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A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1) by John…

A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1) (original 1989; edition 2004)

by John Grisham

Series: Jake Brigance (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
10,331126481 (3.83)130
A Southern town is shocked when a 10-year-old black girl is raped by two white men--until the girl's father takes the law into his own hands.
Title:A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1)
Authors:John Grisham
Info:Dell, Paperback, 515 pages
Collections:Disk 2, Your library
Tags:to-read, audiobook1

Work details

A Time to Kill by John Grisham (1989)

Recently added byArina40, mmsmcetc, proudreaders, R-B, private library, Nora_Max, Hany.Abdelmalek
  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. 00
    The Color of Law by Mark Gimenez (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Grisham has several books that deal with racial prejudice in the South, especially when it relates to trials. This is the one whose title I could remember offhand. Gimenez uses some of the same ideas with some of the antagonists in this book that Grisham uses.… (more)
  5. 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 120 (next | show all)
This was John Grisham’s first novel, and also the first of his which I have read, although I have seen a number of films based on his works (including the adaptation of this book).

Carl Lee Hailey – a black man living in Clanton, Ford County, Mississippi – finds out that his daughter has been raped by two white men, and murders the rapists in revenge. He stands trial for murder and is represented by young lawyer Jake Brigance. The county is fiercely divided between those who think Carl Lee’s actions were justified and he should be acquitted, and those who think he should face capital punishment for what he did. The Ku Klux Klan are determined that Carl Lee must hang and embark on a campaign of harassment and intimidation. Soon the sleepy Ford County is divided into two sides, both willing to go to any lengths to win this war.

I can see why Grisham is such a popular writer – his story flows easily and this is one of those books where you pick it up with the intention of reading a few pages and hours later you’re still reading. I am unsure of my feelings regarding Jake – I was ‘on his side’ re Carl Lee, but his politics in general put me off him somewhat. I did however like the characters of Lucien Wilbanks – Jake’s mentor, an alcoholic but a smart man, and Harry Rex, another lawyer who helps Jake.

Some of the scenes were disturbing, especially those regarding the KKK, and there is prolific use of the n word, which I found extremely jarring. But the story itself was gripping, and I would definitely read more by John Grisham. ( )
  Ruth72 | Jun 20, 2020 |
I can’t believe it took me this long to read Grisham. ( )
  amandanan | Jun 6, 2020 |
Ive seen this movie so many times i figured it was time for me to read the book. Im so glad I did! In my opinion I did feel the movie was better, which I don't usually sway that way but I did this time. This book has revenge, suspense but is also full of love. This can really be controversial if you feel like the law shouldn't be in someone else's hands. But you have to think, if that happened to your daughter, didn't Carl Lee do what every parent would want to do? And others to be to blind by racism to see it that way. I just feel like between the book and the movie you just can't help but be on Carl Lee's side. Loved both the movie and book! ( )
  LiveLaughRead | May 17, 2020 |
This was an ok book. I wish we could give half stars. I'd give it a 3 then, or perhaps a 4-. Not great literature, but an ok read.

I didn't much like the main character and I had problems with the naked racism of virtually everyone. I can't believe the 'n' word was still acceptable in the 1980s, but what do I know?

The book does pose a problem that is worth pondering, what kinds of egregious abuses will make it ok to take the law into one's own hands? In theory, the law should be sufficient, but as we know, such is not always the case. Hell, we now have a SCOTUS justice openly taking bribes from political interest groups (technically, it's his spouse who is getting oodles of cash from those groups). Can you trust such a person to be impartial? I don't. Neither could you trust white people in the US south to be impartial in judging white-against-black violence. ( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
A Popular Author's First Book

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. A Time to Kill 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 |
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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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Billy Ray Cobb was the younger and smaller of the two rednecks.
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A Southern town is shocked when a 10-year-old black girl is raped by two white men--until the girl's father takes the law into his own hands.

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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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