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A Painted House Paperback – Print, February 3, 2004
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What's more, tensions begin to simmer between the Mexicans and the hill people, one of whom has a penchant for bare-knuckles brawling. This leads to a brutal murder, which young Luke has the bad luck to witness. At this point--with secrets, lies, and at least one knife fight in the offing--the plot begins to take on that familiar, Grisham-style momentum. Still, such matters ultimately take a back seat in A Painted House to the author's evocation of time and place. This is, after all, the scene of his boyhood, and Grisham waxes nostalgic without ever succumbing to deep-fried sentimentality. Meanwhile, his account of Luke's Baptist upbringing occasions some sly (and telling) humor:
I'd been taught in Sunday school from the day I could walk that lying would send you straight to hell. No detours. No second chances. Straight into the fiery pit, where Satan was waiting with the likes of Hitler and Judas Iscariot and General Grant. Thou shalt not bear false witness, which, of course, didn't sound exactly like a strict prohibition against lying, but that was the way the Baptists interpreted it.Whether Grisham will continue along these lines, or revert to the judicial shark tank for his next book, is anybody's guess. But A Painted House suggests that he's perfectly capable of telling an involving story with nary a subpoena in sight. --James Marcus --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is narrated by seven year-old Luke Chandler, the son of an Arkansas family renting and farming in 1952 Arkansas. To say Luke "grows up" between the covers would be an understatement. Luke tells us a story of cotton pickers that will have you feeling every possible emotion, right along with young Luke. No, there are no slick lawyers or beautiful law students in A PAINTED HOUSE, but there ARE plenty of wonderful characters that come to life on the pages of this Grisham classic. To stay away from this John Grisham novel because it is not "typical" Grisham, would not be giving yourself enough credit for being able to appreciate a great author, and his work, because he is not writing something that is ready-for-the-screen. Trust the man who brought us THE FIRM, THE PELICAN BRIEF and others to keep you entertained in a different genre, to be sure, but entertained and mesmerized nonetheless. Do yourself a favor -- suspend your judgement about "literary fiction" -- and don't miss this one!!
We look at cotton farming in Arkansas in the 1950s during harvest. We experience the many different apprehensions involved with this season. That of hiring hill folk and the Mexicans, what the weather will do, whether the price will be high or low, will the Cardinals have a winning season.
The big strength of this book is the way the characters are brought to life so wonderfully. We experience their joys over simple pleasures such as sitting on the verandah listening to baseball, the loneliness of farm-life, despair of ever finishing harvest, wariness of the strangers employed, intermingled with the acceptance of the life they lead.
Sure it's not what you'd normally expect from a Grisham book and yes, we're not glued to our seats with heart-hammering courtroom drama, but so what? We experience the drama of racing to bring the crop in, the troubles that come from mixing people of different backgrounds together, and life on the land as it was in the 1950s.
I can't recommend this book highly enough for anyone who enjoys looking back on simpler times.
Any reader who has ever known a seven year old boy will love Luke as he narrates the hiring of the Mexicans and watches the hill people move in and camp in his front yard right over home plate. Luke's ambition is to grow up and become a baseball player for the Cardinals in St. Louis. As you read through the days of cotton picking and some difficult adult situations that Luke sees happen, you hope that all his dreams will come true and he will be able to get away from the hardships he has witnessed.
Grisham does not need a courtroom and a chase scene to write a memorable book with characters that will come to mind again and again. I have enjoyed his legal thrillers, but A Painted House offers up a beautiful sensitivity that proves he can write just as well when he reaches out to a new format.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It takes you down the path of what happens when you do the wrong thing for the right reason.Published 8 days ago by Elaine Ragsdale
This was a departure from Grisham's legendary books of lawyers in trouble. A beautiful story of life for a struggling farm family in rural Arkanas. Poignant and rich. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Kindle Customer
I love stories written from a youngster's point of view. The era that this story was set in was fascinating as many of us are not familiar with the life in rural America in the... Read morePublished 15 days ago by tamiken