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3.1 of 5 stars 3.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,469 ratings  ·  367 reviews
“With superb confidence, Lavender constructs a brilliant fictional web of lies, inventively warping the psychological thriller to fit the confines of a scholarly investigation.” —Kirkus Reviews

When the students in Winchester University’s Logic and Reasoning 204 arrive for their first day of class, they are greeted not with a syllabus or texts, but with a startling assignm...more
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published February 19th 2008 by Shaye Areheart Books (first published 2008)
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Feb 01, 2014 Robin rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people I think are stupid
Recommended to Robin by: my own dumb ass
Blargh! Why did I waste my time? I couldn't stop reading because I thought the author was going to redeem his crap characters, needlessly labyrinthine plot, and blah writing by blowing my mind with a great ending. He didn't. I got to the end, then I threw the book across the room.
This book would have actually been better if it ended mid-sentence 30 pages sooner (but not by much). I could elaborate on all the other reasons why it sucked, but I've wasted enough time already.
I can't believe I'm 3...more
It's not a good book, but it is a page-turner. Despite the weak writing and implausible set-up, I kept reading because I wanted to know how it would end. I think it's kind of like porn: you eventually get the resolution you're looking for but it's really just not that satisfying. Though I suppose it'll do in a pinch.
Nov 17, 2008 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: red herring lovers
Shelves: mysteries
I really, really, really wanted to like this book. I like philosophy, I like psychology, I like murder mysteries; a + b + c should equal fantastic. And I did, and it did, for most of it.

But Obedience was much cooler in theory than what actually transpired: some of it was confusing, some of it was broken plot threads, sometimes it meandered around this way when it really ought not to have, and ultimately is just so unfeasible a premise that even though I read all the way through I did feel somew...more
Feb 04, 2009 Jen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Julie, Katie, Becky
Recommended to Jen by: Square One Books - West Seattle
Shelves: five-star-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 11, 2008 Charity rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with time to waste
Shelves: blah
Was this book a page-turner with a strong premise?

Was this book poorly written, poorly executed, and poorly edited?
Yes, yes, and yes.

Was I glad that I borrowed it from the library instead of spending any of my money?
Most definitely.

There were a few things that kept this from the realms of One-star Hell, but it just wasn't entertaining enough to merit a higher rating.

This review captures my feelings so perfectly, that I'm jealous I didn't write it.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
To repeat what many reviewers have already said, This is a page turner but not in a good way. The premise was promising. Professor in a logic class gives an hypothetical dilemma that the students must resolve. Yet the dilemma may not be so hypothetical. Soon the students are obsessed in the assignment to the point that both their life and their sanity are at risk. I kept reading as every twist and turn was presented despite the weak writing and one dimensional characters. Yet the twist and turns...more
Brian Ayres
It amazes me that this book received great reviews. Not only were the characters lame, uninteresting and down-right unrealistic, the book failed to capture the essence of a great mystery: it had a really implausible ending. Without giving away much of the plot, this book, while centered on a classic psychology experiment, did not do Milgram's research justice. Milgram's obedience study showed, among other things, that humans are less obedient to authority when they have human contact with their...more
Feb 27, 2009 Sarah added it
Shelves: 2009
This book was recommended to me on the premise that I would NEVER figure out the ending. The plot sounded interesting - college kids enroll in a logic class where they discover they are to solve the disappearance of a hypothetical victim or else she will (hypothetically) be killed. Maybe I took too many psych classes, but I thought the ending was very obvious. However, the book is well-written and a fast read. I enjoyed it very much even with mild disappointment about the ending.
Mar 19, 2008 Mike added it
Shelves: tried-and-quit
gave it the 100-page test: if I hit page 100 and still don't give a hoot about the book, adios. Next!
Paul Pessolano
If you want to read a highly unusual, provocative, and hard to figure out mystery, put "Obedience" on your list.

This is the story of several college students who are taking a course called "Logic and Reasoning 204". Not only is the course unusual but Professor Williams, who teaches the course, is unusual in himself. Professor Williams does not fit the mold of a college professor in his dress, his lifestyle, or his thinking. The first day of class he walks in and tells his students that they are...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holly Lee (Bellas Novella)
I wasted a week on this book, that is for sure! Everything about it was great, until the last 50 pages when all the questions were answered.

This is a thriller set on a college campus, specifically in a Logic and Reasoning class. Professor Williams opens his 6 week class by informing the class that if they don't find a girl named Polly by the end of the 6 weeks, she will die. It sounds super exciting, and I can't put the book down.

As the book unfolds the class seems to find clues to this mystery...more
Lilly G
I'm glad I read this because it was fast, relatively mindless, and a great break from the hectic week I had - something to read late at night. That said, the writing is extremely irritating if you're a stickler about quality. If one more person had "collapsed in disbelief" or "bit their lip" or had blathering internal monologue or that sort of thing, I was going to throw it. The author is an MBA, so i kinda expected more. But in all fairness, I had these same concerns about Twilight, and that ma...more
A book review by Patty Magyar

Obedience by Will Lavender

This book totally absorbed me…the premise is sort of unusual and the writing is done in such a way as to pop you right inside this classroom.
It was a realistic sort of chiller/thriller with a terrific surprise ending.
I personally love mysteries…any kind of really terrific absorbing mystery and Obedience had many key items that keep my attention in a book of this kind…ok…the premise is a college philosophy class with a colorful interesting an...more
3.5 stars.

After this was recommended to me by a friend of mine. I looked up the book to find out what it was about, and I was immediately intrigued.

I really like the idea, and the fact I was I college when I read Obedience, made it even more appealing. I thought the writing was quite simplistic, and the story was easy to read.

While I did enjoy the story up until a point, the ending is what I had a major problem with. I thought it was too predictable, and really fell flat. For a book which cre...more
Reading Obedience is similar to walking through a fun house full of distorting mirrors and churning floors. The premise is a simple one. Professor Williams presents his logic class with a single assignment: to prevent a murder that will otherwise happen when the course ends. As the students begin to ponder the clues that Williams doles out piecemeal, they grow increasingly uncomfortable with the strangeness of the scenario, and little by little, their abilities to maintain a grasp on reality beg...more
This book was about a college class directly from the Twilight Zone. The students didn't know what was real or fiction, especially when the stories about the two missing girls started to intersect and invade their own lives. It even invaded my own because I, too, used to have a black lab named, Lady. (I can hear the Twilight Zone theme song and Rod Sterling's voice now as I type.) Anyway, this book kept me guessing until the shocking ending. This is the second book I have read by this extremely...more
Feb 04, 2010 Becky added it
GAHH!!! I can't rate this book. I just can't do it. It was such a page-turner, and I was totally sucked into all the twists and turns in the plot. And then! - then! - the ending! - gah! - completely! - enraged me! Enraged, I tell ya!

So yeah, it's a quick and entertaining read. But the resolution of the plot is possibly the most dissatisfying ever, in the history of all books ever written in the history of the universe. Not that I'm prone to exaggeration or anything.
Just terrible. The premise is ridiculous (students get 3 credits for solving a single theoretical murder mystery), the characters are cardboard (the sinister professor, the slutty faculty wife, etc.), and there is no "hook" to make the mystery an interesting one for the reader. After 40 pages of this drivel, I think playing a round of "Clue" would be much more intellectually challenging and the characters in the game would have about the same depth as those in the book anyway.
This was an AMAZING book, a really quick read as well. I read it for an hour on Sunday and then read the rest Monday morning/afternoon in a few hours. I was intrigued by the idea and I found myself pondering what was going to happen.
It's definitely a different kind of mystery, and I think this novel's place on the NYT Bestseller list is definitely deserved. GREAT novel!
4.5 stars!
Alethea A
Creep-tastic. I know a lot of people really hate this book. I enjoyed it, though. I let myself get sucked in... to the point where I had to stop reading until my husband came back into the room because I had totally creeped myself out.

Avoid if you're easily disappointed by things. You know who you are.
This was a page-turner. I like a book that can keep my attention for a long time. It was entertaining. Other reviewers say the plot could never happen in real life. I read for entertainment value. It did have some language in it, which I wish authors wouldn't use in books.
This book had so much promise. The premise of basing a mystery around Stanley Milgram's obedience studies is unique and really exciting. However, I felt that it wasn't carrried out that well and the ending was just too incredible to be believed.
I got the idea to read this book from a summer thriller reading list on a Web site. It was a page turner. I found myself finishing it in about three sittings. It is the perfect beach book. It keeps you interested through the end.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
If you want a book that keeps you asking WTF from beginning to end, this is it. A perfect plane read. Crazy.
Aug 19, 2011 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who love books set on college campuses
Shelves: 2011
I'm really interested to see what others thought of this one, but I always make a point of trying not to read anyone else's reviews before writing my own (just so that it doesn't affect my immediate thoughts/opinions/reactions). I do see that it got a rather low user rating avg (I consider anything below 3.4 or so to be on the low side), but I'm going to give it higher props than that. Throughout the first half of the book, I was LOVING it, and totally feeling a 5-star rating! But because it str...more
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What's The Name o...: Fiction novel - mystery [s] 2 15 Jul 15, 2014 09:40AM  
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Will Lavender is the author of the novel OBEDIENCE, which was translated into fourteen languages and was a New York Times bestseller in 2008.
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“What if you were always stuck in one place, your mind spinning and unable to go forward like tires clenched in mud, because the answers wouldn't reveal themselves to you?” 13 likes
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