes the dialogue and/or musings of the characters did not always match up with their ages.

I felt like Noelle was entirely too profound for a teenage girl. This may be partially because of the person who read her chapters on the audio book. Maybe. Some of her reflections were a little too poetic, not the thought processes of a typical seventeen year old.

On the flip side, I felt like Silas came off as being twelve years old. This also could have been the voice actor on the audiobook. It seemed like everything was said with such earnest and wonder. It was as if there should be italics for half of what he said. "I knew you would
never trust me again because I hurt you. I could see it. I could not bear it. You trusted me and now you will never forgive me, and I will never forgive myself." Not an actual quote, by the way... just trying to give an example. He was a senior in high school - eighteen years old. The voice on the audiobook, and the language in which he spoke was not that of an eighteen year old boy. Maybe Shreve was trying to make him seem youthful or innocent? What do you think?

This audiobook comes highly recommended! Happy listening!


  1. I have had this sitting on my shelf and haven't read it yet. I have read The Pilots Wife by the same author and really enjoyed it. I had the same complaint though about the dialogue. Sometimes it didn't feel very authentic.

    Im dropping by on the blogger hop by the way!

  2. Yes, "The Pilot's Wife" was great! It's too bad about the dialogue - that's a risk you take with an audiobook, I guess! Thanks for "hopping" over!