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The Confession: A Novel Hardcover – Abridged, October 26, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
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"Grisham is the master of the legal thriller."--USA Today
NO ONE KEEPS YOU IN SUSPENSE LIKE AMERICA’S FAVORITE STORYTELLER
“The secrets of Grisham’s success are no secret at all. There are two of them: his pacing, which ranges from fast to breakneck, and his Theme—little guy takes on big conspiracy with the little guy getting the win in the end.” —Time magazine
“The law, by its nature, creates drama, and a new Grisham promises us an inside look at the dirty machineries of process and power, with plenty of entertainment” —Los Angeles Times
“With every new book I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his feisty critiques of the legal system, his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions.” —Entertainment Weekly
“John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury.” —Philadelphia Inquirer
“A mighty narrative talent and an unerring eye for hot-button issues.” —Chicago Sun-Times
“A legal literary legend.” —USA Today
Top Customer Reviews
Reluctantly, Keith Schroeder agrees to drive Boyette to the town where the murder occurred in the hope that a confession will stop the scheduled execution of Drumm. Keith Schroeder joins forces with Donté Drumm's defence lawyer, Robbie Flak in the hope that they can at least halt the scheduled execution until Boyette's story is checked.
I enjoyed the first two thirds of this novel. While character development was sketchy, the urgency of the situation kept me turning pages. The facts about the case, the flimsy `evidence' upon which Donté Drumm was convicted all heightened the tension, especially when one of the witnesses admitted that he had falsely testified and as Boyette's claims are tested.
But then the narrative changed. The fiction became a vehicle against the death penalty and thriller became propaganda. This diminished the impact of the story, reduced my enjoyment of it and is reflected in my rating.
The Confession is a legal thriller by an accomplished writer, one who became famous by writing legal thrillers. I loved Grisham's early books, reading each one eagerly, glued to the pages, and disappointed when I finished, realizing that I had to wait a long time for the next one. Somewhere along the way Grisham lost his mojo, and, unfortunately, he hasn't fully regained it. Maybe I am not the same reader that I was when I read The Firm in 1991. Try as I might, I couldn't get excited about this one.
This story was written as a political statement. Fiction that serves to prove a point requires a skillful narrator, or it risks becoming tedious. There are some great writers who wrote great novels as a form of political expression, like Dickens, Warren and Ellison. Grisham is not in their league. Grisham's talents as a writer are good enough to bring this readable novel to fruition, but it has some problems: The plot is not believable enough for my liking, and characters on one side of the issue are created as likeable, basically good people, while those on the opposite side are completely bad. The story lacks realism.
Donte , who is at the center of the novel, is a sympathetic figure, but he remains a figure, not a person whom the reader really knows. Keith , the well intentioned pastor who brings the killer to Texas, may be the best described personality, but he is bland and boring. The story builds suspense in the second half, and I willingly read to the end, although I was pretty sure where it was going. This was just a fair novel, with the story in the back seat, and the message driving. I prefer the opposite.
But with all due respect to Grisham's writing ability, reading The Confession is a lot like riding a carousel. It has all the expected ups and downs and turns, which sometimes make for a pleasurable experience. But it doesn't take you anyplace new, and you know how it's going to end. And all the characters are plastic.
For a subject as complex and multi-faceted as the death penalty, you would expect a little nuance from an author as intelligent as Grisham. Alas, there is none to found in The Confession. I would describe the theme of the book as: "If you support the death penalty, then you are ignorant, racist, and un-Christian. If you oppose the death penalty, you are a saint and a hero. Period." Nearly all the villains in this book work for the government: from the unscrupulous detective to the conviction-hungry prosecutor to the corrupt judge to the uncaring appeals courts to the cocky demagogue of a governor. Heck, even the front-line police officers and the National Guard are portrayed as Jim Crow-era goons who stand ready to trample the civil rights of the poor townfolk. I say that "nearly" all the villains work for the government because Grisham saves some castigation for the FAMILY OF THE MURDER VICTIM. The mother of the victim is portrayed as a fame whore who cares nothing about finding justice but only wants a painful death for the man she's convinced killed her daughter.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought it was one of his best. Some heartbreaking parts in it. A disturbing look at the "justice" system.Published 3 hours ago by sabrina osborne
A story that touches on very controversial issues that we see daily in our society. It is a very well written novel.Published 13 hours ago by YPR
There were parts I found slow and boring....didn't seem relevant to the story. I either skimmed over those parts or skipped them all together. Made for a faster read.Published 2 days ago by J. Weeks
Could apply to today when the subject of corporal punishment or the separation between black or white Churches is mentioned. A great, honest approach.Published 3 days ago by BuzzzPhotos
This is my favorite Grisham book so far of the half dozen that I have read. Whether you support or oppose the death penalty, this book will either confirm your beliefs or open... Read morePublished 4 days ago by jz
Didn't want to put this book down. A little too much technical for my taste, but I got through it.Published 9 days ago by Baggieal