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Fatal Vision

Narrated by: Fred Sanders
Length: 27 hrs and 47 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, True Crime
4.5 out of 5 stars (52 ratings)

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Summary

Fatal Vision is the electrifying true story of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the handsome, Princeton-educated physician convicted of savagely slaying his young pregnant wife and two small children, murders he vehemently denies committing.

Best-selling author Joe McGinniss chronicles every aspect of this horrifying and intricate crime and probes the life and psyche of the magnetic, all-American Jeffrey MacDonald, a golden boy who seemed destined to have it all. The result is a penetration to the heart of darkness that enshrouded one of the most complex criminal cases ever to capture the attention of the American public. It is a haunting, stunningly suspenseful work that no listener will be able to forget. 

©2012 Joe McGinniss (P)2018 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book and narrating.

3rd time reading it! Joe shows McDonald as the manipulative murderer he is. Great book.

1 person found this helpful

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Gripping

Phenomenal story, it’s long but it will keep your attention. Fantastically written and read. Loved it.

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One of the best true crime books on Audible, maybe even the best

A brilliant piece of journalism and writing, brilliantly narrated. The twists and turns keep happening. Highly recommend.

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Absolutely brilliant

Absolutely brilliant!!!! Could not put this book down. Loved every second of it. He is as guilty as the day is long

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Fascinating

Excellent reporting of events, great narrative and narators. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Will look for this author's work again.

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Gripping

Simply the best book of its type... couldnt fault it...kept your interest throughout..excellent!

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The True Crime Classic You Must Listen To

Where does Fatal Vision rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the category of true crime this is my favourite

Who was your favorite character and why?

I’m not sure that question is appropriate considering the material involved. All participants are observed with great insight and portrayed in an intelligent and thought provoking way.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

Excellent, his voice has the gravitas necessary for the story.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Always, I read it years ago and it resonance continues, however, for me the psychological aspects and analysis of the people involved are the really stunning aspects of this work. If only McGinnis were still alive and could use his skills to write a biography on Trump.

Any additional comments?

It has to be one of the true crime classic of all time. It’s up there with In Cold Blood and Helter Skelter. Controversial in its time for reasons explained in the last chapter, its an awesome work. The story of how a doctor and Green Beret soldier was found guilty of the horrific murder of his wife and children. It is intense in detail maybe too detailed for some, but that is to my liking. The portrayal of Jeffrey MacDonald and his rather subtle narcissistic personality traits is both fascinating and relevant. These are the days before DNA and it’s a very circumstantial case, however, the real forensic search occurs outside of the courtroom in the dissection of personality, status, excpectations, interpretations and the investigation centres on not only how this most brutal of crimes took place but more interestingly why.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would, I think it is a fantastic true crime journey. If you loved 'Son' by Jack Olsen this could be for you.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Fatal Vision?

The police questioning of Macdonald and his every changing stories

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

The calm pace of speech

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The autopsy descriptions of the family was very hard to listen to. It was quite sad and upsetting

Any additional comments?

My new favourite

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thornton Mellon
  • 12-07-18

Forget the Abridged Version of Any Book

I've listened to the version done with Christopher Reeve several times while traveling. it's abridged to almost 3 hours. I then purchased the unabridged version. I can only say that a true crime novel needs never to be abridged. the amount of details within the first two hours of this book was astonishing. It puts a whole new light compared to the abridged version. You will not be disappointed and you will come back with a different perspective.
With that being said this is a sad, horrible story of deceit, ego, innocence and the death of the innocent. This version tells the whole story.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Surprised
  • 19-04-18

Well Written & Great Details!

It's a tragedy that this was a real case but it's a great read. The story is not slow at all. This case was a rollercoaster ride and the author managed to be detailed while getting to the point. I loved it and would totally read it again.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Robert
  • 13-05-18

Superb

The best True Crime novel outside of Jack Olsen. I will immediately check for anything else by this author.

7 people found this helpful

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  • norma
  • 11-08-18

Great to the last sentence.

Excellent insight into Jeff's real life. Not just the life and personality he wanted people to see, but the real person. I felt like I lived next door to these people. They weren't just headlines and a tv movie. This book is as close to a real life look into a the true and actual account of what really happened. For 27 hours there was never a dull or uninteresting moment. I had seen the movie, saw interviews on tv and other documentation about the killings. But this book is so powerful and real, you can see and hear the events as they unfold.

5 people found this helpful

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  • andrew
  • 15-05-19

Boring Narrator

I read this book many moons ago and thought I'd download it to listen while driving. I was at a real risk of falling asleep as the narrator is so dry.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-11-18

Intense

The author did a wonderful job. He brought this story to life. I remember parts of the story, but it was nice to know that the husband was caught at the end. He was very cunning and devious, why didn't he just get a divorce? He made sure he could live the single life without any baggage. Hooray for the father in law.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Elaine
  • 30-11-19

Narcissistic psychopath

I read the book back in the 1980s when the book first came out and was from then on interested in true crime stories. McGinnis does an excellent job of providing both sides of the story but in the end there’s only one person that knows what happened on February 17, 1970 -Jeffrey MacDonald- and he will never admit to murdering his five months pregnant wife and two very young daughters. The psychiatric evaluations, the family and friends who told such wonderful stories about the all American boy, the trials, and Jeffrey MacDonald talking about himself incessantly while never seeming to truly mourn the deaths by murder of his wife and children, all contributed to my conclusion that MacDonald was not what he presented himself to be and that he’s a killer. Read it, or listen to it on audible as I did, you won’t regret it. Ranks up there with Helter Skelter, In Cold Blood, The Onion Field, and The Stranger Beside Me as one of the best true crime books.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sarah Williams
  • 17-08-18

Worth it

This is a long book, but worth it. It is incredibly detailed. I would recommend it to anyone who likes true crime stories.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tami Valentine
  • 23-01-19

Fatal Vision

I liked the story and was very interesting. However, they could have completed the story in about 15 hours instead of 27! Entirely too long, kept repeating the same stuff over and over, and the narrator was monotone and boring.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Denise
  • 10-04-20

Superb

Listened to this book in two days, it was so intriguing and the narration was superb