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Ford County: Stories [Kindle Edition]

John Grisham
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (635 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham's The Litigators.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to KillThis 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.


Editorial Reviews

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)


From Publishers Weekly

Returning to the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill, longtime bestseller Grisham presents seven short stories about the residents of Ford County, Miss. Each story explores different themes-mourning, revenge, justice, acceptance, evolution-but all flirt with the legal profession, the staple of (former attorney) Grisham's oeuvre. Fans will be excited to settle back into Grisham's world, and these easily digestible stories don't disappoint, despite their brevity. Full of strong characters, simple but resonant plotlines, and charming Southern accents, this collection is solid throughout; though his literary aspirations may seem quaint, Grisham succeeds admirably in his crowd-pleasing craft while avoiding pat endings or oversimplifying (perhaps best exemplified in "Michael's Room," which finds a lawyer facing the consequences of successfully defending a doctor against a malpractice suit). As always, Grisham balances his lawyerly preoccupations with a deep respect for his undereducated and overlooked characters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1649 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385532458
  • Publisher: Bantam (March 16, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003B02OOG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,194 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
217 of 228 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the grand storytelling tradition... November 3, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John Grisham is a storyteller. For all the flack he takes for being a "pop" author, this man knows how to tell a tale. The only thing this book was missing was a rocking chair and a porch. These are stories that might have been told on a lazy Sunday evening while sitting on grandpa's lap listening to the cicadas playing a tune composed by Mother Nature. These stories run the gambit from touching, to sinister, to the unthinkable, to heart-wrenching to, "yep that's what you get", to my favorite... the "illegal yes, but I'll bet it felt so good"!
Until Grisham's `Playing for Pizza', I avoided his non-lawyer novels. Well, I ended up enjoying that one and I really enjoyed this one. Like I said earlier, John is a mesmerizing storyteller and, although these stories are not related in any way, they flow like they are.

My favorite story, by FAR, was `Fish Files'. (Think of the movie `Falling Down' without the violence and caffeine). Maybe it's because I wish for this sort of thing to happen to me or maybe because I love living vicariously through a story. Whatever the reason, I really enjoyed reading about Mack because he didn't hesitate when opportunity kicked down his door. Be a good man... bah! Sticking with good southern values... whatever! Doing what your Sunday school teacher said... yeah ummm... I think I'll pass. I simply loved this story!!

`Casino' came a very, very close second. Each one of these seven stories creates a different feeling, gives birth to a unique memory, speaks to hidden emotions, and, in a small way, enriches the human spirit. His pop success made him famous, but it's his ability to grab and never let go that makes his books unforgettable. As a book lover/fanatic, I really enjoy authors' who have that ZING it takes to grab my attention and that indescribable POW that keeps me reading. This is a wonderful, classic, short story collection.
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83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BLITZ REVIEW OF FORD COUNTY November 3, 2009
Format:Hardcover
America's greatest contribution to literary forms is the short story. Just refer to a strange looking gentleman named Poe. So why is it that so many prominent American writers today seem to have forgotten the short story?
John Grisham to the rescue! His recently published collection of short stories, "FORD COUNTY", is one of the best books of 2009.
The book is composed of seven beautifully written tales from Grisham's roots in Mississippi. Each story is a gem! The mostly contemporary plots range from hilarity ("Blood Drive") to heartache ("Michael's Room"). By the end of the last selection ("Funny Boy"), the reader wishes there were seven more.
This is a great writer at his best, and one hopes that in the future Mr. Grisham will bring us more tales from Ford County. Get the book and enjoy every word. "Ford County" is superb!

BRUCE SPERBER
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76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grisham fans: Welcome back to Clanton! November 3, 2009
Format:Hardcover
Wow! I was at the bookstore this morning to check out the new releases and this was on a display so I picked it up. You know those books that you pick up out of curiosity and then read a page or two? And then another couple pages? And pretty soon you are all the way through the first story? This is one of those. I had to buy it because I'd gotten engrossed in Raymond's story, an inmate on death row who has written his memoir. I went home(the kids are sick today) and settled in with the book and started over from the beginning.

Clanton, the town where Grisham's first blockbuster "A Time to Kill" takes place is now the setting for a number of unique characters, something a bit of an island of misfit toys. The book is a composite of seven stories- and yet, maybe because of the setting and the writing style, the stories flowed into one another and gave me a sense of a bigger picture than just a collection of individual stories.

I haven't felt terribly compelled by Grisham in recent years, yet, these stories are good- really good. They felt warm and comfortable. His writing style reminds me of pulling on a pair of well worn jeans. His characters are robust, real and sympathetic. The themes are common and even if one can't relate to all of the characters, you will find something for just about everyone here.

Some of the scenes are a little far-fetched and yet, I think it is the characters and the sense of humor with which Grisham write that makes me not just believe, but want to believe. You can almost hear the drawl of the South and the world slowing down as you get deeper into the stories.

Plenty of intrigue and, of course, what Grisham is so well-known for- writing about the law and those who exact it.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book contains seven new short stories by the legendary John Grisham. All are built around Ford County Mississippi where the novel that launched his career "TIME TO KILL" was set. While Grisham's recent novels have been met with mixed emotions... I found these seven stories interestingly mesmerizing. As a reviewer it's a little tougher to give potential readers an overview of short stories as compared to a full Grisham novel because the reviewer has to be more careful not to give away key spoilers... which in a short story is very easy to do. What I found compelling was the ability of the author... even with the limited pages for each of the stories... to create quick... detailed... enthralling character studies... seemingly with the "flick" of his wrist... despite not having his normal availability of a full book's canvas in which to paint his characters nuances.

It's within these character depictions that the author deftly... and almost intrinsically... is able to tug at the reader's heart and have tears begin to form one minute... then lightly chuckle as he quickly carves out ludicrous delineations that frame the lesser hanger-ons that dot society.

Within all these stories there seems at first to be numerous good versus evil scenario's... but at times... the evil and good can't be separated in such a black and white lens. A sampling (in random order) of some of Grisham's plots include rumors growing and changing... trips to a blood bank that starts off with the best of intentions and yet winds up in a bloody strip club brawl... a kidnapping of a lawyer who is forced to see the result of his defense work from the wretched side of the victim... a family trip to an execution...
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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

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John did an amazing job reading his own book!
You have to be kidding. Have you listened to Michael Beck do Grisham's previous books? There's no comparison.

I listen to a great deal of recorded books (long commute), and this is among the worst. It's really detracting from the experience. In my opinion, Grisham should stick to writing.
Mar 16, 2010 by A Recorded-Books Reader |  See all 3 posts
Where is the Kindle edition
Kindle owners unite! I'm not buying the paper edition of this book. We want Grisham on Kindle!
Nov 5, 2009 by Dawn D. |  See all 10 posts
What is the story about.
I'm going to assume that, since this post is over 3 years old you already know this or have even read the book.
This is a collection of short stories set in Ford County, which is the fictional county where his first novel "A Time to Kill" takes place
Jul 30, 2013 by Renato Rodriguez |  See all 2 posts
That price can't be right!
S. Smith, it should be collector's edition or something The regular version is just 9.00$
Oct 22, 2009 by A guy loving talented guys |  See all 14 posts
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