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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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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

First bad Grisham book

I think I have read or listened to all of Grisham's books and usually love them but this one left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I thought a lot of it was written just to make it longer, had no meaning to the story and the ending was just plain bad.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • RJT
  • Thornton, CO
  • 01-31-08

And the ending?

I was absolutely spellbound by this title, for throughout the book there is remarkable character development; you love the heroes and hate the bad guys, you feel for the underdogs - possibly even experiencing the pain of the semi-bad guys who must come face to face with themselves, their circumstances and their future. You sit at the very edge of your seat, until ... the book just ... ends!
I hated it! An outstanding novel with a conclusion that left me feeling empty, wanting and believing there should be something more - I was gasping, believing there HAD to be something more - to the point of checking the Audible website to ensure I hadn't missed a section when I downloaded the entire book! I wanted to hear Grisham, in his author's notes, tell us we could expect a sequel. It didn't, there isn't, Grisham didn't, and I DID have the entire book. I believe I have read all, at least the vast majority, of Grisham's works and never before have I felt so ... unfulfilled (let down?)
The narrator (I hesitate to say "performer")does an acceptable job. Diction was clear and crisp, albeit a bit slow at times. He kept the listener involved and the characters straight, though I sensed what might charitably be called a lack of involvement, a lack of passion. There were so many sections and characters that cried out for the narrator's passion that sadly was just not there.
Would I listen to this work, knowing what I now know? Absolutely. Would I recommend the work? Absolutely. But could Grisham not, with all his skills and imagination, come up with an ending that actually ended the book?

48 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

bad ending

I generally love his books but I am a happy ending person, or at least a fair ending. I had to stop reading this at times because I was so upset. I guess you could say that it certainly stirred up emotions. I felt depressed after reading this.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

This is the first review I've written but I felt I needed to come to Grisham's defense. I too was a bit unhappy with the ending but that's because I prefer happier ones However, I think it ended on a realistic note.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and Michael Beck's narrative performance was excellent as usual. It felt good to be immersed, once again, in a Grisham courtroom drama. I've read or listened to all of his courtroom books and this one does not disappoint.

Much of what happens in this book rings true. During my lifetime, our country has drifted far from the integrity and compassion that I once believed us to posses in abundance. The unbridled greed, win at all costs, situational ethics and extreme focus on me, me, me is way out of hand and it feels good to listen to a tale of the fight for right. Thanks Mr. Grisham and keep up the good work.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars


If you like John Grisham, skip this book. It was as if he wrote the outline and someone else wrote the book. The good guys were saints, the bad guys were evil, and the gullible were stupid beyond belief. There was no depth to any of the characters. There was no suspense, no action and the story was very poor. Don't waste time with this one. I recommend earlier Grishams or go check out The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz. That's a fantastic listen!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Excuse me, but . . .

I was not going to write a review on "The Appeal" but after reading the 2 reviews posted, I had to post a review of my own. If I had not read any other Grisham novels, I would have given this book a better review but I have read them all. The Partner, The Last Juror, A Painted House, The Bleachers, all had a twist of difference from one another. However, this book was "so much fluff" to me. John Grisham can stretch further and dig deeper. I would say this was like an author's 1st novel instead of his most recent out of a list in the double digits being published. "A Time To Kill" set the bar very high. I think a Jr. High english teacher, an U.S. Government teacher, & a Phys. Ed. instructor, could have pulled "The Appeal" together with a deeper character development in an collaborated effort than what I heard here. I am a Grisham fan. I just expected more.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

His worst book ever

If it were not for Mr. Beck's great reading,this book would have very little social value. It is clear that the author has an agenda and I feel that I was hoodwinked into reading it. There is no depth to this book and very little story line. I was very dissapointed.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

no wonder it was on sale

i've read or listened to about 6 books by author. the end was such so abrupt,i just felt empty and won't be getting another by him soon. well, i guess i got what i paid for on this one.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Gary
  • Kenosha, WI, USA
  • 09-09-08

Not Up to Par

I've read or listened to every Grisham book, and rate this one near the bottom of the pile. The basic plot is classic Grisham, but the ending is not what you'd expect. What bugged me about this was that the plot devices he used to get to the resolution were deeply unsatisfying, and not believable in the context of the story. It was as if he got tired of writing the book toward the end and quickly resolved it without thinking about it too much.

Of course Michael Beck's narration was excellent, as usual.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 02-21-08

Shame on you.

I painstakingly listened to the whole story only to become confused and very dissapointed with the outcome. Not very well written.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful