Two from the master of the legal thriller:
Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi; a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for 40 years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate.
The summons is typed by the judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for his sons, Ray and Forrest, to appear in his study. But the judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret.
They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison.
Meeting daily in the prison law library, taking exercise walks in their boxer shorts, these judges-turned-felons can reminisce about old court cases, dispense a little jailhouse justice, and contemplate where their lives went wrong.
Or they can use their time in prison to get very rich, very fast. And so they sit, sprawled in the prison library, furiously writing letters, fine-tuning a wickedly brilliant extortion scam...while events outside their prison walls begin to erupt.
©2002 The Summons, ©2000 The Brethren, John Grisham (P)2002 The Summons, ©2000 The Brethren, Random House Audio
I did not read the print version, but the audio of the summons was great.
The plot in the summons kept you alert, the brethren left a lot to be desired.
Both are excellent performers.
The summons was an excellent book, the brethren left me hanging. I would not purchase books which are connected together again, just did not like that format.
I am a 30 year old over-the-road truck driver. I listen to A LOT of audiobooks!
I am a huge John Grisham fan and, like everything Grisham rights, these two books do not disappoint. Both books grab your attention from the beginning and don't let up. Just when you think you find a good stopping point, something happens or you find a crucial bit of information that makes you pull your hand away from the radio and listen just a little longer.
The fact that the two books deal with almost completely different subject matter makes this an even better deal! Definitely pick this one up!
Yes...we know John Grisham is an excellent author; this double novel is excellent. It captures the listener and reader from the very beginning, the added touch of heart makes the story very believable. Highly recommend. :-)
The ending was the ultimate act of closure.
I enjoyed Michael Beck more than Frank Muller, he made the story very enjoyable. The characters were simply easier to visualize. Frank Muller was a bit dry for my taste.
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I was looking for the longest John Grisham book I could purchase. I wanted an epic escape. I found it in these two books. Frank Muller was my "first" narrator,so to me, he is the perfect Grisham narrator.
However, I will now seek out more by Michael Beck, as he is now a favorite.
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
This was the first time I listened to the Summons a good story. Now I have read the Brethren when it was first published. Now I have the audible I enjoy the book often. I think it is my favorite Grisham story.
I enjoyed The Summons but the performance of The Brethren made me crazy. I nearly returned the book. At the end of every sentence the reader whispered. I had a difficult time enjoying the book because this drove me nuts. In three or four places the same sentence was repeated twice, verbatim.
John Grisham novels are always good but I would just read The Brethren and not listen to the audio if I knew then...etc.
The Brethren was performed poorly in my opinion and I listen to a ton of audio books. This is the first time I have ever been so disappointed that I took the time to write this review just to complain. I suggest Grisham never allows this man to read his books again and I also must note it was not very well produced as the many cases of sentences duplicated would suggest.
Business & Computing Strategist
Highly recommended. The performance is terrific with each character coming to life
The judges were great - they had been contributors to society and morphed into master criminals.
yes one sitting would be good, however, could not afford that luxury.
Getting a package deal like this I expected the novels to be more or less equal but not so here. In my opinion, The Summons was a much better story with a " Ah Ha " ending. The distant uncaring father is dead, Two brothers different as night and day must come home bury their father and settle the estate; which is just a claptrap old house and six thousand dollars in the bank. The Arrow Straight Bro.suddenly finds himself with a very large money situation on his hands that the Black Sheep Bro. can never never know about! Is this a case of finders keepers? The second novel The Brethern I thought just moved slowly and was a bit tedious at times. Three old corrupt judges ,in a county club Federal Prison ,running a con and dreaming of what to do with all that money once they get out. Catching little flies in their trap but then Opps! one fly is not so little is he? I just was not impressed with this plot, however, you milage may very. :>)
Like most novels by this author these books follow his similar plot lines. They are entertaining but not overly original. Somewhat predictable. I keep buying them though.
I have only listened to a handful, so this is in the top 5.
The Summons was the better book of the two, but the Brethren was also great. The Summons was relate-able since it was centered on family issues, but the extortion scheme in the Brethren is also super interesting, even without being something most of us can relate to. Oh, and the fact that it is a two-fer can't be beaten!
Ray Atlee. Hands down. He reminded me of my brother...a good person doing his best to protect his family and do the right thing, and having a little fun along the way.
Each individually, yes. Since this was a 2-for-1 deal though, I think that listening to it all at once would be a bit much. It did a very good job of keeping me entertained and alert during my long commute to and from work. All the political stuff in the Brethren was a little windy at times though, but the concurrent storyline about the Brethren themselves was excellent.
Other reviews mentioned Michael Beck's strange way of reading...I don't think I would have noticed it without them pointing it out, but since they did it was a little irksome. It was like he was reading a horror/mystery novel...he is also the reader for The Green Mile and his style of reading fit that title very well, but it isn't quite right for John Grisham. It was okay though because the storyline was excellent, and you just get used to his voice after a bit. Don't let that deter you from listening to this book! You'll love it.
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