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Gray Mountain Hardcover – 23 Oct 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (23 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444765612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444765618
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.5 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (390 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,332 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

Review

[T]his is not a story about a triumph or a miscarriage of courtroom justice. It's the more devious, surprising story of a smart man who gets even smarter once he spends five years honing his skills as a jailhouse lawyer -- and then expertly concocts an ingenious revenge scheme... Mr. Grisham writes with rekindled vigor here. (New York Times)

Grisham introduces a small-town Virginia lawyer named Malcolm Bannister, who's dubiously convicted of money laundering for a drug-lord client, and maps out a revenge plot from his federal penitentiary cell that's twice as elaborate as the one Alexandre Dumas cooked up in The Count of Monte Cristo. Like many a Grisham hero, Mal is a legal insider who knows how to work the system to his advantage. He's also a peculiarly lone wolf, willing to shed all his family ties in pursuit of a very long and entertaining con. (Entertainment Weekly)

'Electrifying... carries the reader along one track (innocent man seeks exoneration) only to switch on to another (cat-and-mouse caper) halfway through with delicious, frictionless ease.' (The Guardian)

Book Description

Worldwide bestseller John Grisham will keep you on the edge of your seat with his most suspenseful thriller yet.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Helen on 29 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a huge Grisham fan but, good grief, this book is dull. The premise is thrilling enough - dodgy mining companies who are destroying both land and lives - and I'm sure the lack of real resolution and mind-numbing drawn-out legal action is probably closer to the reality of being a lawyer than his other books but ... snore. It was a struggle to finish.It doesn't help that the protagonist, Samantha Kofer, is unlikeable. She thinks she might jump into bed with Donovan, another local lawyer, if they continue spending a lot of time together. Then she also thinks the same about his brother. She's self-absorbed and more concerned with her own well-being than that of a single soul around her. I found myself wishing Krull Mining would catch up to her and put me out of my misery.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Seton on 30 Nov. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Oh dear, I didn't think I'd ever need to write a negative review of a John Grisham book, but this was a real let-down.
I started the book with high expectations. The last Grisham I had read, The Racketeer, was a real page turner that had me reading far too late, night after night, wanting to find out what happened next. Unfortunately Grey Mountain had me watching the progress bar creep slowly along at the bottom of my kindle whilst wondering When anything was going to happen. By 50% through the book I was having serious doubts that John Grisham had actually written this himself.
At this point I decided to read the reviews on Amazon, and discovered I'm not alone in my disappointment. If its not too late for you, then take heed and save your money and your time. If, like me, you have bought this and are now wondering what went wrong, then join the club!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By totaltool on 26 Oct. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Need a reality check here having read the other 4 and 5 star reviews. Having read all his books apart from the Theodore Boone books (which I could not get into) I know when John Grisham is on top form . He hasn't been for a while although I think The Racketeer came quite close. As always its a captivating read that pulls you in from the first page. However there is no real plot just a series of mini plots most of which remain unresolved. I read it over 2 days and I enjoyed it but was disappointed when I finished it and felt short changed. Having read recently that he works from January to July every year and publishes every October that sort of lends itself to needing to publish a book every year. Maybe he should take a lead from his friend Stephen King who often gestates over a book for several years and no doubt some never get published as they do not come up to standard. This one does not come close to matching the quality in his back catalogue
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By RCR on 15 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In common with others on here, I suspect, I found this book to be a huge disappointment. I am a great Grisham fan, and have enjoyed every one of his previous (adult) legal thrillers, but Gray Mountain comes nowhere near the others, either in terms of plot or characters. There really is no single plot line that one wishes to follow to its conclusion, and the mish-mash of legal cases just adds to the general feeling that this book was produced to meet a publisher's demands, rather than to please Grisham's fanbase. Moreover, none of the characters is either memorable or particularly likeable. I suspect that this book is an aberration rather than a sign of things to come, and I am sure that this review will not put off die-hard fans from buying it, (and nor should it), but just be prepared. (That now said, maybe some readers will be pleasantly surprised if their expectations have been sufficiently lowered!)
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Simon Evers on 11 Nov. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I gave up on this one. I have read (I think) all of Grisham's books and have much enjoyed most of them. But sadly this is one of his earnest, thoroughly dull lawyerly ones. It is hard to have any empathy with the main characters and Samantha in particular is a droopy, uninspiring girl. There is too much back story about nasty strip-mining companies (and, sure, they are clearly very nasty) and not enough driving forward of the plot.

Perhaps the ending is better (although, reading this reviews, this does not seem to be the case) but I'm not going to get there. What a contrast with (for instance) the excellent 'Sycamore Row'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pusateri on 1 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A dull read and not up to his usual standards. Things tick over very slowly and the underlying story, which you think will take off and be interesting, never happens. The only good point about this book is that it reveals the extend to which strip coal mining is destroying vast areas of mountainous countryside with a terrible impact on people, nature and wildlife - I'm assume that Grisham did his research in this area as I have not followed it up. Overall, very disappointing and I wished I had spent my money on something else.

There are a surprising number of 5-star reviews, many of which are just a few words: 'great read', 'brilliant', etc. They seem to be part of a marketing campaign rather than a critical review of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Graham B on 30 Jan. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I pre-ordered this but have only just got round to reading it. I wish I hadn't bothered! I can't believe that this rubbish was written by Grisham - if it was any other unknown author it would never have been published. I am a great Grisham fan & have read all his other books. This one is simply not in the same league. The main character is totally obnoxious and there is really no plot & certainly no compelling court drama, as in his other books. I was tempted several times to give up on it but kept on hoping that something would change soon but it never did. I will never pre-order a Grisham novel again but wait to read the reviews on this site first. If I had done that this time I would have saved my time & money.
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