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Ninteen Minutes Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult's fictional thriller involving a high school shooting

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The creation of a mass murderer!

  • Feb 17, 2010
  • by
Peter Houghton would hardly be considered a typical seventeen year old teenager. Because one morning, he loaded his backpack with four guns, went to school and killed nine students and a teacher. Jodi Picoult's enthralling best-selling novel "Nineteen Minutes", titled to portray the astonishingly brief period of time that Houghton took to complete his brutal spree, examines the genesis of that event and the people affected by it from every conceivable perspective - families, victims, survivors, witnesses, parents, friends, police and the law.

Picoult expertly examines a myriad of issues - teenage angst; "in" crowds; drug use; bullying; teen sexuality; peer pressure; privacy; parenting - and creates a gripping fictionalized version of a tragic event that no thinking reader could possibly put down. At the end of this astonishing tale, many readers will actually feel sympathy for a convicted mass murderer. Certainly many also will not but, at the end of the day, all readers will realize that Picoult's amazing ability to present an issue from a wide variety of perspectives without herself being judgmental will at least give readers an understanding as to how such a horrific tragedy might come to pass!

Many potential readers may have heard the criticism of the endings of Picoult's novels. Somewhat out of character and different in flavour than the entire novel that led up to it, the ending for "Nineteen Minutes" is certainly not exempt from this criticism. While it is somewhat Hollywood in nature, it provides a twist ending that will snap the reader's eyelids wide open. Maybe it was a little too pat, maybe it wasn't ... but at the very least, it will provide a whole new layer of provocative thought that will keep the reader puzzling over the issues that Picoult raises for a long, long time after the last page closes.

Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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More Nineteen Minutes reviews
review by . July 15, 2010
Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes is a riveting tale that will keep you turning the pages until the very end. It tells the story of a school shooting in a small town in New Hampshire, focusing on some of the key players: Peter, the lifelong bullying victim-turned-murderer; his mother, Lacy; Josie, a student whose boyfriend is killed in the shooting; Josie's mother, also the judge initially assigned to Peter's trial; and Patrick, a local police officer investigating the shooting.   …
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
Another excellent book by Jodi Picoult.
Quick Tip by . June 15, 2010
This is a fascinating novel that came at a time when this is a very hot topic. I love the Picoult tends to publish books that are relevant to the tone of society. This novel is a real page turner and keeps the reader wondering what is going to happen next and what the real story truly is.
review by . July 14, 2009
Jodi Picoult is a wonderful author.  More often than not her stories are penned about tragic events befalling the everyday family.  Though, as I've come to learn over time, while Jodi Picoult is a fascinating writer--particularly because she tackles such intense issues and pits her main characters in such interesting situations--she often writes in a very formulaic way.  The books are good at least.  Many formulaic authors tend to eventually lose steam.  Perhaps Picoult …
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #15
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Books, Book, Cafe Libri, Mass Murder, Teenage Angst


Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Date Published: February 5, 2008

First to Review

"An Emotional Read"
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