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A Time to Kill by John Grisham
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A Time to Kill (1989)

by John Grisham

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7,612None444 (3.82)76
American (19) courtroom drama (22) crime (99) crime fiction (22) ebook (22) fiction (721) Grisham (54) John Grisham (40) law (71) lawyers (45) legal (118) legal fiction (42) legal thriller (156) Mississippi (53) murder (49) mystery (178) novel (52) own (22) paperback (42) pb (20) race (20) racism (71) rape (40) read (111) southern (19) suspense (102) thriller (245) to-read (53) trial (22) unread (24)
  1. 111
    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: A Time to Kill's courtroom drama and emphasis on race relations in a small town in the South definitely brought to mind the trial scenes in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
  2. 10
    The King of Lies by John Hart (VictoriaPL)
  3. 10
    The Quiet Game by Greg Iles (VictoriaPL)
  4. 01
    The Help by Kathryn Stockett (citygirl)
    citygirl: The ugliness of small-town Mississippi in racial matters wrapped in a compelling, page-turning story.
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Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Recently reissued, A Time to Kill was actually Grisham's first legal thriller. Covers the raw racism still present in Mississippi in the 80's, so this book may jar some sensibilities. A tad wordy, but we can excuse him as the story keeps moving. A good read for those willing to confront our history of prejudice to African Americans. ( )
  BookWallah | Apr 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book as a paperback from Library Thing, not recognizing the title. As I started to read, the story was familiar, leading me to realize that I had seen the movie years ago. The paperback book crams a lot onto each page. With 672 pages, small print, and narrow margins, the book is not comfortable to read, which led me to Amazon. The Kindle edition sells there for $2.99, which is well worth the price.
The Kindle edition contains an author’s note that is omitted from the paperback. I was surprised to learn that this was Grisham’s first book and it sold only 5,000 copies. He states that he decided to concentrate on writing legal thrillers. This book was later discovered, made into a movie, and as the cliché goes, the rest is history.
For a first novel, this book is exceptional. It is somewhat wordy, which I suspect was the downfall of the first printing. It reads quite fast, at least in the Kindle edition, and kept me engrossed in the story of this African American man (that term had not been invented yet, but the colloquial was used profusely) who murders two white men who raped and brutalized his ten-year-old daughter. The hero, Jake Brigance, accepts the task of defending him.
The character development is good, helped by my recollection of the movie. The story moves along well, with plenty of suspense, violence, and brutality to keep the reader involved. I’ve read most of Grisham’s books and believe this is one of the best. ( )
  jhgreen | Apr 9, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I finally received this September advance copy, so do not think a book will not arrive. John Grisham writes a thought provoking and interesting novel that captures the reader in the first page. Many of the events seemed a little strained, and this reader feels that the whole story has not been told. The story brings to mind To Kill a Mockingbird when Atticus defends a black man, and of course, justice runs amok. But each story contains different criminal acts and different outcomes. Grisham develops his characters extremely well, that you can picture each individual. Of course, I remember a little of the movie starring Matthew McConaughey. The book is very lengthy, but well written. ( )
  delphimo | Apr 2, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
If there is one modicum of truth to the story line then you will have grave concerns about our legal system. This book is able to fully immerse you in a legal battle that includes so many of the emotional triggers in our society. Race, bigotry, hate, violence, and many more are included in an excellent story that you must read. Warning, it may challenge some of your accepted norms. ( )
  lwhitmill | Apr 1, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was shocked, angry, surprised, upset, sympathize, and loved every minute of this book. one of the best stories I've read, and I read a lot. can't wait to buy Sycamore Row, an other Jake Brigance story. Great job Mr Grisham. ( )
  murfaeb69 | Mar 27, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
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To Renée,
  A woman of uncommon beauty,
  A fiercely loyal friend,
  A compassionate critic,
  A doting mother,
A perfect wife.
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Billy Ray Cobb was the younger and smaller of the two rednecks.
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Book description
Clanton, Mississippi

The life of a ten-year-old girl is shattered by two drunken and remorseless young men. The mostly white town reacts with shock and horror at the inhuman crime. Until the black father acquires an assault rifle - and takes justice into his own outraged hands.

For ten days, as burning crosses and the crack fo sniper fire spread through the streets of Clanton, then nation sits spellbound as young defense attorney Jake Brigance struggles to save his client's life .. and then his own ...
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385338600, Paperback)

This addictive tale of a young lawyer defending a black Vietnam war hero who kills the white druggies who raped his child in tiny Clanton, Mississippi, is John Grisham's first novel, and his favorite of his first six. He polished it for three years and every detail shines like pebbles at the bottom of a swift, sunlit stream. Grisham is a born legal storyteller and his dialogue is pitch perfect.

The plot turns with jeweled precision. Carl Lee Hailey gets an M-16 from the Chicago hoodlum he'd saved at Da Nang, wastes the rapists on the courthouse steps, then turns to attorney Jake Brigance, who needs a conspicuous win to boost his career. Folks want to give Carl Lee a second medal, but how can they ignore premeditated execution? The town is split, revealing its social structure. Blacks note that a white man shooting a black rapist would be acquitted; the KKK starts a new Clanton chapter; the NAACP, the ambitious local reverend, a snobby, Harvard-infested big local firm, and others try to outmaneuver Jake and his brilliant, disbarred drunk of an ex-law partner. Jake hits the books and the bottle himself. Crosses burn, people die, crowds chant "Free Carl Lee!" and "Fry Carl Lee!" in the antiphony of America's classical tragedy. Because he's lived in Oxford, Mississippi, Grisham gets compared to Faulkner, but he's really got the lean style and fierce folk moralism of John Steinbeck. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:19:32 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When Carl Lee Hailey guns down the monsters who have raped his ten-year-old child, the people of Clanton see it as a crime of blood and call for his acquittal. But when extremists outside Clanton hear that a black man has killed two white men, they invade the town, determined to destroy anything and anyone that opposes their sense of justice.… (more)

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