For almost a quarter of a century, John Grisham's A Time to Kill has captivated readers and listeners with its raw exploration of race, retribution, and justice. Now, its hero, Jake Brigance, returns to the courtroom in a dramatic showdown as Ford County again confronts its tortured history. Filled with the intrigue, suspense and plot twists that are the hallmarks of the world's favourite storyteller, Sycamore Row is the thrilling story of the elusive search for justice in a small American town.
©2013 John Grisham (P)2013 Random House Audio
People often dismiss Grisham as lightweight airplane novel material, but after years of listening to some pretty dismal storytelling, my return to Grisham reminded me of what an incredibly skilled writer he is. Admittedly, Jake's wife is a bit of a prop to show he's a family man, but on the whole, his characters are meaty and challenging. The plot is solid and well-constructed and gripping and his pacing is absolutely immaculate.
At no point did I do what I usually do these days, which is groan and wish the writing had been better edited. There's no fat on this story. It's all lean, page-turning (pod-listening?) goodness.
In an era of a lot of self-published, unedited, badly finished fiction, John Grisham is a long, tall drink of cool water.
Sycamore Row is more like Grisham's earlier novels than the later ones. The courtroom drama, the inevitable battle and of course ..... the twist!
Years ago I used to love reading Grisham books then I fell out with him as they began to appear more 'churned out'. With some reticence I chose this one from Audible. Hot damn! What a great legal thriller! Beautifully paced, great characterization, plot, scene depiction etc. - simply hard to put down! And all perfectly narrated by Michael Beck who gave a simply wonderful performance! And people wonder why I love audiobooks!
A well written and interesting court drama, with transparent narration. Themes include racism, testamentary legalities, humility, justice, compensation and forgiveness.
I love the way the story comes full circle, the end meets the beginning, and the loose ends are all neatly tied up. Very satisfactory, especially after staying awake through the night, unable to turn it off!
This is my first Grisham book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cant seem to find the (unabridged) prequel, "A Time to Kill", on Audible but maybe that's only due to where I live. I would've liked to have listened to that as well.
one of the best
all good characters
he differentiates the characters perfectly
great story with interesting characters very well recorded
When I pay money for a book I hope that I will find a gem that will keep drawing me back to the story..if not...minimally I hope for a story engaging enough for me to listen to while I get the house work done. If I hadn't paid money for this one, I would have left it go way before the end. The first chapter or so was very promising but after that it was hours and hours and hours of a slow story line that just didn't take off. Finally , just as it became interesting it was over. Was this time well spent? ........my house is cleaner............
Almost...will be a while before I dip my toe in that water again.....
Don't want to say because it is a spoiler
clean the house so I could get my money's worth and move onto the next book
Maybe it's just me..looking back I don't know how the writer filled up so much time with words that didn't seem to say too much except the end.Perhaps I missed the point- if the book is boring it makes the dramatic ending more dramatic
Jake. Cool headed Lawyer..
love Beck's narratives and looking for books that were narrated by him.
Good humour and the play on characters…almost everyone had a 'bag of tricks'. It was about 20hours but didn't feel like it. I've listened to some books that were just 6hours but absolutely exhausting
Wow! This story and the fabulous characters provide some insights we can only hope are purely fictious - yet the gnawing knot in our gut tells us that this is how the law can be used or abused - to dispense or deny justice. Absolute edge-of-the-seat stuff! Magnificently narrated (I'm tempted to say 'acted').
I tried to ration my listening but was so gripped by the story I finished the book very quickly. It's the author at his best. Grisham's usual laconic and cynical opinion of lawyers is given full rein. Two sets of protagonists to an eventual court case are carefully set up so that the reader/listener is partisan and wants the underdog to win. Race relations in the Deep South add to the uncertainty over the eventual verdict over whether a last minute hand-written Will is valid. Pre-trial discovery and jury selection all add to the tensions that builds up to an edge-of-your-seat court battle with surprises and set-backs.
The narrator does a grand job bringing the various characters to life in this highly recommended book.
"Grisham back at his best"
Beautiful characterisation, an unusual yet gripping plot, set in the stunning surroundings of the deep south. Grisham returns to what he does best in this novel. A steady paced, character driven story with twists and turns to maintain interest.
The reader has a beautiful tone very fitting for the southern "drawl" of the characters.
Jake - a true Grisham hero
He brought to life the characters with perfect intonation.
The "video" scene in the courtroom brought a lump to my throat
A must buy!
"A return to form"
Yes its well written well read and entertaining.
The centar Character is well rounded but not perfect. He first appeared in A Time to Kill this book references back to that book but this stands alone.If you try this book and enjoy it defiantly get A Time to Kill which has the edge in my opinion.
I have listened to all the unabridged Grisham on audible and enjoyed them all but I especially like the earlier grittier stories. I also prefer the earlier longer books that really take the time to build critter and tension.
Look out for William Dufris as the narrater of the early books he is my favourite reader and does a great job.
This is an interesting and unusual mystery that grips you right from the beginning. It has twists and turns that are unexpected and is set up with the main theme NOT around a murder, which is intriguing.
I cannot compare this to another book as from the start it is a unique storyline and the uniqueness runs through the book.
A very expressive performance with each character clearly given his or her own voice and read in a way that kept you listening and enthralled.
There were many moving moments in this book and it left me with a story I will not forget.
"20 Hours Isn't Long Enough!"
I really didn't want the story to end. If you liked A Time To Kill, you will love this book. The only negative that it wasn't long enough.
"Good Grisham fare, brilliantly read."
Grisham always tells a great tale, however this was brought to life by the fantastic narration of Michael Beck. Enjoyed every moment.
It reminded me of a modern justification of to kill a mocking bird
Law is not my strong point, but Grisham saled me through it leaving no confusion
I loved Becks slant on the characters
It gave me a sense of satisfaction and hope for the human race
Grishams not everyone's cup of tea but he's certainly good at what he does
A typical Grisham - set in the 1980s around a contested will. This brings in to play money, racial relations and family dynamics with a not entirely unexpected plot twist. Very enjoyable.
Yes- I could have easily listened to it all at once - the plot was good and the characters engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would happily recommend it. A good listen.
"A battle of wills"
Entertaining, courtroom ,drama
If I was being very generous the obvious comparison would be to Bleak House due to it being a will dispute but it's much more approachable than Dickens with characters being rather less complicated and the story more starightforward
Michael Beck's performance is good. His characterisation works well and is mostly clear. I did find that, as the author only uses "said" to indicate speech rather than "muttered" or "shouted" etc, it was a little jarring at times.
It was a good listen and kept me entertained for many hours on the M62. I would say that it is very long and does have interest peaks and troughs. Stick with it though it's worth a listen and is a good folow up to A Time to Kill
Worth a credit
I like a procedural legal thriller, and being neither American or a lawyer I generally learn something from books like this. The voice narration was good, although slow.. Seems like actor and author combined to make this thin story stretch.
There are whole swathes of the book that simply summarise the story to that point. For example chapter 17 recounts an overheard conversation in a cafe, people effectively summarising the key points. It's full if 'so you're telling me that....' and 'so what you're saying is...' You could start the book at chapter 18 and not have missed out. The whole book is a story - with a twist - one of two twists I considered and was right on one, and I'm no genius. Full of stock characters, some more engaging than others but in truth Jake as protagonist is worthy but dull. Not terrible, but of all Grishams creations this was a strange one to follow up. The main points if the story are covered very two or three chapters.
I enjoyed the narration, although at time it was a bit slow. This could have been a reflection of the story however.
I think the casting of A time to kill was pretty good, and it was this actors I had in mind whilst reading. Stock characters aplenty through.
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