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Sycamore Row | [John Grisham]

Sycamore Row

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?
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (10188 )
5 star
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3 star
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4.4 (9172 )
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Story
4.6 (9163 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jeanie 01-14-14
    Jeanie 01-14-14

    Truelongmont on Facebook. I like listening while exercising and cleaning. I just want entertainment!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Is an interest in the Southern culture required?"
    Would you listen to Sycamore Row again? Why?

    No, don't like to listen to things more than once!


    Would you recommend Sycamore Row to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes


    What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

    Good southern accents


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I suspect I liked this because it was set in the south and was a great depiction of the culture I grew up in, rather than because it was such an awesome gripping tale. It was good, and I enjoyed the whole thing - but it wasn't exceptional.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    arlene Potomac, MD 01-14-14
    arlene Potomac, MD 01-14-14

    English teacher nerd, love books with character depth and a good plot, and enjoy almost any genre.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suspense from the beginning"
    What made the experience of listening to Sycamore Row the most enjoyable?

    It was believable and showed the true character of families and people.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sycamore Row?

    When Letty realizes why the money was left to her...


    What does Michael Beck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He reads well and doesn't sound like he is reading or over acting the read. Pleasant tone and very good at the pauses.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Is redemption possible?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 01-14-14
    P.J. LANSING, KS, United States 01-14-14 Member Since 2014

    katsuey

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    52
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    1
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    Story
    "Grisham Knows the Deep South"

    Grisham does his best books with Mississippi as the backdrop. Rich in character development, humorous in many places with a bit of a surprise ending and always a good story. Micheal Beck always reads Grisham books with character voices the lend to the character development and humor.

    In this case, a crotchety old man dying of lung cancer commits a very deliberate suicide indicating in a handwritten will that his black part time housekeeper should be his sole heir. Everyone wants to know why, no one more than a son and daughter left with nothing. Does that handwritten will trump one made by lawyers years previous? Did pain medications make him vulnerable to an unscrupulous housekeeper.

    In a continuation of the Street Lawyer, Jake, who has never met the dead man, receives a letter from him asking him to defend his intentions with every fiber of his being. With millions at stake there is a contingent of lawyers out to fight both Jake and the handwritten will.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Hallum Tn USA 01-14-14
    Richard Hallum Tn USA 01-14-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where is the author of The Firm?"
    What disappointed you about Sycamore Row?

    Grisham seems to be dumbing down his writing as if readers are not educated enough to keep up. His stories have dwindled since his first five books. It's as if he is running out of ideas.


    Would you ever listen to anything by John Grisham again?

    I am done with Grisham. I held out hope that he would submit another page turner. But not only have his books seem to have gotten progressively worse...this is terrible.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was fine considering what he had to work with. The southern accents were a bit over the top. I have lived in the south the last 50 years. If someone talked like that I would give them a double take to see if they were pulling my leg.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Sycamore Row?

    The repetitiveness. It's not a scene per se but the story was dragggggged out with repetition.


    Any additional comments?

    Author kept using people's names. So if you have short term memory loss I guess it will work for you. Otherwise you grow weary.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kalpana Edison, NJ, United States 01-13-14
    Kalpana Edison, NJ, United States 01-13-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Listen in this multi character story"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was my first full audio book listen. Every time I wrapped up a listening session, I found myself waiting for the next one. Michael Beck's narration was very nice. He managed to modulate his voice for the various characters, women and men and it was easy to identify which character was talking just as the narration began. The story was typical Grisham style, so if you like Grisham, you will like this one. I enjoyed it and yes am hooked onto audio books now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Montara, CA, United States 01-13-14
    Larry Montara, CA, United States 01-13-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    78
    32
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    0
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    "A long journey to the obvious."

    The best thing about this book is the performance of Michael Beck. He was amazing. If I had been reading the text version, I doubt if I would have finished it. Grisham underestimates the intelligence of his readers and his characters. All the clues necessary to solve whatever mystery there is are given in the very beginning of the book. There is no suspense!

    The characters seem to have totally forgotten the history of race relations the deep South. This is even more puzzling given the fact that the main character in the 1988 setting is under threat from the KKK. The book is also ridiculously politically correct. The N word is never used, not even by the racists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lakeland, FL, United States 01-12-14
    Debbie Lakeland, FL, United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    0
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    "Sycamore Row had me hanging on every word."
    If you could sum up Sycamore Row in three words, what would they be?

    Amazing...simply amazing


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could hardly quit listening to the book. I was totally spellbound and wanted to know what was happening next.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to everyone. I loved Michael Beck's narration of the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan BONANZA, OR, United States 01-12-14
    Susan BONANZA, OR, United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    14
    5
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    0
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    "Well read"
    Would you recommend Sycamore Row to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would recommend this book to someone who likes character development. The action was a bit slow, but you felt like you knew the people.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Beck – was your favorite?

    Jake


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara N. 01-11-14
    Sara N. 01-11-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    28
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Performance tells the story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    After downloading this audiobook I was tempted to return it and go back to reading. It's difficult to understand how a fine writer like Grisham could allow someone like Michael Beck to ruin his books. Poor reading, terrible timing, and inability to read ahead in order to drop his voice where the sentence or thought ends. His narrative is so distracting I don't know if I'll be able to get through the whole book.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Michael Beck’s performances?

    No


    Did Sycamore Row inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to return the audiobook in favor of reading it the story myself.


    Any additional comments?

    A good reader can elevate a good story to an even better one. A poor performance can ruin a story, no matter how good. As a long-time user of Audible books, I've heard good and bad, and this is one of the poorest. In addition to having poor timing and poor understanding of the content, this man uses a grating, simpering voice to suggest female parts, which is not only insulting but hard to listen to. His southern accent is poor, and his ability to sustain each voice non-existent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Milton, FL, United States 01-10-14
    Ruth Milton, FL, United States 01-10-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story!"
    What did you love best about Sycamore Row?

    This is one of John Grisham's best books!


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Rivoting


    What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

    He does the best voices!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I kept sneaking away to listen to a little bit more!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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