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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  3,015 ratings  ·  450 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 350 pages
Published January 25th 2010 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published 2010)
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,015 ratings  ·  450 reviews

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Feb 07, 2011 rated it liked it
This book had a an original idea and some positive points and was able to hold my interest until the end, but it also contained some stupid stuff and lacked the realism and polish that I would expect to find in a good suspense novel. I kept scratching my head over weird stuff that seemed to have no real purpose to the story except to destroy any sense of reality and turn the reader off. How about that life-size cut-out of Dave Ramsey, what was that about and why was it even in the story? I was ...more
Charlotte M.
Jul 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book held my interest long enough for me to finish it, but it lacked maturity. Some areas I could compare to my writers workshop projects from middle school...the mature developmental style of writing just wasnt there for me. 'He spoke like a favorite uncle talking of holiday traditions' and 'stirred the cream into endless darkness' were pointless and childish descriptions that need not be used. Four things that bothered me -Who hung the cat?! -Was it necessary to spend as much time as the ...more
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What if your private conversations just went public?

That’s what this novel is about. a place one might call “Pleasant-ville”, or otherwise known as Marlo is enticed by a eavesdropper who sets the web on fire with the gossip of the town. Only it isn’t just gossip, it’s what people actually said about each other behind closed doors. Mayhem and anguish erupt, and hurt builds up as each find out what their neighbours really think of them. Just how responsible should we be for the words that come out
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, 2011
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bluerose's  Heart
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
For a little while, I'd given up on Christian Fiction. It seemed that all the books I was reading was just ridiculous, to be honest. I was setting aside more than I was finishing, and my eyes were tired of rolling. ;) After reading Sandra Byrd's Bride of a Distant Ilse and remembering that there ARE awesome Christian Fiction authors out there, and disliking the content I was having to deal with in most secular fiction, I started a reading list of Christian books that have been proclaimed "well ...more
Nora St Laurent
Apr 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of Rene’s characters says, “Do the words we speak have any power over us...or someone else?”

In the book of James, found in the bible it states--(words) “the tongue is but a tiny spark that can set a great forest on fire.” Do words really have that much power? Read Listen, for your answer. The city of Marlo was the ideal place to live. It was a place where “society and family joined in marriage. It was safe enough for kids to play in the front yard, clean enough, you could get top dollar for
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I oh-so wanted to like this book, given the VERY intriguing premise: what would happen if all private conversations in a “perfect” small town were made public for all to see? This COULD HAVE been an intelligent, thought-provoking, can’t-put-it-down page-turner (I need more dashes in that sentence, ha!). Sadly, the story was filled with shallow, poorly developed characters and meaningless plot development that never went anywhere. Why was Dave Ramsey even mentioned? What about the whole ...more
Rachel Thompson
May 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mainstream
I downloaded a free copy of this book for my Sony e-reader.

In the small town of Marlo, nothing much ever really happens, until one day a strange website appears with detailed conversations held between citizens. The catch is that these are private conversations. Neighbors begin to turn on one another as their private words are revealed to anyone who visits the site.

I thought this was an interesting concept, but poorly executed. None of the characters were all that likable, making the whole book
Mar 04, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel had enormous potential. The small, suburban town of Marlo is rocked when someone starts anonymously posting peoples private conversations on the Internet. People are in an uproar, fighting openly in public after their conversations are published, trying to figure out who posted them and how they're doing it.

Though the author did touch on it a bit, here's where the author missed her amazing potential. These days we are hearing a lot about cyber bullying going on in middle and high
Mar 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
I now realize why this book was a free download on my Kindle. I haven't actually read a book this bad in a long while, thank goodness. First of all, the idea for the book is not one that is incredibly novel, yet it is somewhat intriguing-that is, the idea that someone could hear all private conversations in a particular town. However, the character development was attempted, but not successful. I never really understood the thing about the cat hanging from the tree. And WHO gets knocked out ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I will state that when I first acquired this book I was unaware of the author's religious agenda I will say. The synopsis I read just made it sound like an interesting thriller. So it did get a little preachy for me especially toward the end but in fairness Christian Fiction is not my cup of tea so I suppose I was not really the target audience fir the book.

I did find the overall concept to be compelling and the early half of the story had me quite engaged but after awhile I felt as if it was
This novel was a page turner for me. Being from a small town, I could really relate to the story material and the characters. Almost no small town can escape gossip, rumor and innuendo. In fact, they go hand in hand and would almost be lost without each other -- sad as it is so. Talking about others in a "not so innocent manner" and doing so in what they think to be perfectly private settings (especially their own homes) has always been around. The Internet has not. In this novel, someone is ...more
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
more people should read this...for the good of society
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own
Whoa...this is considered Christian Fiction? Really? Well, huh...just goes to show how much I know. Anyway, Barnes and Noble sucked me in by giving me the free sample (the Prologue, which is deceptively, darkly wonderful) and with the super-cheap price on the Nookbook version of "Listen", I foolishly dropped the dollars for the rest of it. The book was founded on some really great ideas, and suffers from terrible development and delivery. No worries though, it was a great way to waste my time ...more
Jul 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: christian, thriller
"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 ...more
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Full review on

In a small town where nothing - aside from a speeding ticket - ever really happens, all of a sudden everyone is a suspect...but not to your average crime. When a mysterious website pops up and posts conversations of the towns people, showing others what is said behind the their backs we get to see what lies beneath the seemingly perfect illusion the town people have strived to uphold.

Now, people are hating their preacher, pointing fingers at their
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-books
Marlo is a quiet town. A small town where everyone seems to know one another and life is fairly simple. But when a website appears that invites the residents of Marlo to "listen" to private conversations that have been taking place around town, everything changes. Soon, the whole town is in turmoil as individuals react to the things their friends and neighbors have said about them in the privacy of their own homes.

In Listen, Rene Gutteridge shows us the true power of our words. She shows how the
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jimmy by: Barnes &
Personally, I found this book to be incredibly fantastic. It exceeded my expectations. This is the first book I’ve read by Rene Gutteridge, and I will try other novels of hers because of this positive and delightful experience.
I found myself completely enveloped in the mystery, and curiously excited over I’m not a fan or a regular reader of Christian novels. However, I found that the religious references in this novel not to be too preachy, too pushy, or too forced on
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book had the potential to be really good, but the author fumbled the ending big time. It was unsatisfying and elementary.

The story is about Marlo, billed as an ideal place to live and best place to raise your family. The community is shaken when someone starts posting private conversations online for the entire town to read, word for word. The web site turns neighbors, friends and co-workers against each other, resulting in animal death, violence and murder.

I thought Kay and Damien could
Mar 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook
A Free Friday book from Nook.

Using my tried and tested methods of book reviewing I gave this book 3 stars. The two criteria I use; did it flow and did I care what happened next, were both utilized. I read this book faster than I have read other books that I actually liked better. The style of writing was good enough and the cliffhanger chapter breaks kept me pushing myself to read ‘just a little more’. This alone would have been good enough to get five stars from me except…

The bad. I made a list
Christy Lockstein
Jan 11, 2010 rated it really liked it

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
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it

Voted “Best Place To Raise A Child, the quiet town of Marlo hasn’t seen a violent crime since 1971.......however, that is all about to change.

When a website suddenly appears and private conversations begin to be posted, the town of Marlo becomes divided. Neighbor against neighbor, husband against wife, parent against child - accusations are flying left and right and no one knows who they can trust anymore.

Who is behind this website and how are they able to listen in on the town's conversations?
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Though this book had some far fetched moments, it is not often I can find a christian fiction book I do not want to put down. I do know it is extremely hard to write good fiction coming from the christian element since the writer cannot just write like certain popular secular authors just in a ramble at massive words per minute. Not a care what comes out. Since a Christian author has a harder line to tight rope walk with to please both saved and lost and all in between and the enjoyment and want ...more
Nov 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
The synopsis of this book definitely hooked me and I think it really could have been an insightful book. It had the makings of one, but it really just had too many under developed aspects and although it help my attention long enough to finish it (although 250 pages in 3 weeks isn't that great), I felt it was basically worth what I got it for--a free download to my Nook. I was left wondering about too many things, too many dots that didn't quite connect, and too many gaping holes in character ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Okay, so what can I say about this novel?
I've read the reviews from dozens of people pretty much stating the same thing - too many characters introduced at once, bad writing, etc.
And I agree, for the most part. The writing was pretty basic, nothing unique. But one thing that really bothered me from this novel were some of the events that took place. I won't spoil them, but some were just too exaggerated and left me going, "Oh, come on! Seriously?"
Even though this novel had its "lame" parts, I
Julia Trotter
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Listen was a very creative take on how gossip and words are very powerful. It was intriguing to see seemingly nice community tear itself apart just because of someone's words. Its like a whole realization that "sticks and stones may break my bones but words can break my spirit" thing.

I think that the book moved a little bit slow at points and I was somewhat confused by the ending but overall it was an entertaining and interesting read.
Margaret Metz
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this was a powerful and thought-provoking book on the power of our words. I remember it was all people could talk about when it first came out as well. I think the message is even more powerful in this format (as a novel) than in non-fiction because the author can show us in detail how lives can be changed by those careless words that we may not have meant for others to hear.
Teri Pre
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
Pretty good book. One tip for the writer...something I read some time ago: If you're unsure about an adjective, leave it out!
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listen by Rene Gutteridge. This book will make you think twice before saying things, especially things that could hurt people. It shows us how much POWER words have. It can ruin relationships and can even cause death. But at the same time words can also uplift and change life for the better. People from a friendly small town called Marlo found their private conversations posted word for word online in a website called listentoyourself. Internet age and modern gadgets makes it easy for people ...more
Felizzia Jehd
Sep 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has a good balance of suspense and realism. It isn't overly exciting to the point that it becomes hard to believe unlike the mistake that other suspense stories have. What I love about it is the element of surprise, that the reader won't be able to predict the ending, based on my own experience. It's a story that will get you thinking and deceive you with its seemingly typical events.
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Rene Gutteridge is the award-winning and best-selling author of more than eighteen novels, including the beloved Boo Series and Heart of the Country, her novelization release with director John Ward and Tyndale House Publishers. Her recent suspense titles include Listen, Possession and the award-winning Seven Hours project Escapement. She's been published by Bethany House, Tyndale House, ...more
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“But in the darkness of her room he was reminded that helplessness was often a portal to God, because rarely did the fragile, self-serving human pray for things in his complete control.” 0 likes
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