Customer Reviews for

The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed

Average Rating 4.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(42)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted September 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Analysis of Hate, The Realization of Enduring Love, and A Fierce Mother's Unyielding Quest To Put A Face To Her Precious Son

    After spending over a decade in college studying every facet of human behavior, just when I feel that I am on the cusp of understanding why people do what they do, what their thought processes are in the perpetration of a brutal act, something else happens that completely throws my theory into chaos. Matthew Shepard, a lovable, mild-mannered, precious young man, just attempting to study at the University of Wyoming like so many other students looking for meaning and purpose in life, a place that is supposed to be synonymous with quite solace, natural rugged beauty, and the punctuation of fresh-fallen snow on a campus at 7,200 feet above sea level, was brutally killed in a crime of hate.

    A young man that was venturing out into the world, after being the victim of a sexual assault at a young age, trying to come to terms with his sexuality in a world where everyone is purportedly accepted regardless of their differences, and for which his very right to live amongst us as a free and equal citizen, praised so highly by the founders of our great nation, was taken from him in an instantaneous and violent act of hatred perpetrated by two other young men that most assuredly did not share is precious demeanor, nor had any regard for the life that they were about to extinguish from this earth.

    A "reverend" who considers himself an emissary from Heaven sent to earth to rid all of humanity from homosexuality (a normal and healthy variant of human sexuality, so much so that it was removed from the DSM-IV in the 1970s as a pathological condition) and his merry band of like-minded lunatics and hate-mongers, who spend their time protesting at the sacred and hollowed grounds of funerals, not allowing the victims of such crimes of hate, to grieve, breathe, or get any solace, exploit the opportunity found within law that allows such free speech to take place, turning love into hate, light into darkness, good into evil, and compassion into ugliness, warping the very essence of what God is, love, with such erudite and eloquent signs proclaiming, "God hates..." NO, God does not hate, He does not hate anyone for any reason, God is above this, and God does not share humanity's lust for hate, a human's capacity for relentless violence propagated by hate, which promotes more hate, ad infinitum on an endless feedback loop of ugliness, despair, hate, loneliness, and death.

    Matthew Shepard achieved in his short time on earth, more than anyone could have ever dreamed of, he stirred an awakening, a rebellion, a revolution, like so many brave patriots before him that fought, bled, and died for freedom and the right to live and be accepted, Mathew will do down in history, as he went down fighting, with every ounce of his being, his legacy, his memory, his pursuit to be accepted for who he is and not what society wants him to be, will be as such an inspiration and essential reading, as Tocqueville's "Democracy In America," the "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave," and many countless others that have so greatly impacted modern America today. This book put forth by the fierce will of a mother searching to make sense of an insensible crime, to give a face to her beloved son, will ultimately result in a healing, as she may realize the long-lasting effect that her precious Matthew will have on society, hate crimes, and the whole world at large for years and generations to come.

    M

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Thank you for keeping Mathew's hope going

    I Bless you!...I think it's wonderful to keep Mathew's legacy going! We should be way past that by now!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hope in Tragedy

    As with any story centering on a random, brutal act of violence, The Meaning of Matthew is profoundly tragic. However, if the death of Matthew Shepard had never taken place, we would be nowhere near as aware of the ignorance and insensitivity that the world continues to harbor towards not just homosexuals, but people whose lifestyles do not fit the accepted "norm." Matthew's story has triggered a vast diversity awareness throughout the world - and in that way, a sudden, heartwrenching death was made meaningful.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Amazing book.

    I remember when this happen and how upset it made me. Judy done a really good job at writing this book. I'm normally slow at finishing a book but this one I was not able to stop reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2010

    Judy shares the joys & struggles of being Matt's Mother.

    Sometimes our lives take us on unwanted journeys. This is the story of not only Matthew Shepard, but of Judy Shepard. She was thrust unwillingly into the public spotlight, and realizing the power of media, she harnessed the energy to become a reluctant public figure. This book is impossible to put down, as you cherish every moment. Judy Shepard is a voice for many, and we cannot thank her enough.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 10, 2010

    An amazing book all sould read

    I rarely read, however this book was amazing, such power for a family taken into a new world, with so much emotions. It really opened my eyes to the truth. This is a must read!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Very good read. Judy Shepard does a wonderful does a wonderful j

    Very good read. Judy Shepard does a wonderful does a wonderful job being the voice for Matthew and telling this tragic story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Great book

    It was

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2010

    Beautiful book everyone should read!

    This book is so beautifully written! I really could not put it down. I think everyone should read this book because it gives you a serious perspective to consider, that of a mother. I think this book has the potential to do so much good in the world, all you need to do, no matter your opinions on homosexuality, is pick it up and start reading. By the end you will feel like you have lost a friend you never got the chance to meet. Keep the kleenex close by!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 31, 2010

    A loving candid account of a family, their love and loss, and their bravery.

    My admiration for the Shepard family particularly Judy Shepard is validated by this brave book - brave because it reopens a horrific wound in her family's heart and also because Judy writes an honest account of her son and family. Matt Shepard was not a saint. He was, however, a loving son, an older brother, a troubled boy, a fun friend, a young man who happened to be gay just discovering his own potential and path in life when he was severely beaten and left to die.

    Most of us live ordinary lives as did the Shepard family until October 1998. Thankfully the majority of us will never have to go through what the Shepard's did - so, it is all the more extraordinary that when a tragedy like this occurs - that a family -this family - this mother and father can transcend their pain and resolve to help conquer hate as a result of the hatred inflicted on their son. I had to read this book. I believe it should be required reading for high school students - a very real example of how prejudice, ignorance, bullying, and hatred have an impact on all our lives.

    Judy Shepard has written an honest and open account of her Matt's life. She writes straightforwardly, allowing us to see her pain, and her love for her family. She openly writes about Matt's depression, drinking, and questionable impulse control, as well as his love of people, friends and friendships, inquisitive nature, and sensitivity to/for others. Judy notes her own feelings and thoughts wondering about Matt's sexuality - his coming out to her and to his father - her speculation as to how she would have reacted to his HIV status if he hadn't been murdered. Parents simply trying their best and never completely sure if they are getting it right - those of us who are parents can understand and empathize.

    Judy Shepard writes about her family's ordeal in the aftermath of Matt's death - the ensuing media circus - the reality of how the justice system operates - the exploitation of a tragic event to promote a hateful agenda - the love of friends and strangers in counteraction. Judy Shepard's book is heartbreaking, but it is also a remarkable loving account of her son and her courageous family. I encourage anyone and everyone to read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    R.I.P Matt

    Now I am gonna try not to be like other reviews.
    this is a great book tells you things that only
    the othe mother of poor Matt could know she is
    really truth full. revealing what other think
    they knew but didn't have a clue of.
    I love this book like christians love the bible
    BUY IT .LIVE IT. TELL ABOUT IT.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Homage and Call to Action

    It is difficult to believe that the murder that shocked the world - the hate crime committed on Matthew Shepard - happened twelve years ago. The heinous torture and beating to death of a young lad just 21 years of age, left to suffer tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming in winter of 1998, all because of his sexual preference is still caught in the throats of all people who believe in human rights and the protection of every member of society despite their color, creed, social status or sexuality. What Judy Shepard has achieved in this fast reading, immensely gripping book is to allow us to examine all aspects of this crime in a way that only a member of a family of a victim could share. She writes well, shares the background of her firstborn son from his birth to his death, unafraid to reveal even those aspects of Matthew's behavior that make him seem less than a hero, is able to give a detailed account of the horrid incident that shook the world, and the subsequent trials of the two young men who killed Matthew, and yet manage to summarize he book with a plea for action to prevent such hate crimes from ever happening again.

    Judy Shepard shares her alliance with the Human Rights Campaign and ultimately informs the reader about the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The focus of that foundation is '1. Erase Hate: Educating society about all aspects of hate - whether it's based on race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. 2. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality and 3. Put Children First: the goal here is to educate the public on the needs of gay and lesbian youth.' Judy Shepard is a powerful spokesperson, more so because she is quietly solid in her plans and her demeanor and her writing. This is a testament to both Matthew Shepard and to all those people like Judy Shepard who fight to right the injustices of the world. Very Fine Book, this.

    Grady Harp

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 3