Customer Reviews for

The Laws of Our Fathers

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(1)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2007

    Difficult Read

    I am about 2/3 through this book and have been struggling to stay with it. Story is told through back and forth enumeration by the main characters, Sonny and Seth. They take us back through their rebellious drug drenched lives during the Vietnam era. The story moves slowly as they recall for us the most minute detail of drug induced thoughts and conversations. The trial is a small secondary storyline and presented with jargon difficult to understand. None of the characters are enduring or even very likable, some not at all. I am anxious to be through with it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2003

    Long and Boring

    Scott Turow seems to have lost the magic of his earlier books. While Presumed Innocent was a taut legal thriller that keeps you guessing and Burden of Proof was a slower yet fascinating character study, Turow seems to have stumbled with his next two efforts. Pleading Guilty failed to draw the reader into its tale of sports corruption, and The Laws of Our Fathers continues the downward spiral. A politician's wife has been shot and killed in the ghetto, and the clues point to either her son or her ex-husband, depending on whose version of events you believe. The burnout-hippie judge overseeing the trial, who went to college with the victim and her ex-husband, is afraid her selection was the result of corrupt, behind-the-scenes political maneuvering. The events reunite the judge with her college sweetheart, a nationally syndicated columnist who is covering the trial. The narrative switches back and forth from the judge's sixties college days in a Northern California Berkeley-like town to the present day. It doesn't sound so bad, but the characters are so self-involved and whiny that I was really put off, especially since the plot is so character-driven, like most Turow books. Also, Turow probably could have trimmed the prose here and there to keep the plot moving. The ending was unsatisfying as well. There are better legal thrillers and better mysteries out there, so don't waste your time with this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2007

    Turow is a master of Fictional Court

    This book is truly a great book from the author/attorney from chicago. His books are so well develpoed that I cannot put them down. 'Undownputable' is what I call them. Great storytelling at its best. he uses so much detail that it doesnt hurt the story at all. I like everything he wrote. I always wonder how much is fiction and how much is fact. His writing is so complex, that I like reading every word and every chapter a week! Never start a book by this guy at night, You will lose valuable time for sleeping. A remarable storyteller. A first rate book. Laws is a magnificent book to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2003

    Lengthy and irrelevant

    A modern day murder-mystery in the ghetto with roots in sixties activism. It sounds compelling but don't be deceived. This book reads like a pet project of the author -- one of those pet projects that is based on personal experiences and friends of the author. It certainly isn't very exciting to read. Unlike his first two novels, Turow never manages to introduce any compelling characters. I frankly never cared how the love story turned out since both participants were whiny self-indulgent idiots, and I cared even less about whodunnit. It bears mentioning that Turow should avoid ethnic dialects; the African-American characters were so stereotypical as to be offensive. The book was also over-written, and Turow should have gotten to the point a little quicker. Read The Burden of Proof instead.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    Subtle Exploration of the Subjectivity of Truth

    Before beginning, let me note that I am reviewing both the hard cover novel and the abridged audio cassette version. I rate the book as a five star item, and the audio cassette as a four star item. Scott Turow writes the best legal novels that I have ever read. I have been a fan of his since he wrote One L about the first year experience at Harvard Law School. In The Laws of Our Fathers, he uses courtroom drama as a plot device to explore the nature of morality, truth, and human relationships. In every sense though, this is a profoundly philosophical novel parallel to Crime and Punishment in many ways. By constantly surprising the characters and the reader with hidden currents in a multigenerational story, Turow helps us to understand the weaknesses of human-directed attempts to create justice and make peace. You are left realizing that God's laws may be far more useful for every situation than our own. The story opens with a violent crime going awry (different from planned). The plot then develops around the murder trial of a probation officer, Nile Eddgar, whose mother has been killed. Can anyone other than Turow imagine a plot that makes sense that would be so constructed? All of the parties in the case have ties to one another that go back into other times and other places, and these stories are told in flashback to provide perspective on the meaning of the events that have taken place. The description of the defense in this novel is masterful, and will be admired by anyone who has ever tried a criminal case. Even if you are not a lawyer, you will admire the grace of how the truth is subjectively exposed to put the best face on the defendant's situation. Very beautifully done! The writing is the great strength of this book. Unfortunately, by abridging the novel in the audio cassette some of the remarkable development is lost. On the other hand, Blair Brown is superb as the voice of Judge Sonny Klonsky and those who appear in her courtroom. Her performance adds a lot of depth to that character. After you have finished enjoying this novel, I suggest that you think about something that you thought you knew well when you were much younger. How have your views changed since then? Are both views true? What made them change? Is truth time dependent, experience dependent, or dependent on what? In particularly, think about some area where you once were at odds with your parents and are now in harmony with them. Which of their 'laws' do you observe now? Which do you think you may come to observe in the future? What disbelief is holding you back from embracing their views? What views have you not considered yet? Enjoy and appreciate the fragile beauty of the slowly revealed truth around us! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    Midnight Will Have You Up All Night

    If you pick this book up at midnight, it will have you reading until dawn. This is a story about a young man who visits the city of Savannah on a vacation, and ends up establishing a somewhat permanent residence in this beautiful yet strange jewel of the southern states. Fascinated with both the history and the inhabitants of Savannah, the writer finds that the people of Savannah are equally interested in him, as evidenced by the way they admit him into the inner circles of their confindences. During his time in Savannah, a murder is commited and of course, he is right in the middle of the action. The things he hears, observes, and is called upon to witness turn this otherwise amusing story into a comody/horror/thriller of epic proportions. Never has such a group of eccentric charactors been gathered together under the cover of one book. Especially intresting is the social commentary about the historical symbiotic relationship that exists between the African-Americans and the Whites in this city. Readers of any race will be fascinated by the interaction between these two groups, and all the ways that things have/have not changed over the course of many years. I found this book to be highly entertaining, well written, witty, sad, and loads and loads of fun. I found myself racing to finish it, only to grow remorseful and try to slow down and stretch it out towards the end. To me, this is the sign of a truly superior work of fiction.

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    Posted May 16, 2013

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    Posted November 16, 2010

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    Posted January 15, 2011

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    Posted July 17, 2011

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    Posted September 13, 2010

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    Posted August 23, 2010

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