Anatomy of a Murder

Anatomy of a Murder Librarian S Note An Alternate Cover Edition Can Be Found HereFirst Published By St Martin S In , Robert Traver S Anatomy Of A Murder Immediately Became The Number One Bestseller In America, And Was Subsequently Turned Into The Successful And Now Classic Otto Preminger Film It Is Not Only The Most Popular Courtroom Drama In American Fiction, But One Of The Most Popular Novels Of Our TimeA Gripping Tale Of Deceit, Murder, And A Sensational Trial,Anatomy Of A Murder Is Unmatched In The Authenticity Of Its Settings, Events, And Characters This New Edition Should Delight Both Loyal Fans Of The Past And An Entire New Generation Of Readers

Robert Traver is the pseudonym of John Donaldson Voelker who served as the Prosecuting Attorney of Marquette County, Michigan and later as the 74th Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court He wrote many books reflecting his two passions, the law and flyfishing, Troubleshooters, Danny and the Boys and Small Town D.A.

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  • Paperback
  • 437 pages
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • Robert Traver
  • English
  • 13 August 2019
  • 9780312033569

10 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Murder

  1. says:

    I can t believe I ve never seen this book s movie I love James Stewart But at least this way I had no idea what was going to happen next in the book that was nice And, funnily enough, I still had the odd little perk of being able to hear Jimmy s voice in my head for a lot of the lines Oh, and Lee Remick is perfect as Laura Manion I have a cough irresistible impulse to rent the movie Soon Actually, the dvd might be in my mailbox now I just can t get to it because of ALL THE SNOW This is a book that requires the right mindset 21st century feminist prickliness has to be firmly suppressed all the tv and movie images of young and zealous lawyers working flat out eighteen hours a day to get their clients acquitted have to be put aside The other images from popular media, though, the ones of lawyers seizing on any slender possibility that could remotely work in their favor Those can stay Well, no, the second par of that s not fair once it gets going, everyone begins putting in those eighteen hour days and falling asleep at their desks It s only in the very beginning that the main character keeps sloping off to go fishing None of which is to say this isn t a terrifically fun book It had to be made into a movie every page screams it It is so very late 50 s, from the dialogue pattering as easy and funny and sharp as a Gene Kelly Donald O Connor dance routine, to Laura Manion s tight sweaters, to the big old chrome and fins cars you just know everyone s driving And, of course, former DA Paul Biegler Jimmy Stewart well, not in the book, except in my head said it himself The case has everything Rape, murder Even a little dog It s a fictionalized account of an actual trial, written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D Voelker under the pen name Robert Traver Voelker based the novel on a 1952 murder case in which he was the defense attorney Wikipedia It looks so simple at the beginning When his wife Laura woke him up and to tell him she had been beaten and raped, Army Lieutenant Frederick Manion picked up his loaded Luger went out and shot the man she said did it, bartender Barney Quill It s pretty straightforward Laura has been and continues to be courageously open about the assault, and her husband Manny quite matter of fact about the shooting The underlying idea is What husband worth his salt wouldn t kill the man who did that to his wife Problem is, while perfectly human and understandable, it was still murder, and Manny s been in jail ever since, trial pending Former DA Paul Biegler is pulled away from his fishing to consider taking the case for the defense He needs a case he s not the only defense attorney in his small Michigan town, and the other one s flashier his secretary, Maida the perfect 50 s secretary, sassy and efficient both , would like to be paid her salary, thank you So he puts down his fishing rod and goes to the jail, and finds it a tough call the Manions have no money And it seems like it could be a tough sell Laura is very frank too frank about Manny s jealousy, and however much empathy there can be for a man going after someone who raped his wife, within the strict letter of the law it simply was not justifiable homicide It was revenge Unless Biegler s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and his old buddy Parnell has up both of his, and between them and some surprising items turned up as they look into the details of the case they re ready to put up a fight to get the Lieutenant free I tend to doubt very many writers nowadays would quite have the gall to use phrases like Traver does A blouseful indeed And the handling of the rape and the discussion of it is interesting, a blend of euphemism and clinical directness from everyone concerned, with almost no emotion whatsoever The prosecution trying to set the victim in as positive a light as possible has no problem dismissing the rape as either irrelevant or imaginary, whichever s convenient, and to tarnish her reputation in any way possible the defense is concerned that Laura s beauty might tell against them, but otherwise is determined to stick her on the stand come what may Her own reactions are the only real weak point of the book, perhaps excusable by the male first person point of view clueless I d be curious to see a impersonal viewpoint of Laura s testimony, if such a thing were possible, because if she really did exhibit the level of sang froid that she seems to in the book, she was a stunningly tough or toughened woman That being said and being allowed to take off an invisible half star from the rating so on LibraryThing it s 4.5 I enjoyed the hell out of this book The film version was directed and produced by Otto Preminger, but rape aside I could easily see this as a Capra film The blurring of right and wrong who s lying And why What exactly is the truth, and should this man be allowed out of jail side by side with the sort of fervent idealism Jimmy Stewart should have had a patent on again, whoever was at the helm, it s the perfect 50 s movie In a book Because Jimmy Stewart plays our hero in the movie, there may be little doubt going in as to how the case will turn out but it s not that simple It s a pitched battle, this trial, a bare knuckle no holds barred brawl in which just about anything goes as long as you word it right I ve never seen or read a better revelation of the nuts and bolts of the US trial system the mechanics of getting people to say on and off the stand what you as either the defense or the prosecutor need them to say, without letting out details that tip things to the other side The head to head expert witnesses, the careful manipulation of the witnesses and the jury, the role of the judge and the use and formation of precedent so that s what draws some people to the law It has to be exhilarating And it all comes down to a nail biter, complete with a last minute curveball and an epilogue that will leave you blinking Characterization is vivid and colorful and so is the setting Dialogue is natural supernatural, actually, in its wittiness and quickness this is the way I wish I could talk except less chauvinistic And the story is gripping It s terrific Side note I find this other comment from the Wikipedia entry for the movie nauseatingly unsettling The Lumberjack Tavern is still in existence today The murder scene body outline is still there, although it is possibly a restoration and not the original outline There s a picture, captioned where the body fell Seriously And Barney actually died behind the bar, at least in the book but that wouldn t be as much fun, I guess.

  2. says:

    A woman is raped at the gates of her neighborhood, but her cries for help register too late By the time her husband, one Lieutenant Frederic Manion of the US Army, realizes what has transpired, the rapist has fled for the safety of the local bara bar which he owns Undeterred, the Lieutenant enters the bar, calmly empties his Luger pistol into the man s chest, and leaves to deliver himself into the hands of the closest deputy sheriff Paul Biegler is a former prosecuting attorney with congressional ambitions and a struggling practice While Biegler is a potent lawyer, a bombastic rival in town attracts most of the criminal defense work A call from Manion seems like a dread godsend while a victory could establish and spread his reputation, a defeat might make him a laughingstock The prosecuting attorney is a man who has already defeated Biegler once at the polls, and who has an eye on the same congressional seat as Biegler This seems like a simple case a decorated war hero killed the man who raped his wife But it isn t enough that a jury might sympathize with Manion morally how can he be defended legally The American Bar Association includes the dramatization of this book on their list of 25 Greatest Legal Movies , and that list drew my attention to the book in the first place While I ve been reading legal thrillers by John Grisham for the last fifteen years, I d never heard of this 1950s era novel Despite the dramatic start, Anatomy isn t a thriller it strikes me as a mature novel The author was a practicing attorney and a judge, and wrote the novel based on one of his own cases The judge s lifetime of of experience is on full display here, talking with the reader through Biegler s conversations with Manion and others about the nature of law itself its uses, its shortcomings Anatomy is thus a philosophical novel, and I for one found the musing just as provocative as any nonfiction read The trial remains an interesting mystery throughout, as there proves to be to the story than a hotel owner deciding to attack Mrs Manion Traver John D Voelker s pen name s best talent lies with dialogue The aforementioned philosophical conversations are fascinating, of course, but the on going banter between Biegler and his law partner never failed to delight In short, Anatomy of a Murder is a richer legal novel than any I ve read, and I wish my library carried by the author I also intend on watching the movie, but that s a given considering it stars James Stewart.

  3. says:

    A pesar de que no leo muchos libros de este g nero, el thriller jur dico, no puedo negar que me fascina, por supuesto hablo de juicios relacionados con el proceso legal basado en el common Law , mientras que en mi pa s los juicios y la ley se basan en el derecho romano y por lo tanto los juicios son totalmente diferentes y para m , mucho m s complicados y aburridos, en Estados Unidos ese juego legal de juzgado, jurados, juez, abogado defensor y fiscal que se enzarzan en una lucha verbal y dem s, me divierte enormemente, por supuesto me imagino que una vez metido en el sistema legal en la realidad en Estados Unidos resultar en algo diferente de lo que vemos en las pel culas y libros, pero mientras tanto, nos entrega libros realmente disfrutables d nde abogado defensor y fiscal se pelean en un juicio verbal y normalmente son tan divertidos e interesantes que siempre son bastante emocionantes.Este libro se desarrolla completamente en el tema del proceso legal y juicio de un hombre que ha sido acusado de asesinato en primer grado, el libro comienza donde el abogado defensor recibe a la esposa del inculpado para contratarlo.El inculpado, adem s de haberle metido 5 balas a otro hombre delante de muchas personas, se entreg a la polic a una vez asesinado al otro hombre, as que como ver n la defensa no tiene, en apariencia, mucho de donde agarrarse para lograr un veredicto a favor.Todo el libro estamos inmersos en el ir y venir y la genialidad, tanto del abogado defensor, como de un ayudante del fiscal en el juicio, la presentaci n de pruebas, la interrogaci n de los diferentes testigos de cargo y a favor, las declaraciones finales de ambos abogados y en medio de todo eso, la investigaci n legal y personal que se tiene que hacer por parte de la defensa para presentar su caso.Toda esa parte me encant , ya he dicho que me fascina, esta muy bien planteada y adem s no se me ha hecho para nada dif cil de leer o de comprender a pesar de los muchos t rminos legales utilizados, pero adem s, este libro fue escrito en 1958, as que, tambi n me ha resultado muy interesante ver c mo trabajaban pruebas y dem s en una poca con poca tecnolog a, nada de ADN, nada de tel fonos celulares, nada de tecnolog a de punta, todo se hac a a base de ingenio y verdadero trabajo de escritorio y lectura de mucha informaci n en papel, por otro lado, tambi n el ver detalles como el que todo mundo fumaba en todas partes, dentro del juzgado, dentro de la c rcel, en la casa de todas las personas, cosa que como sabemos, ahora es casi pecado capital.Me ha gustado mucho este libro, est narrado en primera persona por el que es el abogado defensor, aunque no me importa leer libros de este estilo narrativo, si que es verdad que cuando leo algo as , me quedo siempre con las ganas de saber que pasaba por la mente de otros personajes y que es imposible saberlo porque solo tenemos las impresiones que nos entrega quien narra, pero a n as tengo que decir que est tan bien escrito que no me ha hecho mucha falta esa parte.Para quienes les gusten las novelas basadas en juicios y situaciones legales, les aseguro que este libro les va a encantar.

  4. says:

    It was interesting, and definitely edgy for 1958, but it was written in this pedantic, good old boys, kind of style that drive me mad If you like courtroom drama, AND you don t mind a man s man type style and you re not too hung up on getting to the story quickly, this will be a great book to read If any of those things annoy you, stay away.

  5. says:

    Thanks to a facebook friend for recommending I read this book for my read 50 books from 50states challenge This book takes place in MICHIGAN and I heard it is loosely based on real events.Well I will say for a book written in the 1950 s this was a topic I did not expect to be, and then I found out it was a very popular book and made into a movie.A crime of rape and murder that is brought to a sensational trial Most of the book is about the prep work for the trial and then the trial Hey courtroom drama has not changed much in all these years This was a very satisfying read

  6. says:

    At 2 on the 1958 bestseller list is this story of a murder and trial, set in a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan The legal thriller has become a staple in current fiction but was a fairly new genre in the 1950s Compulsion, a 1957 bestseller by Meyer Levin was the beginning, but Levin had a journalism background while Robert Traver had been a practicing lawyer and judge The writing is clunky and wordy but Traver goes quite extensively into all aspects of preparing a case, selecting a jury, and the differences between the approach of a prosecuting attorney versus a defense attorney He also manages to make what I consider a dry subject interesting The murderer confessed to his crime and turned himself in on the night of the murder, so our hero, former DA Paul Beigler, plans his defense around a variation of the insanity plea The reader gets instructed along with the judge and jury, on the workings of such a plea Because of some intriguing side stories about the murderer, his wife and the victim because a rape preceded the murder because the setting is integral to the plot, it was all in all a satisfying read I could see the surprise ending coming but the tension of the trial was good and taut An Otto Preminger movie from 1959 with James Stewart and Lee Remick features Duke Ellington as the piano player in the bar and includes some of his tunes Another piece of the puzzle regarding fiction in America falls into place for me.

  7. says:

    Many consider it the greatest legal thriller courtroom drama of all time with strong dissent from fans of Agatha Christie s Witness for the Prosecution This iconic thriller involves a suspenseful murder trial that could go either way I find it especially interesting because the story was inspired by an actual case handled by the author in his other life as a criminal defense lawyer I wonder if that was why John Voelker wrote under the pseudonym Robert Traver James Grippando

  8. says:

    A classicI had heard of this novel most of my life, and I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about back in its day I was fascinated by the approach it took to a murder, knowing guilt at the outset, then truly hoping that innocence by means of insanity would be proven We learn a lot about human nature, especially our own, by the time we reach the end Equally fascinating is to compare that time, 50 years ago, to today Maybe it s best I waited so long.

  9. says:

    I randomly picked this up off my grandparent s bookshelf of leather bound Franklin books I have to say that not only did I thoroughly enjoy the well written story, but I learned about our legal system than in both my high school and college civics classes combined This will absolutely be a re read

  10. says:

    Of the many constructs that have been invented by mankind to keep society whole, I see the invention of law as being the most important It may have started with ancient chiefs and kings dictating their personal, passionate, and biased desires for justice From there, councils took form, which somewhat normalized its application And finally, the law became what it is today words on paper that intend rule society with reason As with every evolutionary process, there were diversions along the way, but in comparing where we are to where we once were, we have achieved a path of improvement Anatomy of a Murder is a novel that lives within the construct of law The book makes no mystery of the killing that takes place The killer is known and confesses in the opening pages From there, the plot takes its reader through a passionate search for truth while guided by the law Evidence is sought and amassed and the story unfolds Anatomy of a Murder then becomes a book about that evolved ritual of the law known as the trial The trial phase puts the reader in the courtroom, practically as one of the jurors Whiteness are questioned and both sides are strategic and convincing in their arguments The process is guided by a judge, who s sole responsibility is to place the law above any human passion present in the courtroom At the end of arguments, the case is sent to the jury with all possible outcomes in their charge as well as floating in the mind of the reader The ordeal is a human process, but one that is governed by the rule of law.I decided to read Anatomy of a Murder because it was recommended as being the book I just described Additionally, it was not a part of a series In fact, Robert Traver seems to have written books on fishing than he has about law The result is a book that stands alone And it s also a book that will be relished if you are like me and think that the trial part of every Law Order episode is far better than the initial investigation.

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