Read Limitations by Scott Turow Online


From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Presumed Innocent comes a compelling new legal mystery featuring George Mason from Personal Injuries. Originally commissioned and published by The New York Times Magazine, this edition contains additional material.Life would seem to have gone well for George Mason. His days as a criminal defense lawyer are long behind him. AFrom the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Presumed Innocent comes a compelling new legal mystery featuring George Mason from Personal Injuries. Originally commissioned and published by The New York Times Magazine, this edition contains additional material.Life would seem to have gone well for George Mason. His days as a criminal defense lawyer are long behind him. At fifty-nine, he has sat as a judge on the Court of Appeals in Kindle County for nearly a decade. Yet, when a disturbing rape case is brought before him, the judge begins to question the very nature of the law and his role within it. What is troubling George Mason so deeply? Is it his wife's recent diagnosis? Or the strange and threatening e-mails he has started to receive? And what is it about this horrific case of sexual assault, now on trial in his courtroom, that has led him to question his fitness to judge?In Limitations, Scott Turow, the master of the legal thriller, returns to Kindle County with a page-turning entertainment that asks the biggest questions of all. Ingeniously, and with great economy of style, Turow probes the limitations not only of the law but of human understanding itself....

Title : Limitations
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780312426453
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Limitations Reviews

  • Una Tiers
    2018-11-01 04:24

    While a judge grapples with actions the defendant is charged with, the story was stale. This does not equal some earlier books.

  • Steve Hall
    2018-11-22 07:22

    I have always enjoyed Scott Turow. Legal "thrillers" almost always leave me unable to suspend disbelief, because, as a lawyer, I rankle at the obvious legal flaws introduced by authors either unintentionally (by those who wouldn't know better) or intentionally (by even such greats as John Grisham) in order to make the plot work. I cannot recall any instance where Turow has succumbed to that temptation.But Limitations goes far beyond avoiding that flaw. I attribute the less than stellar ratings by some readers to the fact that the greatness of this small work may possibly be appreciated best by an attorney. There is always a tension between the turmoil and messiness and emotion and humanity of life, on the one hand, and the idyllically rigorous logic of the law that is supposed to rise above that other, messy milieu. At its best, especially at the level of appellate practice where this novel is set, reason should reign supreme. Above all, a court's decisions must make excellent logical sense on many levels. That is not nearly as easy a task as it may seem to a lay person, because the language necessary to the drafting of statutes and rendering opinions is inherently less than mathematical in its clarity, while the events of life rarely confine themselves to the circumstances foreseen by legislatures or presented to appellate courts.In this novel Turow is completely true to both sides of this tension, crafting a story with both the reality and complexity and messiness of life, and the aspiration of the law and courts and judges to use logic and reason to render a decision that rises above and makes sense of that messiness in the context of the law.In doing so, using a case ostensibly about the statute of limitations, he recognizes the human limitations that judges (and lawyers) have to deal with in the attempt to meet the ideal of the law. I do not want to spoil anyone's reading of this fine book, but let me just say that the climax of this novel for me was not the "dramatic" climax that may have, for many readers, seemed less than ideal. For me it was the text of the judge's draft decision, which was ultimately the focus of the protagonist's most difficult challenge -- rendering a decision in a difficult case.The greatness of this book sneaked up on me. But it is great. It may not be the "thriller" that the genre seems to demand or that a reader may expect, but I doubt that is the target at which Turow was aiming. The target is the tension between life and the law, he hit that target straight dead center.

  • Margaret
    2018-11-03 08:04

    Although not my favorite Scott Turow story, I felt the turmoil George Mason, one of the presiding judges in the Court of Appeals, is faced with as he examines the facts in the rape case recently assigned to him. The case causes George to look into his own life, reevaluate his stance on the law and his responsibility to it. Many novels present the story from the lawyers viewpoint of a case and it was refreshing to consider the story from the judges perspective. I would like to think that most judges put this much thought into their opinions. I guess we would all certainly hope so if it was our case in front of the judge. I also enjoyed reading about the reasoning the other judges on the Appeal Court with George used to back-up their opposing opinions. The law allows for interpretation and seldom is something just black and white. The story is more about George's reaction and response to the case in front of him, than the case itself.To complicate matters George is receiving threatening e-mails which may be connected to the case in some way. To top it all off, George's wife has been seriously ill. All combined, George begins to feel it may be time for him to stop judging others and to step down from the bench.

  • Lena
    2018-11-06 11:12

    I probably should not have read this book. I read Presumed Innocent when I was 14 or 15 and fell in absolute love with it. However, for some reason I never read another Scott Turow book. So, after many years of remembering my love for the one book of his I read, I picked up another one. Of course, it was bound to disappoint.If Presumed Innocent was anything like this book, I cannot believe that I loved it as a teenager. I got bored early on with this one. The case was interesting enough, about a group of high school guys who gang-banged (and videotaped the incident) a 15-yr-old while she was unconscious, and years later, the tape surfaces and they are arrested. It sounded interesting. Especially since three of the guys are supposedly good guys now, or at least decent human beings/good citizens on the surface. If that was the whole of this book, it would have been very interesting and much more disturbing. Especially if Turow had gone on to show each of the men and how they lived good lives now. If he'd made the reader see their good lives and sympathize with them even after this brutal crime (and the way they describe it, it's pretty horrifying), it would have been one of those books that make you look at yourself and your beliefs, disbelieving that you could think two different things so strongly at once. Unfortunately, that's not what the book is about.The book is more about the judge of the case who participated in something similiar forty years before and he struggles to judge the new case b/c of the similarities between their case and his past. That part was all so boring to me. In fact, around page 100, I started skimming and skimmed the rest of the novel. I didn't care at all about the judge, his past, his marriage, or his death threats (although they tied in at the end and made it a little better). Anyway, this was a book that could have been amazing and caused a major psychological upheaval, but Turow didn't dare go there. Or didn't because he wanted to focus on the law aspects which made his other books so successful. But for me, it was just an okay book that could have been AMAZING and instead was just lacking (and lagging). I probably will not read more of his books, but his hard-core fans will probably like this one as much as any of his others. I guess I'm just not interested in legalities as much as I am the psychological disturbance a talented author can inflict with the power he wields when weaving an absorbing story.

  • Angie
    2018-10-27 03:26

    I find this book hard to describe. There is not much action--but whenever an event is described, an incident in the past or in the present, it gains its power from the fact that you have been reading some chapters containing primarily the ruminations of a judge on a court of appeals deciding the fate of a case (he's casting the deciding vote), all while handling the end of his wife's brush with cancer, and strange, vague threatening messages received on his cell and e-mail. Character, as always with Turow, is emphasized. Somehow within 195 pages--I suppose this is a novella, then--he manages to convey much more than most novelists do in 300-350. No, this is not a masterpiece like Presumed Innocent or Burden of Proof; but age and practice in the author's dual professions, law and auteur, have given Turow's writing an appropriate gravitas.

  • Patrick
    2018-11-05 03:03

    Anyone who reads this with close attention should earn 2 credit hours for the Scott Turow Law School course, “Statute of Limitations 101.” But it is not all about the trial since the judge has been receiving some death threats, making it a mystery story as well as a legal seminar. A good, quick read!

  • Tania
    2018-11-14 11:18

    One of those books with a good story line to begin with, but then ceased to stay interesting.

  • Joan
    2018-11-16 07:22

    I've enjoyed Scott Turow since I read '1L' about a million years ago. I very much appreciate that he writes both non-fiction and fiction and has the confidence/following to work on projects that he must feel are important. Limitations is not a large book, but rather sparse in terms of characters and narrative. I enjoyed it as I enjoyed Michael Crighton's last couple of books - as both authors had an idea that they wanted to explore (or have me explore vicariously) with enough of a story around it to pick it up in the first place.People wanted a big, action-packed, twisty plot should look to his other novels. This book helped me think about how our past experiences affect our interpretation of current events and it is really hard to look with 'new eyes' on new problems. Judge Mason's first intimate experience with a woman coloured his view of a rape case. The court security chief's experience with gang violence influenced her investigation of threats made against Judge Mason. Judge Mason's 'southern gentleman's' upbringing to protect women from life's unsavory details influenced his truthfulness about the threats to his wife as well as the expectations about his female clerk's ability to review the information about the aforementioned rape case. Because the plot is less complicated, as a reader, I had more 'time' to think about the issues and examine my own reflexes. I may read this again, just to have another think....

  • Samantha
    2018-10-28 06:10

    Of the three Turow books I've read, this has been my least favorite. It wasn't exciting, it wasn't suspenseful, it wasn't riveting. But still, I enjoyed it, except for the fact that I figured out who the "bad guy" was about halfway through the book and I like to be surprised.This book was more what I would call "cerebral." It was more of a treatise on the impartiality of judges, or the lack thereof. Judge George Mason is hearing the appeal of a case involving the gang rape of a girl four years before. This, of course, reminds him of an incident in his own past and the troubling memories are keeping him from making a decision in the case.Meanwhile, someone has been sending the judge threatening e-mails and text messages. Who, pray tell, could that be? Throw in a red herring by the name of Corazon, a gang leader with a bottomless capacity for violence whose conviction Judge Mason upheld, and you have the makings of a dime-store suspense thriller. Except you know it's not the obvious guy. It's not the second most obvious guy, either. But the third most obvious guy (and once you read the decription of the person's life, it becomes obvious they're the bad guy)...ding, ding, ding!I give this book 3 stars because it's well-written and the legal stuff fascinated me. As for as, not great.

  • Linda
    2018-11-04 05:26

    Limitations served as my intro to the writing of Scott Turow, and it's made a very favorable impression. As expected, it contains The story of an appellate court judge who recognizes striking personal elements within his latest case, it contains, as expected, absorbing courtroom scenes interspersed danger and action. Turow goes further, however, taking his readers inside the heart and head of his protagonist. Judge George Mason must decide the appeal of a high profile case of multiple rape, based upon challenges to the statute of limitations and the admissibility of a horrific video tape of the incident. He's preoccupied with worry over his wife's life threatening illness, at the same time receiving anonymous death threats via the internet.But the crux of the plot rests upon the ethical dilemma of Mason's life; this explosive case reminds him of an incident that occurred thirty years ago in his college dorm. Turow takes his readers inside Mason's heart and mind as he struggles with memories and guilt that he believed long buried. It's the humanity with which this character is presented that raises Limitations above the run of the mill among legal thrillers.

  • John
    2018-11-21 05:10

    Having read Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent, I know what the man is capable of, and it's a whole lot more than what you get with "Limitations." Not that Limitations is bad or anything; Turow shows throughout that he is a terrific writer with a style that is much more literary than you usually find within this genre. However, the story itself just feels kind of flat, the legal jargon overshadows the suspense, and the plot threads resolve in unsatisfactory ways. The book originally appeared in much shorter form in The New York Times, and I can't help but think that this new expanded edition was Turow's attempt at a quick cash grab. Who could blame him for being unable to resist the temptation to whip out another 75 pages in return for being able to sell the book at $13 a pop? Unfortunately, though, it comes across as the equivalent of a Lifetime original movie (albeit a pretty good one), rather than a masterfully crafted thriller.

  • Stacy
    2018-11-10 08:11

    I liked his indecision over the rape case and how it related to his college days. It made him see the boys convicted in a light that most of us would never entertain and I thought that was the most compelling part of the story. But ultimately the story hinges on the death threats and who wants the judge dead and I found the culprit to be a satisfying one. I mean, I didn’t really suspect him or her but it made some sense at the end. there's more on my blog

  • Richard
    2018-10-25 09:24

    While dealing with an statute of limitations based appeal on a gang-rape decision Judge George Mason rationalizes his own past sexual experience in college while at the same time dealing with his wife's cancer treatment and threatening e-messages. Don't give too much sympathy to George, by the end of the book he is once again Mr. Wonderful. This is the first, and last, book by Turow that I will read.

  • Lee
    2018-11-08 10:14

    I've always liked Scott Turow (Presumed Innocent) and this was pretty good, just short and for some reason, to me, it felt like there just wasn't really enough of a story there for a novel. Seemed like it either should've been shortened and been one of a set of short stories...or more depth to the characters for a complete novel. None of the characters were really fleshed out so you don't really end up understanding motivations or getting their perspective or anything...

  • Susan
    2018-11-16 06:22

    This was my least favorite Turow book. I never did "get" the legal argument in the Warnovitz case despite re-reading several times. I also felt that when we found out who the person threatening the main character was, it was kind of a "gotcha". Readers did not have enough information to figure out who the culprit might have been.

  • Eric Parsons
    2018-11-22 09:32

    A rather quick read with a couple of confusing threads, this novel is still a good one to pick up for those who are fans of the legal fiction genre. Reappearances by many characters help to make the reader feel a connection with what is going on, with frequent flashbacks that add humanity to the legal question at stake.

  • SmarterLilac
    2018-10-30 03:19

    The only more perfect mystery I have read is Høeg's "Smilla's Sense of Snow." And that's saying something.

  • Michelle
    2018-11-19 05:24

    it was a very well written story, but the ending was passe and kind of a let down compared to the rest of the story. but from a legal point of view the writing was great.

  • Mark
    2018-11-10 07:29

    Judge George Mason is at a moral and professional crossroad with only three choices for a way forward, none of which offer any hope for his nagging conscience.George, a former criminal defense attorney familiar with internal struggles between loathing, amusement, intrigue, envy, and empathy, is now an appeals court judge hearing motions about a case that has multiple mitigating factors. The case is old, and the clock is about to run out on the law’s statute of limitations for rape. The politics of the appeal and the particular way he and his fellow judges on the Appeals bench prefer to deal with it, each for his own distinctively non-legal reasons, is boxing George into choices he’d prefer not to make. He is also struggling with dark fears associated with death threats from an anonymous troll from his past.This is a great start and more than enough in my experience to keep readers turning pages, not only in the bookstore where a strong start is a competitive advantage yet also on airplanes, park benches and late at night in bed. Scott Turow knows his craft as a legal thriller writer. He is a lawyer. He is a #1 New York Times Bestselling author who has published eleven fiction and three nonfiction books and sold more than 30 million copies. He also served effectively as president of the Authors Guild during one of the most challenging eras for writers and authors in history. He is more than an author. He is an expert who can translate legal arcana and ethics into meaningful tutorials for the rest of us.There is another thing that Scott Turow is – he is a novelist, which is saying he is something more. He practices the craft side of his talents deftly in ways that don’t let the seams, the diversions, and the subtle mechanics of literature show. It is the storytelling side of work that qualifies as literary art. His characters grow before us on the page as they encounter life challenges and reveal themselves in the way they react, sometimes freezing, sometimes fleeing, more often planting their feet and facing up to their fears.Gail Caldwell of the Boston Sunday Globe compares Turow to John le Carre for his ability to share “an introspect’s embrace of the gray-zone ambiguities of modern life.” It’s a good observation and, as a long-time fan of Le Carre’s writing, I can mostly agree with it. The critical difference for me between the two authors is that while le Carre is deeply wary of the government and the people responsible for its present and future, Turow seems to be more optimistic and forgiving, which results in more neatly fitting resolutions. Writing this during these trying times when values such as truth and character are so easily compromised by weak, selfish and narcissistic leaders makes me realize how much we have to appreciate in the works of writers and artists during society’s worst moments. LIMITATIONS was written before our current crisis of faith and confidence in our social institutions, which is both good and not so good. Good because it reminds us that man’s struggle with truth and honor has a long and varied history. Not so good because it enables readers to make allowances for George’s and his opponents' moral and ethical framework.

  • Lynn Pribus
    2018-10-23 06:14

    Not a typical ponderously long Turow, but a paperback original (albeit a fancy paperback) that deals with the appeal of a single case with Judge George Mason as the presiding appeals judge with two others. He comes to realize the case recalls an incident in his UVA days (right here in Charlottesville) in which he was an unhappy and guilty participant.The usual polished writing with great dialog. Subplots include the radioactive cancer treatments his beloved wife is undergoing where he cannot even be in the same room as her in the immediate aftermath, and ugly threats on his computer and cell phones.All nicely tied together at the end. A quick and entertaining one-day read.

  • Sherry
    2018-11-03 10:14

    Although I found parts of the story somewhat dull, I did like the characterization. I especially liked the judge for his intelligence, honor, dedication for both the law and his group in chambers, and his cult. Also, for his love for his wife.The story was interesting. Maybe I read too much into it but I found it a commentary on the limitations we face in life. And IN NO, there should be no time limit on rape cases.

  • Lori
    2018-11-09 03:15

    Unlike others who have reviewed Turow's books on this site, I have found all of his writings to be very interesting. I like how, since Presumed Innocent, all of the books are about more than one thing -- not just a crime or a case, but about the interactions of people and their backgrounds and what motivates them.

  • Linda
    2018-10-27 09:06

    Very superficial coverage of what could have been an intrigue.

  • Amy Bagnall
    2018-11-07 06:18

    Short read. Not quite the thriller of Presumed Innocent, but Turow didn't disappoint.

  • Patricia
    2018-11-12 11:16

    Worst book of his ever.

  • Brian O'Leary
    2018-11-16 07:23

    Good court room parts, but too slow of a read and the plot is very slow developing.

  • Marcia Lopez
    2018-11-17 03:22

    Not super thrilling for a thriller.

  • Paula Dembeck
    2018-11-01 05:15

    George Mason, once a trail lawyer in one of Turow’s former novels (Personal Injuries 1999), is now an appellate court judge. He is confronted by a difficult challenge as the senior member of the three judge panel crafting a decision in which the judges have differing views. The case involves four young men who 18 months ago were convicted of criminal sexual assault and given the mandatory minimum sentence of six years. Mindy Deboyer was only fifteen years old when she attended a rowdy house party for the Glen Brae high school ice hockey team. Drunk on booze and a pill Jacob Warnovits gave her, Mindy ended up passed out in his room. Jacob interpreted this as an invitation for sex and he asked three team members to join him. The entire event was recorded on videotape.Mindy awoke at 5 AM in the living room, having no idea what had happened to her. Her skirt was on backwards and she thought that there had been some rough sex. But she did not want to involve her parents who did not know where she had been, and so she did nothing. The four boys and later Mindy, all graduated high school and life continued. Jacob however, feeling safe, could not resist occasionally entertaining his frat brothers with the tape. One freshman pledge, a friend of the DeBoyer family, tipped off the police who arrived at Jacob's door with a search warrant and the boys were later indicted.There is a complex legal question embedded in the case. The statute of limitations would normally bar Mindy from bringing charges more than three years after the crime. The other issue is a social one. Mindy is black and her parents are well educated. The DeBoyer family wonders publically if she would have been treated differently if she were white. The boys’ supporters feel that the four young men, now in their mid-twenties, will be ruined for a crime they committed long ago from which the victim never really suffered. But in the public arena the DeBoyer view has prevailed and many feel the young men are spoiled rich boys who have escaped punishment after a night of fun.As the three judges on the bench discuss the case among themselves, they express three separate opinions. George as the senior, is expected to craft a compromise and come out with a majority ruling. While pondering the case, Mason is upset by other events in his life. His wife has cancer and is receiving radioactive treatment in hospital. And he has also been receiving some jarring e mail messages. Someone is trying to unsettle him. It could be a stalker or a prankster, but whoever it is, simply refers to himself as number 1. Mason has received the usual hate mail from disaffected or cantankerous clients before, but none of it usually amounted to much. So he has simply been ignoring them. But after a recent case in Cincinnati where a state court judge and his family were murdered, security is taking it all very seriously. Mason usually enjoys his job. He hears arguments, reflects on briefs and precedents and writes opinions. The life suits him. But he is having trouble with this case. An event buried in his past keeps rearing its ugly head, confronting him with important questions that he must resolve to his satisfaction before can go ahead with the decision.This story was initially written as part of a serial in the Sunday New York Times magazine, a fact which accounts for its brevity (only 197 pages). Despite that, it is not disappointing. It clearly outlines the moral complexity that underlies any judicial question and the psychological weight that burdens every judge who must make difficult decisions. The characters are well drawn and despite the fact the reader can guess the “who” about halfway through, it does not detract from enjoying the read.

  • Mark Oppenlander
    2018-10-27 03:21

    Scott Turow continues to be one of my favorite authors. I have seen reviewers compare him to writers such as Balzac, Dickens and Faulkner rather than merely to other writers of legal thrillers. As a writer of bestselling popular fiction, this is high praise. With his elegant use of language, deft characterizations and uncanny ability to draw out the humanity of every villain and the foibles of every hero, his work transcends simple genre classification.I'll admit that this is not Turow's best book. But a mediocre Scott Turow book is better than 90% of what is published today, so this is still quite worthwhile. "Limitations" was apparently written as a serialized story in a newspaper or magazine first and then transferred to book form, which may account for its rapid pacing and overall slimness; it is more of a novella than a novel. In my mind, the brevity works against Turow a bit. The book simply doesn't have the time to build up steam and thus does not carry the plot velocity or moral weight of some of Turow's best works (e.g. the epic and wonderful "Laws of Our Fathers").The story is (deceptively) simple: George Mason, an appelate court judge is working on deciding a particularly tough rape case that may have gone beyond the statute of limitations. The case reminds him of things in his own past that necessarily come back to haunt him as he tries to write an opinion that will likely be controversial no matter what he decides. Meanwhile, his wife is ill and he is receiving death threats from an unknown source. All of the plot elements come together in the end, as is usual with Turow, but not in a way that is overly simplistic or "easy." And of course, what is most important in the book is not the specifics of the plot at all, but the moral struggle, as Mason weighs the limitations of both the law and of individual human beings. What can we expect of ourselves? Of others? What is too much to ask?If you like Turow, you should find this a tasty appetizer. If you haven't read Turow before, I probably wouldn't start here. Pick up "Presumed Innocent" or "Personal Injuries" instead. Then, if you like his work, come back to this one later.

  • George Hawkey
    2018-11-11 06:22

    I've never been one for Grisham. While I like a fast, exciting legal thriller as much as the next guy, I've never found Grisham to be a writer who could hold my interest. The plots surely make good films, the dramatic lawyerly speeches make for great grandstanding by well-known actors. Just not good books.What Turow does in "Limitations" is far from Grisham as one can get. This was a thoughtful, well-paced novel about a judge considering the statue of limitations on a criminal case. The idea of limitations in life and in law runs throughout the book, and it illustrates the lives and motivations of each of the characters. At what point do personal or professional limitations begin to impact how you live your life? How you can move beyond them? Not the usual legal thriller pabulum, for sure.While not spare, the prose was precise, making for a relatively short novel (200pgs), but even still the conflicts, resolutions and characters were well-rounded, and inhabited the novel like living things. Based on my enjoyment of "Limitations" I would certainly explore other Turow books - this is the only one I've read. I remember my father enjoying the hell out of "Presumed Innocent" back in the late 1980's. "Limitations" is more than a beach read, but finds a balance between "throw-away" fiction (Grisham) and more meaningful "literature" which explores and finds meaning within the lives of its prose and characters.