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Ford County [Paperback]

John Grisham
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

27 May 2010

Worldwide No.1 bestseller John Grisham takes you into the heart of America's Deep South with a collection of stories connected by the life and crimes of Ford County: a place of harsh beauty where broken dreams and final wishes converge.

From a hard-drinking, downtrodden divorce lawyer looking for pay-dirt, to a manipulative death row inmate with one last plea, Ford County features a vivid cast of attorneys, crooks, hustlers, and convicts. Through their stories he paints a unique picture of lives lived and lost in Mississippi.

Completely gripping, frequently moving and always entertaining, Ford County brims with the same page-turning quality and heart-stopping drama of his previous bestsellers, and is proof once more why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099545780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099545781
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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 being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career--and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, and The Associate) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 250 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500--the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Product Description

Amazon Review

When you are as securely at the top of the publishing tree (as John Grisham is), the temptation to simply relax and coast must be ever-present. But canny authors know that such laxity is not advisable if you don’t want your fan base to haemorrhage. And it’s clear that John Grisham – despite a few missteps recently (such as the period when he ill-advisedly let his born-again Christianity seep through into his novels), has tried to keep his writing fresh and vital. Ford County represents Grisham’s first foray into a form he has not tackled before, the short story, and it’s a challenging task (with the ghosts of such great American short story writers as F Scott Fitzgerald ever-hovering over the shoulder of any writer who attempts the form). But the range of subjects and characters tackled here is ambitious. The unexciting Sidney, an insurance company data collector, finesses his abilities at blackjack to take on the star player of a casino empire; the invalid Inez Graney and her two sons undertake a daunting odyssey to meet a relative who has been on death row for eleven years; three Ford County rednecks set out to give blood to an injured friend, but wind up in a Memphis strip joint. As these three stories (from a total of seven) suggest, John Grisham is clearly eager to spread his wings as a writer, and deal with more quirky areas of characterisation than he has tackled before. Some readers may wish that he had stayed in his familiar legal thriller territory, but real Grisham admirers will welcome this ambitious move. As in any short story collection, some entries are more successful than others, but everything here demonstrates solid accomplishment. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Ford County is the best writing John Grisham has ever done."--Pat Conroy "John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we've got.""--The New York Times Book Review " --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Collection 9 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
I'm not a huge follower of John Grisham's novels (I enjoyed the first few but haven't read any since "The Client") but always enjoyed his depictions of the southern states of America, so a series of stories set in Ford County appealed to me.

What was pretty much an impulse purchase (based partly on the colourful cover!) is possibly the best book I've read this year! 7 short stories linked by location, featuring lots of black humour, some wonderfully drawn characters, and some of the most heart rending writing I've read in years.

Marvellous stuff - I can't recommend it highly enough.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping southern tales 13 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Not a novel, but a series of short stories set in and around Mississippi's fictional Ford County. A few of them concern the misadventures of small-town lawyers, but overall John Grisham presents a greater diversity of characters and situations than in any of his previous works. His writing style is as compelling as ever, and the pages turn quickly, though not all the stories have a twist in the tail. A good read.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short stories 7 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback
It has been a long time since I've read a John Grisham book. I read all of his earlier books back in the day, without realizing at the time that they were all of his first books, and I remember liking them, but my tastes have changed quite a bit since then. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this book of short stories, as it was immediately obvious that he still has talent as a writer. I liked the first story the best by far, and even though I wouldn't say that things went downhill from there, none of the other ones interested me quite as much, and there was also less humour than in the first. I can't think of any particular reason why anyone wouldn't like this, so why not give it a try?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Am I missing something? 29 May 2012
Format:Paperback
All the 4 and 5 star reviews made me wonder if I was reading a different book.

Sorry but this was boring boring boring. Can't say I cared about any of the characters, didn't think the stories really went anywhere, and just couldn't see the point of it all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading! 28 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover
As an avid fan of the current mega writers (Coben, Deaver, Cornwell etc) I was a little surprised to see this book - made up of 7 short stories all based around Ford County. Opening the book to read the first story in a free half hour I thought I had, was hooked immediately (to the point the sun had gone down by the time I came up for air). Excellently written, perfectly 'linked', just enough characterisation (in a short story, often hard to achieve) to ensure credibility, the stories each trip along very well. Not the top class feature length novel, but definitely worth finding time for.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FORD COUNTY 5 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover
A great read could not put it down Im not one normally for short stories ,however these are gripping.
This is Grisham at his best. Fantastic can well recomend.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 11 Dec 2009
Format:Hardcover
I have read every JG book ever published and most are very good, some are not so good. This one, however, is probably the best of his I have ever read. The stories all leave you wanting more and wishing they were novels in their own right. The last story had such a powerful ending, even I nearly shed a tear. Fantastic book, I cannot recommend it enough
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving collection of stories 25 Feb 2013
By 
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was not sure quite what to expect from this collection. I guess I expected the usual fare of legal stories, but I got something quite different. I will run through the stories and see if I can persuade you to read them.

"Blood Drive" is about a construction site accident, and a group of men offering to drive to the Big City to donate blood for a friend. The attractions of the two hour journey and the city itself rather take over from the mercy mission.

"Fetching Raymond" looks at a family travelling to the execution of a son and brother on death row. A reprieve may or may not be in the air, but the main focus is on the petty squabbles between the brothers and how they continue right up to the last moment.

"Fish Files" is, in fact, a legal story. A small town lawyer unexpectedly finds that he has a fortune in claims on his hands, having years ago abandoned the cases.

"Casino" tells the story of an Indian tribe finding they might benefit from building a casino on their land. The local laws have a loophole allowing this to happen even where building one anywhere else would be banned. But will they be swindled?

"Michael's Room" is a harrowing tale of a boy who was the victim of a medical mistake years ago that left him in a vegetable state, and of a lawyer who successfully defended a doctor against a malpractice suit. Will this ghost from the past come back to haunt him?

"Quiet Haven" finds an employee at a retirement home taking rather too much interest in past goings-on there.

"Funny Boy" sees a past resident of a small town returning there with Aids, and looks at the fears and prejudices of the local community as he slowly dies.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
One of the worst Grisham books i,have read,my fault realy i should have looked at the title more closley.win some lose some.
Published 17 days ago by pie shop
5.0 out of 5 stars Grisham does it again
We've got practically all John Grisham's books and we love his writing. This is a bit different being short stories, but the quality is at least as good as his full-length novels. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alison
1.0 out of 5 stars Why?
I am ashamed that I bought this book. The first story is just filth and it amazes me how John grisham could write such trash
Published 1 month ago by Margaret J B McMullan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ford County by John Grishan
John Grisham never fails to entertain with wonderful story lines .It keeps me on the edge of my seat and very reluctant to put the book down.
Published 1 month ago by Crearer
2.0 out of 5 stars Ford County
This book was a collection of short stories some of which went round in circles without a real ending to some of the stories.
Published 1 month ago by Robjac
3.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
The book is a series of short stories.For an author of John Grishoms standing I was very disappointed and surprised . Read more
Published 2 months ago by MR WILLIAM FORD
2.0 out of 5 stars Short stories
I generally like John Grisham's work, but failed to get on with these short stories, sorry I bought it in this instance.
Published 2 months ago by J. D. Thomas.
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a present
I purchased this book for my father who had never read a John Grisham novel, dad said he enjoyed the book and was now going to read more novels by this author
Published 4 months ago by Ian Gallagher
3.0 out of 5 stars this is not a thriller
just a series of short stories.

Only connection is that they are based in Ford County.

It is easy to read but has no substance,

Would not recommend... Read more
Published 4 months ago by david knights
5.0 out of 5 stars while away a few hours
I do not normally like short stories. You get into the tale and then it finishes, so this was a rare buy. But I am so glad I did buy it. Read more
Published 5 months ago by S. Ivory
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