Ford County Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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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.
"Grisham's delightful drawl paints the most wonderful word pictures" (KAti Nicholl Daily Express)
"Five minutes into the first story... I was hooked. Is it the words or the way Grisham reads them? Laughing and crying simultaneously is hard but satisfying." (Guardian)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
This is Grisham at his best. Fantastic can well recomend.
"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.Read more ›
I am not generally someone who likes reading short stories but these,by no means, are ordinary short stories. There are seven of them in total and they are about the mostly poor people of a small town in Mississippi. True, they are generally not very happy stories. They are like a series of Greek tragedies about the harshness of life experienced by poor, uneducated southern people from broken families with drug and alcohol problems. The last story "Funny Boy" had to be the saddest of all. It brought tears to my eyes thinking about how good "Christian" people treated one of their townspeople who had come home to die from AIDS. They did not even see fit to treat this poor soul or his caregiver as human beings deserving of love and respect. During this time of Lent, in preparation of the Easter season, I cannot help but think of the lepers that Jesus Christ himself ministered to. They were like the HIV positive individuals of that day. Like the song "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers that you do unto me." John Grisham powerfully reached in and touched me with this final story--not that the previous six stories were any less masterfully written.
No,this is not a collection of happy stories. What I can say about them, however, is that they are REAL about REAL people and can grip you in ways that you wouldn't think possible.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not usually a great fan of short stories but this collection is very refreshing and so well written that I forgot I was reading anything but the usual great stuffPublished 8 months ago by Mrs Penelope J Pullin