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

by John Grisham

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Jake Brigance (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,766122441 (3.83)118
  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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English (117)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (121)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
I read this as A Famous Author's First Book on my reading list. I haven't read any other Grisham - only seen the movies The Firm and Runaway Jury, so I can't say whether his writing has improved. This story runs too long, has numerous details that do nothing for the plot and leaves a lot of loose ends in what is an unbelievable tale. The opening chapters use too many adjectives describing characters rather than scenes letting their character show. I especially struggled with the Klan in the early 80s doing things as they had in the 60s. And with the trial continuing in spite of an assassination attempt on lead counsel, a kidnapping of lead counsel's clerk and the fire-bombing of lead counsel's home. An easy read but not a recommendation. ( )
1 vote skavlanj | Oct 22, 2018 |
A good legal thriller by the man who created the genre. This is apparently one of his very first novels. It is a very good one with many good character developments. Did they really use the "n" word so much in that time in Mississippi? Terrible things happen after the rape and brutal beating of a ten year old black girl. Her father takes the law into his own hands and who can blame him...but is it right? The resulting tragedies done by the Klu Klux Klan really make you hate them. The ending of the book seems rather abrupt, though. Was the murder of the poor informant, Mickey Mouse, ever discovered? What about his assistant, Ellen? After her attack, her voice is never heard in the novel again. I would just have liked a little closure on those parts of the stories a little more. ( )
  LilQuebe | Oct 22, 2018 |
I am probably slightly biased towards A Time to Kill since, even though I have only just read it, I have heard a lot about it. It was an intriguing book that touches on some tough issues. Even though I may have not agreed with some of the views in the book it did give me the perspective of others, especially those of individuals of the time period and region. It was graphic at certain parts but I think that is what evoked such emotion as I read. For a book noted as a bestseller, I would definitely give it a go with an open mind, knowing the time period it was written for. ( )
  mindyvail | Jun 24, 2018 |
4.5 stars ( )
  mitabird | Jun 10, 2018 |
A Time to Kill by John Grisham; (5*)

Grisham has produced many great and fascinating novels but this one really draws the reader in and makes you think. Who among us has not been sickened when the justice system makes victims out of the criminals, and forgets the innocent? The author digs deep into the innermost feelings of a man who wants justice for his child even if that means breaking the law himself.
It is an absolutely spectacular novel and I think it is Grisham's best. I still find it difficult to believe that it was his first novel. ( )
  rainpebble | Mar 22, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tremps, EnricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:12 -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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