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Gray Mountain: A Novel Paperback – August 18, 2015
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“[An] important new novel . . . superior entertainment.”—The Washington Post
“Powerful . . . a satisfying, old-fashioned, good guy/bad guy legal thriller.”—The Christian Science Monitor
“Yes, Gray Mountain is fiction. But after reading the book, you’ll believe heroic action must be taken.”—USA Today
“Grisham has written one of his best legal dramas.”—Associated Press
About the Author
John Grisham is the author of twenty-seven novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and five novels for young readers.
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Grisham picks an issue now and then and goes after it. He does a great job on the coal companies in "Gray Mountain", not much from the coal companies side. It looks like they have no good side.
It is hard to read about Appalachia because almost everyone has more and has always had more. It is even harder to read about Appalachia and find that life is harder there than in the 1920s and later. I remember J L Lewis fighting for the coal miners labor union. Where is he when they need him? Where is anyone? In some cases the individuals are not allowed to pay for a lawyer to fight for benefits and non-payment of other debts.
The lawyer in "Gray Mountain" is young and female. She hasn't seen a courtroom, but life is changing for her. Does she get involved with the lives of people hurting so much, so needy, so alone in their fight for help? You think she will, then there is a twist that sounds like she will jump ship. She is easy to like, to understand her needs and wants, and readers will root for her as she travels the highway that is Appalachia. The scenery is beautiful if you don't see a gray mountain, but soon there will be gray mountains everywhere.
Once again John Grisham delivers. I can count on him to write an excellent book about once a year and I look forward to them. This is a little harder to get into than others, the subject matter is harder to be involved in, but I love the book. But I warn you, it will haunt you.
I definitely recommend this book.
I think perhaps he was experimenting a little bit with this one, and trying some different story structures and plot themes. I probably can't say much more without throwing out a spoiler.
I'm a big music fan too. And sometimes bands or artists experiment, and that album seems 'off'. But then by the next album, they've mastered whatever they were experimenting with which leads to the album after being one of their best ever. I think this book may be that way; Grisham is trying on some new elements and working on achieving further growth as an artist.
I really think the story needed an additional 200 pages. Why it doesn't, who knows? Without giving away spoilers, the first half kept building and building and building around the subject of coal. It was cool and all, but I wanted more. There were times when there was clearly something evolving between two of the main characters, but we didn't get to see it because all they talked about was coal. There needed to be moments that were more interpersonal. But, like I said, the whole time I really liked it and looked forward to more.
The storyline changed pretty dramatically right around the half-way point. Too dramatically. It was awkward. Grisham put into around 30 pages what needed 100. Maybe we can blame the editor.
There were times when it was so clear what Samantha (the main character) wanted to do, but she kept getting in her own way. It was so aggravating. Like, seriously, you have no idea. But thus the art of dramatic tension.
Others have mentioned they wanted more from her father, from her mother, and I'd add that I wanted more from Mattie. But only because the stories made up of characters I really loved.
Gray Mountain has all the makings of a back-story, and I really enjoyed it. Others have noted the lack of an ending or whatever, but I disagree. I think the tension we have to deal with regarding Samantha *is* the story. I REALLY hope we get to hear from her (along with her supporting crew) quite a bit more.
I *liked* it. I wanted to love it. If we get more Samantha in the future, things are very likely to change.