- Paperback: 512 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (24 October 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1473684587
- ISBN-13: 978-1473684584
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.2 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Reckoning Paperback – 24 Oct 2018
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About the Author
John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987.His next novel, The Firm , spent 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and became the bestselling novel of 1991. Since then, he has written one novel a year, including The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury . Today, Grisham has written a collection of stories, a work of nonfiction, three sports novels, four kids' books, and many legal thrillers. His work has been translated into 42 languages. He lives near Charlottesville, Virginia.
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For an author who churns out novel after novel (starting from January 1st every year and ending by July 31st), it was only to be expected.
While Grisham’s s 40th novel has some messages, albeit meant to be interpreted in your own way, it’s a decent read.
It’s also the saddest novel Grisham has ever written, which is unusual as every story of his ends with some hope.
In India, we will identify with the conclusion, which is based on Karma.
It’s also Grisham’s most ambitious novel, different from what he normally writes ( this is deliberate, I feel) and at this stage in life, he can afford to be experimental.
The first part (there are three main parts in this 500 plus page novel) starts with a crime, a per-medicated murder: since this is the 40s America: the murder is shocking when one looks at the race and the social status of the victim and the murderer.
Why would a respected war hero cold-bloodily gun down the local pastor?
That’s the central mystery , mentioned on the book’s flap.
The explanation(s) comes only in the last ten pages.
While the first start is deft with the vintage Grisham narration (good and bad lawyers, greedy lawyers, families torn apart, small-town prejudices, sibling love, racism and of course, the courtroom drama) and his choice of words that helps the predictable story spring along, effortlessly, to its conclusion; it’s the second part, a flashback, dealing with the horrors the Japanese inflicted on the Americans and the Filipinos, in the Second World War, that is so monotonous and dreary, not unlike a history book.
There is so much violence, sentence after sentence, that one becomes numb to it.
However, Grisham wants you to see the bigger picture and the violence is present for a reason.
it is Grisham’s understated manner in driving home a point that a person is capable of enduring tremendous physical pain as long as he has something to look forward to at the end of an ordeal, in this case, his home and family.
If those very reasons let him down: there is nothing in life to look forward to.
The third part comes back to the present, where the first ended, and picks up again to its tepid end.
Grisham shows that a momentary weakness, however justified it may have been at that time,, can set a chain of events that can be devastating for the family, and for generations to come.
Can one love someone without forgiveness?
Grisham thinks so.
Sometimes, silence can be the best weapon ( and maybe, the only one) against hurt, even if has to involve a loss of life (or two) and the reverberations felt generations after.
The logic of the main protagonist’s actions may be flawed but understandable, to an extent.
Recommended for Grisham fans.
Sorry Mr.Grisham its a story without much substance but you have nevertheless got us glued till the last wondering why he did it- though a bit of a damp squib it turned out to be.
The reckoning by John Grisham
Spoilers- The only spoiler is why and for that you must read this small print 500 pages diary!
So the most favourite Son of a farming town gets up calmly one fine day and Shoots the most respected Minister. That's not the spoiler! That's even given in the back cover! Now rummage though 500 pages to read why!
If an act of passion is your answer and everyone else's from the very beginning of the book then you are in for a double shock!
The setting is a cotton producing town during the black and white and world war II era.
Since it's John Grisham, rest assured that you will be treated to a detailed retelling of the process and procedures of the court and since it is set more than 50 years back it's different to say the least!
With shades of his earlier work like Time to kill and more recently, the confession this one takes gloom and despair to bigger levels. Not one page has even a lasting moment of happiness or hope. The gloom reminds me of both Camino island and Rooster bar. John Grisham has decided to be melancholic and it shows as you slowly turn the pages of this tear jerker.
The description of the exploits of America and Japanese during the war though sad and brutal has been executed in the style of Ken Follett! And that's a great thing since John Usually sticks to get court and lawyers! The end note by him mentions couple of books on this and am guessing that's his source material!
It's always a challenge to read such Book where not the whodunit but why did he or she do it is the thing which is racking your brain and giving you insomnia!
If you want to save yourself the torture then you can just skip to the last two pages which will give you your answer! Or you can just enjoy the journey rather than worry too much about the destination!
My only concern was that John gave more than 500 pages for mundane things and I was scared whether just two pages of climax was enough! Thank you for not leaving us Murakamised! (I have invented this term for novels mostly written by Murakami with surreal endings!!)
In the recent times I had like Street lawyer which was like the Lincoln lawyer and The Writing guidelines in Camino Island was real cool.
This one may not have been his best but it certainly ranks better than his works like Gray mountain or The Confession. But the charm of his earlier works like The Firm or Runaway Jury or The king of Torts is missing.
Regular Grishamites can lap it up while the others can take the short cut and read the first and the last chapters!
There is nothing trademark grisham in this book..no edge of seat plot, no twist and turns, no cutting wit ..nothing u associate with grisham
Now, I am convinced that Grisham's books are ghost written by some rookie writers and grisham is just lending his name for a fat fee. Pl avoid this book.
This is not the grisham i know. This is not the grisham i am so fond off.. terribly disappointed