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1. The Confession: A Novel
2. The Partner
3. Ford County: Stories
4. The Associate: A Novel
5. The Testament
6. The Innocent Man
7. The Appeal
8. The Rainmaker
9. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
10. The Last Juror
11. The Broker
12. The Brethren
13. Bleachers
14. The Firm: A Novel
15. The Chamber
16. The Summons
17. Playing for Pizza
18. Skipping Christmas: A Novel
19. The Runaway Jury
20. The Client

1. The Confession: A Novel
by John Grisham
Hardcover: 432 Pages (2010-10-26)
list price: US$28.95 -- used & new: US$11.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385528043
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
An innocent man is about to be executed.

Only a guilty man can save him.

For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn’t understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn’t care. He just can’t believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.

Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess.

But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not Bad....but disappointed
After Grisham's debacle of a book called "The Appeal", I was hoping for more from this one. I was disappointed with this. The story is interesting and typically fast paced. It goes something like this: young black male wrongly accused of crime, small southern town "good 'ole boys" want justice, young black male on death row, overblown caricature of victim's radical Christian mother fans the flames, older white male actually committed the crime and confessed to weak, uncertain Church Pastor and the race is on to save the young black male.

Okay, obviously liberal preaching is taking place in the novel but with the characters and the story, it is a perfect platform for this preaching. I don't agree with the politics but they don't detract from the story. I had to roll my eyes a few times at the blatant stereo-typing, but it was endurable.

The problem I had with the book was the writing style. As with "The Appeal" , I felt more like I was reading a "story of a story". It seemed that whole sections of the book were written like Cliff Notes. Huge sections of the story, that could have been explored more deeply, were just summarized in nearly bullet format. I never identified with any of the characters and by the end of the book, I felt neither satisfied nor unsatisfied.

The story was somewhat predictable, often caricaturistic, and very fast paced. Not a bad read, but definitely something I will forget by next week.

5-0 out of 5 stars Like a fast paced movie you can't stop watching
I saw this book at my college library, began reading it and was immediately engrossed in the story. I finished it in two days and enjoyed every minute of it. It's a sad story of the inadequacies of justice and really makes you think about out legal system, especially the death penalty. Grisham is a great storyteller and weaved an masterful tale. Highly recommended read.

5-0 out of 5 stars He is Back
Grisham has, with a few of his most recent efforts failed to thrill me. But with The Confession he is back to the kind of writing that had first attracted me to his books. I might not agree with all of the political stances, but he handles the story and characters in an effective way that makes the reader care about what is happening, and by extension hoping that in our legal system justice can still be achieved. A must read for fans and all others who like very good fiction. Political ideologues - not so much.

4-0 out of 5 stars GRISHAM IS AT IT AGAIN
This book reminded me of "A Time to Kill" - it is almost as good. A Lutheran minister in Kansas is approached by a convicted sexual predator who confesses to killing and raping a young woman 9 years earlier in a small Texas town.The man indicted for the murder (Donte Drumm) is due to be executed in Texas within a week. The novel is the rush to Texas to stop the execution.All the details of the arrest and trial of Donte Drumm arehere as well.A very interesting and thought provoking read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book

This is a wonderful book - well worth buying and passing on.Great understanding of the death penalty. ... Read more

2. The Partner
by John Grisham
Paperback: 416 Pages (2005-04-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385339100
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
They watched Danilo Silva for days before they finally grabbed him. He was living alone, a quiet life on a shady street in Brazil; a simple life in a modest home, certainly not one of luxury. Certainly no evidence of the fortune they thought he had stolen. He was much thinner and his face had been altered. He spoke a different language, and spoke it very well.But Danilo had a past with many chapters. Four years earlier he had been Patrick Lanigan, a young partner in a prominent Biloxi law firm. He had a pretty wife, a new daughter, and a bright future. Then one cold winter night Patrick was trapped in a burning car and died a horrible death. When he was buried his casket held nothing more than his ashes.From a short distance away, Patrick watched his own burial. Then he fled. Six weeks later, a fortune was stolen from his ex-law firm's offshore account. And Patrick fled some more.But they found him.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
Literary slugger John Grisham returns with a story about--surprise!--a lawyer in trouble.Patrick Lanigan had been a youngpartner in a prominent Southern law firm.He had a beautiful wife, anew baby girl, and a bright future.Then one winter night Patrick wastrapped in a burning car; the casket they buried held nothing butashes.

A short distance away, Patrick watched his own burial thenfled. A fortune was stolen from his ex-firm's offshore account.AndPatrick ran, covering his tracks the whole way.

But, now,they've found him. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (913)

2-0 out of 5 stars deceptive
Enjoyed this book when I read it a number of years ago.It was so long ago that I had forgotten reading it.Recently, I was looking for a John Grisham book to read and saw that this was published in 2010.Fortunately, I read the Kindle sample first and realized I had already read it!It is deceptive to not post the original publishing date (2005) in the Kindle list!I looked at several other books that I knew were originally published years ago.Sometimes it lists the accurate date, other times not.This is a serious problem.I need to be able to trust Kindle to be honest about publishing dates.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Read...Typical Grisham Ending
I've read all of Grisham's books. About a third of the way into this one, I correctly guessed how it would end.I kept holding out hope that I would be wrong, but alas, I wasn't. The plot and details were captivating but I wish the main character had a little more depth of soul.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mr.Grisham. I learned English byreading all of your books.
I am a Russian Woman. 5 years ago I came to USA with no English. I started to read your books and now I can read in English the same way as in Russian. I read all your books and I can tell - You are the best! Thank you so much for your talent. Here is more - I wrote the book in English "Hi Mom, I am here in your belly". It is available here on Amazon.com
Sincerely, Lyudmyla Hensley

3-0 out of 5 stars Hated the ending
I liked the book all the way until the last 5-10 pages. The ending left me totally disappointed..I wanted to yell at Grisham for ruining an otherwise good book with his ending..It took an enjoyable read and soured it quite a bit. The other parts of the book are well thought out and keeps your attention so that was entertaining, but it was ruined for me by the end. and after all the end is your lasting impression of any book. so my lasting impression is one of disappointment.
I still think his earlier stuff (A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, The Firm and The Client) are his best stuff. If you haven't read any of those (and there are not alot of people who haven't) I highly recommend you purchase those first.

And books by Ken Follet are also very good especially (A Dangerous Fortune & Pillars of the Earth)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another great Grisham Novel
I read them all when I can find them.This one is no exception ... Read more

3. Ford County: Stories
by John Grisham
Paperback: 336 Pages (2010-08-17)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0553386816
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill. This riveting collection of short stories features an unforgettable cast of characters: Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons embark on a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit Inez’s youngest son, Raymond—on death row. A hard-drinking, low-grossing divorce lawyer fed up with his wife, his life, and the law plans a drastic escape after an unexpected phone call. A quiet, unassuming data collector sets out to bring down a flashy casino owner with his skill at blackjack—as payback for the theft of his wife. A stalker hunts victims in a retirement home, a lawyer confronts a vengeful adversary from the past, and a young man from a prominent family is driven off by scandal and fear—but finds unexpected redemption on the wrong side of the tracks. Often hilarious, frequently moving, and always entertaining, this collection makes it abundantly clear why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.Amazon.com Review
Amazon Exclusive: Pat Conroy Reviews Ford County

Pat Conroy is most recently the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller South of Broad, as well as eight previous books: The Boo, The Water Is Wide, The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline, The Prince of Tides, Beach Music, My Losing Season, and The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life. He lives on Fripp Island, South Carolina. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Ford County:

In the mail last week, I received a copy of John Grisham’s latest fiction. It surprised me that the book was comprised of seven short stories. From the time I first began publishing at Doubleday, they have always made sure that I received a copy of a Grisham book long before it went on sale in the bookstores. He has written 22 books, and I’ve read them all as soon as they were available in crisp review copies.

I have loved the Grisham books for the same reason that I love the works of John Irving, Richard Russo, or Anne Rivers Siddons: I get hooked by an early page, and pure habit forces me to read until I am issued my walking papers and can return to my normal life. These writers are all wish-bringers who cast spells with the bright enchantment of their stories, and the power of story has retained its glamour and necessity for me. I’ve always liked it when Grisham took a sabbatical from his impressive fiction to romp in the field of sports or non-fiction.

John surprised me by entering the ring of danger that the short story represents for all writers. In the world of writing, the poets come first as they finger the language like worry beads and wonder where their next meal is coming from. The art of the short story writer is one of economy, concision, and the genius of trying to craft a whole world inside a mason jar. The modern world punishes the short story writer with inattention. The literary reviews keep the short story alive and finger-popping in America today, while the New Yorker tries to strangle the form with its bare hands. But a great short story is a source of joy, and the reading of Chekhov, de Maupassant, Flannery O’Connor and others offer pleasures unmatched by any other form. Since I’m incapable of writing the short story form, I wanted to see how Grisham fared, knowing the critics would sharpen their swords against him no matter how accomplished his stories might be.

Ford County is the best writing that John Grisham has ever done. One of the many things I’ve admired about his books is his intimate chronicle of Mississippi life in the generations following William Faulkner and Eudora Welty.Grisham writes equally well about the plantation south, the black south, and white-cracker south. Over the years he has used the legal system as an instrument to illuminate the world of mansions and sharecroppers and everything in between as he not only defined Mississippi but also staked it out as his home fictional territory. His short stories were a surprise to me. All of them are very good; three of them, I believe, are great. Grisham has always had a rare gift for breaking hearts when he invokes unforgettable images of the broken, hopeless South. Some of the stories are hilarious, and Grisham’s gift of humor has never found a showcase like this. One of these stories should find its way into the anthologies of the best short stories of 2009. It might not happen, but I for one think the stories in Ford County are that damned good.--Pat Conroy

(Photo © David G. Spielman)

... Read more

Customer Reviews (196)

5-0 out of 5 stars Could not stop reading each story
I found myself going to sleep late because I could not finish reading until I was done with each story.

4-0 out of 5 stars Best Grisham in a While
Ford County (the setting for Grisham's first book "A Time to Kill") is the fertile ground from which John Grisham harvests seven short stories which touch the human condition in general and the southern condition in particular.

If you are not southern, these stories will provide you a window of understanding towards southern culture and how southerners deal with life as well as death.If you are southern, you will recognize most of the characters contained within the pages of "Ford County".If you are also from a small southern town (population less than 5,000), you will probably know each of them personally.

Grisham is at his best in this collection when the story has some legal underpinning, but is not the focus of the story itself.The exception is the final story (Funny Boy) which handled a man dying of AIDS.It was respectful and showed what I considered to be an even handed portrayal of small town reaction to such an event.

(Blood Drive) A tale of three less than noble volunteers heading to Memphis to donate blood to an injured local.
This is my least favorite as it becomes a "three hicks go to the big city and get into trouble" story.I did not find it funny, but rather shook my head as I know both uneducated and educated people that have even less common sense than these three.

(Fetching Raymond) Two brothers and their mother visit the third son on death row.The characters are well drawn and Grisham manages to subdue his own hatred of the death penalty, though is there for all to see.

(Fish Files) & (Casino) are basic legal scam stories.Both are enjoyable but suffer from Grisham's tendency to allow a story to reach its end without enough uncertainty to provide dramatic tension.

(Michael's Room) is the revenge story every person who has been screwed over by a slick lawyer and the legal system dreams of over and over.The story itself is satisfying, but the ending is completely unbelievable.

(Quiet Haven) My favorite story.The hero of the story is out for himself, but he is like the thief who robs from thieves.He redeems himself by doing more good than ill.As someone with experience with nursing homes, I was rooting for him from the first page to the last.

All in all, "Ford County" is better than Grisham's recent novels.Not a masterpiece, but a very good read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ford County:Stories
I thought I had read all of John Grisham's books and came across this one while looking to see if any new titles had been published.Found this one, ordered it and received it quickly.Great value, another great read.Overall, a very positive experience.

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I was really disappointed with this book and particularly resentful of the fact that a review right on the cover stated that it was "the best writing John Grisham has ever done."It simply is not true.I think that I've read every book that the author has written, and this is far from his best.The stories are just average at best, and while I realize that they are short stories, character and story development is sorely lacking, and each story just left me cold.I purchased this book versus getting it at the library, and I really feel ripped off.If you're a Grisham fan and feel compelled to read this book, I highly recommend getting it at the library.

1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I'm normally a big fan of Grisham. I have most of his books and recommend them to others. I was eager to read Ford County. But his 'new' writing style and characters are tacky at best. Gloomy, seedy, depressing, and what others think is hilarious barely made me smile. I have read and enjoyed most of his books tremendously. I'm now plodding thru this book and am on the third story. The first short story 'Blood Drive' was awful. The best I can say about it was that it was short. The second 'Fetching Raymond' wasn't as bad as the first but still not good. The characters were just that...characters... blah characters with no redeeming qualities. I was hoping this book would be more in the line with Playing for Pizza, which was funny, fast paced, and a really good lighthearted read. Unfortunately it didn't come close! ... Read more

4. The Associate: A Novel
by John Grisham
Mass Market Paperback: 434 Pages (2009-09-22)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$3.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440243823
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Kyle McAvoy possesses an outstanding legal mind. Good-looking and affable, he has a glittering future. He also has a dark secret that could destroy his dreams, his career, even his life. One night that secret catches up with him. The men who accost Kyle have a compromising video they’ll use to ruin him–unless he does exactly what they say. What they offer Kyle is something any ambitious young lawyer would kill for: a job in Manhattan as an associate at the world’s largest law firm. If Kyle accepts, he’ll be on the fast track to partnership and a fortune. But there’s a catch. Kyle won’t be working for the firm but against it in a dispute between two powerful defense contractors worth billions. Now Kyle is caught between the criminal forces manipulating him, the FBI, and his own law firm–in a malignant conspiracy not even Kyle with all his intellect, cunning, and bravery may be able to escape alive. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (669)

1-0 out of 5 stars Still waiting for my book to arrive.
Since the book has not arrived yet, I would not recommend purchasing from this seller.

1-0 out of 5 stars Grisham phoned this one in
The Associate fails to deliver. From its bizarre word count boosting superfluousness to its lack of an ending, this is an unfinished book that reads as if it was written by interns. An example: when describing the office, Grisham writes: "...cubicles - nicknamed cubes."In one chapter it is "an imported beer in a sweaty green bottle," in another, just "Heineken."By far the most disappointing part of The Associate is the total lack of resolution. There should be some mystery as to the fate of the protagonist at the end of a story, but this one is all loose ends and uncertainty - just feels like the author gave up about 3/4 of the way through the plot.Set this one aside, as the author did. If it wasn't worth his time to finish the work, it's not worth your time reading it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Pseudo-Realistic but Predictable and Flat
I have always enjoyed John Grisham novels but lately I have hit a string of disappointments. "The Associate" is the latest one of his works that has totally underwhelmed me.Kyle McAvoy is the young associate being blackmailed into accepting a position with a high-power law firm in order to become a mole for another competing firm.The why and what-for is not worth recounting because it is predictable and interest-lite.

We do get a glimpse of how prestigious law firms may treat their young and hungry associates.And corporate espionage may well take place in the legal world as it does in the industrial world.That's the pseudo-realistic and semi-interesting part.That aside, the plot and the characters are dull and flat.If you've enjoyed Grisham's early works, you will likely be terribly disappointed in this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well written and realistic!
It's always a pleasure to read one of John Grisham's novels. This was no exception. In THE ASSOCIATE Grisham gives us a smart young lawyer who becomes the victim of an impossible yet believable extortion/rape/spy/murder situation. I was slightly disappointed and annoyed at the ending (for about 5 minutes) until I realized the genius of Grisham's denouement: this was a real life ending, not a contrived Hollywood conclusion. I wouldn't be surprised to find "the associate" as the hero in a future novel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Change of Review
Earlier I wrote that I was unhappy with the book because it was a "bookclub" edition, and that was not noted in purchase description.I didn't ask for it, but the seller issued me a refund of the cost.Thank you.Now, I will buy the full-sized book for my collection.I highly recommend this seller if he/she would do this. ... Read more

5. The Testament
by John Grisham
Paperback: 480 Pages (2005-09-27)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$6.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385339585
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States.  He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die.  His heirs, to no one's surprise--especially Troy's--are circling like vultures.

Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long.  His second marriage in a shambles, and he is emerging from his fourth stay in rehab armed with little more than his fragile sobriety, good intentions, and resilient sense of humor.  Returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder.

Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trappings and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil.

In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
Troy Phelan, a 78-year-old eccentric and the 10th-richest manin America, is about to read his last will and testament, divvying upan estate worth $11 billion. Phelan's three ex-wives, their graspingspawn, a legion of lawyers, several psychiatrists, and a plethora ofsound technicians wait breathlessly, all eyes glued to digitalmonitors as they watch the old man read his verdict. But Phelan shockseveryone with a bizarre, last-gasp attempt to redistribute the spoils,setting in motion a legal morality tale of a contested will, sin, andredemption.

Our hero, Nate O'Riley--a washed-up, alcoholic litigator with tworuined marriages in his wake and the IRS on his tail--is dispatched tothe Brazilian wetlands in search of a mysterious heir named in thewill. After a harrowing trip upriver to a remote settlement in thePantanal, he encounters Rachel Lane, a pure-hearted missionary livingwith an indigenous tribe and carrying out "God's work." Rachel's gravededication and kindness impress the jaded lawyer, so much that a nastybout of dengue fever leads him to a vision that could change hislife.

Back in the States, the legal proceedings drag on and Grisham has ahigh time with Phelan's money-hungry descendents, a regrettable bunchwho squandered millions, married strippers, got druggy, and befriendedthe Mob. The youngest son, Ramble, is a multi-pierced, tattoo-coveredmalcontent with big dreams for his rock band, the Demon Monkeys. WillNate get straight with Rachel's aid? Do the greedy heirs get theirs?What's the real legacy of a lifetime's work? The Testament isclassic Grisham: a down-and-out lawyer, a lot of money, anaction-packed pursuit, and the highest issues at stake. It's not justabout great characters; it's about the question of what characteris. --Rebekah Warren ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1153)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Seller
Everything about this seller is excellent. Received product in 5 days. Would buy from again.

5-0 out of 5 stars THE best Grishman!
I've lost my hardback copy of this book over the years from lending it to friends and family to read. Now I'm getting it for my Nook app on my iPad. LOVE the fact that I've found it and can read it once again!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Such a Novel
Most of John Grisham's novels are interesting because of his sense of humor. Moreover, his insight on human life gives readers different understanding of others behaviors.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of Grisham's Best
None of Grisham's books has ever kept me up all night until I started THE TESTAMENT.It was an adventure even for him I'm sure.
He actually takes you through the jungles of the Amazon and you feel as if you are actually there in the boat with the men. Both my husband and I had trouble tearing ourselves away from what the next pages had to say ! His best writing to date ! We were most pleased with this purchase from Amazon.

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mr.Grisham. I learned English byreading all of your books.
I am a Russian Woman. 5 years ago I came to USA with no English. I started to read your books and now I can read in English the same way as in Russian. I read all your books and I can tell - You are the best! Thank you so much for your talent. Here is more - I wrote the book in English "Hi Mom, I am here in your belly". My book isavailableon Amazon.com
Sincerely, Lyudmyla Hensley ... Read more

6. The Innocent Man
by John Grisham
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (2007-11-20)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.39
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0440243831
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night in 1982, not far from Ron’s home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the flimsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed-up small-town hero was charged, tried, and sentenced to death—in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a man’s already broken life…and let a true killer go free. Impeccably researched, grippingly told, filled with eleventh-hour drama, John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction reads like a page-turning legal thriller. It is a book that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence—a book no American can afford to miss.
Amazon.com Review
John Grisham tackles nonfiction for the first time with The Innocent Man, a true tale about murder and injustice in a small town (that reads like one of his own bestselling novels). The Innocent Man chronicles the story of Ron Williamson, how he was arrested and charged with a crime he did not commit, how his case was (mis)handled and how an innocent man was sent to death row. Grisham's first work of nonfiction is shocking, disturbing, and enthralling--a must read for fiction and nonfiction fans. We had the opportunity to talk with John Grisham about the case and the book, read his responses below. --Daphne Durham

20 Second Interview: A Few Words with John Grisham

Q: After almost two decades of writing fiction, what compelled you to write non-fiction, particularly investigative journalism?
A: I was never tempted to write non-fiction, primarily because it's too much work. However, obviously, I love a good legal thriller, and the story of Ron Williamson has all the elements of a great suspenseful story.

Q: Why this case?
A: Ron Williamson and I are about the same age and we both grew up in small towns in the south. We both dreamed of being major league baseball players. Ron had the talent, I did not. When he left a small town in 1971 to pursue his dreams of major league glory, many thought he would be the next Mickey Mantle, the next great one from the state of Oklahoma.The story of Ron ending up on Death Row and almost being executed for a murder he did not commit was simply too good to pass up.

Q: How did you go about your research?
A: I started with his family.Ron is survived by two sisters who took care of him for most of his life.They gave me complete access to the family records, photographs, Ron's mental health records, and so on. There was also a truckload of trial transcripts, depositions, appeals, etc., that took about 18 months to organize and review. Many of the characters in the story are still alive and I traveled to Oklahoma countless times to interview them.

Q: Did your training as a lawyer help you?
A: Very much so. It enabled me to understand the legal issues involved in Ron's trial and his appeals. It also allowed me, as it always does, to be able to speak the language with lawyers and judges.

Q: Throughout your book you mention, The Dreams of Ada: A True Story of Murder, Obsession, and a Small Town. How did you come across that book, and how did it impact your writing The Innocent Man?
A: Several of the people in Oklahoma I met mentioned The Dreams of Ada to me, and I read it early on in the process. It is an astounding book, a great example of true crime writing, and I relied upon it heavily during my research. Robert Mayer, the author, was completely cooperative, and kept meticulous notes from his research 20 years earlier. Many of the same characters are involved in his story and mine.

Q: You take on some pretty controversial and heated topics in your book--the death penalty, prisoner’s rights, DNA analysis, police conduct, and more--were any of your own beliefs challenged by this story and its outcome?
A: None were challenged, but my eyes were open to the world of wrongful convictions. Even as a former criminal defense attorney, I had never spent much time worrying about wrongful convictions. But, unfortunately, they happen all the time in this country, and with increasing frequency.

Q: So many of the key players in this case are either still in office or practicing attorneys. Many family members and friends still live in the same small town. How do you think The Innocent Man will impact this community and other small rural towns as they struggle with the realities of the justice system?
A: Exonerations seem to be happening weekly. And with each one of them, the question is asked--how can an innocent man be convicted and kept in prison for 20 years? My book is the story of only one man, but it is a good example of how things can go terribly wrong with our judicial system. I have no idea how the book will be received in the small town of Ada, Oklahoma, or any other town.

Q: What do you hope your readers will take away from The Innocent Man?
A: A better understanding of how innocent people can be convicted, and a greater concern for the need to reimburse and rehabilitate innocent men after they have been released.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (616)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too long but good storyline
The summary of the book and the author drove me to purchase this book.I got through half the book and stopped, even though I felt guilty for not finished a book, because I have other books on my shelf that I want to read.The storyline is good but it is way too long and very repetitive.The book could have been shortened by at least 1/2 and still have a powerful story.Good storyline but it drags on and on that it gets lost to the reader.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Innocent Man by John Grisham
At first, I did not think I would like this book, because I do not really care to read. However, I had to read it for a college course. Once I started reading it I could not put it down. If you ever thought that within our legal system that you are innocent until proven guilt, then think again. This is a book that really needs to be read.

4-0 out of 5 stars It really pissed me off
I just finished reading The Innocent Man and my overall feeling throughout the book was anger. I hated the fact that this was based on a true story. I was so caught up in the way the DA and the court worked that I had to keep putting it down to cool off for a bit. I don't usually get emotionally involved in books, but this one caught me off guard. It was a bit dry, but the fact that it was a true story made up for it. Every American who believes the judicial system is working just fine should be required to read this book. It should be required reading for anyone who is going on jury duty as well. Just because the testimony is coming from an officer of the law does not necessarily mean it is the truth. Our society thinks that if a defendant has made it all the way to a court room, then he is guilty. We need to all read this book and learn to have an open mind when entering a court room. It might just save some lives.

3-0 out of 5 stars Liked It But Didn't Care Much For the Exonerated Convicts
As a fan of John Grisham's work (The Rainmaker is still my favorite of his), I must say that I am very surprised that he decided to write a nonfiction, something that he could easily do. But, won't that matter since his fiction books are already fun to read? So, I decided to give The Innocent Man a try. After reading halfway through the book, I was losing a great deal of interest in the true crime story of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz. Both are shady characters who have a rap sheet of some kind (Ron's is probably a mile long), and I am not surprised that they were the main suspects of the 4 year old cold case. Ron Williamson was somebody that I could care less about because he was a very egocentric person who made his family to suffer greatly from his overwhelming selfishness. To my no surprise, he eventually became a degenerate vagabond with a history of mental illness which was probably first triggered by illicit drugs. He also had a very suspicious history of his relationships with women (Shame on Grisham for omitting the valuable details of why he and his wife were divorced; if you are going to write a biography of somebody, better reveal all details, or don't write it in the first place). Thus, I must propose one question: "Does it really matter if he was locked up? Because during the time of his incarceration, it saved many women a lot of harm." On the other hand, I realized more and more, in the final 150 pages, that Grisham was more primarily concerned about injustice and blatant abuse of powers. That was more of an interesting in-look of how criminal justice system can not work in favor of the defendants at times. I always love how Grisham sprinkles legal information throughout the book and makes the readers aware of how the law works. It's always the best part of the book. And also, he does an excellent job of painting the local, state, and criminal system history of Ada and Oklahoma. It is too typical of a town that doesn't value education very much. A lot of commendations should go to the lawyers and judges along with their assistants who made the overturning of the convictions possible, and they are the true heroes. All in all, The Innocent Man is an interesting read, but really, I didn't care much for the exonerated characters.

1-0 out of 5 stars Paid for a hardcover, got a paperback...
I bought a new hardcover John Grisham book from this company, a week later I get a used paperback copy. Are you kidding me? I didnt know that determining whether a book was a paperback or hardcover was so confusing. I reccomend that you go to the next company to purchase whatever book, these people are obviously idiots. ... Read more

7. The Appeal
by John Grisham
Paperback: 496 Pages (2008-11-18)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$3.71
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385342926
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town’s water supply, causing the worst “cancer cluster” in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave listeners unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.Amazon.com Review
As the author of twenty bestselling books, John Grisham has set the standard for legal thrillers since the debut of The Firm in 1991. Enjoy this Q&A--as well as a personal note to Amazon readers--from John Grisham.

1. Your new novel starts off where most courtroom dramas end--with the verdict. Where did you get the idea to reverse the usual order of events this time around?
The actual trial is not a terribly significant part of the story. Most all of the action and intrigue begins after the trial is over, with the verdict and the subsequent appeal.

2. The Appeal overtly suggests that elected judges can be bought. If the novel is meant as a cautionary tale, what's next--the Presidential primaries?
Why not? Over one billion dollars will be spent next year in the Presidential primaries and general election. With that kind of money floating around, anything can be bought.

3. Speaking of electoral politics, you've been more vocal recently about your political views ... first supporting Jim Webb for Senate and now endorsing Hillary Clinton for the White House. Have you given any thought to running for office yourself?
No.I made that mistake 25 years ago, and promised myself I would never do it again. I enjoy watching and participating in politics from the sidelines, but it's best to keep some distance.

4. This is your first legal thriller in three years. How did it feel to get back to the genre that started it all, and can fans expect another thriller from you next year?
I still enjoy writing the legal thrillers, and don't plan to get too far away from them. Obviously, they have been very good to me, and they remain popular. I plan to write one a year for the next several years.

5. Your nonfiction book The Innocent Man continues to be a bestseller in paperback. In your ongoing work with The Innocence Project, have you come across another story of the wrongfully convicted that begs to be written as nonfiction?
There are literally hundreds of great stories out there about wrongfully convicted defendants. I am continually astounded by these stories, and I resist the temptation to take the plunge again into non-fiction.

6. What's on your bedside reading list at the moment?
1. The Nineby Jeffrey Toobin
2.Eric Clapton's autobiography
3.East of Eden by John Steinbeck.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (675)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good as an Audiobook
As with a lot of his books, this one just ends a bit abruptly, just like life. In this book he presents fascinating cynical, evil, almost comical, but believably greedy egotistically-driven manipulators of business, jurisprudence and politics; the big guy is bad, the little guy is good, as usual, which sells to our liberal fantasies, but it does get us to keep an eye out for such possibilities. The audiobook was well read, the narrator transparent and the characters brought of life.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Little Preachy, But Worth the Time

I will start by saying this isn't John Grisham's best novel. In fact I wouldn't even put it in his top ten, however I will say it is entertaining and if you can over look the very obvious left leaning politics you will find a fast paced story with some pretty good characters.

The entire story seems to preach against electing supreme court Judges and infers it's too easy to simply buy an election. My only stipulation is, isn't it just as easy to bribe and convince those who appoint judges to appoint your way? No system is perfect and each is susceptible to corruption which is why I don't understand why Grisham is so against the idea of elected judges in this book.

Other than that it's a pretty cut and dry novel. Things happen fast and it keeps your attention. I really enjoyed the ending and found to it to be very realistic. So if you're up for a fast read and didn't care for Grisham's last two novels, then this one is truly for you and a return back to form. It's good to see him getting back into fiction legal thrillers. An easy four out of five stars.

2-0 out of 5 stars Too many vectors, too little time
I have read all of Grisham's books, and this was the most disappointing. It has major storylines of liability cases, big business, election process, personal/family struggle, court politics.Unfortunately, it's too much for so little space. I actually couldn't believe how few pages were left for the finish and it turns out not enough.Without giving away the book, seems all the wrong people got punished or rewarded leaving it entirely depressing in conclusion.Hey, not every story has a happy ending, but few leave everyone dead.

5-0 out of 5 stars Scary in its relevance to reality
The plot involves a big chemical corporation that pollutes the water in a small town, such that many die of cancer.The story develops as corporation tries to fix an election of a supreme court judge, so that this same judge can support their appeal against the scruffy lawyers who took on the major corporation and won the original case finding them guilty of willful pollution. I'll leave the details for you to discover, but Grasham puts his finger on the problem of elected judges here [p 296]:

It's unseemly how they [judges] are forced to grovel for votes. You, as a lawyer representing a client in a pending case, should have no contact whatsoever with a supreme court justice. But because of the system, one comes to your office seeking money and support. Why? Because some special interests with plenty of money have decided they would like their own seat in the court. They're spending money to purchase a seat.

Bottom Line: Read it and weep. Justice for sale does not serve the people. Judges should be appointed, not elected. (Same goes for sheriffs!) I give this book FIVE STARS for its excellent blend of fact and fiction, too close for comfort. (Others may not like it for its unhappy ending, but such is life...)

1-0 out of 5 stars Very Boaring
The Book starts off good and is interesting and it just stalls it was so boaring I had to throw the book away I could not finish it the book could have been so much better. My rating was one star only because I was not able to give it zero stars however as boaring as the book was it won't stop me from reading more of his books I just hope his next one is better. ... Read more

8. The Rainmaker
by John Grisham
Paperback: 576 Pages (2005-09-27)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385339607
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
John Grisham's five novels -- A Time To Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, and The Chamber -- have been number one best-sellers, and have a combined total of 47 million copies in print. Now, inThe Rainmaker, Grisham returns to the courtroom for the first time since A Time To Kill, and weaves a riveting tale of legal intrigue and corporate greed. Combining suspense, narrative momentum, and humor as only John Grisham can, this is another spellbinding read from the most popular author of our time.

Grisham's sixth spellbinding novel of legal intrigue and corporate greed displays all of the intricate plotting, fast-paced action, humor, and suspense that have made him the most popular author of our time. In his first courtroom thriller since A Time To Kill, John Grisham tells the story of a young man barely out of law school who finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America -- and exposing a complex, multibillion-dollar insurance scam. In hs final semester of law school Rudy Baylor is required to provide free legal advice to a group of senior citizens, and it is there that he meets his first "clients," Dot and Buddy Black. Their son, Donny Ray, is dying of leukemia, and their insurance company has flatly refused to pay for his medical treatments. While Rudy is at first skeptical, he soon realizes that the Blacks really have been shockingly mistreated by the huge company, and that he just may have stumbled upon one of the largest insurance frauds anyone's ever seen -- and one of the most lucrative and important cases in the history of civil litigation. The problem is, Rudy's flat broke, has no job, hasn't even passed the bar, and is about to go head-to-head with one of the best defense attorneys -- and powerful industries -- in America.

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
Rudy Baylor, a new law school graduate, once dreamedof the good life as a corporate attorney.Now he faces joblessnessand bankruptcy--unless he can win an insurance case against a heavyweightteam of lawyers, a case that starts small but mushrooms into a frighteningwar of nerve and legal skill that could cost Rudy not only his future, butalso his life. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (364)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great book, horrible ending
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I am a new fan of Mr. Grisham's and found this to be quite a page turner. However,I could have ended it one chapter early and been more satisfied.I hated the ending with a passion!

5-0 out of 5 stars Was Great as an Audiobook
Other books complained that the characters lacked the emotions and depth of his previous characters, and I think they were measuring the characters against this book, which I listened to as an audiobook, which is well done.

As with most of his books, this one is not about how beautiful, desirable, and all-important women are, but he does throw in a romantic interest; more importantly the book is meant to offer insight and be an inspiration to budding lawyers, playing out their inevitable fantasies in grand style; but since budding lawyers are too busy to even think about the story even if they heard it, it may be best served as grandparent-reading to those still in their formative years- if you can imagine a grandparent reading a lawyer novel to a kid... but then we must define kid and formative years...

5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mr.Grisham. I learned English byreading all of your books.
I am a Russian Woman. 5 years ago I came to USA with no English. I started to read your books and now I can read in English the same way as in Russian. I read all your books and I can tell - You are the best! Thank you so much for your talent. Here is more - I wrote the book in English "Hi Mom, I am here in your belly". My book isavailableon Amazon.com
Sincerely, Lyudmyla Hensley

2-0 out of 5 stars Of very uneven quality
The first 100 pages or so are quite boring.

Then Grisham hits his stride. The main storyline contains courtroom drama that matches Grisham's best for attorney shenanigans and legal surprises. I couldn't stop reading the portions that described the trial.

The conclusion is bizarre and anticlimactic and seems silly, as though Grisham couldn't come up with a sensible end. The love intrigue is irrelevant to the case against the insurance company and is contrived.

The story is marred by Grisham's tendency to use his story for his far-left activism. Here it is a campaign against big corporations (insurance, in this case) and abusive husbands.

With good editing, condensation, and self-discipline, this could have been a masterpiece.

3-0 out of 5 stars Of very uneven quality but on the whole entertaining
The main storyline contains courtroom drama that matches Grisham's best for attorney shenanigans and legal surprises. I couldn't stop reading the portions that described the trial.

On first reading, the first 100 pages bored me. But now that I am re-reading, I see the point and they are ok.

The conclusion is bizarre and anticlimactic and seems silly, as though Grisham couldn't come up with a sensible end. The love intrigue is irrelevant to the case against the insurance company and is contrived.

The story is marred by Grisham's tendency to use his story for his far-left activism. Here it is a campaign against big corporations (insurance, in this case) and abusive husbands.

With good editing, condensation, and self-discipline, this could have been a masterpiece. ... Read more

9. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
by John Grisham
Hardcover: 263 Pages (2010-05-25)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$5.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0525423842
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A perfect murder
A faceless witness
A lone courtroom champion knows the whole truth . . . and he’s only thirteen years old
Meet Theodore Boone

In the small city of Strattenburg, there are many lawyers, and though he’s only thirteen years old, Theo Boone thinks he’s one of them. Theo knows every judge, policeman, court clerk—and a lot about the law. He dreams of being a great trial lawyer, of a life in the courtroom.

But Theo finds himself in court much sooner than expected. Because he knows so much—maybe too much—he is suddenly dragged into the middle of a sensational murder trial. A cold-blooded killer is about to go free, and only Theo knows the truth.

The stakes are high, but Theo won’t stop until justice is served.

Brimming with the intrigue and suspense that made John Grisham a #1 international bestseller and the undisputed master of the legal thriller, Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer will keep readers guessing and pages turning. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (135)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good Book Overall
1st 60 Pages - Yawnnnnnnnn, nuff said?

***May contain Spoilers!!!***
Rest of the book was where it got good.I think a lot of the reviews on here people completely missed the point of this book.It was not to determine whether that Peter Duffy who was on trial murdered his wife no.It was about a kid named Theo Boone helping a friend's cousin who was an illegal immigrant who witnessed a guy leave a murder scene to be able to testify or the defendant would walk free on a flimsy case.Theo had to figure out with the help of his uncle and parents figure out a way for him to testify without going to jail and convince the Judge to file a mistrial.Throughtout the whole book Grisham kept throwing things at Theo such as drunk driving cases, custody cases, animal court etc.This book was about THEO BOONE BEING A KID LAWYER, not the murder case, thats merely in there to give Theo something big to work on and make an interesting book.

1-0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfactory even when read by the intended audience
John Grisham'sTheodore Boone

When 13 year old Theodore Boone discovers a concealed witness that would be instrumental to a murder trial in progress he is faced with the daunting task of persuading an illegal immigrant to appear in court. Although everyone is of the opinion that the accused Pete Duffy is guilty of killing his own wife, there is insufficient evidence to confirm this. Eventually the unknown witness does testify, thus providing convicting evidence to the prosecution.

Marring a mildly captivating plot is an unfortunately abrupt ending, with no conclusion, thus leading to a very unsatisfactory experience. Although the author usually conquers the art of the unexpected ending (particularly in Grisham's The Firm) this is a failure. compared to my benchmark Book (Dan Brown's Digital Fortress) this pathetic attempt at children's literiture receives a 1/5.

1-0 out of 5 stars SO BAD
The main character was a loser. "I'm thinking about taking law classes online" SO SAD. John Grisham needs to get a life and write a REAL book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too Basic
The Kid Lawyer is the first teen book by John Grisham.Theo Boone is the main character and character is definitely the way I would describe him.He has a knack for helping everyone and being looked up to and he is only a teen.

This book is a great portrayal of the court system and how it affects different people.It laid out the basic structure of a trial along with a little bit of a mystery in whether the defendant of this trial was guilty or not.

As an adult reading this, I will say it was too basic of a read and even as a 11- 13 year old, I would think they would find it somewhat boring.Kids this age and adults need more stimulus in their reading, maybe some more action!

4-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Read!
Another great Grisham's book. This book is more for teens. I was glad to read it was clean. As an adult I loved this book but it would appeal to the younger crowd. I wish the ending was alittle different. Maybe part II? ... Read more

10. The Last Juror
by John Grisham
Paperback: 416 Pages (2006-04-25)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$2.69
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385339682
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In 1970, one of Mississippi s more colorful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23-year-old college dropout, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.

The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

But in Mississippi in 1970, life didn t necessarily mean life, and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.Amazon.com Review
In 1970, small town newspaper The Clanton Times went belly up. With financial assistance from a rich relative, it's purchased by 23-year-old Willie Traynor, formerly the paper's cub reporter. Soon afterward, his new business receives the readership boost it needs thanks to his editorial efforts and coverage of a particularly brutal rape and murder committed by the scion of the town's reclusive bootlegger family. Rather than shy from reporting on the subsequent open-and-shut trial (those who oppose the Padgitt family tend to turn up dead in the area's swampland), Traynor launches a crusade to ensure the unrepentant murderer is brought to justice. When a guilty verdict is returned, the town is relieved to find the Padgitt family's grip on the town did not sway the jury, though Danny Padgitt is sentenced to life in prison rather than death. But, when Padgitt is released after serving less than a decade in jail and members of the jury are murdered, Clanton once again finds itself at the mercy of its renegade family.

When it comes, the dénouement is no surprise; The Last Juror is less a story of suspense than a study of the often idyllic southern town of Clanton, Mississippi (the setting for Grisham's first novel, A Time to Kill). Throughout the nine years between Padgitt's trial and release, Traynor finds acceptance in Clanton, where the people "don't really trust you unless they trusted your grandfather." He grows from a long-haired idealist into another of the town's colorful characters--renovating an old house, sporting a bowtie, beloved on both sides of the color line, and the only person to have attended each of the town's 88 churches at least once. The Last Juror returns Grisham to the courtroom where he made his name, but those who enjoyed the warm sentiment of his recent novels (Bleachers, A Painted House) will still find much to love here. --Benjamin Reese ... Read more

Customer Reviews (554)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of Grisham
I am a small town lawyer and perhaps that is why I have always enjoyed Grisham's work.But when he trades in his lawyer narrator role for that of a small town newspaper editor, he really hit home with me.This is a great book, perhaps the best book of my lifetime.One review compared it to To Kill a Mockingbird.That is fair and were Gregory Peck cast to play the hero in the movie, the story might be as memorable.I am here because I recommended the book to a friend.Reading the reviews, I realize that I have forgotten just enough that I can have that wonderful treasure of reading this book again, for the fourth time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Grisham's Best--but mind the ending
Other than his short story collection "Ford County," this is the only decent book Grisham has written since "The Rainmaker," and even this one, much as I love it, had an ending that made me find somewhere private and cry.Maybe it wasn't such a good move to read it shortly after my mom died, and maybe I should have thought twice because of Grisham's taste for bitterly unhappy endings.It could have easily ended in the courthouse, rather than where it did. Up to then, it was a true page-turner, as impossible to put down as any book I can name.Nothing since by him has come close.

1-0 out of 5 stars The worst of Grisham's
I've read almost all of Grisham's series. All of them are riveting and page turner. But, this book took me six month to finish. For those six-month reading, I could not help think that "is this real Grisham's???" I'm so disappointed.

3-0 out of 5 stars the last jury
I liked the changes that took place in the south in ten years. I liked learning about the day to day goings on at a newspaper. I listened to it in one day. But the black characters felt cliched and one dimensional.

4-0 out of 5 stars Small town Mississippi.
I find what distinguishes the best authors from the ordinary is character development. Along with interpersonal dynamics, this book demonstrates it well. The characterization of the Mississippi town and its denizens is very well-wrought.

On the down side, the plot is nothing special.And I am tired ofwomen throwing themselves at the hero. Does he always have to be a Sam Spade playboy?Is it too cynical to think that with the narrator screwing the murdered woman's sister a couple of times the author is just covering all his bases? ... Read more

11. The Broker
by John Grisham
Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-09-26)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$3.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0385340540
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world’s most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive—there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?

From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
Before he was sent to federal prison for treason (among other things), Joel Backman was an extremely powerful man. Known as "the broker," Backman was a high roller--a lawyer making $10 million a year who could "open any door in Washington." That is, until he tried to broker a deal selling access to the world's most powerful satellite surveillance system to the highest bidder. When caught, Backman accepted prison as the one option that would keep him safe and alive, since the interested parties (the Israelis, the Saudis, the Russians, and the Chinese) were all itching to get their hands on his secrets at any cost. Little does he know that his own government has designs on accessing that information--or at least letting it die with him. Now, six years after his incarceration, the director of the CIA convinces a lame duck president to pardon Backman, and the broker becomes a free man--and an open target.

The Broker marries the best of John Grisham's many talents--his ability to immerse himself in the culture of small town life (in this case, Bologna, Italy), and his uncanny mastery of the chase. The first half of the book focuses on Backman's transformation from infamous power broker to helpless victim in his own game. Upon his release from prison, Backman is taken into "protective custody" and whisked off to Italy where he is assigned a new identity, and a tutor to help him blend in. Sure he is on the run, but some readers may feel that Backman's time spent in Bologna is a bit too leisurely--readers join him on an almost cinematic tour through the Italian town, complete with language and history lessons. Impatient readers will be happy to know that the final half of the novel is classic Grisham--a fast-paced, thrilling cat and mouse chase pitting Backman against the numerous agencies that want him dead--as the broker makes a move to take back his life. --Daphne Durham

Exclusive Video Interview with John Grisham

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  • Grisham: The Books

    • A Time to Kill, 1989
    • The Firm, 1991
    • The Pelican Brief, 1992
    • The Client, 1993
    • The Chamber, 1994
    • The Rainmaker, 1995
    • The Runaway Jury, 1996
    • The Partner, 1997
    • The Street Lawyer, 1998
    • The Testament, 1999
    • The Brethren, 2000
    • A Painted House, 2001
    • Skipping Christmas, 2001
    • The Summons, 2002
    • The King of Torts, 2003
    • Bleachers, 2003
    • The Last Juror, 2004
    • The Broker, 2005

    Essential Grisham
    Amazon Editor Favorites

    A Time to Kill

    The Firm

    A Painted House

    The Client

    The Rainmaker

    The Pelican Brief

    Bestselling Grisham
    Amazon Customer Favorites

    The Last Juror

    Skipping Christmas


    The Testament

    The Partner

    The King of Torts

    If You Like Grisham, You'll Love...

    • John Lescroart
    • Richard North Patterson
    • David Baldacci
    • Lisa Scottoline
    • Robert Crais
    • Michael Crichton
    • Harlan Coben
    • Dennis Lehane
    • Ken Follett

    Best Grisham Books on DVD

    A Time to Kill

    The Pelican Brief

    The Client

    The Firm

    The Rainmaker

    The Chamber

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (622)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Fairly boring story, lots of good info on Italian culture, history and cuisine (a review of the audiobook)
    Fairly boring story, lots of good info on Italian culture, history and cuisine

    Read by Michael Beck.
    10 discs.
    11 hours, 30 minutes.

    The last two thrillers that I have read by John Grisham have been anything but. A couple of years ago I listened to The King of Torts and came away with a great education in class action lawsuits but at the cost of a disappointing story. With "The Broker", I came away with a great education in Italian culture, cuisine and great insights into the oft-overlooked city of Bologna, Italy - but it was a thriller with precious few thrills.

    "The Broker" is centers around Joe Blackman, a Washington, D.C. lobbyist that plays fast and loose with all of the rules and revels in throwing his weight all over town. Blackman is approached by Pakastani computer hackers who have discovered and hijacked a set of super high tech spy satellites with a special computer program. They want Blackman to sell it to the highest bidder and soon enough the Israelis, the Saudis, the Chinese and the CIA are all interested. One of Blackman's associates winds up murdered and an FBI probe into Blackman's practices place him in prison.

    Suddenly, he is part of a surprise last minute pardon deal by an outgoing president and he is whisked into a witness protection program administered by the CIA in Italy. Blackman is forced to learn a new language and a new culture. Most of the book deals with Blackman's lessons and endless trips to drink espresso in one coffee shop after another in Bologna, Italy. Seriously, at least 2/3 of the book is Italian lessons, lunch at one Italian restaurant after another or visits to Italian cultural sites. I am quite sure the inspiration to write this book was the desire to spend a great deal of time in Italy and still be able to write off every bill as a business expense on Grisham's income taxes.

    If you are a fan of Italy, this may very well be your book. If you are a hardcore international spy thriller book fan, don't bother.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The unique (and successful) combination of thriller with a European travelogue!
    With technology stolen from two US defense contractors, a cutting edge satellite surveillance system dubbed Neptune was secretly built and launched under the very nose of the CIA and the rest of the world's elite spy communities - Israel, Saudi Arabia, Russia, England and China. Nobody even knew of the system's top secret existence (let alone who was operating it) until two brilliant Pakistani computer wizards unwittingly hacked into the system and parlayed that illicit entry into an astonishing piece of software capable of hijacking, manipulating and neutralizing the system.

    When greed and human nature drive these naive programmers into the arms of Washington power broker, Joel Backman,to ask for his help in shopping the knowledge of the clandestine satellite system and their superlative software package to the highest bidder, the best laid plans of mice and men and crafty programmers and Washington lawyers are smashed into a million tiny pieces. The hapless young hackers are assassinated and never seen from again and Joel Backman is indicted and hidden away in prison on some nebulous but entirely bogus conspiracy and treason charges. The reputation of his multi-million dollar legal firm is shattered, his partner commits suicide (maybe?) and his son's reputation is left in tatters.

    The story really begins in earnest when a cynical, conniving director of the CIA and an unscrupulous outgoing president hatch an idea to solve the continuing puzzle of who owns Neptune. Grant Backman a pardon, create a false identity for him in another country, be a little less than 100% efficient in guarding this identity and location and, finally, sit back to see who comes gunning for him!

    Joel Backman's character as a man, a failed father, a wealthy lawyer and power broker, a broken prisoner, a driven student of culture and language and a newly minted caring lover is exceptionally well-developed. Francesca Ferro, his language tutor, is equally well crafted and a wonderfully detailed study of an enigmatic and sophisticated but very human European woman.

    While its fundamental premise is a tad over the top and registers a little low on the credibility meter, THE BROKER is an enjoyable spy vs spy suspense thriller with the legal overtones for which Grisham is so well known. It's a cautionary tale that warns of the dangers of power without checks, balances and accountability. It's a dark and sinister story that should terrify readers about the extent to which an unscrupulous government spy agency will go, ostensibly in the interests of national security.

    Finally, and perhaps this will be quite difficult to believe, it is also a charming low-key romance and a wonderfully informative travelogue on Italian life in the city of Bologna. By the bye, THE BROKER also relates an exceptionally interesting narrative of the difficulties of cultural assimilation and learning a foreign language. As surprising as the juxtaposition of these story components may be, Grisham has pulled it all off quite effortlessly. It's not a combination that will work and be of interest to every reader but I found it thoroughly enjoyable and charming at the same time as it was exciting.

    THE BROKER is a fine addition to Grisham's already excellent and well-stocked body of work. Highly recommended.

    Paul Weiss

    1-0 out of 5 stars If you're going to write about learning Italian, get the Italian checked
    I picked this up at my parents' house. It is mildly interesting for me having learned Italian and lived in both Treviso and Bologna. And usually I find Grisham's best feature is his plot. But the plot in this is boring, and it beggars belief that in a novel where the central character is learning Italian, and where Grisham is careful to include and translate much of that Italian, that he can't be bothered to get the Italian checked. Such elementary howlers, such as switching from the "tu" (informal) form to the Lei (formal) in the same sentence and back again, and having an Italian teacher address his new student as "tu" as an opener (that would not happen). Then things like "Possiamo studiare a camminando." Wrong. Or, even more embarrassingly, a basic error such as "dov'é lavora?" (where is he works?) instead of "dove lavora?" (where does he work). Annoying sloppiness and it has put me off bothering to finish it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A classic Grisham
    This was another fast-paced story. Easy to read in less than a day if you have the time.

    A high-powered lobbyists with plenty of secrets is given a conditional pardon by the outgoing President of the US of A. He is then on the run, with plenty of people out to kill him or, at the very least, double-cross him. He is isolated and can trust nobody.

    In northern Italy, he lives a precarious life for a couple of months. After that? Well, you'll just have to read the book.

    I can promise you heaps of excitement and tension in abundance.

    Very much recommended to all of my friends.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Grisham's Formula is Old and Tired
    Except for the descriptions of the places in Italy inhabited briefly by his main character in this tiresome novel, John Grisham's The Broker has very little of interest to offer even the most undemanding reader.
    The characters are so poorly defined the reader has no interest in the outcome of the story.The plot has possibilities but they are not explored leaving the reader completely disinterested in the story.
    It seems Grisham has devised a formula for spewing out commercially feasible work and has been resting on past success far too long.I will not spend money or time in future on anything from this author. ... Read more

    12. The Brethren
    by John Grisham
    Paperback: 384 Pages (2005-12-27)
    list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$2.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385339674
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison.

    One was sent up for tax evasion. Another, for skimming bingo profits. And the third, for a career-ending drunken joyride.

    Meeting daily in the prison law library, taking exercise walks in their boxer shorts, these judges-turned-felons can reminisce about old court cases, dispense a little jailhouse justice, and contemplate where their lives went wrong.

    Or they can use their time in prison to get very rich -- very fast. And so they sit, sprawled in the prison library, furiously writing letters, fine-tuning a wickedly brilliant extortion scam ... while events outside their prison walls begin to erupt.

    A bizarre presidential election is holding the nation in its grips -- and a powerful government figure is pulling some very hidden strings. For the Brethren, the timing couldn't be better. Because they've just found the perfect victim...

    From the Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
    John Grisham's novels have all been so systematically successful that it is easy to forget he is just one man toiling away silently with a pen,experimenting and improving with each book. While not as gifted a prosestylist as Scott Turow, Grisham is among the best plotters in the thrillerbusiness, and he infuses his books with a moral valence and creative visionthat set them apart from their peers.

    The Brethren is in many respects his most daring book yet. The novel grows from two separate subplots. In the first, threeimprisoned ex-judges (the "brethren" in the title), frustrated by theirloss of power and influence, concoct an elaborate blackmail scheme that preyson wealthy, closeted gay men. The second story traces the rise ofpresidential candidate Aaron Lake, a puppet essentially created by CIAdirector Teddy Maynard to fulfill Maynard's plans for restoring the powerof his beleaguered agency.

    Grisham's tight control of the two meandering threads leaves the readerguessing through most of the opening chapters how and when these two worldswill collide. Also impressive is Grisham's careful portraiture. JusticeHatlee Beech in particular is a fascinating, tragic anti-hero: amillionaire judge with an appointment for life who was rendered divorced,bankrupt, and friendless after his conviction for a drunk-drivinghomicide.

    The book's cynical view of presidential politics and criminal justice castsa somewhat gloomy shadow over the tale. CIA director Teddy Maynard is anall-powerful demon with absolute knowledge and control of the public willand public funds. Even his candidate, Congressman Lake, is a pawn inMaynard's egomaniacal game of ad campaigns, illicit contributions, andinternational intrigue. In the end, The Brethren marks a transitionin Grisham's career toward a more thoughtful narrative style with lessinterest in the big-payoff blockbuster ending. But that's not to say thatthe last 50 pages won't keep your reading light turned on late. --PatrickO'Kelley ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (1038)

    1-0 out of 5 stars One of the Worst I've Read.
    Is it just me or are John Grisham's books are getting worse every year? It seemed so when I read The Brethren. That was an awfully written book. He clearly showed that he couldn't juggle with the parallelisms of the subplots. He was focusing a lot on the CIA piece of work on Trevor and the three judges while less on Aaron Lake. At the same time, I am just thinking so much how much money was needlessly wasted. Honestly...at a time like this, nobody really...I mean....really cares if we elected a homosexual president. Aaron Lake wasn't even that homosexual to begin with. He could have denied the whole thing as he pleased and still be elected the president. We already have had a black person for president, and getting a woman for the presidency isn't too far off ahead although other countries have already had women for top leadership roles like England and Germany. John Grisham must think that the CIA must be so stupid. I know the easiest solution is just to assassinate the judges and Trevor right away to plug the holes before they start leaking bad. But he manages to insult my intelligence by letting it drag on and allowing the judges to win in the end (there is a indirect presumption that they will eventually be killed in the end). However, I am not satisfied with the finishing touches, and I am still insulted. Nothing interesting did happen throughout The Brethren. That was just a bad book. All in all, skip The Brethren and stick with the older works by Grisham. They were far more interesting to read.

    4-0 out of 5 stars you really can't judge a book by its cover
    So, I picked this audiobook up at the library and the cover looked so ominous like it was going to be super serious. It's satire . The whole story is political satire. Feels like something a brit would come up with.It is two stories really. One about three imprisoned judges in a white collar prison playing a nasty get rich scheme on conservative billionares who can't tattle on them.And also about a elderly sadistic head of the cia(who loves herbal tea) buying a president using scare tactics. It kept me interested and had me shaking my head. No one is very nice in the book, but all the characters are interesting. I could see them in my head. Espteddy maynerd and the dumbass antisocial lawyer who is stuck in margaritaville.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good, not great, Grisham
    The best Grisham is A Time to Kill, next is The Firm.The Brethen a below those but still a solid read.Plot is complicated, lots of going back but he does take you along at a good clip.The end is anticlimactic, lands with a thud.Pick it up for a cross oountry plane ride.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Skip This One
    "The Brethren" is based on an interesting premise, in which Grisham tries to intertwine a presidential campaign and the schemes of three former judges who are imprisoned in a federal minimum security camp.

    Grisham fails with this book on pretty much every account. The presidential campaign, one of two main story lines, is shallow and unbelievable, and Grisham's overuse of tired political cliches is painful. (Persecution of homosexuals, military industrial complex, fearmongering, special interest group abuse,etc.). Grisham can't help but beat the reader over the head again and again and again with these. I know you're liberal, John. I read "The Street Lawyer." That was a bad book, and "The Brethren" is a bad book too. However, I loved "The Testament", "Playing for Pizza", and "The Last Juror", among others. Mr. Grisham needs to keep his political views out of his books - not that I don't mind political fiction, but it seems like he doesn't know how to incorporate his political views and still make a good novel.

    My other main problem with "The Brethren" is that the story is divided equally among several different characters - the Brethren, Candidate Lake, the CIA director, and lawyer Trevor whatsisname. "The Brethren" has no protagonist. Who am I supposed to be cheering for? Every important character in this book is a dirtbag - and what's worse, none of them are likeable or even compelling dirtbags. Grisham seems to divide the story equally between all, and the result is that "The Brethren" reads like a nonfiction book, with the author taking pains to split time between all sides equally, lest he be accused of bias.

    In short, "The Brethren" should be skipped. Grisham has written several great novels(The Testament, A Time to Kill) and plenty of good ones, but "The Brethren" and "The Street Lawyer" are not good and should be avoided by all but Grisham completionists.

    4-0 out of 5 stars relevant to the time of history
    The book has produced some reflections of the recent US political events. It is somehow prophetic since it was published in 2000, nothing yet about the New York 911 and here some events did happen. A president elected through the manipulation of CIA, same with the current president, although by the mainstream leftist media. A president with an alleged secret , courtesy of Larry. As Grisham typical style,he can make the reader laugh . ... Read more

    13. Bleachers
    by John Grisham
    Paperback: 192 Pages (2007-05-29)
    list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$3.33
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385340877
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    High school all-American Neely Crenshaw was probably the best quarterback ever to play for the legendary Messina Spartans. Fifteen years have gone by since those glory days, and Neely has come home to Messina to bury Coach Eddie Rake, the man who molded the Spartans into an unbeatable football dynasty.

    Now, as Coach Rake’s “boys” sit in the bleachers waiting for the dimming field lights to signal his passing, they replay the old games, relive the old glories, and try to decide once and for all whether they love Eddie Rake – or hate him. For Neely Crenshaw, a man who must finally forgive his coach – and himself – before he can get on with his life, the stakes are especially high.Amazon.com Review
    With Bleachers John Grisham departs again from the legal thriller to experiment with a character-driven tale of reunion, broken high school dreams, and missed chances. While the book falls short of the compelling storytelling that has made Grisham a bestselling author, it is nonetheless a diverting novella that succeeds as light fiction.

    The story centers on the impending death of the Messina Spartans' football coach Eddie Rake. One of the most victorious coaches in high school football history, Rake is a man both loved and feared by his players and by a town that relishes his 13 state titles. The hero of the novel is Neely Crenshaw, a former Rake All-American whose NFL prospects ended abruptly after a cheap shot to the knees. Neely has returned home for the first time in years to join a nightly vigil for Rake at the Messina stadium. Having wandered through life with little focus since his college days, he struggles to reconcile his conflicted feelings towards his former coach, and he assays to rekindle love in the ex-girlfriend he abandoned long ago. For Messina and for Neely, the homecoming offers the prospect of building a life after Rake.

    Physically a narrow book, Bleachers is a modest fiction in many respects. The emotional scope is akin to that of a short story, with a single-minded focus on explorations of nostalgia and regret. The dialogue, especially that of Neely's friend Paul Curry, is sometimes wooden as characters recall Messina history in paragraphs that were perhaps better left to the narrator. But Grisham has otherwise written a well-made, entertaining--if a bit sentimental--story. --Patrick O'Kelley ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (465)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bleachers
    Bought "large print" book for my husband.He loves the book.Also, book is in excellent condition and we received it in a very timely manner.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you Mr.Grisham. I learned English byreading all of your books.
    I am a Russian Woman. 5 years ago I came to USA with no English. I started to read your books and now I can read in Englishthe same way as in Russian.I read all your books and I can tell - You are the best! Thank you so much for your talent. Here is more - I wrote the book in English "Hi Mom, I am here in your belly". It is available here on Amazon.com
    Sincerely, Lyudmyla Hensley

    5-0 out of 5 stars Bleachers
    The book arrived in very good condition although there was a name sticker inside the cover. I will just place my own name sticker over it so it will be okay.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
    When students ask for an exciting book to read, BLEACHERS, enters my mind.My recommendation comes from personal experience at having read the book at least three times myself and would be anxiously willing to read it again.The two great lessons which the book looks at shows how coaching sports extremely, toughly can teach a person values he/she can use later in life and it asks how far a person can push someone else physically in athletics to learn or achieve a goal. Many young people can relate to football in this small town because I teach in a small town.However, they do not always see the consequences of those who cheat or take the easy way.BLEACHERS tries to provoke some of the questions that we do not always want asked.This book took Grisham away from the expected lawyer subject into a field that I love, football.We all accept the fact that the disciplinarian should discipline the player, but who disciplines the disciplinarian when he crosses the chalk line?Does this book begin to ask how far are we willing to let sports dictate our lives?

    3-0 out of 5 stars Is the game over so soon?
    It is disquieting to finish a novel in less than 24 hours....I read Bleachers in 10. The New York Times Book Review proclaimed that Grisham is "A sure-footed storyteller with an undeniable mastery of plotting, pacing and tone." Fair enough; he takes you quickly to the end of the book. But you think, shouldn't this have taken longer?

    This is not to say that John Grisham missteps with this non-legal thriller. Others, such as The Testament suffered from Rachel, a character who proved to be unconvincing in her goodness. Skipping Christmas was tedious, but the Painted House and Bleachers convince outside a courtroom.It was a good read....but too short.

    Neely Crenshaw comes back to his southern home town 15 years after high school for the funeral of Eddy Rake, his larger than life, tyrannical football coach.Many former football players do the same as Rake's shadow still falls over their lives.What sets Neely apart from many is that, while he was one of the greatest players in the school's history, he doesn't want to live in the past, in glory days that peaked too early.

    It is difficult to say the story is character driven. Some do stand out: Neely, Mal, Nat and Eddy Rake, whose good side comes to light as the story unfolds, but the novel is too short and we are left more with sensations than depth.The book's achievement, understated so that it is easy to miss, is that it ends without a bang or climax.Neely does not come to peace with Cameron, the high school sweetheart who he dumped and never forgot: she moved on and is happy without him. His eulogy, the third of three at the funeral, is the weakest and tepid at best. His real estate business will continue to be aimless, much like he is, and he is now open to returning home more regularly to be with old friends. Small pleasures in a small town for one whose glory days peaked at age 19.

    Bleachers is good, and Grisham is "A sure-footed storyteller with an undeniable mastery of plotting, pacing and tone." But the game ends too early; we hardly had a chance to cheer. ... Read more

    14. The Firm: A Novel
    by John Grisham
    Mass Market Paperback: 560 Pages (2009-08-25)
    list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$4.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440245923
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    When Mitch McDeere signed on with Bendini, Lambert & Locke of Memphis, he thought that he and his beautiful wife, Abby, were on their way. The firm leased him a BMW, paid off his school loans, arranged a mortgage, and hired the McDeeres a decorator. Mitch should have remembered what his brother Ray–doing fifteen years in a Tennessee jail–already knew: You never get nothing for nothing. Now the FBI has the lowdown on Mitch’s firm and needs his help. Mitch is caught between a rock and a hard place, with no choice–if he wants to live.Amazon.com Review
    Hard to believe, but there was a time when the word "lawyer"wasn't synonymous with "criminal," and the idea of a law firmcontrolled by the Mafia was an outlandish proposition. Thisintelligent, ensnaring story came out of nowhere--Oxford, Mississippi,where Grisham was a small-town lawyer--and quickly catapulted to thetop of the bestseller list, with good reason.Mitch McDeere, theappealing hero, is a poor kid whose only assets are a first-classmind, a Harvard law degree, and a beautiful, loving wife. When aMemphis law firm makes him an offer he really can't refuse, he tradeshis old Nissan for a new BMW, his cramped apartment for a house in thebest part of town, and puts in long hours finding tax shelters forTexans who'd rather pay a lawyer than the IRS.Nothing criminal aboutthat. He'd be set for life, if only associates at the firm didn't havea funny habit of dying, and the FBI wasn't trying to get Mitch to turnhis colleagues in. The tempo and pacing are brilliant, the thrillskeep coming, and the finish has a wonderful ironic flourish.It's nothard to see why Grisham changed the genre permanently with this one,and few of his colleagues in a very crowded field come close toequaling him. --Jane Adams ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (412)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gripping thriller may be Grisham's best yet
    John Grisham's entertaining novel about a sinister Memphis law firm sizzles with suspense from beginning to end. This story is packed with all the familiar threads of urban thrillers that put a Harvard law school graduate and his young wife through every conceivable emotional wringer and grave danger that finds them one jump ahead of Mafia types who aim to keep the young couple from cooperating with the FBI and airing their very dirty laundry. The novel was read by the excellent Scott Brick, who has narrated several best-seller audiobooks. The book was also a blockbuster box-office success that even film critics were hard-pressed to pan, as is their wont. This novel is Grisham's classic work that puts him in a class by himself.

    5-0 out of 5 stars interesting
    the firm is a great book. it not only adds suspence but it keeps hooked. i mean i could not put this book down! and the end totaly took me by suprise!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Grisham
    This story follows the story of Mitch McDeere. He is a poor law student that gets an offer from a prestigious law firm in Memphis. He quickly moves himself and his wife into a beautiful house and trades his car for a BMW. The problem is that the firm is bigger than he could imagine in that they try to get him to lie into billing more hours than he actually works. This practice is illegal and the FBI is trying to uncover the mystery.

    This book is a rapid page-turner. The action and drama are non-stop as Mitch tries to not only keep him and his wife safe from danger, but also put an end to the firm that often has a `killer' instinct with those associates who do not follow the company line.

    Grisham is not a newcomer to this type of drama and it completely shows through his writing. You can tell that he spent countless hours researching and coming up with this rich storyline that was eventually made into a movie. Though I have not seen the movie I know that it will most likely not hold up to this book.

    This story is so absorbing it only took me a couple of days to read. I am not a quick reader, but I could not put the book down. You have no choice but to root for the main character and invest your time and emotion into him as he tries to do the impossible. This is a must read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I wonder...
    I wonder if the somewhat unknown Grisham felt a shot of adrenaline shoot through his veins as he conceived this plot? I wonder if he hit the computer early every morning, knowing the story was a winner? I wonder if he was tempted to tell his wife of every step as the manuscript began to take shape? I wonder if the submission process was genuinely exciting for him, knowing that publishers might be fighting over the manuscript? I wonder if he knew the book would become a runaway bestseller, and he would hit the ground running and never stop for decades to come?

    Well, whether he did or not, the book is arguably the best he's ever written and he's one of the lucky 1-2 percent of writers who made it big--real big, and he deserves it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Firm
    I really enjoyed this book. There was not a single "boring" chapter. It's rare I find books like this one. Such a great story and easy read. ... Read more

    15. The Chamber
    by John Grisham
    Paperback: 640 Pages (2005-12-27)
    list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$2.90
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385339666
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm:

    Twenty -six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.

    Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison:

    Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances -- except for one: the young, liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson.

    While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets -- including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall's life... or cost Adam his.

    From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
    "The decision to bomb the office of the radical Jew lawyer wasreached with relative ease." So begins Grisham's legal leviathanThe Chamber, a 676-page tome that scrutinizes the death penaltyand all of its nuances--from racially motivated murder to the crueland unusual effects of a malfunctioning gas chamber.

    Adam Hall is a 26-year-old attorney, fresh out of law school andworking at the best firm in Chicago. He might have been humming Timbuk 3's big hit, "TheFuture's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," if it wasn't for hispsychotic Southern grandfather, Sam Cayhall. Cayhall, a card-carrying memberof the KKK, is on death row for killing two men. Knowing his unclewill surely die without his legal expertise, Hall comes to the rescueand puts his dazzling career at stake, while digging up a barnyard ofskeletons from his family's past. Grisham fans expecting the typicalaction-packed plot should ready themselves for a slower pace,well-fleshed-out characters, and heavy doses of sentimentalism. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (294)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The good are not always so good, The bad are not always so bad
    The Chamber is one of John Grisham's best! It was the first time I've gotten an indepth look at the appeals process. For those people who want to form an opinion on the death penalty based on the circumstances in The Chamber, it must be remembered that people put themselves in the circumstances that they face. No one snatched Sam Cayhall of the street and held him at gunpoint to make the bomb for the attorney's office. There are plenty of people in Mississippi who may have thought the same thing but said "hold on one minute,let's think about this". As in reality, when I've had conversations with acquaintenences about the death penalty, I always encourage them to examine the case and gain an understanding from the victims point of view. The Chamber isn't for the faint of heart and it does make one think. It beautiful illustrates one thing I try to teach my kids: your actions and decisions effects other people.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A very good novel as long as you aren't expecting big thrills and you can live with Grisham's heavy handed moralizing
    First things first: The Chamber is not a legal thriller.It isn't a thriller at all. This is a character-driven novel about a young lawyer who decides to defend his grandfather, a Ku Klux Klan member who is on death row for the racially motivated bombing of a Jewish business that resulted in the death of two young children in the 1960s. In defending his grandfather, the young lawyer is forced to confront his families ugly past.

    Readers expecting thrills in the novel are apt to be disappointed.Grisham does appear to be setting up for some action involving the mysterious co-conspirator to the bombings, but these `hints of action to come' never quite materialize.This isn't necessarily a bad thing.In many ways a typical thriller ending would have felt disingenuous to the tone of the novel.It is clear though that Grisham felt a need to at least flirt with thriller elements in order to create the impression that something 'action packed' could happen.This may frustrate readers looking for some page-turning excitement at the end.

    All in all, I enjoyed The Chamber.Grisham does a good job of fleshing out complex characters, in particular, the young attorney protagonist.Despite the novel's length (my paperback version clocked in at 676 pages) it makes for compelling reading.I'm not sure I'm convinced it needed to be quite as long as it was, but Grisham has a writing style that I find very readable.He has an ability to provide great insight into legal wrangling without losing the interest of his reader.I was quite fascinated to learn about all the maneuvering that goes into the final stages of a death row case.

    One thing though that no one could ever accuse Grisham of is having a subtle touch.The Chamber may have been the start of a trend where Grisham began to infuse his novels with a heavy moralistic hand - a trait that eventually made it necessary for me to stop reading his novels.Our hero protagonist gives up the trappings of corporate lawyering in the end to take on the thankless, low-paying job of defending death row inmates and our death row grandpa starts off as a surly bigot but he comes to see the error of his racist ways.In fairness to Grisham he does a reasonable job of making these progressions gradual and plausible (after all, a man on death row is more likely to see the error of his ways than most people).Unfortunately I'm not a fan of sentimental stories and tales of redemption so I found it a touch too syrupy for my tastes at times. Grisham clearly isn't a supporter of the death penalty and he lays out his arguments against the practice a little too heavily in the novel (and I'm a left-leaning tree-hugging Canadian opposed to the death penalty so I can only imagine how execution fans will respond to Grisham's point of view).

    Still, the sentimental side to the novel wasn't as painful for me as it could have been.Despite its high page count, I found the pages turned quickly and I enjoyed each opportunity I had to read the novel.I enjoyed learning about death row legal maneuvering and I thought the characters were well developed (even if I would have preferred a little less redemption and noble sacrifice).This is a very good novel provided you aren't looking for big thrills and you can live with Grisham's heavy handed moralizing.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Have a tissue handy
    It seems the later Grisham novels are a little slow. This one is too, but it picks up a bit closer to the end. I was surprised by the ending. With all the intricacies Grisham interwove, I really felt emotional for the main character. Hence the tissues.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not his best book
    I have really started to get into Grisham novels and have read about 5-6 of them now.Just finished this one and I felt disappointed after reading it.

    Let me just say that in all his books I get the vague feeling that the writer is liberal and somewhat anti-republican...often republicans are put forth as "big business" and democrats are put forth as more "compassionate"...but as a conservative reader I find its not strong enough to be overwhelming, and his writing style is excellent and I really enjoy his plots.(I read a wide genre of literature and don't always like modern writers as they can sometimes seem shallow and lame, but Grisham is pretty interesting to me.)

    The reason this one disappointed me is that it seemed much more blatant as far as sending across a definite political message:Anti-death penalty.Of course as an author he has every right to put forth his views in writing...I'm just saying that while I disagree slightly with the viewpoints in most, if not all, of his books, this one seemed to have a little more of an obvious agenda than others.

    Also...frankly....while I'm okay with "random" story endings and often really enjoy some kind of weird, quirky ending....this one made me feel like I wasted my time reading the book.It was like..."Huh?I read all that...for this?Oh."

    But hey...onto my next Grisham....

    5-0 out of 5 stars This Book is one of Grisham's Best Efforts
    THE CHAMBER is not a typical Grisham novel.It is instead a charcter-driven tale of a young southern attorney who feels compelled to defend his grandfather, a Ku Klux Klan member sitting on Mississippi's death row for some racial killings committed decades earlier.In defending his grandfather, the young lawyer is forced not only to confront the unfairness of the justice system, but the ghosts of his own family's racist past.

    I found THE CHAMBER to be a very pleasant surprise.Unlike many of his other books, Grisham concentrates a great deal of energy on creating colorful, morally complex characters.The setting is also quite fascinating, as Grisham describes, in great detail, how executions are conducted in the deep South.And, of course, Grisham does a solid job with the plot -- there's never a dull moment in this book, and the book is quite gripping until the final few pages.I found this novel to be a great pageturner, and is probably the second best book by Grisham I've ever read, only behind THE FIRM.

    Grisham isn't a subtle writer, and THE CHAMBER may strike certain readers as obvious, moralistic, or heavy-handed.But I don't mind the direct approach, as long as its well executed, and Grisham delivers the goods here.In the end, this book offers a truly compelling narrative, and I enjoyed it enormously.Reading this novel, I can understand why Grisham became the bestselling novelist of the 1990s.

    If you enjoy THE CHAMBER, I also recommend trying Stephen King's THE GREEN MILE or Andrew Klavan's TRUE CRIME, which deal with very similar subject matter.

    ... Read more

    16. The Summons
    by John Grisham
    Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-09-27)
    list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$4.38
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385339593
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton,Mississippi--a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is ashadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray’s younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family’s black sheep.

    The summons is typed by the judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south to his hometown, to the place where he grew up and now prefers to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.

    And perhaps someone else.

    From the Paperback edition.Amazon.com Review
    Law professor Ray Atlee and his prodigal brother, Forrest, are summoned home to Clanton, Mississippi, by their ailing father to discuss his will. But when Ray arrives the judge is already dead, and the one-page document dividing his meager estate between the two sons seems crystal clear. What it doesn't mention, however, is the small fortune in cash Ray discovers hidden in the old man's house--$3 million he can't account for and doesn't mention to brother Forrest, either.

    Ray's efforts to keep his find a secret, figure out where it came from, and hide it from a nameless extortioner, who seems to know more about it than he does, culminate in a denouement with an almost biblical twist. It's a slender plot to hang a thriller on, and in truth it's not John Grisham's best in terms of pacing, dramatic tension, and interesting characters (except for Harry Rex, a country lawyer who was the judge's closest friend and in many ways is the father Ray wishes he'd had. He's so vivid he jumps off the page). But Grisham's legions of fans are likely to enjoy The Summons even if it lacks the power of some of his classic earlier books, like The Firm, The Brethren, and The Testament. --Jane Adams ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (754)

    4-0 out of 5 stars a bad brother and a better brother
    Ray Atlee, a law professor at the University of Virginia, has just received a summons from this father, a retired judge in Clanton, Mississippi, to discuss the estate.Judge Atlee is dying of cancer and is somewhat estranged from his two sons.Forrest, Ray's brother, is a seemingly incurable drug addict who has spent a lot of his father's money in unsuccessful rehab stints.When Ray arrives at the family home, he finds his father already dead, with an empty morphine pack nearby.Much to his surprise, he also finds boxes of cash totaling about $3 million, which is not mentioned in the will.Judge Atlee gave most of his money away and was not handsomely compensated during his years on the bench.Ray then goes on a quest to hide and protect the cash, even as he tries to find out where it came from and dreams of being able to afford the airplane he lusts after.Someone else knows about the money, though, and is trying to intimidate Ray into giving it up.Ray is a frustrating and flawed character, and I just wanted him to trust someone enough to tell them about the money and not let greed start to dictate his decisions.In a nutshell, that's what the book is ultimately about--trust and greed.Despite the smattering of clues, the ending came as a surprise to me.The Legal Limit is a better thriller, though, also with a bad brother and a better brother.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What?
    What the hell? Why all the less than at least 4 star reviews? This book kept me up all night reading it, I read it in only 2 days, as with most Grisham books. I'm not gonna give an extra wordy jackassy review, all I have to say is most Grisham books are 2 day reads and this one is fantastic so I don't get all the low reviews for his books it's total bs.

    1-0 out of 5 stars The Most Boring and the Dumbest Book.
    It's time to officially declare John Grisham as a hack writer. The man just simply can't write a decent book anymore. The Summons is not only the most boring but quite the dumbest book I've ever read. The logic of the story is so stupid on many levels that I am unable to comprehend how Grisham got away with the money from selling the books except to rely on his namesake. First of all, if Ray Atlee is able to extract information from a professor on counterfeiting and a security expert of a gambling empire, then he should have learned enough about off-shore banking so he would have flew his little plane to there and park his money there. That...right there...would have ended the story for once and all. Or why don't we do this the simple way...? Buy a Honus Wagner baseball card. Buy a unsealed box of NES Stadium Events. Whatever at all...and just hold on to the collection and wait for the value to rise over the years. Secondly, since Forrest has consumed every substance known to history of drugs for a good thirty years, his brain would have been totally fried. Thus, it's improbable that he would have the capacity to think up of the seemingly clever plot to betray his brother. Third of all, I can't believe that Ray hired a private detective with many assistants, and they were unable to spot the amateurs, who served time in prison, breaking into his apartment. That's just impossible; one break-in is enough to get started on the track. I could go on and on, but what's the point of beating a dead horse? All in all, The Summons is a snoozer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A QUESTION OF ETHICS
    Two thoughts. First, I'm amazed at the spoiler posted on the Amazon webpage for this book, which gives away half the plot. Secondly, if this had been a first novel it would have garnered rave reviews. So why has the fact that it's by John Grisham generated such negativity. It's thoroughly readable, and not for the first time the author poses a question of ethics the resolution of which is long overdue.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Another solid Grisham novel!
    John Grisham once again goes to Mississippi to weave a tale of family, greed, and paranoia that is solid from beginning to end.The main character is likeable although a little bland at times.The story had me guessing as to who was behind what.Although there were legal elements in the book it isn't a legal thriller but it was a thriller.One complaint was I wanted more of Clanton, MS.Many times Grisham has transported me to the South and here it was just a locale.Overall, a solid read but not Grisham's best. ... Read more

    17. Playing for Pizza
    by John Grisham
    Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-07-22)
    list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.42
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440244714
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    Rick Dockery was the third-string quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. In the AFC Championship game, to the surprise and dismay of virtually everyone, Rick actually got into the game. With a 17-point lead and just minutes to go, Rick provided what was arguably the worst single performance in the history of the NFL. Overnight, he became a national laughingstock—and was immediately cut by the Browns and shunned by all other teams. But all Rick knows is football, and he insists that his agent find a team that needs him. Against enormous odds, Rick finally gets a job—as the starting quarterback for the Mighty Panthers . . . of Parma, Italy. The Parma Panthers desperately want a former NFL player—any former NFL player—at their helm. And now they’ve got Rick, who knows nothing about Parma (not even where it is) and doesn’t speak a word of Italian. To say that Italy—the land of fine wines, extremely small cars, and football americano—holds a few surprises for Rick Dockery would be something of an understatement. . . .Amazon.com Review
    Playing for Pizza: A Q&A with John Grisham

    Q: American football in Italy seems like an unlikely subject for a John Grisham novel. What was the inspiration for Playing for Pizza?

    A: Three years ago when I was in Bologna researching "The Broker", I discovered American football.One of my guides in the area played football for the Bologna Warriors for 10 years. I couldn't believe that American football actually existed there, but the more I heard about it the more intrigued I became.

    Q: There is some great football writing in this novel. What kind of research was involved in capturing how this American institution is played in small town Italy?

    A: The only way to research the book was to go to Parma and watch a game. The coach is an American who played at Illinois State, and he proved to be extremely valuable. I met many of the Italian players and the story simply unfolded.

    Q: Speaking of research, you write lovingly of Italian food and wine in this book. What's your idea of the perfect Italian meal?

    A: First course: prosicutto and melon; second course: stuffed tortellini; third course: roasted stuffed capon, all served with a great Barolo wine.

    Q: Without giving away too much of the plot, your protagonist falls in love by the novel's end. Did you know when you started writing that Rick would get the girl?

    A: Of course.

    Q: You have a new legal thriller coming in January 2008. Can you give us any hints about what to expect?

    A: I really don't like to talk about a book until it's finished.Sorry. But it will not be another work of non-fiction, nor will it be about football.Lots of lawyers in the next one.

    ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (389)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A fun read
    I think this book mainly hit home because it brought me back to the days of living in Italy. It gives you a nice little story of a Quarterback who learns the true value of the game while he goes out and finds himself in the midst of a place he knew nothing of prior. A good read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Inspirational Disappointing Story with a Funny Title
    This is my first book by Grisham. I remember seeing it on the bookshelves and passed it up, looking for something more sensational. I listen to audiobooks at work and got this in audio form; and the story kept me entertained and alert all ten hours (no mean feat!).
    If you get past the slow start, you are in for sublime romantic promise; the eating scenes were sumptuous, though in itself a romantic depiction of Italy and the food, nothing like my trips there, where the spaghetti and pizza were nothing like the American variety, but rather had strange fish parts and little tentacles in them, being a poorer country, I had assumed.
    He is a weak love-romance writer- but the first romantic web he attempted in this book was sublime, with infinite relational promise and complexity, at that point I was thinking that the funny title did not do justice to such a deep and touching story; but it must have been more than he could handle, and the story, with our hearts, slowly died after that... but buoyed by that sublime attempt, the book took me pleasantly through to the end, he is after all a good storyteller, so I resigned myself to comparing the book to real life- with heartbreak, disappointment, and unpredictable changing courses during which we grab our fleeting happiness wherever and among whomever we can... yet I found myself improving many scenes in my head, enhancing what he began but skimmed through or treated lightly...maybe I'll do a fan fiction piece to finish that sublime romantic effort he attempted...
    It earns five stars for the first 1/3, which includes the effort above, but most importantly (and ironically during the slow start) for the inspiration it provided me- next time I'm so down-and-out I want to end it all right there this book will save me, with the message that wonderful things in life are still possible (as long as you're good looking, it turns out, a slight failing of human depth there, limiting the strength of the book psychologically)... I'm passable, so the book's inspirational example works for me...

    5-0 out of 5 stars If you like football and new cultures you will LOVE this book
    I recently got around to reading this book that was giving to me a few years back. At first I was very skeptical. I wondered how I would like a book by Grisham since I don't usually go for "Legal Thrillers". I have to say that I was mesmerized! The story telling in this is so engrossing and the characters I loved seeing them develop. Grisham goes into detail with the culture and the way it can be for a young man to accept a new culture. Add that to the way that he captured the game and the way that it feels to stand on a field and change everything about yourself. My only complaint is that it wasn't longer. This book easily could have been twice as long and I would have loved it even more! Must read if you like sports and Italy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
    Not his usual but a nice diversion.Thought I'd weigh in on this because it deserves more than 3 stars.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Half Italian
    If you have Italian heritage this is a fun must read. it provides a nice flavor of Italy and is an easy read. enjoy. ... Read more

    18. Skipping Christmas: A Novel
    by John Grisham
    Paperback: 208 Pages (2010-10-26)
    list price: US$13.00 -- used & new: US$5.81
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440422973
    Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    Editorial Review

    Product Description

    Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences—and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.

    A classic tale for modern times from a beloved storyteller, John Grisham’s Skipping Christmas offers a hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday tradition.Amazon.com Review
    John Grisham turns a satirical eye on the overblown ritual of the festive holiday season, and the result is Skipping Christmas, a modest but funny novel about the tyranny of December 25. Grisham's story revolves around a typical middle-aged American couple, Luther and Nora Krank. On the first Sunday after Thanksgiving they wave their daughter Blair off to Peru to work for the Peace Corps, and they suddenly realize that "for the first time in her young and sheltered life Blair would spend Christmas away from home."

    Luther Krank sees his daughter's Christmas absence as an opportunity. He estimates that "a year earlier, the Luther Krank family had spent $6,100 on Christmas," and have "precious little to show for it." So he makes an executive decision, telling his wife, friends, and neighbors that "we won't do Christmas." Instead, Luther books a 10-day Caribbean cruise. But things start to turn nasty when horrified neighbors get wind of the Krank's subversive scheme and besiege the couple with questions about their decision.

    Grisham builds up a funny but increasingly terrifying picture of how this tight-knit community turns on the Kranks, who find themselves under increasing pressure to conform. As the tension mounts, readers may wonder whether they will manage to board their plane on Christmas day. Skipping Christmas is Grisham-lite, with none of the serious action or drama of his legal thrillers, but a funny poke at the craziness of Christmas. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (922)

    4-0 out of 5 stars lighthearted entertaining holiday stocking yarn
    After celebrating Christmas for years with their daughter, Luther and Nora Krank decide a holiday change is what they ought to do while their offspring is serving in South America with the Peace Corps.Neither of the Kranks particularly enjoys the holidays due to crassness and the frenzies of late shopping amidst a horde.They agree to Skipping Christmas this year by going on ten day cruise with the money they didn't spend on the holiday.

    They ignore charities and their neighbors who insist the lights and Frosty must go up.This year, they will be dining on a luxury ship rather than hosting a gala as they have done for years.However, the Kranks are about to learn an American lesson when it comes to Skipping Christmas as plans of mice and bah humbugs often go astray in late December.

    This is a lighthearted entertaining reprint of John Grisham's satirizing a capitalist Christmas.The story line is fun, but not anywhere near the excitement of the author's legal thrillers.Still with a eggnog nod to It's A Wonderful Life, fans who enjoy a warm holiday stocking yarn will want to learn how hard it is to simply skip Christmas.

    Harriet Klausner

    4-0 out of 5 stars Easy read in one day
    I love John Grisham and to read something that hasn't to do with lawyers from him is fine. This book is very easy to read. I read it in one day, couldn't put it down. Yes, the neighbors are a little annoying, the characters overly dramatic. But isn't it an author's right to do whatever he/she wants with his/her characters? If you don't like this book, don't read it. But I find some people very unrighteously calling this book a bore. It is fun. And I am sure that somewhere in this country, probably on one of the coasts, this is almost like in the book. I have seen some of it.... but after all, it is a book, a fiction! And a GOOD one.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An unbelievable but interesting tale
    Luther and Nora Krank - note the names Luther and Krank - have a daughter who leaves them just before Christmas to go serve the world in the Peace Corps. Luther decides that this is an opportunity to avoid Christmas. The holiday cost the couple $6,100 last year because of gifts, parties, cards, trees, donations, and so on. Luther finds that they can go on a Caribbean cruise for half this amount and have more fun. He remembers all the fights that people have over Christmas. He persuades Nora.

    All seems fine until they encounter the reactions of their neighbors, coworkers, and others. The Kranks decide that if they are going to avoid Christmas, they should not put up a tree and not place a Frosty the Snowman on their roof. Their neighbors are outraged. A sign appears, "Free Frosty," meaning take the statue out of the basement and put it on the roof. The police association and the firemen association are also stunned even though Luther promises to give the money they want for Christmas for another police and fireman affair.

    Will the Kranks survive the reactions of their community? Will the community take revenge? Will the Kranks realize that Christians simply cannot avoid Christmas? What will their daughter think?

    1-0 out of 5 stars Awful
    This book is simply horrible. My mom read it around Xmas a few years ago and told me it was a "fun read". I've read a few Grisham books before, he's not my favorite author but I don't mind him. I finally got around to reading it this week and it's simply horrible. It's not so much what happens in the book, it's the writing style. It feels very amateurish and rushed, as if a high schooler wrote it. The characters have absolutely zero depth to them, not to mention they're all annoying as hell. And it's completely unrealistic how all of the neighbors of this couple are so appalled by the behavior of the Kranks (oh, what a hilariously ironic last name they have) when they decide they're going to take a cruise instead of celebrate Christmas for one year. Sorry but I like a little realism in my stories. None of the stuff the neighbors or police/etc do in this book would ever happen in real life. And there's no climax or anything exciting at all. The one "mystery" character who shows up near the end, who I thought might make the end of the book somewhat redeemable, (spoiler) turns out to have no explanation behind him. He's just some guy named Marty and it's left at that.

    This is potentially the worst book I've ever read. Don't waste your time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Christmas Gift
    Just two days ago I borrowed "Skipping Christmas" by John Grisham from a stack of books bought by my best friend. I confess to never having read or been interested in a courtroom drama by Grisham, or the harsh realities that would assail my senses when reading it. So I halfway put the book back down. But the wintery holiday cover looked inviting and the summary on the inside cover promised hilarious entertainment. I read it in two sittings. I knew Grisham was good, but this book was genius. I laughed outloud, commiserated and identified with the characters and cried big tears at several points.
    All the while, I'm thinking, "this should be a movie!" After I finished it, happily satisfied and thinking about reading it again, I looked it up online. That's when I realized that there already was a movie starring Tim Allen, which vaguely resembled, but not quite measured up to the intense emotion of the book. Isn't it always that way! If I could give more than 5 stars for this book, I would. As it has been said before in other reviews, it is not the typical Christian rendition of Christmas celebration, but it is heartfelt and so very well written by Mr. Grisham. Anyone rethinking their Christmas festivities and "what's really important" will find this book wonderfully heartwarming and reminiscent of times gone by when neighbors actually talked to one another. ... Read more

    19. The Runaway Jury
    by John Grisham
    Mass Market Paperback: 550 Pages (1997-03)
    list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.18
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0440221471
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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    Product Description
    He has waited for this moment.
    He has planned his every move.
    He has made it onto the jury in the most explosive trial of the century.
    Now the verdict belongs to him. . . .

    They are at the center of a multimillion dollar legal hurricane: twelve men and women who have been investigated, watched, manipulated, and harassed by high-priced lawyers and consultants who will stop at nothing to secure a verdict. Now that the jury must make a decision in the most explosive trial of the century, a precedent-setting lawsuit against a giant tobacco company. But only a handful of people know the truth: that this jury has a leader, and the verdict belongs to him...

    He is known only as Juror #2. But he has a name, a past, and he has planned his every move with the help of a beautiful woman on the outside. Now, while a corporate empire hands in the balance, while a grieving family waits, and while lawyers are plunged into a battle for their careers, the truth about Juror #2 is about to explode, in a cross fire of greed and corruption--and with justice fighting for its life...Amazon.com Review
    Millions of dollars are at stake in a huge tobacco-company casein Biloxi, and the jury's packed with people who have dirty little secrets.A mysterious young man takes subtle control of the jury asthe defense watches helplessly, but they soon realize that he in turnis controlled by an even more mysterious young woman.Lives careenoff course as they bend everyone in the case to their will. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (439)

    4-0 out of 5 stars enjoyable
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. One of the better ones by Grisham in my opinion. I'm sure that if you have liked previous books by this author you will not be disappointed with this one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Diverting Grisham thriller
    John Grisham has another winner with this novel of jury manipulation during a trial involving wrongful death due to cigarette smoking and if the tobacco industry can be held accountable for its unhealthy product. Grisham develops his characters as only he can, in a rather droll way with a knowing smile. A lot of what happens here borders on the implausible but Grisham manages to make the story believable and interesting. Perhaps that is why so many of his book have become Hollywood blockbusters which means that Grisham must be doing something right. Frank Muller's excellent narration makes a great book even better. Another great read by a master storyteller.

    2-0 out of 5 stars No characters to root for
    This book is seriously flawed.The reader of a novel usually likes to identify with, or at least root for, a character he deems likable.In "The Runaway Jury," Mr. Grisham makes it extremely difficult for his readers to do this.One cannot honestly admire either of the protagonists, Marlee or Nicholas, for all the shenanigans they pull with their lying and cheating as they seek revenge on the tobacco industry.For this reason alone, I give this book a thumbs down.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A first venture into the world of Grisham
    I'll admit that this is the first Grisham book I've read. I discovered this book only recently, and I liked it. It was not the legal thriller that I was expecting.Rather, it was a very clearly written exploration of a fictional legal coup: how a "little guy" took on "big tobacco." Grisham does a nice job of explaining the American jury system to the lay reader and then uses this as a backdrop for numerous manipulations of a major legal decision.His main characters are quite mysterious and intruiguing; however, although he fleshes them out some over the course of the book, I never felt like I truly "knew" the characters deeply.I also found that the extensive testimony presented during the trial grew tiresome.Despite my criticisms, I really did like this book.It taught me something new; there was a "mystery" to figure out; and I truly wanted to see how it would end.But I was not swept away or pushed to the edge of my seat.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Much better than the movie
    If you have seen the movie - Then you might have a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to this title.The movie ventured so far away from the book that it was only vaguely recognizable to this book.This book is full of suspense that you come to expect from Grisham.This was a great weekend read. ... Read more

    20. The Client
    by John Grisham
    Paperback: 496 Pages (2005-04-26)
    list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$5.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385339089
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
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    Product Description
    In a weedy lot on the outskirts of Memphis, two  boys watch a shiny Lincoln pull up to the  curb...Eleven-year-old Mark Sway and his younger brother  were sharing a forbidden cigarette when a chance  encounter with a suicidal lawyer left Mark knowing  a bloody and explosive secret: the whereabouts of  the most sought-after dead body in America. Now Mark is caught  between a legal system gone mad and a mob killer  desperate to cover up his crime. And his only ally is  a woman named Reggie Love, who has been a lawyer  for all of four years. Prosecutors are  willing to break all the rules to make Mark talk. The  mob will stop at nothing to keep him quiet. And  Reggie will do anything to protect her client --  even take a last, desperate gamble that could win  Mark his freedom... or cost them both their  lives.

    From the Hardcover edition.Amazon.com Review
    Mark Sway, age 11 but years wiser thanks to a drunken dad whoabused his mom, is out in the woods behind his Memphis trailer parkteaching his kid brother, Ricky, how to smoke Virginia Slims heistedfrom Mom's purse. He's a pretty upright kid--he's determined toprotect his brother from drugs, and he once defended his mom with abaseball bat.

    The dangers of smoking rapidly escalate when Mark glimpses a guytrying to commit suicide by carbon monoxide in his car nearby andtries to stop him. The guy is Jerome, a lawyer who tells Mark that hisMafia client has murdered Senator Boyd Boyette and buried him in theconcrete under his garage in New Orleans. Then Jerome puts a bullet inhis own head. Little Ricky flips out, and so does Barry the BladeMuldanno, who doesn't want blustery U.S. attorney Reverend RoyFoltrigg to find the corpse and bust him. Caught in a ruthless gamebetween the Mob and the amoral authorities, Mark's family has nodefense in the world except Reggie Love, a 50ish divorcée whohas just turned her life around by becoming a lawyer. Does she havewhat it takes to help Mark beat the system? The life-or-death chase ison!

    Mark has seen a lot of movies, and he sees life in cinematic terms. Sodoes Grisham. Even if this novel had never been filmed, it would stillbe a really good, fast-paced movie. Its literary limitation is alsoits filmlike virtue: The Client is a rush. ... Read more

    Customer Reviews (324)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good rousing story to chew.
    NOt much as far as actuality goes and it does indeed take on mythic proportions sometimes but as far as readibility this does keep you going and making villians out of the fbi, well they weren't acutally they just did things wrong. The woman lawyer is a bit overdone and there is a host of characters that come and go. The prose easily pokes fun at some of the idiot characters and that in of itself almost is idiot itself. It was a bit outlandish I'll give it that and it was almost entirley made up. The mother was right, had the kid told the truth outright the book would have never happened. Maybe the kid shoulda just come out and said what happened instead of his imigination runnig wild with him. It did get a little out there sometimes and movie ish. OVerall a good book for a quick read but don't expect massive poetry or deep insight. Not much of that there.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Client

    favorite quotes
    Mr. Teal's Secretary - What is your injury
    Mark - I uh, don't have an injury
    Secretary - Look kid, see these people? They've all got appointments to see Mr. Teal. He's a busy man, and only takes cases involving death or injuries. Go bother someone else.
    Mark - Sure. If I get hit by a truck or something ,I'll come back to see you.

    Half of this book is a sad commentary on the legal system and the other half is the story of 11 year old,Mark and his 50 something year old Lawyer, Regina Love. Both have been given a raw deal in life, but somehow have survived by being incredibly sarcastic.
    All of the characters besides Mark and Reggie are very broadly drawn (they are either really good or really bad)But I can assure you, this thick story is never a bore.
    If you like well plotted thrillers where places like New Orleans and Memphis play a major role in the story, give this a whirl. You might like it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Entertaining!
    The Client is, overall, an enjoyable book. Although it does drag in places and some of the "lawyer-ese" is too much, the characterization and plot are quite interesting. It is a very suspenseful novel with twists and turns which kept me up till 4 am reading. What makes the book so good is the complex characters. Mark Sway--an eleven year old, trailor-trash, kid is brilliant and foolish all at the same time which keeps the book moving well because every time he gets himself out of a situation, he always manages to get himself into another. He talks like he's 45 and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He also questions a lot about society and the legal system in such a childlike matter that it really makes you stop and think about your position on the topic and what you would tell an 11 year old kid. Reggie Love is definitely the most complex character. After a painful divorce, attempted suicide, and commitment into various mental facilities, she begins a new life as a smart-talking, witty, clever, and absolutely crazy lawyer who you just have to love. They call it her "second life" and she lives it to it's fullest. Only a 4 year lawyer and shes able to outsmart the FBI. She cares so much, too much, about her "little clients" and although she denies it, is willing to risk her life for some of them. Shes a very strong character, but still very vulnerable, which makes for a great story. Foltrigg (sp?), is the opposing, big-headed, stuck up, U.S. prosecuting attorney who is absolutely determined to win the case no matter the extremes. Completely engrossed in his job, he really helps display the infamous view of the lying, cheating, snake-like lawyers which we all hate so dearly, yet, Grisham also makes it seem like he is just trying to do his job. The plot, which is outlined in every other review, therefore pointless for me to elaborate :), is either full-blown action, or boring, drag along lawyer stuff and mob talk. Basically, at some parts you can't put the book down and then at others you are just waiting in agony for something exciting to happen, but its well worth the wait. Overall--I'd only read it if you have a lot of time becasue you might not be able to put it down. Then rent the movie. The movie has a great ending too.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Client Summary
    Normally, I'm not into the legal kind of books like this, but John Grisham did an excellent job. The Client is one of the best books I've ever read. Taking plate in Memphis, Mark Sway, eleven years old, and Ricky Sway, eight, were out in a forest by their trailer home, having a cigarette, when suddenly a nice car pulls up. A lawyer, knowing the whereabouts of a wanted body, drunk and wanting to commit suicide, pulls young Mark in after catching him trying to stop his suicide. Eventually, the lawyer tells him where the body is, and Mark escapes. After witnessing the lawyer shoot himself, Ricky Sway goes into shock, and him, Mark, and their mother end up in the hospital. By now, word has gone around, and Mark is well threatened, by the Mafia, and by prosecutors. And with a single, desperate dollar, hires a lawyer, Reggie Love, who will risk anything for her client.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What a great story.I loved the characters, especially 11-yr-old Mark with his intuitive smarts, risk taking, and good judgment
    Mark and his younger brother live in a trailer park with their single mother who works a low wage job.The boys went into the woods to sneak a cigarette.They discover a man they don't know trying to kill himself by running a hose from his car's tailpipe into the car window.Mark pulls the hose from the tailpipe twice before the man (Jerome) sees him.Jerome forces Mark into the car to die with him.Mark escapes, and then Jerome shoots himself.Jerome was the defense attorney for a mafia killer named Barry the Blade.Barry killed a senator and hid the body.Law enforcement, the FBI and mafia guys are after Mark.They believe Jerome may have told Mark where the body was, but Mark won't tell anyone.Mark asks Reggie a lawyer for help.She charges him a dollar and becomes his attorney.

    I didn't want to stop reading.What an adventure.Great plot, neat characters, well done suspense.I'm a lover of romance novels and rarely read other genres, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this.One of the neat things about this book was the emotional fulfillment.It's got the "David vs. Goliath" theme.I can see why they made it into a movie which I saw many years ago.But as is usually the case, the book is much better than the movie.

    Sexual content: none.Setting: current day Memphis, Tennessee, and New Orleans area, Louisiana.Copyright: 1993.Genre: legal suspense thriller. ... Read more

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