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2.9 out of 5 stars161
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on 5 August 2008
What a disappointing Grisham novel. They are slowly getting worse. Of course the legal side is interesting but the story - boring and tedious - too many uninteresting characters about whom I couldn't care less. The book dragged on to a poor ending. I thought the new yacht, together with all the useless people on board, was going to sink - pity it didn't. I think this novel may have been written by a 'ghost writer'. I shall not bother to purchase any more of Grisham's novels.
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on 11 June 2008
`The Appeal' opens at the point when most courtroom drama books end - with a verdict. Small town lawyers Mary and Wes Grace have just won a verdict of 10s of millions for their client whose husband and son both died due to contaminated drinking water. However, with their stock falling the big wigs at the chemical plant blamed for this are not planning to take the result on the chin. Instead they go about using underhand methods to try and influence an appeal that will take over a year to come about. Can Mary and Wes make the Supreme Court keep the ruling or will big business prove once more than money talks?

This is by far the most damning and depressing novel to date from Grisham. Over the years he has often tackled the shortfalls in the US judicial system, but here he attacks them head on. By the end of the book you are left battered and bruised in the ways that big business will try to manipulate and buy power. This should have been a great read, unfortunately in trying to educate the reader about the law Grisham has gone into too much detail and grows boring. In fact, the book almost feels like dry non-fiction about running a dodgy political campaign. The story seemed to get lost amongst pages and pages of political and law theory. If Grisham had managed to balance the story alongside his message the book would have proved a powerful message. Instead he is too heavy handed and even the most liberal of reader will get glassy eyed. Nice idea, poorly done.
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on 18 June 2008
Has a great and one of my favourite authors, simply lost the plot?!!!!
This book and his last 'Playing for Pizza' have been the two worst Grisham books that I have read. How can a man who has written some of the best books I have ever read write two books on the spin which, in being kind, I would say were a complete waste of money?!!!!!!!
In all sincerity, I would have to think twice before buying another Grisham new release!
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on 20 December 2008
If you've never read a Grisham before - DO NOT start with this one. I can normally read one of his in an afternoon but I've been picking at this one for a week and have just completed it. It's slow moving, not much going on and the ending SUCKS big time.
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on 5 November 2008
I bought the book as soon as I saw it in the shops, but right from the onset it was a struggle to read and not at all what I associate with John Grisham books. Don't buy this one, borrow it from the library if you must but don't waste your money!
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VINE VOICEon 23 March 2008
I've just finished reading more than 250 pages of filler with nothing worth mentioning at the end of it all, except that the ending "majorly" sucked.

Essentially a sordid tale of big business and politics vs. big verdicts and class action lawsuits, it begins nicely, and gathers steam, then proceeds to continue blowing hot air at the reader until the unsatisfactory quickie ending.

While there's some food for thought regarding how the legal, political, religious and business arenas may all be connected, there's more garnish than meat in a story which could have been cut by about 100 pages of the filler, and sweetened with about 50 more pages of conclusion for dessert.

Short Attention Span Summary (SASS)

1. Large company dumps chemicals in rural community
2. Water changes color
3. People get sick
4. Some die
5. Small law firm files lawsuit
6. Large verdict awarded
7. Big business takes over
8. Money talks
9. Once again, Grisham gets tired of his own rambling and wraps up story in indecent haste leaving most of his ends dangling
10. His ends aren't pretty

I'd like to sue for 50% of my money back, plus loss of productive time, legal costs and mental trauma, and also for punitive damages, but I guess I'd lose on appeal.

Rated: 2.5 stars for half of a good book

Amanda Richards
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on 30 August 2008
The last year or so have been troublesome as I haven't had a 'generic' John Grisham to read on my holidays. I fell into this routine a decade ago and it became a habit although not last year as I read reviews of the Pizza book and decided I'd avoid. Imagine my utter joy this year when I discover a new 'proper' Grisham book to chill me out in my first few days of holiday - it was a paperback too so that was good! I'm back from holiday now and have finished 'The Appeal'. It is OK but just didn't satisfy in the way all, well I'm pretty sure all, previous Grisham legalpap books have. I associate Grisham books with multiple plot layers that weave, intrigue and conclude well. This is written around an interersting issue but not in a particulaly interesting or attention keeping way. It just isn't as good and at times seems to insult my intelligence in a way I never felt before.

So to all the others in the Grisham holiday reading club I'd suggest you get your expectations tuned down a bit: if you are expecting more of the same super lealpap then you'll be left a little empty come the (poor but timely) ending.
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on 7 February 2008
John Grisham's latest book takes place after a major trial. The main issue in this novel is whether private money should be used in electing judicial officials. I thought that might put me off, but I was able to keep up with it.
The story written around this is both believable and engrossing. It's not just a legal thriller, it's much more tha that. It's more a thriller about the legal system. I had never actually read a Grisham book before, only ever seen the films, but I was relieved to find that this was a fine and exciting read. Recommended.
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on 21 February 2008
I have long been a fan of John Grisham's work and believe his best work was his first 4 novels which included A Time to Kill and The Firm. Let me start by saying that this book started off wonderful and I found the storyline extremely interesting. The narrative was great and i thoroughly liked the character. So where did it all go wrong? For me, it all went wrong at the end. When a reader becomes emotionally invested in the characters in a book, they want a 'pay-off' and not some hollow ending that screams "re-write". I got to the final chapter waiting for some revelation to arrive but sadly it never did. If you haven't read Grisham before, stick to his early novels and avoid this at all cost.
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on 9 January 2009
Grisham gets the hooks in pretty early, so you are turning the pages late into the night. I expected a life affirming ending but guess what? The money all goes to the wrong guy. All these hours i spent reading this book and the payback is that everyone gets shafted. Everyone except the evil billionaire and the rest of the corrupt corporate interests.

I feel soiled. Where is the fun in reading about victims getting crushed into the dirt?
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