Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose Book Review

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Today, I’m going to be reviewing this book. I picked this one up at the library by chance, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was a great read that kept me reading ’til the very end. It has definitely added flames to my play-fever that I’ve been experiencing recently. Here’s why it was a great read:

“Do you think you were born with a monopoly on the truth?”

The plot. This book is essentially about twelve jurors that have the power to decide whether or not a man accused of murder lives or dies. If they unanimously vote him guilty, he will be executed. If they unanimously vote not guilty, he is spared. Otherwise, the trial will be conducted again with a new jury. In the beginning, the jury conducts a vote to see where they stand. Everyone seems to think the man is guilty except one, Juror Eight. Juror Eight is outnumbered, but he stands firm in his belief. He does’t know what happened. Therefore, he cannot condemn this man to die.What I loved about the plot of this book is that it is so ambiguous. The reader doesn’t know whether the man is guilty or not. We are brought into this dilemma. Could you sentence a man to death? How can you be absolutely certain this man is guilty? While reading, I was glad I wasn’t in the jury at that moment. Question after question came out, and in the end, I was even more unsure of where I stood regarding the verdict. That uncertainty is what makes this such a good read.

The characters. There are twelve jurors in this book – all of which are unnamed. They are only referred to by their numbers. It’s pretty difficult to pull this one off, but Twelve Angry Men did it beautifully. I was never confused in the book. The characters were all quite different. I knew which one was which. Alright, I admit some of them were more pronounced than others, but all of them had at least one single quirk that I could identify them with, and that’s good enough for me.

The development. I love how this story unfolds. It’s like watching real people right before me, and I loved every bit of it. One man against eleven others. How can he convince them not to sentence this man to death? The plays shows us his arguments in a logical manner, and the reactions are believable. You see the doubt within them rise. You see the frustration bubbling over. In another words, it was fantastic.

If you’re looking for a quick read to quench your boredom, pick this one up, and give it a go. Tell me what you think.

Live long and prosper!

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