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Publisher's Summary

Here is the heart-wrenching book that inspired the critically acclaimed movie. Cal and Beth Jarrett are ordinary people: a happy couple living with grocery bills, taxes, barbeque dinners, and orthodontist appointments for their two sons. But when a terrible accident takes the life of one son, their lives begin to fall apart. This is the story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances - and the lengths they will go to put their lives together again.
©1976 Judith Guest (P)1985 Recorded Books, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Emma on 03-22-11

A beautiful book

I saw the movie 'Ordinary People' and thought I'd like to listen to the book it is based on. This is a beautiful book - very moving and sensitive and also really interesting and character driven. Although it is set in the late 60's the book hasn't dated much at all, it still has a very contemporary feel. The narrator is excellent. A great listen!

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By GinnyLee on 11-26-14

Too slow.

Would you try another book from Judith Guest and/or Aviva Skell?

The book is very slow and the narration almost put me to sleep. The movie was much better. I expected more because the books are always supposed to be better than the movies. But not this one.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Better narration.

What didn’t you like about Aviva Skell’s performance?

Too monotone.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mr. Acapella on 09-29-14

Superb study of manners

Its impossible not to compare books with their film counterparts. This is a case in point. They are both excellent and the film is very faithful to the book. There are small differences in order of events and their portrayal. But if you liked the film you should appreciate the book too. Good reading but sometimes a little annoying in the knowing way she speaks of teenage life.

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