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3.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,776 Ratings  ·  397 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
Hardcover, 289 pages
Published February 19th 2008 by Shaye Areheart Books (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 01, 2014 Robin rated it did not like it
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
Mar 02, 2008 Katherine rated it did not like it
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 really liked it
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
Feb 04, 2009 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  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 it was ok  ·  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.
Sep 12, 2015 Teresa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa
Li boas opiniões acerca deste livro o que me levou a criar grandes expectativa. Foi uma desilusão! Não há ligação credível entre as situações e as personagens. Não desisti porque é criado um certo suspense e queria saber como ia acabar, mas depois não acontece nada de jeito.

Mar 05, 2008 Jennifer rated it did not like it
Shelves: adult-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 28, 2009 Marvin rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
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
Holly Lee (Bellas Novella)
Jan 17, 2010 Holly Lee (Bellas Novella) rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2009
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
Brian Ayres
May 05, 2008 Brian Ayres rated it it was ok
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.
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.
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
Feb 11, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it
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
Jul 20, 2011 AliceinWonderland rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 11, 2011 Gabriela rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 04, 2009 Lilly rated it liked it
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
Mar 17, 2010 Patty rated it it was amazing
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
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
Jul 19, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
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
Christian Mora
un muy interesante libro que consiguió captar mi atención desde el principio pero cuyo final me deja un sinsabor, a pesar de que no es predecible en el sentido estricto de la palabras, si resulta poco asombroso
Jul 11, 2013 Karen rated it really liked it
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
Peter Goodman

“Obedience,” by Will Lavender (Shaye Areheart Books, 2008). An interesting concept, if not quite as thrilling or suspenseful as intended. At Winchester University in Indiana, Prof. Leonard Williams presents his Logic class with a problem: In six weeks a young woman named Polly who has been kidnaped will be murdered if the class can’t find her and figure out what is happening. Over the six weeks of the course, he slowly provides puzzling
clues. The case seems to parallel the disappearance of Dea
Nov 01, 2009 Chris rated it did not like it
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.
Mar 29, 2012 Sharla rated it it was ok
I had trouble getting interested in this book. Finally a little over half in the author did manage to hook me. After much confusion I think I did understand what happened in the end. I still found the whole thing very unbelievable. I am always prepared to suspend disbelief but this one taxed my inclination. I did not like the characters except for Brian and things did not go well for him. I really wanted to like this book but ultimately found it underwhelming.
May 08, 2015 Eva rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015
When I just started reading this book I was a bit surprised to see so many 1 and 2-star reviews of this book. The story immediately captured my attention and I wanted to keep reading, because every chapter ended with such suspense! But... somewhere in the middle, I was lost. It felt like there were so many different things going on that I just couldn't follow what the true story was. Normally, I like it when a writer pushes me in the wrong direction, but in this book there were to many direction ...more
Diane Dachota
Jan 27, 2015 Diane Dachota rated it liked it
Interesting and original premise, confusing and lackluster ending. This story takes place at Winchester University in Indiana where three students are taking a course in logic. The professor who is quite mysterious, tells them he will teach the class by having them solve a mystery: A girl named Polly is missing and the students much use the clues to find her before she is killed in six weeks.

A lot of this quite implausible (Universities would not allow a class where no learning, materials or eve
May 14, 2016 Liz rated it it was amazing
This is a profoundly disturbing story. There are two layers – the one on the surface, life as it seems to be, is the story of a class given an unusual and distressing puzzle to solve. The professor tells them about a kidnapped girl, who will die if they don’t find her, using his clues, in six weeks. As the students search, the deeper layer shows through here and there. No one is the person he or she seems to be on the surface. Well, true enough. No one goes around with their entire persona seen ...more
May 05, 2008 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookcrossed
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!
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. college professor has a messed up class where he says Polly will die [s] 7 20 Nov 06, 2014 05:37PM  
What's The Name o...: Fiction novel - mystery [s] 2 16 Jul 15, 2014 09:40AM  
none 2 23 Mar 19, 2012 01:51AM  
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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.
More about Will Lavender...

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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?” 15 likes
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