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Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult

Nineteen Minutes (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Jodi Picoult

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8,975341529 (3.97)240
Title:Nineteen Minutes
Authors:Jodi Picoult
Info:Washington Square Press (2008), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library

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Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 325 (next | show all)
This author was recommended by a friend, so I thought I'd give her a read. I knew Piccoult wrote about relationships in her books, but not much else about her writing style. I had a hard time getting into this book - perhaps because of the setting, subject matter, being too close to the current events -- but I am glad I hung in there. The ending was not at all what I expected. I do recommend it. ( )
  prudencegoodwife | Mar 13, 2019 |
I love this author and her writing style! I met her during her book tour for "Change of Heart". I love that she does research and takes fiction and makes it real. A hard storyline, but very well written! ( )
  BookLove80 | Feb 21, 2019 |
An okay book but I had kinda hoped for more. It didn't really end the way I wanted it to. ( )
  Elaine_Omwango | Jan 26, 2019 |
Sterling is a small town where nothing significant or noteworthy ever happens. Well, until one fateful morning. After setting up an explosion in the car park, 17 year old Peter Houghton walks into his high school, opening fire at his classmates and teachers. The titular nineteen minutes is all it takes for him to take 10 lives, and wound several others. And that is only the surface of the damage his actions caused.

Sterling, like any other small town whose complacency has been shattered to smithereens, starts asking themselves why this happened. Through the parents of the victims, the parents of the injured, the shooter themselves, through law enforcement, readers see answers to this question unfurl.

Nineteen Minutes attempts to look at what possibly creates a mass shooter. The book weaves themes of bullying, homophobia, peer pressure, parental neglect, inadequacies of the education system etc to tell its tale. However, in doing so, there are also some very problematic areas the book crosses into.

Although what sets the tone of the book is a mass shooting, a school shooting at that, the book says nay a word about gun violence. There is no excusing or condoning Peter Houghton's actions, despite his trauma. All of the bullying and neglect he faced created a broken teenager. But gun culture created a mass shooter.

So for the author to use the issue of battered-wife-syndrome in relation to Peter and the bullying he faced was just tone deaf. There's very a very vast and very evident gulf between an abused wife killing her husband-cum-oppressor, and a 17 year old boy walking into his school unleashing terror on everyone in sight. As a reader of colour, there's also the very evident question of who gets this benefit of doubt. That benefit of doubt is not fairness, it is governed by privileges of race, gender and class.

This is not to say that Nineteen Minutes is not a compelling read. It hits all your emotions. But a key takeaway gets buried in the plot- neglect is not benign. This is particularly relevant in the case of Josie Cormier and her story arc.

This book provoked a lot of thoughts for me, but I have to acknowledge the fact that it comes at the benefit of never having been a victim of gun violence, or knowing anybody who was a victim of gun violence. ( )
  AceFeminist | Dec 7, 2018 |
I thought this book was one of her best yet! The unexpected twist of the one character towards the end, I did not see coming. It made me view that character a little different and gave a little insight into the possible minds of school shooters who feel they can never be good enough. Well written, I highly recommend!! ( )
  Chelz286 | Aug 26, 2018 |
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PART ONE: "If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going".
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For Emily Bestler, the finest editor and fiercest champion a girl could ask for, who makes sure I put my best foot forward, every time. Thanks for your keen eye, your cheerleading, and most of all, your friendship.
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In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, color your hair, watch a third of a hockey game. In nineteen minutes, you can bake scones or get a tooth filled by a dentist; you can fold laundry for a family of five. Nineteen minutes is how long it took the Tennessee Titans to sell out of tickets to the play-offs. It's the length of a sitcom, minus the commercials. It's the driving distance from the Vermont border to the town of Sterling New Hampshire. In nineteen minutes you can order a pizza and get it delivered. You can read a story to a child or have your oil changed. You can walk a mile. You can sew a hem. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world or just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge.
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Book description
Sterling is an ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens-until the day its complacency is shattered by an act of violence. Josie Cormier, the daughter of the judge sitting on the case, should be the state's best witness, but she can't remember what happend before her very own eye's-or can she? As the trial progresses, fault lines between the high school and the adult community begin to show-destroying the closest of friendships and families. Nineteen minutes asks what it means to be different in our society, who the the right to jude someone else, and whether anyone is every really who they seem to be. (-back of book)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743496736, Paperback)

Best known for tackling controversial issues through richly told fictional accounts, Jodi Picoult's 14th novel, Nineteen Minutes, deals with the truth and consequences of a smalltown high-school shooting. Set in Sterling, New Hampshire, Picoult offers reads a glimpse of what would cause a 17-year-old to wake up one day, load his backpack with four guns, and kill nine students and one teacher in the span of nineteen minutes. As with any Picoult novel, the answers are never black and white, and it is her exceptional ability to blur the lines between right and wrong that make this author such a captivating storyteller.

On Peter Houghton's first day of kindergarten, he watched helplessly as an older boy ripped his lunch box out of his hands and threw it out the window. From that day on, his life was a series of humiliations, from having his pants pulled down in the cafeteria, to being called a freak at every turn. But can endless bullying justify murder? As Picoult attempts to answer this question, she shows us all sides of the equation, from the ruthless jock who loses his ability to speak after being shot in the head, to the mother who both blames and pities herself for producing what most would call a monster. Surrounding Peter's story is that of Josie Cormier, a former friend whose acceptance into the popular crowd hangs on a string that makes it impossible for her to reconcile her beliefs with her actions.

At times, Nineteen Minutes can seem tediously stereotypical-- jocks versus nerds, parent versus child, teacher versus student. Part of Picoult's gift is showing us the subtleties of these common dynamics, and the startling effects they often have on the moral landscape. As Peter's mother says at the end of this spellbinding novel, "Everyone would remember Peter for nineteen minutes of his life, but what about the other nine million?" --Gisele Toueg

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:08 -0400)

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The daughter of a judge in a New Hampshire school shooting case witnessed the events, but cannot remember the last several minutes of the attack.

(summary from another edition)

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