Audie Award Finalist, Thriller/Suspense, 2014
John Grisham takes you back to where it all began...
John Grisham's A Time to Kill is one of the most popular novels of our time. Now we return to that famous courthouse in Clanton as Jake Brigance once again finds himself embroiled in a fiercely controversial trial - a trial that will expose old racial tensions and force Ford County to confront its tortured history.
Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier.
The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?
In Sycamore Row, John Grisham returns to the setting and the compelling characters that first established him as America's favorite storyteller. Here, in his most assured and thrilling novel yet, is a powerful testament to the fact that Grisham remains the master of the legal thriller, nearly 25 years after the publication of A Time to Kill.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, a note from the author will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2013 John Grisham (P)2013 Random House Audio
Praise for the novels of John Grisham
"John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we've got in the United States these days." —The New York Times Book Review
"John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country, nobody does it better." —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury." —Philadelphia Inquirer
"John Grisham owns the legal thriller." —The Denver Post
"John Grisham is not just popular, he is one of the most popular novelists of our time. He is a craftsman and he writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots." —Seattle Times
"A legal literary legend." —USA Today
List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen
I looked at a ton of reviews and I thought I should give it a try. By the time I was a few hours in - I thought I made the right choice & was calling everyone that gave a bad review crazy. I thought they were beating John Grisham up because it wasn't 'A time to kill' - After 'The innocent Man' I thought I was done with John Grisham, but I was swayed by reviewers for this book. Let me say that Michael Beck was awesome! He was the Only reason I hung in... I was ready to turn off after 3/4ths of the book - But I already invested 17hrs.... The problem with writers of Grishams intelligence and ability in my opinion - Is that they must think we are all dumb - Or he would have made this book smarter. I'm just a pool guy from Sarasota Fl and I'm pretty sure I could give Jake (The main character) a run for his money in a court room. I think John Grisham was so focused on the big suprise ending that he let the trial fall apart in a terrible way. I wouldn't want Jake as my lawyer. He folded like a lawn chair at every turn. I would have killed (Verbally) the suprise people that apposing counel brought in to testify. I would have murdered (Verbally) Seth's kids. I would have also pushed for the fact that 2 dying people leaving a care taker money wouldn't be strange - When they were the only ones taking care of the dying people... It would have been the only argument needed - And it was never brought up. Jake sucked as an attorney and the drunk guy in the story did save his case.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
This is my first experience with a Grisham book and I couldn't be more pleased. I tend to shy away from blockbuster authors, as many keep producing long after they have run out of ideas, use ghost authors, or rest on their laurels in some other way.
From the start of this novel, I was riveted and hated to interrupt my listening. When I wasn't listening, I was thinking of the story and where it was going and plotting how I could get back to it.
I don't need to rehash the story line--it has been described very adequately here. What I particularly liked was that there was no unnecessary filler or overly descriptive writing. Everything that Grisham writes is relevant to his story and is in a logical progression. You really feel that this book was well-researched and planned out. The characters were believable--I cared what happened to them, even the unlikeable ones!
The story was so well-narrated. Michael Beck did an exemplary job of doing individual voices and accents, of which there were many. He added to the listening experience. Although I consider this a stand-alone book, I am going to listen to the prequel.
Very highly recommended.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
So "Sycamore Row" doesn't have the breathtaking... can't put it down feel of his "The Firm" or "Runaway Jury" type books. But it is a solid, enjoyable read that is more or less a sequel to "A Time to Kill" (his first novel). The same cast of characters were even more enjoyable this time around. The book is probably a PG-13 with a suicide and a lynching, but very little strong language and only a few references to sex. The end was predictable, but I enjoyed hearing it told in his words. It's a keeper.
I live on a tiny river in NC on the southeastern coast. I'm a voracious reader & listener - also photographer and potter.
Ok. I know John Grisham is a very famous and prolific writer. I've read only 3 of his books. I got this because everyone said "it's SUCH a page turner". Well I found it very predictable and mind-numbingly long. I figured out way at the beginning what was going to happen. I had absolutely NO empathy for any of the characters. Grisham overused the verb "glared" so many times it made me flinch. I'm sure no one will read my review and Grisham fans won't agree anyway. This book can't compare to many of the exceptional writers I've read, such as the wonderful Hilary Mantel, Amy Tan, Barbara Kingsolver, or Bill Bryson. But I'm writing this to let off steam. I wasted my time and money on this and am kicking myself for not turning it back in after the first 30 minutes.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
The probate of a will suspenseful? There's no foul play, no ex-wives, no violence, only lawyers in abundance. Suspenseful? I was on the edge of seat throughout the entire novel.
First, let me say the narration was difficult due to the deep southern dialect, yet masterfully handled by Mr. Beck. I was born in South Carolina, raised in North Carolina, and married a girl from Montomery Alabama. I can assure you the deeper south the more pronounced and exaggerated people's accents become. You may be tempted to think he went to far, but from my experience he was dead on accurate. It's important because people are judged by their accents down here. There's an eloquent drawl by the educated southerner that we all recognize and appreciate. The nuances are numerous to a sensitive ear. I was more than pleased with Mr. Beck's effort.
Without going more into the story, I can say the characters are engaging, intriguing and hugely entertaining on their own. This is my favorite characteristic of any Grisham novel.
If you are looking for a suspenseful novel with incredible characters, Sycamore Row is the book for you!
Enjoyable, interesting story with an unexpected twist! I haven't read a lot of Grisham lately (I did many years ago) but this story did not disappoint. It is well written in Grisham style with well developed characters that you come to care about or to dislike.
This was the longest, most repetitive, non climatic book I have listened to. And not a good follow up to A Time to Kill. The book was 20 hours. I would have liked to have known more about Seth's life or seth as a person. What made Seth hate his kids or his kids not be there for him. He did cut them out of 20 million. Letty was only 47! He described her as this old lady. Over and over the trial from A Time to Kill was mentioned. But for no good reason. If you are going to listen to this anyway, listen to the Abridged version.
Cut the book down. Stop repeating himself. They must have read that handwritten will over and over.
If the book is interesting, yes.
Letty's husband. That was a useless side story.
This book is boring. And the big climax was not so climatic.
Yes. The reader enhanced the novel by his authentic, soft, lovely Southern accents--plural because the different characters had different voices. That is hard for me to do in my head.
I did not want to quit listening to this book. The story line was compelling. The characters seemed realistic and interesting. I would love to have another just as interesting right now but they are hard to find.
Grisham is a talented author who's recent books lacked the needed kick of a great ending. "Sycamore Row" fulfills the missing element in Grisham's recent novels, a great end. This novel is full of intrigue, drama, characters and a storying that's a page turner. I hope the future presents us with more of the same.
Don't listen to those that say Grisham has not been this good since the 90's. He has always been awesome, he continues to grow with each book he writes, and he continues to surprise and educate. Actually this novel is his first adult book to continue one of his earlier books. In this case he continues "A Time to Kill" which was his first novel, the one I liked the least, and the one least Grisham-like.
Luckily the Grisham style is in full swing in his latest. His story shares some plot from earlier novels... the rural south (pretty common in most of his books), the will of a man who hates all his relatives and leaves the money to a outsider, and the slimy underside of the legal profession. However unlike his first novel, this has more energy, moves along much faster, and the characters are more enjoyable. Another Grisham not to miss.
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