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Nineteen Minutes: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
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Nineteen Minutes: A Novel (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Jodi Picoult

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Member:tglong
Title:Nineteen Minutes: A Novel
Authors:Jodi Picoult
Info:Atria Books (2007), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 464 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult (2007)

  1. 92
    We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (bnbookgirl, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Both of these novels are about school shootings and the alienated teenage boys responsible for them. 'We need to talk about Kevin' depicts the complex relationships within the shooter's family, whereas 'Nineteen minutes' focuses on the larger community affected by the event.… (more)
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    Columbine by Dave Cullen (jhedlund)
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    Hate List by Jennifer Brown (Anonymous user)
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    The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb (bnbookgirl)
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    Der Abituriententag by Franz Werfel (buchstabendompteurin)
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A small New Hampshire town is shocked when a bullied teen opens fire on his school, killing or injuring many of his classmates. Picoult then goes backward and forward in time to show the many ramifications of this act as well as to look back to what lead up to this moment. The book changes perspectives many times, allowing us to get in the minds of the shooter, his parents, his lawyer, his childhood friend, and the judge on the case, to name a few. This was definitely a highlight of the book -- getting to see so many points of views and, by doing so, having a richer feel for the various characters and situations.

The book is very much grounded in the current events of when it was written, which makes some of it seem a little bit dated already, but also gives it a mostly realistic tone. In addition to talking about the big issue of gun violence, the book manages to explore a lot of other deep themes, including but not limited to parent-child relationships, friendships, athlete-hero worship, bullying, and domestic violence.

Picoult's writing is solidly good. It is neither as fantastic as some people would have you believe, nor is it as hackneyed as others would say. This book, despite its length, read fairly quickly and kept you wanting to know what will happen next, even though much of what happens next is in the past. My big gripe with it is simply its predictableness. If you think a character is going to date another character, it happens. If you think that the legal proceedings are going to happen such and such a way, they will. And so forth. Even the "big reveal" can be seen from a mile away. In fact, since I went into the book knowing that Picoult is a big one for throwing in twist endings, I suspected this reveal from basically the first chapter.

Still, this was a decent read that I would recommend to those who are comfortable tackling fiction dealing with difficult - but important - issues. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | Aug 7, 2016 |
I had gone off Jodi Picoult books as they start with what is a great and fairly unique concept, but then follow a very similar storyline each time. So it was with a bit of hesitation that I accepted this from a friend. In the end I really enjoyed this story about a bullied teenager who gets his revenge by shooting up his school. At the first the chapters going back and fourth in time irritated me as I was eager to know what had happened, but in the end that ended up being a real plus to the story. What did disappoint me, however, was the ending. There were a few things a bit unclear, everything came to a fairly predictable and "tidy" ending (new baby anyone?), and other elements were more or less just brushed under the carpet. A decent book but let down by the ending. ( )
1 vote eesti23 | Jul 5, 2016 |
Wow! What a gripping book this one turned out to be. Couldn't put it down. ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jul 4, 2016 |
Reminiscent of the movie Heathers or Flynn's Sharp Objects, Picoult's thorough examination of a school shooting has layer upon layer of darkness to peel back. Difficult subject matter, but worth the read. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
I know a lot of people call Picoult formulaic, but I can't help it -- call me a fan of the formula. This book is reminiscent of such Picoult classics as The Pact and Salem Falls in that it features a classic courtroom drama with a big surprise at the end.

And sure, maybe you can guess the surprise, maybe you know what's coming, but, to me, it doesn't stop the joy of reading along to find out whether you're right or not. I couldn't put this one down.

Story centers around a small town high school -- a student regularly bullied and victimized by his peers brings a gun to school and kills and injures a number of his classmates. The story is told from a variety of perspectives, including the shooter, his mother, the town judge, the judge's daughter (a high school student), and the detective on the case. Picoult does a find job of weaving all their stories together as the book comes to its inevitable shocking conclusion. ( )
  justacatandabook | Mar 9, 2016 |
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Epigraph
PART ONE: "If we don't change the direction we are headed, we will end up where we are going".
Chinese Proverb
Dedication
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.
First words
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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(see all 3 descriptions)

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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