Coverart for item
The Resource The chamber, John Grisham

The chamber, John Grisham

Label
The chamber
Title
The chamber
Statement of responsibility
John Grisham
Creator
Subject
Language
eng
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • It's a foregone conclusion that Grisham's latest novel will be a best-seller, but now that he doesn't have to worry about making money, he's apparently decided to flex his literary muscles with a tale of death-row inmate Sam Cayhall and his lawyer-grandson Adam Hall. Grisham's reputation as a writer of lawyer espionage novels is well known, but he is equally adept at fleshing out characters of the modern South. We begin in 1967, when Mississippian and Klan member Cayhall helps bomb a Jewish lawyer's office and mistakenly kills the attorney's two young sons. Two trials with all-white juries wind up in mistrials, but eventually the intelligent Sam is convicted in 1981 and sentenced to the gas-chamber. By 1990, Adam, who has never met Sam, agrees to file his final appeals shortly before the execution. Like "The Firm" and other Grisham books, the plot is centered on a race against time, but there is little hint of cloak-and-dagger; in addition, a subplot that could exonerate Sam is, inexplicably, never developed. Grisham asserts that most prison officials are against the death penalty, or at least the gas chamber method, and he provides gruesome details of executions gone wrong. As usual, the dialogue is fast paced, witty, and screenplay-ready, and only near the end does it become mawkish in the midst of self-examination and tearful good-byes. Most ironic, however, is that Grisham fans will eat up this rather uncommercial tale. ((Reviewed June 1994)) -- Joe Collins
  • The chamber in question is the gas chamber at the Mississippi State Penitentiary--and for 69-year-old Sam Crayhall, the road thence has been many years long. Sam was twice tried and twice acquitted for murder after a 1967 Ku Klux Klan scare bombing accidentally killed the twin sons of the intended target; 14 years later he was tried a third time, convicted and sentenced to death. Now, in 1990, a young Chicago lawyer, employed by the firm that represented Sam but which he has just unceremoniously dumped, wants Sam as a client. Adam Hall, the 26-year-old rookie, is Sam Crayhall's grandson. Adam's efforts to save this splendid curmudgeon from death form the center of Grisham's quietly compelling novel, a hub from which the far-reaching spokes of personal dramas extend. The despair of prison life has rarely been so grippingly evoked--no riots or dazzling escapes here, just a drab, pervasive dailiness. And the gradually revealed dysfunctions of the Crayhalls prove both surprising and affecting. This ranks as top-notch Grisham and reveals new dimensions to his talent: the focus on character, the credible emotion and the simple moments of human connection bear comparison to Grisham's work in A Time to Kill . The prose, too, has more subtlety and texture than Grisham has previously exhibited. Though the countdown to an execution is a well-worn plot device, it has seldom been as effective, especially in the novel's last 100 pages. Readers can almost hear the cogs of justice turning ever faster--or is that the sound of Grisham's fans stampeding the bookstores for this riveting read? 2.5 million first printing; Literary Guild main selection; audio rights to BBD audio; major ad/promo. (June)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
003036
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Grisham, John
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Bombings
  • Capital punishment
  • Hate crimes
  • Lawyers
  • Prisoners
  • Mississippi
  • Greenville, Mississippi
Label
The chamber, John Grisham
Instantiates
Publication
Note
Also in book club edtion: 822 p. ; 25 cm
Extent
486 p.
Isbn
9780385474399
Isbn Type
(large print)
Lccn
94011764
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385424721
  • (OCoLC)30075172
Label
The chamber, John Grisham
Publication
Note
Also in book club edtion: 822 p. ; 25 cm
Extent
486 p.
Isbn
9780385474399
Isbn Type
(large print)
Lccn
94011764
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385424721
  • (OCoLC)30075172

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793
    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797
    • Senoia BranchBorrow it
      148 Pylant Street, Senoia, GA, 30276, US
      33.297709 -84.561283

Library Links

Processing Feedback ...