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The Appeal | [John Grisham]

The Appeal

In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.
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Publisher's Summary

In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave listeners unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.

©2008 Belfry Holdings, Inc.; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Stephen Bellevue, WA, USA 02-20-08
    Stephen Bellevue, WA, USA 02-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Disappointing"

    After waiting anxiously for the new Grisham fiction, I was disappointed with The Appeal.
    The characters were one dimentional. Grisham couldn't get off his soapbox and there was none of the excitement that defined so much of his earlier works. And I just hated the ending.
    I wont wait for the next Grisham novel.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert pleasanton, CA, United States 01-31-08
    Robert pleasanton, CA, United States 01-31-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    59
    23
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    Overall
    "Grisham is Back"

    My favorite Grisham book previously was the partner, this is even better. Great story and charactors. Easy listening, story was always moving. Narrator was perfect. I do a lot of driving for work, at times I did not want to leave the car to go on my next sales call.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E & R Simmons Orem, UT United States 02-07-08
    E & R Simmons Orem, UT United States 02-07-08 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    58
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    221
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
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    Overall
    "Mediocre at best"

    I can handle a "realistic" ending, as some have called it. My big beef with this book is that it was boring! Slow moving, with too many characters introduced that went nowhere, and nothing happening for hours and hours and hours. There was no intrigue, there was no suspense, there was no drama. There was nothing keeping my attention, and I kept waiting for the story to start, which it finally did about 1.5 hours before the end. That was the first time I was actually interested in the book.

    I've read every book of Grisham's (except Playing for Pizza) and I have to say that this was the biggest disappointment of the lot, just because I know he's capable of better. I loved "The Innocent Man" and hope that he can channel his legal thriller aspirations to the true crime genre instead.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rio 01-27-09
    Rio 01-27-09 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
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    "One of the worst books EVER!"

    One of the worst books I have read for the past ten or twenty years. He really let me down and I could care less if he decides to write what the remainder of the world calls the greatest novel in history. I for one, will not buy it. I don't think I would stoop to renting it from the library. What a lousy ending and the entire "novel" was one step from driving me into a comatose state. I continued to listen because I was certain it had to get better. It never did. Think of this book as an ax murderer. It murdered any desire that I will ever again have to subject myself to long-winded, boring, John Grisham drivel!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Anderson Utah 03-29-09
    E. Anderson Utah 03-29-09 Member Since 2003

    stormnangel

    HELPFUL VOTES
    78
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    "Soap Box Fiction"

    I am typically a Grisham fan, but this book is among his worst. It was easily 6 hours too long. The story line was uncaptivating, broken, and severly anti-climatic. The ending was overwhelming depressing. The characters, while perhaps realistic, were so unsympathetic and one dimensional that if they had all blown up in the end I would have jumped for joy.

    If you want to listen to the book read no further; otherwise, the book starts off great with lawyers winning a huge settlement against a chemical company that has polluted ground water (rip off of Erin Brokovich). It then turns to Supreme Court elections and how they are manipulated by special interest groups. The majority of the book is on the elections and the campaigns. The case is brought back a little in a poor attempt at cohesion and the characters are just thin sad shadows. In the end the ones with the money bought a seat on the Supreme Court and won everything, including cases not mentioned beyond a single sentence, and lost nothing while those who have suffered and died get crapped on. The book ends with the "good guys" ending in bankruptcy, dying of cancer, living in a trailers, and losing all hope for the future while the rich got richer and sailed off into the sunset on a 60 million dollar yaht.

    The book had too much reality in it. If I want a dose of reality I'll listen to the news or read a paper. In fictional books I like then to have characters that rise above and be more than the typical real human.

    In short, the whole book was a soap box for Grisham to rail against how Supreme Court Justices are elected. If you want to listen to his point of view on how bad the system is (which who doesn't know this) then listen to the book. Otherwise, don't waste the time or money.

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul M. 04-13-09
    Paul M. 04-13-09 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    "Where's the Epilogue?"

    All I can say is that Grisham must have met his contracted page quota and chose to stop writing.
    The plot is intriguing, but unnecessarily drawn out. The ending left me waiting for the epilogue that wasn't.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Friendswood, TX, USA 03-24-09
    Bryan Friendswood, TX, USA 03-24-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Slow. A must read for Liberals."

    I fought my way to the end in hopes of finding a twist that would redeem Grisham's hours of anti-capitalism. Unfortunately, the twist at the conclusion was not to be found.

    Grisham minces no words in terrorizing big business, all the while making even the coldest of hearts sympathize with the victims. No doubt everyone reading this will feel the pain suffered by the poor country folk. And the same will quickly find the capitalists despicable. What they won't find is anything resembling an exciting story.

    From the start, Grisham's unwavering agenda is thrust at the reader. And while everyone roots for the underdog in this most extreme example of David losing to Goliath, I found myself wondering if I'd just read a novel or sat through a Michael Moore speech.

    C'mon Grisham. Everyone has an agenda and I respect that. But you should get back to writing clever thrillers and leave your opinions for interviews and commencement ceremonies.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Alexandria, VA, USA 01-03-09
    Christine Alexandria, VA, USA 01-03-09 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Same tired stereotypes."

    We love Grisham, but he pushes his favorite story line too far here: absurdly evil corporate suits exploit the innocents while brave and virtuous attorneys fight to save us all. You'll find: one dimensional characters; long, boring narrative with little action; and, most sadly for me, no subtlety, charm, or humor (unless you enjoy sarcasm and bile). Has the weight of social responsibility become too great for Grisham?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 12-05-08
    Paul 12-05-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible downer, a waste of time and money"

    A potboiling melodramatic sophmoric soap box for Grisham's current environmental hot button. A depressing read with a depressing finale. Grisham's issue is certainly a valid concern but this one is best left to non-fiction documentaries rather than to waste valuable reading time for readers seeking entertainment or escape. A balanced citizen doesn't need to read Grisham to become aware or concerned about our current ecological threats and corporate misdeeds.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Queen Creek, AZ, USA 09-08-08
    Scott Queen Creek, AZ, USA 09-08-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    14
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "No Appealing"

    Runaway Jury, The Partner and The Last Juror were
    great books. Parts of what made these books so
    enjoyable seemed to be rolled into The Appeal.

    But not nearly as appealing. If you like Grisham
    you'll probably enjoy this book. But don't expect
    any surprises or great revelations. Nor look for
    any endearing characters that you would like to
    see return.

    One saving grace was the reader, Michael Beck.
    I have enjoyed every book he has read!

    I'll read John's next book as long as it's not
    about sports or pizza.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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