This 1988 first Grisham novel is outstanding 10 of 10 stars A Time to Kill, John GrishamA Time to Kill is a 1988 legal thriller by John Grisham It was Grisham s first novel 2001 1378 526 9646636145 20 1378 640 9644070178 A Time to Kill is a riveting story of retribution and justice so does the title imply Replace riveting by frustrating and you know what I felt while reading this doorstopper of a book.On than 500 pages, John Grisham delves deep into the schemes and entanglements of a trial in the Southern USA The premise was so interesting that it was impossible not to pick this book up A ten year old girl is raped by two drunken men, and her father takes the law into his own hands by killing the rapists of his daughter The major problem in this case The girl and her father are black, and the two rapists are white If there is one thing Grisham manages to implement perfectly in his story, then it is the exploration of arguments about why the father should be sentenced to death or declared innocent as a result of the circumstances The reader always bears in his mind how the jury would be reacting in case the roles were reversed if two black men had raped a white girl of ten years , but the fact that acquitting the father of his crime would encourage many other people to commit self administered justice too also needs to be taken into account.Might this premise deliver storytelling material for so many pages Yes, it might Only it didn t Shortly after Gary Su Jake Brigance assumed his duty of defending his client, the novel drifted away into long winded, boring and insignificant rambling Many people claim this story to be very realistic for how the situation for black people in Mississippi during the 1980 s was like I have never lived there, so I have no idea how real it really was, but the way Jake Brigance acted and behaved definitely did not feel realistic to me Because who doesn t get royally dunk three days before an important trial Never before have I been that frustrated by a protagonist who behaved like an asshole towards his wife and just about everyone else he encountered, but was still portrayed like the absolute hero Throw an incapable prosecutor into the game to make Brigance s light shine even brighter, and you have the perfect Grisham version of Fleming s James Bond.And let s not even address the lack of emotions during the entire novel You might think that a ten year old girl being raped by two drunken men will leave you feeling sorry for her and her family, on the edge of shedding tears I have to disappoint you, because Grisham s writing deprives every single emotion from every potentially touching scene You never know how a character feels inside his soul, because Grisham only tells, only allows his reader to guess what his characters might feel at this very moment 1.5 stars, rounded up due to the interesting premise and the very relevant topic down due to me reconsidering the relevance of the rating system Goodreads suggests 1 star equaling didn t like it.Also, just to clarify things a bit I didn t dislike the story the plot was extremely interesting to me and had so much potential, must of which was explored vividly in a very tight and well structured novel I also really liked the film adaptation it may not be a masterpiece, but it s a very well adapted movie My main source of frustration is the writing, so in the end I guess I just can t get into John Grisham s writing style, even though I would appreciate the contents of his novels. Riveting, somber and powerful, A Time to Kill is a totally unforgettable legal thriller telling of secluded prejudice in a small Southern town, and one lawyer who wants to change the world. I confess that when one of my book clubs made this our monthly selection, I approached it with than a little trepidation I knew that this was Grisham s first book and that when it was first published as a hardcover, he could hardly give it away Sales were so poor that there was initially no paperback release Only after the success of The Firm and other of Grisham s books was this one finally resurrected and released in paperback.Like most of Grisham s other readers, I jumped aboard the train with The Firm and never looked back Though I ve enjoyed most of his later books, I simply took it for granted that this first effort was probably his practice novel, that it was not very good, and hence the poor sales I further assumed that his publisher, anxious to milk the Grisham brand for all it was worth, only finally published A Time to Kill in paper simply to cash in Accordingly, I ve avoided it all these years until I was finally forced to read it.I m very happy that I was The book turned out to be a gripping story with better defined characters and a much interesting setting than many of Grisham s later books In fact, it may be one of his best.The tiny town of Clanton, Mississippi, is shocked when two drunk and drug addled thugs viciously assault a ten year old girl, failing to kill her only because they could not find a bridge from which to throw the child The two are quickly arrested and charged with various crimes related to the attack, when the girl s father, a decorated Vietnam vet, takes the law into his own hands and kills the men who so gruesomely violated his daughter.The father hires a young, up and coming lawyer named Jake Brigance to represent him But this is Mississippi and the case is complicated by the fact that the victim and her father are black while the two dead thugs were white The population of the town is evenly divided between blacks and whites and, while most people irrespective of race, condemn the actions of the two thugs, they are divided, mostly along racial lines, over the issue of whether the father should be convicted of premeditated murder or be given a medal for ridding the town of the two scumbags.Grisham plays fair with both sides, and it s clear that he knows very well the setting, the people and the dynamics of the situation There are a number of great characters in this novel and very few of them are pure of heart These are much complex characters than those usually served up in books like this, and the story grabs you from the start It also raises a lot of thought provoking questions It s a great read, and I m only sorry that it took me so long to get to it. This book totally rocked my world I had asked for a legal thriller as a recommendation and I m glad to have this one suggested The racial tension in this story felt as real as it did in To Kill A Mockingbird I felt I was right there in Clanton, Mississippi trying to dodge the KKK and marching with everyone else This is my first Grisham novel, and I ll definitely be exploring Read when it first came out I really ought to reread this prior to reading Syca Row I remember being captivated with the story of Jake Brigance but I details are sketchy at best at this time Seems like a summer reread is on the horizon. Before The Firm And The Pelican Brief Made Him A Superstar, John Grisham Wrote This Riveting Story Of Retribution And Justice At Last It S Available In A Doubleday Hardcover Edition In This Searing Courtroom Drama, Best Selling Author John Grisham Probes The Savage Depths Of Racial Violenceas He Delivers A Compelling Tale Of Uncertain Justice In A Small Southern TownClanton, Mississippi The Life Of A Ten Year Old Girl Is Shattered By Two Drunken And Remorseless Young Men The Mostly White Town Reacts With Shock And Horror At The Inhuman Crime Until Her Black Father Acquires An Assault Rifle And Takes Matters Into His HandsFor Ten Days, As Burning Crosses And The Crack Of Sniper Fire Spread Through The Streets Of Clanton, The Nation Sits Spellbound As Young Defense Attorney Jake Brigance Struggles To Save His Client S Lifeand Then His Own Continuing with my reading of all Grisham titles This is the first I ve read of the southern trial novels Extensive use of the N word was disturbing but it s used for an accurate portrayal of the voice of white southerners of the period, not gratuitously Much disturbing was the scene of the violent attack on a little girl that s the basis of the story Again, not gratuitous This novel was based on a true story A thoughtful and thought provoking reminder of the cruelty and racial prejudice in our not so far past Really interesting descriptions of the trial and the jury and its deliberations. A satisfying legal thriller.Grisham gives the reader much to ponder in this story of a black man who kills two men who raped and brutally beat his 10 year old daughter It s hard not to root for the father It also makes one wonder if the story would have worked as well had it been his wife or sister who had been raped instead probably not , which in and of itself is worth thinking about It certainly makes one wonder if and when murder is ever justifiable, and exactly how we draw those lines in the sand as individuals and as a society.That said, there were times the characters felt one dimensional Lots of stereotypes Occasionally, the story and the characters bordered on satire Toward the end I grew weary of the tongue and cheek dialogue between characters I also felt Grisham offers a very cynical view of lawyers and the legal process, which at times adds to the story and at other times takes away from it.Overall, an incredibly well written story, with relevant and important themes.
Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60 70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby writing his first novel.Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
- 515 pages
- A Time to Kill
- John Grisham
- 16 June 2017 John Grisham