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Tyndale House Listen

Nothing ever happens in the small town of Marlo . . . until the residents begin seeing their private conversations posted online for everyone to read. Then it's neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, as paranoia and violence escalate. The police scramble to identify the person responsible for the posts and pull the plug on the Website before it destroys the town. But what responsibility do the people of the town have for the words they say when they think no one is listening? Life and death are in the power of the tongue.
Average Customer Rating:
4.25 out of 5
4.3
 out of 
5
(20 Reviews) 20
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (20 reviews)
5 stars
11
4 stars
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3 stars
4
2 stars
1
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8 out of 989%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for Listen
Review 1 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great Book

Date:June 25, 2013
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rlighthouse
Location:PA
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Very good moral lesson that everyone should watch what they say about other people thrown in with a mystery as to who is revealing private conversations and a little drama makes up the story of a sleepy little town called Marlo.
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Review 2 for Listen
This review is fromListen - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Keeps a Person Guessing!

Date:July 1, 2013
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nelle
Location:Iowa
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Well written book...keeps you guessing, "who done it" Very powerful subject... Could use more than just a mention on forgiveness.
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Review 3 for Listen
This review is fromListen - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

An Unusual storyline but worth reading, 5 stars

Date:May 7, 2013
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wallabyjay
Location:NSW Australia
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I absolutely loved this book. The story line was so different from anything I have read before. It shows how important it is to be careful of what we say about others. There was a mystery involved and I didn't work out the person until the end and by then it had become obvious. It was so well written, and I couldn't put it down. a truly great book, I recommend this book to everyone.
+1point
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Review 4 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:September 30, 2012
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Army Mom
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
"Listen" is a book that has a premise that I have never read before. I loved the moral lesson, that just words have impact. This book really got me to thinking about all the times that something I've said has come back to haunt me and it reminded me to think before I speak. Even when we are alone, God hears our words. I think this book was written partially to remind us that a lot of times we are careless with our words.
As for the book itself, I really enjoyed it. I thought the plot moved along well and the characters themselves were interesting. Listen had a big impact on me and those are the types of books that I truly enjoy the most.
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Review 5 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

"Bigger than life" style undermined moral lesson

Date:July 27, 2012
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Debbie from ChristFocus
Location:Harrison, AR
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
"Listen" is a Christian thriller (though the deadly disease is cruel words and the effects are confined to one town). I decided to call this a thriller because it started with a teen girl committing suicide solely because she overheard some friends criticizing her clothing and hair, and then it moved on to a cat being killed by hanging outside a pastor's house (and who did this and why is never explained), and it kept on going from one extremely violent reaction to another. For some reason, most people in this town reacted with criminal behavior when they read a posted conversation that might possibly be about them and they weren't held back by not knowing for sure who said the words.
In thrillers, it's more common for characters to act "larger than life" without their motives really being explored. That was true with this story, though once or twice we got a glimmer of why the characters acted they way they did. This works alright for action stories, but I got the feeling that the author was trying to impress on the readers the danger of hurtful words, even those spoken in private. Yet this "larger than life" style of writing left me feeling like people wouldn't really act that way, which took away from the intended impact.
This was even more so because many of the characters didn't seem very realistic. For example, the pastor is perfect--no matter what wrong was done to him, he acted lovingly and quoted Scripture about the danger of words. And I wasn't comfortable with how the main characters' justified one man stalking his ex-wife as proof of his great love for her and she should stop complaining about such a great guy.
Beyond the repeated Scripture quotes about taming the tongue, you wouldn't know this was a Christian novel until near the end. Then a fellow who was a nominal Christian at best suddenly started thinking profound theological thoughts. His wife's later response to a "let's pray" was a more realistic and interesting "Why would God listen to me? or any of us? Look what this town has become."
There was a minor amount of "he cussed" style language and a very minor amount of explicit bad language. There were no sex scenes (though affairs were referred to).
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Review 6 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Mixed emotions

Date:April 10, 2011
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Doris Wright
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Quality: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Value: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5
The book started out being good. I kept thinking "who is doing this"? Then, toward the end the book went in different directions like to much was going on and another story was being written. Parts of the book just dragged on. It was an OK book, not the best I have read.
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Review 7 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A good read!

Date:February 21, 2011
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jody664
Age:45-54
Gender:female
I've read over half of the book and so far I like it a lot. It's not the best book I've ever read, but it's certainly not the worst either. It's holding my attention, and I find myself rooting for the characters.
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Review 8 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Read

Date:February 13, 2011
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Randy77
Location:Yankton, SD
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Listen by Rene Gutteridge
I really enjoyed this book. A mystery person is recording the conversations of the people of Marlow, a small supposedly a friendly town. It shows the power of the tongue and how fast people can turn on each other. The book exposed bulling and gives an answer to it. This was one book that had me up in the middle of the night. I was glued to it as each scene moved fast. There was not a dull section in Listen. The main characters were very interesting and life like. I grew to like Frank Meritt, a long time cop friend to the family of Damien Underwood. Damien, a newspaper columnist, tries to solve the mystery. Listen has a very surprising ending that I did not figure out. (And believe me I tried.) I highly recommend this book as it will change the way you communicate.
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Review 9 for Listen
This review is fromListen - eBook.
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:March 18, 2011
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dunlizzie
Quality: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
I have really enjoyed books by Renee Gutteridge in the past. I was really looking towards this one because of it. I thought the story concept was very good, but found something lacking. I still can't put my finger on what that was; I just know I was left with just a so-so impression. It was a quick read however, and I liked that the characters were more believable, having each their own share of moral challenges. I also liked that the faith element was better integrated, which also added to things being more believable. It was worth a lazy afternoon, but wasn't irresistible.
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Review 10 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:June 24, 2010
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Sara
"Listen" is a gripping, provocative, occasionally disturbing read that had me hooked from the beginning. I finished the book in 24 hours (good thing I was off work that day!) Not the book to read if you're looking for something light and entertaining. It is entertaining but it also carries a powerful message that sort of kicked me in the gut (in a good way) Not preachy or condemning, just thought-provoking. Really made me think about how many things I say that I would feel very embarrassed and ashamed of if everyone could read them. The book also raises this question: even if no one else hears what I say, and therefore it doesn't harm or affect anyone else, how do my own careless or spiteful words affect me? (the book words it better than I can). The points raised in this story are ones we all need to be reminded of. I highly recommend it.
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Review 11 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:April 28, 2010
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Marya Rud
The story is very good and we may not want to believe it could be that see easy to have our conversations. Out there for all to see. In this day and age any thing is possible and probable. I would have liked to seen some of the charcters developed a bit more . Would read another book if she wrote on how the town recoverd.Our words ,Actions do matter . We may think we are accountable to no one but we are. Think before you act .We need to practice really listening to what is being said to us.God Bless and Rene please keep writing.Marya
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Review 12 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:April 13, 2010
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Alecia Streelman
Although this book raises some interesting questions about the power of our words in private and public, the story line is so unbelievable as to make it awkward. I found myself quickly scanning over the last third or so just to confirm that I had correctly identified the culprit. I was disappointed in what I had been told was a "great read." OK? Yes, or maybe "good." But certainly not "great" fiction.
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Review 13 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 13, 2010
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RobinCaroll
From the first page of the prologue, this book sucked me in. The characters were so real...it was as if Gutteridge had walked into my town and recorded conversations. As a mother of a teenage daughter, I laughed aloud many times as the author nailed the teenage attitude and dialogue. But the premise of this book--what would happen if our private conversations were made public was what really had me flipping the pages. And it should prompt everyone to consider their words--spoken privately or publicly. Wonderful read! Highly recommend.
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Review 14 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 18, 2010
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Christy Lockstein
Listen by Rene Gutteridge is a remarkable break from the author's growing oeuvre of humorous fiction. The small town of Marlo was voted the Nation's Best Place to Raise a Child a few years ago, and things haven't changed much since then. It's quiet, successful, and filled with model citizens. That's how it appears on the surface, but when a website starts reporting the private conversations of Marlo's residents, the dark side of the town is exposed where gossip, rumors, and backstabbing reigns supreme. As the town descends into abuse, violence, and even murder, newspaper reporter Damien Underwood tries to find out who is behind the website, even as his own family falls apart. Gutteridge is a talented writer well-known for her ability to perfectly render likable characters with all of their foibles. She tackles the tough topic of personal integrity. Do the words we say about other people behind their backs effect them? Do they effect us? Who are we really when the masks we wear for society are stripped away? Despite the novel's heavy message, Gutteridge never allows it to become a diatribe or preachy. The story is intriguing and thrilling as well as thought-provoking.
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Review 15 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 18, 2010
Special thanks to Vicky Lynch of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for sending me a review copy of this engrossing book."Sticks and stones may hurt my bones, but names will never hurt me." So goes the old childhood rhyme, but we all know that some of the most painful experiences happen when words are thoughtlessly spoken. This novel caused me to consider what I say and whether or not I'd like my private conversations to be published on the web.What happens to the Underwood family as they become intertwined in this unusual mystery of who is writing--word for word!--private conversations of the good people from the little town of Marlo? Discovering the solution makes for an interesting and somewhat surprising read.I recommend this one especially for anyone who enjoys crossword puzzles or who has teens in their family. However, I feel most people will enjoy this book; my teens are grown, and I've never developed a fondness for crossword puzzles, but I liked it too, so give it a try. You may enjoy it as much as I did!Thought-provoking Discussion Questions are found at the end of the novel, making this a great read for a book club!
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Review 16 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:February 7, 2010
This book was a great read I really enjoyed it! One thing this books makes you wonder and think about is what if someone recorded all your conversations and displayed them for all to read? We all say things we don't want others to hear, its human nature. But it does make you think about what you've said and could it possibly hurt others or make people mad. Renee Gutteridge is a new author to me and I will be checking out more of her books Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for an honest review of this book
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Review 17 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 28, 2010
What if your private conversations were suddenly made public? Well, that's what happens in the small town of Marlo. It starts of slowly. Rene Gutteridge eases you into the calm, ordinary lives of two men, Frank a cop and Damien a reporter. So you're comfortably following along with their lives when strange things start to happen. Formerly friendly neighbors start feuding. People act out of character. The police get more calls in one day than they had in the past year! A teenage girl tied up and left for dead, fights break out in the middle of a store. Cryptic messages, a murder and a fire... And all this happens because of what people read on a website called "Listen to Yourself." Somehow, someone listened in on their conversations and posted them on this site. No names are used, so anyone could have said the words and suspicions abound. Frank and Damien set out to figure out who started the website and why. Will they solve the mystery before things in Marlo go too far? Rene Gutteridge keeps readers in constant suspense during this story about the power of words. I did not want to put it down! This book was provided for review by Tyndale House Publishers.
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Review 18 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Date:January 27, 2010
How much power do words really have? In this novel, the small town of Marlo is thrown into an uproar when private conversations are suddenly being posted on the internet. How do the citizens react when their gossip is spread? How do the victims of this gossip react? And how and why is this happening?This novel had a unique plot that piqued my interest. Unfortunately, I didnt enjoy the first few chapters. I felt that the characters were not fully developed enough for me to really care about them. In addition, so many characters were introduced in the early chapters that I had difficulty remembering who was who and kept having to flip back in the book to find out.Once I got significantly into the story, the action was stronger and I found myself being pulled into the story. It turned out to be a good mystery/drama with unpredictable turns of events and a surprise ending. However, I think the author missed an opportunity to make the reader ponder the power of words and gossip in her own life. I think the intent was there, but for me, it just didnt hit the mark. I was given a free review copy of this book by Tyndale House Publishers.
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Review 19 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:January 25, 2010
Wow! This book was hard to put down.If you're looking for a great suspense story with a thought-provoking message, you'll want to read "Listen."The story takes place in Marlo, once voted the Best Place to Raise a Child in the United States. Yet, suddenly, someone is posting the word-for-word private conversations of Marlo's citizens on the internet for everyone to read. And people are becoming angry and hurt and vengeful as a result.Trying to solve the mystery of who is doing this, how, and why are Damien Underwood and his best friend, Frank Merret. Damien is the op-ed and crossword puzzle writer at the paper, trying his hand at investigative reporting for the first time. He has a wife and two teens. Frank, a policeman, is like an uncle to the Underwood teens, a close friend of the whole family.As the story unfolds, we learn more about the Underwood family and Frank, their relationships with each other and with various people in their communities, their histories and how those have influenced who they are at the time of the storyand thanks to the mysterious web site, they all learn more about each other, too.Throughout the book, Gutteridge weaves a message about the power of words and of humanity's need to learn to withhold judgment, stop talking, and listen. She helps us to further understand that point and apply it to our own lives with a few pages of worth-thinking-about discussion questions following the story. I highly recommend this book. Thank you for the complimentary copy, Tyndale House.
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Review 20 for Listen
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Date:January 23, 2010
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Casey
The words of Marlo are being plastered on the Internet, but who is doing it? Who would have ever thought that little words could cause so much turmoil?Listen was a page turning, occasionally bone chilling story. I was afraid when I started the book, it would be the author's agenda to get across the evil of gossip, but rarely was that word even used. And though the author wanted to make a point, she never preached it, masterful storytelling.But I also had a few problems with the book. Several transitions were very poorly done, to where I was searching, not knowing if I had missed something. I felt like I was watching lives unfold, which was great storytelling, but in that unfolding some little details were left dangling and I was a bit confused. I would have liked a stronger Christian message, but in the end the transformation was complete in the characters, I just would have liked to see more of it throughout the bookAltogether, I really enjoyed this book. It was a great mystery that had me completely in the dark until the very end. Good writing and a gripping story. I give it a thumbs up 4/5 stars.
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