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 Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home.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 always enjoy listening to books by John Grisham. The Summons was fine, but there were technical issues with The Brethern. Multiple times during the reading a sentence or two were repeated - like a stuck record. Most times the sentence was only repeated once, but on 2 occasions it was repeated twice. This broke the flow of the recording. That being said, I liked the narrator for The Brethern better than the narrator for The Summons.
Receiving 2 books together was a good value, but I wish the download had been devided by book so I could choose which I wanted to listen to first.
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!
the stories are 2 of my favs from grisham. the reading of the summons was great. i was able to loose myself in the story, the reading of the brethren however - and this is my very favorite of grisham's work- left me distracted. the reader repeatedly ended his sentences in whisper, very annoying and distracting from the story. he had the right voice for the reading, old and worn and gravely like a bunch of imprisoned judges would be in my mind, but they would not end their sentences in a conspiratorial whisper. it was not natural speech in my opinion.
rex was my fav in the summons, i pictured him easily.
in the brethren i really didn't have a favorite character. i loved the supreme court judge but then they all had their great qualities
for the summons yes
for the brethren, not so much
yes on both titles.
i just wish the reader for the brethren had read like he was talking at the head of the family dinner table not the dark recesses of a midi-evil dungeon.
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.
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.
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.
The stories we ok the endings were bad. The bad guys come out the winner in both books.
They are just no fun. It's like watching the 10 oclock news
It's been years and years sine I read one of Grisham's book now I remember why.
The narrators were great. If not for them I would not have finished either book
The characters were all great. The end of books was a major dissapointment
Tell us about yourself!
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'd probably listen to them both again. They are both well-written stories. Although the tax aspects of estates is something that the author conveys inaccurately, only someone in the business would pick that up. I would listen to The Summons with pleasure because the reading was so well done. The Brethren narrator had a number of vocal peculiarities that rubbed me like sandpaper all the way through, but I'd still listen again.
The protagonist in The Summons was believable and you hoped for the best for him. How he dealt with the problems he encountered were sometimes humorous and sometimes pathetic. With The Brethren, I didn't know who to really root for. There was no one I connected with because everyone was crooked or underhanded and cold hearted. The story, however, still kept my interest to see which of the less than honorable characters would win in the end, if anyone.
The Summons was voiced superbly. The Brethren: The narrator had an irritating way of ending every sentence. Dropping his voice and ending in almost, or actually, a whisper. Rarely was there anything in the end of a sentence that made you anticipate the next one. It was as though he was done reading after every period. Had the story been less compelling, I would have stopped listening after the first few chapters. The variation and accent of his character voicings was inconsistent, confusing, and, for some characters, non-existent. In his defense, there was a large number of characters to voice. However, I will think twice before purchasing another book narrated by him.
Both books grabbed my attention with enough interest to make me want to listen all the way through. I was reluctant to leave my car at times when I reached my destination because I wanted to hear more.
There are a number of places in The Brethren where the narrative repeats about 5 seconds at a time. This needs to be cleaned up by the techs at Audible before too much longer. It's expected that there might be a bobble or two in the recording, but these happened about 10 times.
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