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Abandoned Prayers

Murder, the Amish, and Little Boy Blue
Narrated by: Jeffrey Kafer
Length: 11 hrs and 50 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Summary

On Christmas Eve in 1985, a hunter found a young boy's body along an icy corn field in Nebraska. The residents of Chester, Nebraska, buried him as "Little Boy Blue", unclaimed and unidentified - until a phone call from Ohio two years later led authorities to Eli Stutzman, the boy's father.

Eli Stutzman, the son of an Amish bishop, was by all appearances a dedicated farmer and family man in the country's strictest religious sect. But behind his quiet façade was a man involved with pornography, sadomasochism, and drugs. After the suspicious death of his pregnant wife, Stutzman took his preschool-age son, Danny, and hit the road on a sexual odyssey ending with his conviction for murder. But the mystery of Eli Stutzman and the fate of his son didn't end on the barren Nebraska plains. It was just beginning....

©2010 Gregg Olsen (P)2002 Gregg Olsen

Critic reviews

"A riveting and deeply disturbing chronicle of true crime. Olsen has done a superior job." ( Cleveland Plain Dealer)

What members say

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eagle's
  • Eagle's
  • 08-02-12

YUK, Don't waste your time or your money!!

What would have made Abandoned Prayers better?

I spent years as a cop and don't consider myself a prude, but this book was one I could barely get through, more about his sex life than a crime book. I also listened to Starvation Heights by the same author and it was alright. This book was just way too much even for a person who spent a life time in law enforcement. I am amazed that anyone gave this book higher ratings.

Has Abandoned Prayers turned you off from other books in this genre?

No I would never let one book or even author sour me on other books or authors. However I do have another crime book in my library that tells a terrible story, (beyond bad), hopefully it will be told in such a manner to not totally turn off the listener.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator was ok, it's just too bad what he had to work with.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Honestly... none that I can think of, it was just way to much after listening for just a short time I would want to turn it off. I kept listening thinking maybe it would get better, but no such luck.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for PJ
  • PJ
  • 03-11-11

Interesting story, but confusing

The story was interesting, but it was so complex with so many different characters, I had trouble keeping track of who was who and what their role was in the story. It was a true story, so it is what it is, but I can't help thinking that some of this could have been edited down to make for a better flow. I was not put off by the sexual detail as I think this was central to the main character. The performance was solid. It was worth a listen, but not something I'm going to tell everyone they need to hear or read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Margie
  • Margie
  • 05-07-17

Lots of Explicit Gay Sex

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Not really. I liked the story but the sexual content was way to explicit, I mean it went so far as to actually explain positions, and what the men where even doing to each other. Gay or Straight I'm not into books with a lot of sex detail.

Would you be willing to try another book from Gregg Olsen? Why or why not?

I love Gregg Olsen but was surprised by this book, it was hard to believe he wrote it.

What does Jeffrey Kafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He was a decent narrator

Did Abandoned Prayers inspire you to do anything?

Read the reviews closer.

Any additional comments?

This book should be rated XXX

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • 29-11-14

Poor Danny Stutzman (and all of the other victims)

Would you listen to Abandoned Prayers again? Why?

No. I was familiar with the case having studied criminal profiling as an undergrad and remembered the case but thought the book would be interesting. It was.
However, it is a horribly sad story and the author brings us in to a world of perversion where most if have never been and will never go BUT they are important in regards to this story. Some of the lurid details could probably have been left out but that is just my opinion.

I knew the story, now know the story better and that is all I need.

What did you like best about this story?

Perhaps a peak into the Amish life and the collision of what is often seen as a very noble lifestyle that seeks "communion with G-d" and that of a lifestyle that was beyond perverted and evil.

What three words best describe Jeffrey Kafer’s performance?

Mundane, unmoving, scripted (yes I know that sounds odd as they are reading from a book however some narrators are so good it also seems like they are telling a story from their own lips, not reading it......Kafer was reading, not telling)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh no....the subject matter alone is something you must take breaks from.

Any additional comments?

Thank G-d Eli Stutzman is no longer walking the earth

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Paula
  • Paula
  • 28-10-10

long...but very intense

This book is very thorough it goes into great detail into the life of Eli Stutzman. From his childhood throughout his life you are given an intense look into this man who killed his son.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Thao
  • Thao
  • 02-12-10

disappointed

This story was written with too much emphasis on the homosexual acts. The story became very dry and hard to finish.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Birdy
  • Birdy
  • 17-09-10

If I could give it fewer stars I would

Unless you love filler, and especially lurid filler, this is not the book for you. The author has a subtle bias, or maybe not so subtle, and it drags everything into a muddle of details that are not needed to tell the story, as a result the book drags on and on, and on. The narrator's flat delivery doesn't help, but doesn't really hurt.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Buffalogal
  • Buffalogal
  • 02-10-19

Rough

The story is both fascinating and gripping, but definitely drags. I don’t have issues with gay sex, but it gets into more graphic details of (any kind of) sex than I really needed hear. Overall, I plowed through this book, curious about how all the pieces went together.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Linda
  • Linda
  • 01-08-18

Disappointed Reader

I have struggled greatly with this book. Have been very disappointed in the language and the way the story is being presented. I am going to return it without finishing it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for sasysgee
  • sasysgee
  • 10-02-17

Terrible book

I normally have a hard time getting rid of books even if I only read them once but I couldn't wait to get rid of this book. I am doing so Right now.