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By John Grisham: The Appeal Unknown Binding – February 29, 2008

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Hardcover (February 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,062 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,223,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, John Grisham was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby--writing his first novel. Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.That might have put an end to Grishams hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, and The Appeal) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.

Photo credit Maki Galimberti

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

258 of 312 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading more than 250 pages of filler with nothing worth mentioning at the end of it all, except that the ending "majorly" sucked.

Essentially a sordid tale of big business and politics vs. big verdicts and class action lawsuits, it begins nicely, and gathers steam, then proceeds to continue blowing hot air at the reader until the unsatisfactory quickie ending.

While there's some food for thought regarding how the legal, political, religious and business arenas may all be connected, there's more garnish than meat in a story which could have been cut by about 100 pages of the filler, and sweetened with about 50 more pages of conclusion for dessert.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)

1. Large company dumps chemicals in rural community
2. Water changes color
3. People get sick
4. Some die
5. Small law firm files lawsuit
6. Large verdict awarded
7. Big business takes over
8. Money talks
9. Once again, Grisham gets tired of his own rambling and wraps up story in indecent haste leaving most of his ends dangling
10. His ends aren't pretty

I'd like to sue for 50% of my money back, plus loss of productive time, legal costs and mental trauma, and also for punitive damages, but I guess I'd lose on appeal.

Rated: 2.5 stars for half of a good book

The Innocent Man

Amanda Richards, March 21, 2008
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67 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Gerald Swimmer on February 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Grisham has written some wonderful books. Unfortunately, The Appeal is not one of them. He has a point which is that elected judges create a problem and an opportunity for abuse. We all agree. By the way so do appointed judges.

The plot has been described by others. My issue with this effort is that everybody was predictable. The good folks were perfect. Plaintiff lawyers who will bankrupt themselves for a case they believe in. Not like many plaintiff lawyers who I have run into. The company and its owners are completely bad. When a character such as the general counsel of the company looks to be a little interesting he is ignored.

Grisham in my view has always had the ability to develop believable characters who were interesting. All the leading characters in this book were boring and too much of a stereotype.
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Format: Hardcover
John Grisham will be ending his absence from the New York Times Best Seller's List (fiction) with the arrival "The Appeal." Grisham's first legal thriller since the Broker (2005) is a gripping and compelling read that will be hard to put down. It is also timely since it highlights the underbelly of today's election politics.

The story centers on a small Mississippi law firm who wins a big verdict over a chemical giant, Krane, that has spread carcinogenic pollutants. Krane, fearful that this verdict, if not overturned, would set a precedent that would eventually destroy it, goes into action. It files an appeal that will find its way to the state supreme court, and hires a "dirty tricks" firm to unseat a sitting justice believe to be unfriendly. This is a viable strategy since Mississippi elects their Supreme Court justices and 69% of its voters know little about the court's candidates.

The "Appeal" provides a believable primer on how to rig an election - pick a victim; promote an unknown candidate with no visible record; and ambush the victim by painting him/her as a extreme ideologue (this liberal judge will destroy the family). Done well...and the election process is subverted.

This is Grisham's thirteenth legal thriller since "A Time to Kill" which was published in 1989. He has been a master at putting urgent moral issues on center stage for all to consider. He has succeeded again in "The Appeal."
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118 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Serene Night on February 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Evil uncaring chemical baron Carl Trudeau's company has been poisoning the city of Bowmore's drinking water for years. After people start coming down with cancer and related ailments, the company cuts and runs to Mexico leaving hundreds of people ill and dying and the ground water contaminated. A scrappy altruistic attorney couple(the Paytons) sues Krane on behalf of a widowed client and wins a sizeable settlement. Carl Trudeau chooses to fight back, using his deep pockets and political connections.

I wanted to like this story, but I felt the good guy characters-particularly the attorneys -(the Paytons), were annoying. They were a little too perfect, a little too altruistic... It was very saccharine. The Paytons were both such Mary Sue's I didn't identify with them at all. Ironically, I liked the antics of the evil villains more because at least their plots and plans were entertaining.

Overall this was a decent book, but I found the simplistic character development aggravating.
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41 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson on February 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I've followed Grisham's career for years, enjoying everything from his legal thrillers to his novellas. Sure, some of his more recent legal outings have faltered ("The Brethren" was awful, for example), but I've hung in there. Recently, he released "Playing for Pizza," and I thought this might be his attempt at regaining a second wind by doing something offbeat. Offbeat, indeed. I cannot recommend that particular book to anyone, based on the milquetoast lead character and his refusal to learn, change, mature, or give a decent story.

With the arrival of "The Appeal," I once again let my hopes soar. I heard some good feedback from a bookstore owner. I bought the book, and--to my thorough amazement--breezed through the first hundred pages in one sitting. The old Grisham was back, I told myself. This might be one of his best in years. All the pieces were in place for a great story.

Although "The Appeal" is nothing original, I was hooked by Grisham's portrayal of David and Goliath characters. The giant: Carl Trudeau, owner of a company that has illegally dumped chemicals into Mississippi waters and earth, resulting in cancer, leukemia, and the lost lives of many local townspeople. The midget: Payton & Payton, a law team of husband and wife who have risked everything to bring about justice. Grisham paints both protagonists and his antagonist with skill and empathy. Trudeau and his shallow trophy-wife were the villains you love to hate. I kept turning the pages.

As usual, Grisham takes issue with something in our legal system and makes a moral or political point. Here, he mixes familiar ingredients from "The Firm" (manipulation), rants from "The Chamber" (capital punishment), and bits from "The King of Torts" (huge settlements).
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