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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Limitations Paperback – November 14, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The latest offering from legal thriller master Turow began life as a serial story in the Sunday New York Times Magazine and won't be mistaken, even by devoted fans, for his finest work. As with his previous novels, the action centers on the fictional Kindle County in Illinois, and he revives some familiar characters, including George Mason from Personal Injuries and Rusty Sabich, the hero of his acclaimed fiction debut, Presumed Innocent. Mason is now an appellate judge, faced with the challenge of crafting the decision in a high-profile case involving a sexual assault that reawakens his long-suppressed guilt over his role in a similar incident decades before. To compound his inner turmoil, Mason finds himself the object of threatening e-mails from an unknown source. While Turow's writing is assured as ever, the plot and the legal dilemmas interwoven into it aren't up to his usual high standards, and whodunit fans who loved the brilliant twist that highlighted his debut are likely to be disappointed by the mystery's resolution. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This slim volume appeared in the New York Times as a magazine serial in 2006. Although some new material has been added, it still lacks the heft and depth of a full-fledged Turow novel. Even as a novella, it's top-heavy with legal procedure and courtroom scheduling minutiae that would better fit the scope and pacing of a much longer work. However, even Turow Lite delivers a fairly good read. Former criminal defense attorney George Mason (readers will recognize him, as well as the Kindle County setting, from Personal Injuries, 1999) has been comfortably ensconced for almost a decade as a judge on the Court of Appeals. But a case is resurrected that disturbs him in ways that are both perfectly explicable and unfathomable to him. In 1999, four high-school ice-hockey players, all white, videotaped their gang rape of a drugged 15-year-old black girl at a party. The videotape didn't come to light until 2003; a conviction followed, which is now under appeal. The case is horrific in itself; it becomes more frightening to Mason as long-buried shards from his past start troubling him. Add to this a psychotic who keeps threatening him and the fact that his wife has been diagnosed with cancer, and you have one very fragile judge. An intriguing premise, buried under legal procedure that seems tacked on. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 197 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (November 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312426453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312426453
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Scott Turow's "Limitations" is the story of George Mason, a fifty-nine year old former criminal defense attorney who is now an appellate court judge. The case currently keeping him up at night is "People vs. Jacob Warnovits." Four white men, now in their middle twenties, were convicted of criminal sexual assault for depraved acts that they committed back in high school. The victim was fifteen-year-old Mindy DeBoyer, an African American girl who passed out after a night of heavy drinking at a party; Jacob Warnovits assaulted Mindy while she was unconscious, and he subsequently videotaped his buddies raping her. Warnovits kept the tape and later showed it to his fraternity brothers in college. Someone tipped off the authorities, and the young men were arrested, tried, convicted, and given the mandatory minimum sentence of six years. They remain free on bond pending the results of their appeal.

Judge Mason and his colleagues must decide whether to affirm or reverse the lower court's ruling. Possible arguments for reversal are that the three-year statute of limitations passed before the case came to trial, and that the videotape, which was illegally shot and prejudicial in nature, should not have been admitted into evidence in the first place. Mason is perturbed, not only because the law is unclear, but also because he himself had been guilty of a sexual indiscretion back in college. He fears that his personal history may taint his ability to act impartially.

Mason has other worries, as well. His devoted wife, Patrice, is being treated for thyroid cancer, and an anonymous individual has been sending him a series of threatening messages.
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Format: Paperback
I am new to Turow, having read "Ordinary Heroes" just recently. I liked "Heroes" and was in need of a book for a long flight so I picked up "Limitations." I was really disappointed. I completely agree with the reviewer who commented on the lack of suspense. This was a book with a few loosely pulled together subplots: the threatening emails/text messages, the ailing wife, the current court case and the past incident from college might have worked in a different context, but they didn't really build on one another here. I am usually easy to please, but this book was uninspiring and lackluster.
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Format: Paperback
This novel, right at 200 pages, is short by today's standards. However, Turow has found the right length to tell his story and spared us the padding that one frequently finds in longer works. It is terse, well written, and gives us a deeper perception of the lives of lawyers and judges than we usually get. It deals with guilt, sin, punishment, and justice. Atonement is not discussed, but that is what this is about. The characters are human and real. The legalese and argot of the courts lend an authentic flavor. This is not a book for those who don't like to think.
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This story is a departure from Turow's style and subject treatment as presented in the "Rusty Sabich" duo of novels ('Presumed Innocent' and 'Innocent'). The style is much looser, more chatty, and initially more engaging, but the story suffers somewhat from relative shallowness. The whodunit mystery is confined as compared to the Sabich stories, more like a roller derby than a steeplechase: very narrow in focus, until the rather sudden "reveal" at the very end.

That reveal is hardly developed at all during the book, and doesn't come across as a legitimate twist so much as an almost completely disconnected surprise. A bit like a deus ex machina conclusion. And frankly, although admittedly perhaps somewhat shallow myself, I found myself scratching my head over the villain's motive. The author attempts to explain it through the protagonist's eyes, but the absence of previous groundwork makes the explanation murky and unsatisfying in my view. It's as though Mr. Turow started out with an incomplete storyboard, and changed his mind at the last minute.

Still, a pretty good read, where style compensates for diminished substance.
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Format: Paperback
This isn't Turow at his best. At his best he combines vivid characters, literary prose, his knowledge of the legal system AND that all-so-important ability to create an intricate plot to examine larger moral and social issues. Yes, at his best there aren't many better writers of the legal thriller genre.

Now Turow is his own tough act to follow. The central question of this book, which inspires the inspired title, is about responsibility: Is a fifty-eight year old man responsible for the actions of his eighteen year old self? If not, then when did that responsibility expire? And to what extent can any human being to judge another? There has to be some limitations there, too, but how do we draw them?

Good questions, with more raised, but the characters are pleasantly dull and the plot is surprisingly slow, given the incendiary (and distasteful) subject matter: rape. I don't think Turow has ever outdone his debut novel, *Presumed Innocent,* and I can recommend that one without reservation -- even if you saw the movie. (It's really, really good if you haven't.)Get That Novel Written
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