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A Time to Kill by John Grisham

A Time to Kill (1989)

by John Grisham

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8,02195400 (3.82)84
  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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Loved the story! John Grisham's early work. Could not put the book down !
  debrarbell | Feb 24, 2015 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
  JosieRivers | Dec 28, 2014 |
Despite the popularity of John Grisham, particularly among those who frequent airports (it seems from the book stands there), I have not read one in recent years. I chose this title to read because I was looking for a "Silver" Vintage Mystery read - written 1960-1989 - and featuring a courtroom or a lawyer. It is the last title for my Vintage Mystery Bingo for 2014.

The novel has an interesting foreword by the author, in which he says it took him three years to write and is largely autobiographical. It is an exploration of a scenario that he came across in the press, and then personalised: how would he himself react if someone raped/killed his daughter?In the long run that is the question that Jack Brigance poses for the jury in Carl Lee Hailey's trial.

The story is set among the black/white tensions of the rural town of Clanton, Mississippi. Suspense builds as white and black residents take opposing views about whether Carl Lee Hailey should be found guilty: indeed there is a widespread belief that if he had been white he would not even have been charged. And then the black churches go into fighting mode, raising money for his defence. A local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is created, and Klan members come from all over local counties to plant flaming crosses in the front yards of jury panel members and others. The National Guard is called in to keep the peace in Clanton town square after a battle breaks out between the blacks and Klan members. Jake Brigance sends his wife and young daughter out of state when he receives death threats on the phone.

The novel gives detailed descriptions of the workings of the Mississippi justice system. Court scenes come across graphically and vividly. The characters really came alive for me. Even until almost the last chapter, this reader had almost no idea how the story would end. ( )
  smik | Dec 28, 2014 |
When two white men rape his 10-year-old daughter, Carl Lee Hailey knows he can't count on the racist legal system of Canton, Mississippi to get justice for a black family. When Carl Lee takes justice into his own hands and kills the rapists, the town explodes. Carl Lee is defended by a white lawyer, Jake Brigance, in a case that makes everyone question their notions of race, vengeance, and justice.
  ktoonen | Dec 9, 2014 |
A ten year old black girl Tonya is raped and beaten by two white men. She is left for dead by the side of a river. Black folk find her and bring her home. she is admitted to the hospital in critical care. The rapists walk into a bar and drink and begin to brag about it. The local sheriff arrests them. Carl, Tonya's father, tells his lawyer he is going to kill the two boys who raped his daughter. Jake tells the sheriff what he knows, Ozzie says there is nothing to worry about, the boys will be protected, and the dad is probably talking because he's mad. Well Carl gets himself a M16, hides in a closet, and blows the two away. He is now up for capital murder which is the gas chamber. Jake Brigance is hired to become his lawyer. Things get crazy, Klu Klux Klan gets involved, threats get made. The book just keeps you going, lots of action and drama. Really enjoyed it. ( )
  bwhitner | Nov 14, 2014 |
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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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