The Summons & The Brethren

Narrated by: Frank Muller, Michael Beck
Series: Jake Brigance, Book 2, Harry Rex Vonner, Book 2
Length: 20 hrs and 21 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2,651 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two from the master of the legal thriller:

The Summons:

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 Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home.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.

The Brethren:

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Double Pack of Edge of Your Seat Suspense

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!

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Michael Beck is AMAZING

Would you listen to The Summons & The Brethren again? Why?

I will listen to the Summons again...I will never listen to the Brethren again. I have read both books but wanted to hear them. Mr Beck is an amazing narrator. Frank Muller is dull boring and waaayyyy too breathy!!

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Summons & The Brethren?

When we found out who was the culprit in The Summons

How could the performance have been better?

A totally different narrator for the Brethren

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Stories good, Narrator for The Brethren horrid

Would you try another book from John Grisham and/or Frank Muller and Michael Beck ?

Not Frank Muller. Every sentence is read with the same (Ca thung) ending. Too dramatic where there is nothing to be dramatic about. The more I hear him, the more I want the story to end.Micheal Beck on the other hand is OK. Not great, but listenable. Also there are many mistakes in the reading of The Brethren where you hear a sentence, and as if he did a take to on his own cue, you hear it again. I am half way through and have heard at least 6 of these.

What did you like best about this story?

The Summons writing put me there. I can see the old decrepit house. The storage units, the yacht. The brethren is a quirky prison story with a presidential run that you could actually believe, almost like Wag the Dog.

How could the performance have been better?

The read is too dramatic, every sentence for the Brethren. Narrator needs to vary based on the plot line, not the particular words being read. The Summons was Ok, but a little dry. The imitations of several people all sounded like the same person.

Did The Summons & The Brethren inspire you to do anything?

Look for more John Grisham

Any additional comments?

The way they were packaged was strange with both books combined. Chapters did not start over but kept going when switching to the Brethren.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Escape to the twisted world of law.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

17 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating!

When I first listened, I was disappointed because it seemed to be going nowhere. The second hour was better and by the third hour I was enthralled!
What a complicated and interesting theme, what a great read!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Performance

Would you consider the audio edition of The Summons & The Brethren to be better than the print version?

I did not read the print version, but the audio of the summons was great.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The plot in the summons kept you alert, the brethren left a lot to be desired.

What about Frank Muller and Michael Beck ’s performance did you like?

Both are excellent performers.

Any additional comments?

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.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Really like the 1st story.

Would you try another book from John Grisham and/or Frank Muller and Michael Beck ?

Yes I would.

What was most disappointing about John Grisham’s story?

I did not like the 2nd story of the book. I could not finish listen .

Which scene was your favorite?

The First story was awesome .

Could you see The Summons & The Brethren being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. I had a hard time getting into this story.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Two good listens

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.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

If you enjoy whispers...

If you could sum up The Summons & The Brethren in three words, what would they be?

Performance needs work.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Michael Beck did a wonderful job, however Frank Muller was a regrettable choice. He has a bizarre habit of ending every sentence in almost a whisper while breathing slightly heavier. It's incredibly annoying and really spoiled the novel for me. I can't imagine who would enjoy this and why he intentionally does this.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very well written...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

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. :-)

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was the ultimate act of closure.

What does Frank Muller and Michael Beck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

3 people found this helpful