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The Chamber by John Grisham
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The Chamber (1994)

by John Grisham

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Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Powerful story... depressing a bit, though. Cried mightily. ( )
  Danica.Rice | Apr 29, 2014 |
Another gripping John Grisham novel. An enjoyable read. ( )
  adeej | Apr 25, 2014 |
Was bored on vacation at my parents' and found this. First and last Grisham I've read.
  FKarr | Feb 2, 2014 |
I have polished several John Grisham novels (mostly when I should have been doing something useful like working on the house or yard, but what the heck, life’s too short). I suppose we have a tendency to denigrate his books; too popular with the masses, but he really does know how to write a good plot that keeps the pages turning. He also must really hate lawyers, because in each of these novels the way the lawyers operate would make a barracuda blush with shame. In addition to turning out god stories, when I look at his most recent work, he is clearly emphasizing community values in the South during the fifties and sixties as well as the dynamics families under pressure of those relationships between blacks and whites.
The Chamber is a good example. If anyone deserves to die it’s Sam Cayhall. He’s on death row in a Mississippi prison following the delayed conviction for the deaths of two children at the 1967 bombing of a Jewish lawyer’s office. The children were not supposed to be there when the bomb went off, but because the timing mechanism on the bomb had been misset. Iut took three trials to convict him, and he’s now a seventy-year-old frail old man, but still unrepentent. Adam Hall, his grandson, whose parents had changed their name in a rejection of their parent’s values and moved away. Adam had attended law school where he became obsessed with his grandfather’s case and the death penalty. He joins the law firm that had been working on Sam’s case and persuades them to send him down to fight the death penalty with only thirty days left before he goes to the gas chamber. Adam learns about the destructive relationship of his father, the intense and unrepentant racism of his grandfather, and the hugely destructive impact all of this had on the family. It’s a race against time as he discovers a sub-plot that could exonerate his grandfather. Grisham is clearly against the death penalty and the details he provides are gruesome in the extreme. A very interesting page-turner, very different from his earlier work.

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
Amazon.com Review "The decision to bomb the office of the radical Jew lawyer was reached with relative ease." So begins Grisham's legal leviathan The Chamber, a 676-page tome that scrutinizes the death penalty and all of its nuances--from racially motivated murder to the cruel and unusual effects of a malfunctioning gas chamber. Adam Hall is a 26-year-old attorney, fresh out of law school and working at the best firm in Chicago. He might have been humming From Publishers Weekly 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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ruuska, IrmeliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The decision to bomb the office of the radical Jew lawyer was reached with relative ease.
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The more violent crime we have, the more people beg for executions. Makes 'em feel better, like the system is working hard to eliminate murderers.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385339666, Paperback)

At first listen, the narration of this abridged version of John Grisham's The Chamber seems flat and uninvolved. But Michael Beck has chosen his vocal style well, purposely eschewing unnecessary adornment and allowing this searing indictment of racism and murder to unfold on its own terms. Beck uses character voices sparingly, adding subtle emphasis to the already charged plot. The story begins with a Klan-sponsored bombing and then traces a trail of rigged acquittals stretching over three decades, until a young lawyer with secrets of his own brings the case to a powerful conclusion. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:55:19 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In Mississippi, a young lawyer races against time to save his grandfather from the gas chamber. The grandfather was tried three times for a Ku Klux Klan bombing which killed two civil rights workers in 1967. He was found innocent twice, but guilty the third time. By the author of A Time To Kill.… (more)

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