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Ford County PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: Ford County
Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Published November 3rd 2009 by Doubleday Books (first published November 3rd 2008)
ISBN: 9780385532457
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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In his first collection of short stories John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill. Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It co In his first collection of short stories John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill. Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It could well be their last visit. Mack Stafford, a hard-drinking and low-grossing run-of-the-mill divorce lawyer, gets a miracle phone call with a completely unexpected offer to settle some old, forgotten cases for more money than he has ever seen. Mack is suddenly bored with the law, fed up with his wife and his life, and makes drastic plans to finally escape. Quiet, dull Sidney, a data collector for an insurance company, perfects his blackjack skills in hopes of bringing down the casino empire of Clanton's most ambitious hustler, Bobby Carl Leach, who, among other crimes, has stolen Sidney's wife. Three good ol' boys from rural Ford County begin a journey to the big city of Memphis to give blood to a grievously injured friend. However, they are unable to drive past a beer store as the trip takes longer and longer. The journey comes to an abrupt end when they make a fateful stop at a Memphis strip club. The Quiet Haven Retirement Home is the final stop for the elderly of Clanton. It's a sad, languid place with little controversy, until Gilbert arrives. Posing as a low-paid bedpan boy, he is in reality a brilliant stalker with an uncanny ability to sniff out the assets of those "seniors" he professes to love. One of the hazards of litigating against people in a small town is that one day, long after the trial, you will probably come face-to-face with someone you've beaten in a lawsuit. Lawyer Stanley Wade bumps into an old adversary, a man with a long memory, and the encounter becomes a violent ordeal. Clanton is rocked with the rumor that the gay son of a prominent family has finally come home, to die. Of AIDS. Fear permeates the town as gossip runs unabated. But in Lowtown, the colored section of Clanton, the young man finds a soul mate in his final days. Featuring a cast of characters you'll never forget, these stories bring Ford County to vivid and colorful life. Often hilarious, frequently moving, and always entertaining, this collection makes it abundantly clear why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.

30 review for Ford County

  1. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    A sporadic and eclectic mix of dark and miserable storytelling, made all the better for me as it was narrated by Mr Grisham himself. A shadow was cast over every thought. This town of Clanton seems just horrible. A mix of disparate and dark characters with storylines combined. My favourite without a doubt was the last story of the lovely man suffering from HIV, and the selfless lady who cared for him. It was a short story collection where there was not necessarily a clear ending - and I think th A sporadic and eclectic mix of dark and miserable storytelling, made all the better for me as it was narrated by Mr Grisham himself. A shadow was cast over every thought. This town of Clanton seems just horrible. A mix of disparate and dark characters with storylines combined. My favourite without a doubt was the last story of the lovely man suffering from HIV, and the selfless lady who cared for him. It was a short story collection where there was not necessarily a clear ending - and I think this was the point. Maybe this was a lesson on realism. Or pessimism?! Mr Grisham sounds like Barack Obama - short and to the point. I like listening to both; clear and articulate. Most of the way through I was thinking of the past President's style of speech. I could listen all day. The author is not a performer, but did well with his odd storylines that did not have any tangible endings. Really quite odd but very doable.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sumit RK

    John Grisham has been exploring genres other than legal thrillers and Ford County is on similar lines. A collection of short stories featuring a memorable cast of characters living in Ford County. Each story takes place within Ford County, some in Clanton & in all,a wonderful compilation of stories ; all enlightening, interesting, amusing and sad. The book contains 7 short stories: Blood Drive, Fetching Raymond, Fish Files, Casino, Michael's Room, Quiet Haven & Funny Boy. From a bizarre John Grisham has been exploring genres other than legal thrillers and Ford County is on similar lines. A collection of short stories featuring a memorable cast of characters living in Ford County. Each story takes place within Ford County, some in Clanton & in all,a wonderful compilation of stories ; all enlightening, interesting, amusing and sad. The book contains 7 short stories: Blood Drive, Fetching Raymond, Fish Files, Casino, Michael's Room, Quiet Haven & Funny Boy. From a bizarre road trip with lots of dark humour to an emotional story about a family visiting a death row convict. From amusing con jobs to a touching story of a terminally ill young man abandoned by his family, this book explores extraordinary stories of ordinary people, all brought to life by brilliant storytelling. It makes you laugh, it makes you sad & keeps you entertained throughout. This one is a true gem.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    This book was so bad I couldn't finish it. I normally have enjoyed every other Grisham book and can depend on them for good light entertainment and occasionally a very well done, enlightening story. Ford County must have been written because Grisham had a commitmment with his publisher to churn something out. The book is a series of seven short stories abouth life in Ford County, Mississippi the scene of an early Grisham novel. I went through the first two stories and wondered; why did he bother This book was so bad I couldn't finish it. I normally have enjoyed every other Grisham book and can depend on them for good light entertainment and occasionally a very well done, enlightening story. Ford County must have been written because Grisham had a commitmment with his publisher to churn something out. The book is a series of seven short stories abouth life in Ford County, Mississippi the scene of an early Grisham novel. I went through the first two stories and wondered; why did he bother writing this stuff? The stories are not interesting, they convey no message or idea other than that the characters are not very sympathetic or likeable rednecks. The endings didn't seem to have any object or finality to them other than the author had reached his alloted page count. Now, I have to confess that I "read" this book as an audio book. I didn't realize that Grisham was going to be the reader until I had started listening to it. What a disaster. Maybe the book was better than it "sounded". Whatever cornpone southern authenticity he thought he would give it by reading it himself was completely sabotaged by his ineptness as a reader. His voice was monotonic and lacked any inflection or drama to it. His speech was so halting that it seemed he was inserting commas after every three or four words. Certainly Grisham wasn't trying to make more money for himself! There should be a law against authors reading their own work. Seldom do they catch the voice of their characters as a good professional reader can do. I see all the other 4*-5* reviews of this book in Goodreads and am left wondering : Is it me, or is it Memorex?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    As most reader's know, Grisham is the master of the legal thriller. Surprise, surprise! He is also a very talented storyteller! What a delight this collection of short stories was. He takes us to Ford County, Mississippi where we are introduced to quite a collection of characters. Some rather dull and normal, others quirky and pretty extreme all of them with an odd story to share. His words flow and paint the picture of these folks as they struggle with whatever curveball life has thrown them. As most reader's know, Grisham is the master of the legal thriller. Surprise, surprise! He is also a very talented storyteller! What a delight this collection of short stories was. He takes us to Ford County, Mississippi where we are introduced to quite a collection of characters. Some rather dull and normal, others quirky and pretty extreme all of them with an odd story to share. His words flow and paint the picture of these folks as they struggle with whatever curveball life has thrown them. The stories are sad, humorous and rather bizarre all rolled into one. Did I like many of the characters? No, but I was fascinated by their stories. He hits upon some difficult subjects.....greed, cheating, deceit, death and points a finger at many things wrong in todays society. This put Grisham in a whole different light for me. One that I found very flattering. 4.5 stars.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Vellacott

    To sum up: Depressing. Grisham should stick to full length novels. Grisham's first book of short stories set in Ford County. 1. Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It could well be their last visit. Grisham seems to have a particular obsession with death row cases. I just concluded The Chamber where he makes a s To sum up: Depressing. Grisham should stick to full length novels. Grisham's first book of short stories set in Ford County. 1. Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It could well be their last visit. Grisham seems to have a particular obsession with death row cases. I just concluded The Chamber where he makes a strong case for abolition. This story reveals the reality of the shock of imminent death as the bravado is stripped away and panic sets in. 2. Mack Stafford, a hard-drinking and low-grossing run-of-the-mill divorce lawyer, gets a miracle phone call with a completely unexpected offer to settle some old, forgotten cases for more money than he has ever seen. Mack is suddenly bored with the law, fed up with his wife and his life, and makes drastic plans to finally escape. Unfortunately, this story could easily be true. It shows how the promise of instant wealth corrupts the human heart resulting in mindless decisions that will have lasting consequences. The Bible tells us that to work for our money is a good thing and results in satisfaction. Riches gained in this manner will never fulfill and life always catches up with us in the end. We cannot escape forever. 3. Quiet, dull Sidney, a data collector for an insurance company, perfects his blackjack skills in hopes of bringing down the casino empire of Clanton's most ambitious hustler, Bobby Carl Leach, who, among other crimes, has stolen Sidney's wife. A somewhat far-fetched tale involving the intricacies of gambling at a high level. Unfortunately, the moral of Grisham's story seems to be that gambling does pay...However, the story also demonstrates that the grass is never greener on the other side for very long and that we would do better to be content in our circumstances. Also, a biblical principle. 4. Three good ol' boys from rural Ford County begin a journey to the big city of Memphis to give blood to a grievously injured friend. However, they are unable to drive past a beer store as the trip takes longer and longer. The journey comes to an abrupt end when they make a fateful stop at a Memphis strip club. This was a sleazy tale of lust and debauchery that was beneath Grisham. There is graphic sexual detail and violence. It does, however, expose the dangers both of excessive drinking and of peer pressure/pack mentality violence and crime. The story also reveals the shallow level of a lot of people's relationships and that their claims to love and care for each other are only valid until superseded by something that's more important to them. This ties in with the unreliability of people generally and the way they drop their commitments immediately on sighting something more appealing to do with their time or money. 5. The Quiet Haven Retirement Home is the final stop for the elderly of Clanton. It's a sad, languid place with little controversy, until Gilbert arrives. Posing as a low-paid bedpan boy, he is in reality a brilliant stalker with an uncanny ability to sniff out the assets of those "seniors" he professes to love. Another sleazy tale of pornography and the corruption of an old man in a nursing home. Sadly, this tale was also somewhat believable and shows how easy it would potentially be for staff to prey on the vulnerable. However, people who engage in this type of appalling crime are forgetting one thing. God is watching and there will be a Judgement Day. 6. One of the hazards of litigating against people in a small town is that one day, long after the trial, you will probably come face-to-face with someone you've beaten in a lawsuit. Lawyer Stanley Wade bumps into an old adversary, a man with a long memory, and the encounter becomes a violent ordeal. The saddest of the tales with a somewhat ambiguous ending. I would have liked to see whether the encounter made any difference in the long run. This could potentially have been turned into a full-length novel. There is some graphic violence. It was probably the most compelling of the stories. It demonstrates the corruption that can be at the heart of the criminal justice system and the impact this can have on real victims needing medical care. As a Christian, I trust that God will deal will the injustice people in these situations have suffered. It was the only way I could do my job as a police officer, on some days! 7. Clanton is rocked with the rumor that the gay son of a prominent family has finally come home, to die. Of AIDS. Fear permeates the town as gossip runs unabated. But in Lowtown, the colored section of Clanton, the young man finds a soul mate in his final days. Another tragic tale about the AIDS virus and the stigma that surrounded it in rural communities. Grisham paints a depressing picture as a young man lives out his last days. This story was the most difficult for me to swallow, as a Christian. Grisham claims to be a Christian too, yet in this story, he has a woman being effectively cast out of her church for befriending this dying man. The dying man, who makes it clear that he has no faith and isn't interested in God is then reported to be "eternally at rest." So, in one short story, Grisham has destroyed both the possibility of the church being a place of help and hope for people in need, and the importance of dying souls finding forgiveness of sin before they meet God and are judged. He instead suggests that everyone goes to heaven. I fear for Grisham who has such wide-spread influence when he speaks authoritatively through his writings in areas that conflict with clear biblical teaching. I cannot recommend this book due to the sexual content, more swearing that usual and some graphic violence. More significantly, though, I feel that the final story presents a hopeless situation with no remedy, apart from a false idea about death. But, in reality, there is always hope if we turn to Jesus in repentance and faith. Check out my John Grisham Shelf!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rohit Enghakat

    A collection of seven short stories, I bought it with high expectations. Didn't live up to it. The first one "Blood Drive" is about three people volunteering to go to the city to donate blood to one of the residents of Ford County. This is a funny account of their misadventures. "Fetching Raymond" is about a family of three, a mother and her two sons, visiting their third son in prison. This is somewhat a tragic story including "Michael'sRoom". "Fish Files" is about a down and out lawyer prospec A collection of seven short stories, I bought it with high expectations. Didn't live up to it. The first one "Blood Drive" is about three people volunteering to go to the city to donate blood to one of the residents of Ford County. This is a funny account of their misadventures. "Fetching Raymond" is about a family of three, a mother and her two sons, visiting their third son in prison. This is somewhat a tragic story including "Michael'sRoom". "Fish Files" is about a down and out lawyer prospecting for a fortune by cheating his clients. It was kind of boring. I liked "Casino" & "Quiet Haven" but the last one "Funny Boy" simply takes the cake. It is a beautiful story about how a young white man dying of AIDS ends up in a black township near Clanton and is looked after by a black lady after being abandoned by his family. The protagonist is not the character in the stories but Ford county itself. Its residents are depicted as racists, bigots, misogynists, petty thieves, creepy crooked lawyers and gold-diggers. I think this is the first book of its kind where the author has delved into short stoy format. But I liked Archer's stories more than Grisham's. Happy reading for folks interested in reading short stories ! Nothing great about it. Maybe for Grisham fans only.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Wendell

    At the end of this collection of stories, the reader is left with a deep, unsettling ambivalence. On the one hand, Grisham wields a sense of place and of language with a confidence that’s hard to beat. He places his characters in memorable, finely wrought settings, he gives them richly evoked material to work with, he writes dialogue that has the ring of truth to it. And then he observes those characters, as they move, live, and (mostly) suffer, with a chilly, anthropological detachment and emot At the end of this collection of stories, the reader is left with a deep, unsettling ambivalence. On the one hand, Grisham wields a sense of place and of language with a confidence that’s hard to beat. He places his characters in memorable, finely wrought settings, he gives them richly evoked material to work with, he writes dialogue that has the ring of truth to it. And then he observes those characters, as they move, live, and (mostly) suffer, with a chilly, anthropological detachment and emotional distance that’s initially distracting and, by the end of the book, has become nearly an embarrassment. At every moment, Grisham seems intent on reminding the reader that he’s not “one of them”; he writes with a sense of social distance that would probably raise eyebrows if his subjects were some other ethnic or regional group and not (largely) white southerners. In short, Grisham observes: He’s quite a good observer, as it turns out, but as a writer he’s simply not implicated. Grisham also has the bad habit of creating intriguing plots, compelling characters, and seductive settings—and then ending every story with a whimper. A few are very nearly shaggy dog stories: a complicated set up for an unsatisfying pay-off. Since he does it in every story, it’s clearly a style he has adopted deliberately. No doubt some readers won’t be troubled by the clinical cast of Grisham’s narratives and will appreciate his way of picking up a story, carrying it for a while, and then setting it down again without having handled it much. For me, the lack of empathy and the absence of resolution were equally discomfiting.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    John Grisham heads back to his literary roots of Ford County. For those of you who don't recall (or didn't read the dust jacket), Ford County is the setting for his first (and possibly best) book "A Time to Kill." After a disappointing legal thriller for his last new book, it's nice to see Grisham get back to the business of storytelling again with this collection of short stories. Grisham pushes his boundaries as a writer, offering up stories that offer humor, pathos and character building. The r John Grisham heads back to his literary roots of Ford County. For those of you who don't recall (or didn't read the dust jacket), Ford County is the setting for his first (and possibly best) book "A Time to Kill." After a disappointing legal thriller for his last new book, it's nice to see Grisham get back to the business of storytelling again with this collection of short stories. Grisham pushes his boundaries as a writer, offering up stories that offer humor, pathos and character building. The requisite lawyer gone wrong story is in the book, but Grisham makes the caper-nature of what the guy is doing compelling and interesting enough and the story doesn't overstay its welcome. The best stories are those that bookend the collection. The first about three guys heading to Memphis to donate blood to a local but who end up getting side tracked by a run in with the law, beer and then a Memphis strip club is wonderfully done and, at times, hysterical funny. The final story about a man with AIDs returning to town for his final days will put a lump in your throat and stay with you long past the final page being turned. If you've given up on Grisham, you might want to come back for this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Turner

    Ford County is a book of seven short stories, some better than others. Although nothing very much happens in any of them, it was still an enjoyable read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    I picked Ford County up to listen to as I was traveling to a conference. Interestingly enough, I have not read any other John Grisham novels, but this appealed to me because it consisted of short stories. I like listening to short stories because you can listen for short blocks of time and take a rest without forgetting necessary details to keep you in the plot (as with listening to a novel). Ford County consists of seven short stories set in and around Clanton, Mississippi. The stories are rathe I picked Ford County up to listen to as I was traveling to a conference. Interestingly enough, I have not read any other John Grisham novels, but this appealed to me because it consisted of short stories. I like listening to short stories because you can listen for short blocks of time and take a rest without forgetting necessary details to keep you in the plot (as with listening to a novel). Ford County consists of seven short stories set in and around Clanton, Mississippi. The stories are rather dark in nature and few of the characters likeable. Normally, I wouldn't have appreciated the concoction of rough characters displayed with little chance of redemption, but I ended up being captivated. It may have been, in part, due to John Grisham's way of telling the stories. His southern accent and "folksy" presentation style leave you feeling you are sitting on a front porch somewhere listening to him tell his favorite stories. Grisham is obviously engaged himself by the characters in the stories, so he draws you in by the way in which he presents them. Since this short story collection is not Grisham's usual genre, I would now be interested in reading some of his novels. Better yet, I would love to listen to him read one of his novels to me. He's a great storyteller!

  11. 5 out of 5

    N. Jr.

    If you're a rabid Grisham fan, you might want to think twice before picking up this book.It's a far cry from many of his other books. A legal thriller it is not. Despite his reputation as a "pop" author, this man knows how to tell a tale. As a writer myself I understand the challenges of composing a short story. Here is a collection of them, all set in rural Mississippi, and everyone's a gem. I've marked it for re-reading, that's how much I enjoyed them. There's nothing profound here, just the sim If you're a rabid Grisham fan, you might want to think twice before picking up this book.It's a far cry from many of his other books. A legal thriller it is not. Despite his reputation as a "pop" author, this man knows how to tell a tale. As a writer myself I understand the challenges of composing a short story. Here is a collection of them, all set in rural Mississippi, and everyone's a gem. I've marked it for re-reading, that's how much I enjoyed them. There's nothing profound here, just the simple schemes of simple folks, that will either amuse the hell out of you or, in the case of one or two, bring a tear to your eye.

  12. 4 out of 5

    David

    Did you ever read a book about an area and decide that you might want to go and visit or perhaps retire in that area? John Grisham's Ford County, a collection of stories, had the reverse effect on me. I don't ever want to even get close to that geographical area. Why? It appears that Ford County, if Grisham's works here are any indication, is the capitol of Deep, Dark, Depression, U.S.A. The people in these stories are all so sad and their situations are so dark that on would need the light from Did you ever read a book about an area and decide that you might want to go and visit or perhaps retire in that area? John Grisham's Ford County, a collection of stories, had the reverse effect on me. I don't ever want to even get close to that geographical area. Why? It appears that Ford County, if Grisham's works here are any indication, is the capitol of Deep, Dark, Depression, U.S.A. The people in these stories are all so sad and their situations are so dark that on would need the light from a nuclear explosion to provide the light that a candle provides to a dark room. One recurring theme in the stories is the small-town rumor mill. From the first story about an injured worker in the city to the final story about a hometown boy returning home with AIDS-- almost every story featured the small-town rumor mill working overtime. In some cases the rumors were comical, in others they were depressing. The other recurring theme is a sense of hopelessness for some folks. For example, one family goes up to the prison to visit their relative who is on death row. The hopelessness and the stark reality of facing his fate and the cessation of further stays of execution was utterly depressing. The lawyer, who is brought face-to-face with the family on the other side of a case and their brain-damaged child offers no hope, just utter sorrow for how some folks are forced to live. The slow and agonizing death of the AIDS afflicted man in a town where he is ostracized by both his lifestyle and disease was a discouragement. The guys who go to the big city in order to give blood for an injured friend, but end up making it a drunken journey leave the reader stunned with their callous behavior. The stories were all depressing. The fact that they were well written means little. I've read books with hit-or-miss stories-- some impressing me with their tale and others forcing me to skip over them. These all were compelling enough to make me feel the need to complete them, but each one left me wondering, "Why did the author bother to write this interesting story that has such unsatisfying conclusions." Finally, it hit me. Grisham was writting to the people of that area. Perhaps he was subtly telling them to get a life. Either way, for me, it was a message that was meant for someone else. Rather than feeling a naughty thrill from reading someone else's mail, I felt it was sort of like reading my mother-in-laws promitional letters from publisher's clearing house. Not worthy of much interest, so move on.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Neil Mudde

    An absolute delight to read, I am not usually a short story reader, and was surprised this was, off course having read all Grisham's earlier and som sensational work, I was not sure if I was going to read it, glad I did. He was able to take me to Ford County and give me a glimpse of what the people are like, as in every situation he portrays only a specific kind of family or person. I do not want to get into the story detail and by doing so spoil it for those people who are intending to read this An absolute delight to read, I am not usually a short story reader, and was surprised this was, off course having read all Grisham's earlier and som sensational work, I was not sure if I was going to read it, glad I did. He was able to take me to Ford County and give me a glimpse of what the people are like, as in every situation he portrays only a specific kind of family or person. I do not want to get into the story detail and by doing so spoil it for those people who are intending to read this. Some family scenarios are unbelievable, the abuse of alcohol is central to most stories, and being familiar with the effects alcohol can have on a human being totally understandable, the family ties in spite of ridiculas circumstances are something els, I can only imagine Mr Grisham having practiced law for years in that part of the US know of which he speaks. The last story "Funny Boy" is a moving story about a redneck communities reaction to a person living with aids back in the late 80, all in all the book is well worth the investment in $$ and time

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nanette Bulebosh

    Loved it. He makes the people he writes about in Mississippi so believable. Several weeks after reading it, I am still thinking of some of the portraits he gives us: - the impoverished mother and her two grown sons traveling to the state prison for the third son's execution for murder. She's in a wheelchair strapped to the floor of a van they had to borrow from the older son's boss. The family's last meeting before the prisoner enters the gas chamber is quite poignant. This is the most tragic st Loved it. He makes the people he writes about in Mississippi so believable. Several weeks after reading it, I am still thinking of some of the portraits he gives us: - the impoverished mother and her two grown sons traveling to the state prison for the third son's execution for murder. She's in a wheelchair strapped to the floor of a van they had to borrow from the older son's boss. The family's last meeting before the prisoner enters the gas chamber is quite poignant. This is the most tragic story in the book. It's about poverty, class, broken homes, alcoholism, and many other things. More than anything, it's about dealing with the cards you're given, even when they're all low numbers and jokers. - the professional swindler who befriends residents of an inhumane nursing home. He's there to trick them out of their money - and the way he goes about this is quite clever - but he also provides companionship and empathy to a group of very lonely people whose own families have long since stopped caring. - the litigation lawyer looking for his next big break. He finally gets one, but not before revealing his shady character and, ultimately, a pretty shallow life. I'm not normally a Grisham fan, although I love the films that have been made out of his books, especially Runaway Jury and The Firm. This rare short story collection may just make me go back and check out the rest of Grisham's work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    A great collection of short stories by Grisham, that illustrates the ways of the South. As Grisham is not a series man (save his new Theodore Boone work), there are no recurring characters to tie these tales to (at least to the best of my recollection). Each is masterful in its own way and acts as an excellent stand-alone. The six stories are well-developed and share nothing in common, other than the county in which they are set. Ford County shows the various forks in the path that a group of peo A great collection of short stories by Grisham, that illustrates the ways of the South. As Grisham is not a series man (save his new Theodore Boone work), there are no recurring characters to tie these tales to (at least to the best of my recollection). Each is masterful in its own way and acts as an excellent stand-alone. The six stories are well-developed and share nothing in common, other than the county in which they are set. Ford County shows the various forks in the path that a group of people living in one small parcel of land can have and all the trouble that can erupt. Grisham weaves an excellent tale in each story and keeps the reader interested from the get-go. No story is like any of his full length work and that is a refreshing change of legal pace. I would highly recommend this work to anyone interested in a little break from the hectic ways of life... or in need of something to kill a few hours, with a large glass of sweet tea or lemonade. Well done, Mr. Grisham!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book is terrific, and I couldn't stop reading it until it was finished. The stories are funny and heart rendering. I was roaring with laughter at the foibles of "Leon, Butch and Raymond" in Fetching Raymond, while the conclusion of the story is not exactly happy, the journey to get Raymond is humourous. Funny Boy, was quite a different story, and left me truly feeling a deep sense of sadness for Adrian. Race indifference and ignorance regarding the AIDS's issue are fully exposed in this story The book is terrific, and I couldn't stop reading it until it was finished. The stories are funny and heart rendering. I was roaring with laughter at the foibles of "Leon, Butch and Raymond" in Fetching Raymond, while the conclusion of the story is not exactly happy, the journey to get Raymond is humourous. Funny Boy, was quite a different story, and left me truly feeling a deep sense of sadness for Adrian. Race indifference and ignorance regarding the AIDS's issue are fully exposed in this story. I was happy that Emporia and Adrian, would become friends and confidate's. He was able to die in dignity, with the care he received in his final days. This story renewed my faith in human kindness in a time when it was definitely needed. I have to note that Mr. Grisham's stories are very thought provoking to say the least, they don't have the 'usual' outcome, these are 'real stories' in the sense that if your looking for a happy ending, you have to go read someone else. Mr. Grisham is an excellent story teller. I'm looking forward to reading all that he writes.

  17. 5 out of 5

    S.P. Aruna

    A wonderful collection of short stories, each one focused on one or more quirky characters. One of his best writings.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I have always loved short stories and most of the time wish many novels would have been handled as such, but THEY JUST DON'T MAKE MONEY for the publishing houses so unless your name is John Grisham, the editors and agents will take a good short story and S T R E T C H it out until it is novel length. So it was fun to read these 6 stories. You are able to get such a glimpse into small town Mississippi life through the eyes of vastly different charachters in such a short time. Ultimately these sto I have always loved short stories and most of the time wish many novels would have been handled as such, but THEY JUST DON'T MAKE MONEY for the publishing houses so unless your name is John Grisham, the editors and agents will take a good short story and S T R E T C H it out until it is novel length. So it was fun to read these 6 stories. You are able to get such a glimpse into small town Mississippi life through the eyes of vastly different charachters in such a short time. Ultimately these stories are the stories of ordinary people showing that even the ordinary life is interesting. I laughed at the immaturity of the 3 boys headed to the big city as "soon to be heroes". I found myself liking the swindler and even feeling like he deserved the money he swindled. I found the mother's devotion to her rotton death row son inspiring. I felt immense sadness at the family whose son was wrongfully injured during birth and the burdens they carried. I like reading about anyone who figures out how to win at blackjack. And the story of the man with AIDS returning to his small (and still very ignorant town) a sad statement of how most people are so willing to find an excuse for bigotry. Nice themes to ponder, a few corny moments, 1 ridiculous ending (the casino one), a bunch of sad people, sprinkled with humor and charm. Sounds a lot like real life to me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mueller

    Back to what I think of as Grisham's roots; Ford County, MS. This is where it all started, with _A Time to Kill_. The tragic humor in some of these stories reminds me of favorite authors, Larry Brown and Harry Crews. *SPOILER BELOW* Especially moving is Grisham's short story "Funny Boy", the poignant end of life story of a young man estranged from his moneyed Southern family. Having been ostracized by his entire town (on his return from San Fran), he is sent by his family to live the rest of his l Back to what I think of as Grisham's roots; Ford County, MS. This is where it all started, with _A Time to Kill_. The tragic humor in some of these stories reminds me of favorite authors, Larry Brown and Harry Crews. *SPOILER BELOW* Especially moving is Grisham's short story "Funny Boy", the poignant end of life story of a young man estranged from his moneyed Southern family. Having been ostracized by his entire town (on his return from San Fran), he is sent by his family to live the rest of his life in "Lowtown" (an "across the tracks" part of town). The compassion and humanity displayed by Adrian towards Emporia (mutually reciprocal) is a beautiful and enlightening experience for Emporia and for all of us lucky readers. "Funny Boy" is the incredibly poignant telling of humanity at its worst, and best. If a storys ability to elicit tears is a measure of worth, this one is worthy indeed. *SPOILER ABOVE*

  20. 4 out of 5

    David Highton

    A collection of short stories from the county setting of his first novel, all those years ago. Well written, reflective, poignant - a really pleasant read that make you think

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Nancy Price - Short Stories: Ford County by John Grisham "Ford County," is collection of seven short stories set in a small Mississippi town. They're written about the fictional Southern town of Clanton, population 10,000. The stories move steadily along. The first “Blood Drive” is about three young guys that set out to donate blood for and man injured in a construction accident, misfortune follows them on their journey. The second story is “Fetching Raymond” about two brothers who go to a nearby Nancy Price - Short Stories: Ford County by John Grisham "Ford County," is collection of seven short stories set in a small Mississippi town. They're written about the fictional Southern town of Clanton, population 10,000. The stories move steadily along. The first “Blood Drive” is about three young guys that set out to donate blood for and man injured in a construction accident, misfortune follows them on their journey. The second story is “Fetching Raymond” about two brothers who go to a nearby prison with their mother to visit their brother on death row. The other stories carry their own quiet fascination. "Casino" follows the fortunes of a dull man who learns to count cards, loses, wins back his wife and makes a bundle along the way. "Funny Boy" is a sermon about being white and gay during the '80s; "Michael's Room" is a set piece about justice gone wrong; and "Quiet Haven" is a shamelessly sweet story about an ambiguously altruistic crook and a flock of forgotten senior citizens.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wonderkell

    I really liked this. Grisham creates really fabulous characters & worlds & this is what this book showcases. If you have read Grisham's 'The Painted House' & any of his Ford County books & liked them, then you will like this. Its like a combination of those books, but in a short story format so its just great for when you need a quick & absorbing read. Really recommend it, especially the very last story about a young white gay man who comes home to Clanton to die - beautiful.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This was a book of seven shorter stories revolving around the same area, Ford County. I listened to the audio of this book which was narrated by John Grisham and thoroughly enjoyed every story. The stories are: Blood Drive, Fetching Raymond, Fish Tales, Casino, Michael’s Room, Quiet Haven, Funny Boy. At this point in my review I wanted to talk about my favourite of the stories but that is impossible because I loved them all. In some there was a bit of humour, but in all there was also a note of sa This was a book of seven shorter stories revolving around the same area, Ford County. I listened to the audio of this book which was narrated by John Grisham and thoroughly enjoyed every story. The stories are: Blood Drive, Fetching Raymond, Fish Tales, Casino, Michael’s Room, Quiet Haven, Funny Boy. At this point in my review I wanted to talk about my favourite of the stories but that is impossible because I loved them all. In some there was a bit of humour, but in all there was also a note of sadness. from the fellows leaving their town to go to the city to give blood right down to the poor wee soul who has returned home to die. A thoroughly enjoyable book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    *** 3.5 *** This is a collection of relatively short stories with one thing in common, other than the fact are all written by the same author, they are all happening in or around the so-called Ford County in Mississippi state, with the presence of Memphis - across the state line - that becomes more than once a reference in those stories. It's clear that the author has a native affinity for those Ford County folks, for those places and he is also quite familiar with Memphis city. Since I myself liv *** 3.5 *** This is a collection of relatively short stories with one thing in common, other than the fact are all written by the same author, they are all happening in or around the so-called Ford County in Mississippi state, with the presence of Memphis - across the state line - that becomes more than once a reference in those stories. It's clear that the author has a native affinity for those Ford County folks, for those places and he is also quite familiar with Memphis city. Since I myself lived in Memphis for over two years and I am a bit used to that area, to me is even more interesting to read about it. The stories are some good, some very good and some not so good. But like any collection of short stories has the benefit of reading one, then stopping eventually and doing something else, whatever else we all do when we don't dedicate our time to books, then whenever we are again available we can come back and start a new story, then keep doing this until we are done with the whole book. This is how I did it, and it worked fine for me. I don't want to spoil your fun, but I would say you'll encounter some strange and unique characters in those stories and you'll see from their perspective how and why they do whatever they do, like from going to donate blood to help a fellow town mate hurt in an accident, but ending in some of the famous strip clubs in Memphis where skin trade is king, like from how a new small casino is build on a reservation, just to be bankrupt and run down a short while after opening by a former office worker, counting cards, like from how a man is scamming nurse homes taking a big share of a settlement to prevent a liability lawsuit, to how he's convincing an elder to leave him everything he has in his "last will and testament" and not least how a gay sick man condemned by AIDS is retiring for his last days in a small black neighborhood to end his days. Interesting stories I would say, interesting characters, with interesting lives and agendas, some action and some well-placed dialogue will make this collection of stories an easy read, nice and somewhat entertaining.

  25. 4 out of 5

    ChapterOne

    So I'm doing this BookRiot Read Harder challenge this year where they have a list of 24 different kinds of books/genres. You're supposed to read at least one of each. I'm hoping to branch out on my reading a bit this year by discovering some books or genres that I would not normally go for. Read a collection of short stories was one of the tasks, so hence this book. I enjoyed it - but primarily because I love Grisham's style of storytelling. The stories in themselves are not much to rave about. So I'm doing this BookRiot Read Harder challenge this year where they have a list of 24 different kinds of books/genres. You're supposed to read at least one of each. I'm hoping to branch out on my reading a bit this year by discovering some books or genres that I would not normally go for. Read a collection of short stories was one of the tasks, so hence this book. I enjoyed it - but primarily because I love Grisham's style of storytelling. The stories in themselves are not much to rave about. But the way he tells these stories - the reason I love reading him - is still there. There are seven stories in all. Some feature lawyers, some don't . The setting for all stories are Clanton, Mississippi - the setting for his bestseller A Time To Kill. You'll find all of Grisham's usual characters - the small town lawyer, the death row prisoner, distraught mother of said death row prisoner, black people who don't trust white people, white people who don't trust black people, simple minded families who got tricked by the legal system, etc. etc. Here are my ratings for the seven stories - Blood Drive - 4 stars Fetching Raymond - 4 stars Fish Files - 2 stars Casino - 3 stars Michael's room - 2 stars Quiet Haven - 1 star Funny Boy - 4 stars I'm still a fan though. One or two bad short stories is not going to change that. I'll still run out and grab his next book soon as it comes out. Bottom line - I'd recommend this book only if you already love Grisham. If you did not like his other books, you'll certainly not like this one. If you haven't read him, start with his other books, not this one.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    I normally like Grisham and I did like his writing style in this book. My complaint is that the characters were all stereotypical red-necks. Yes, Clanton, Mississippi is rural, but not everyone living there is prejudiced, immoral, lazy, or scheming. For example, one story was about a gay man who returns to Clanton to die of AIDS in 1989. He is shunned by his wealthy family (and everyone else) and must live in the black section of town with a spinster who stands to inherit her house from the man' I normally like Grisham and I did like his writing style in this book. My complaint is that the characters were all stereotypical red-necks. Yes, Clanton, Mississippi is rural, but not everyone living there is prejudiced, immoral, lazy, or scheming. For example, one story was about a gay man who returns to Clanton to die of AIDS in 1989. He is shunned by his wealthy family (and everyone else) and must live in the black section of town with a spinster who stands to inherit her house from the man's family if she takes care of him. What follows is "Driving Miss Daisy": they become fast friends because they have both been judged in their lives. However, here in the real world, victims of bigotry aren't necessarily enlightened, long-suffering saints who endure the wrath of EVERY person they come into contact with. They are just as likely to be bitter and prejudiced themselves. There are some nice scenes in "Ford County", but overall it isn't a place I'd want to visit anytime soon.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shaun

    This was really good and I'm straddling the fence on whether to give it four or five stars. I'll give it five I guess. This is a collection of short fictional (I think) stories set in Ford County, Mississippi. John Grisham, obviously, is a tremendous writer. One of the things that he can pull off that few writers can is to do a pretty good job of developing characters in the short space that constitutes a short story. I also love that John Grisham narrates his own audiobooks. That way, you know This was really good and I'm straddling the fence on whether to give it four or five stars. I'll give it five I guess. This is a collection of short fictional (I think) stories set in Ford County, Mississippi. John Grisham, obviously, is a tremendous writer. One of the things that he can pull off that few writers can is to do a pretty good job of developing characters in the short space that constitutes a short story. I also love that John Grisham narrates his own audiobooks. That way, you know it's being narrated as the author intended. John Grisham's short stories don't always end so much as they just kind of stop. The reader is left wanting more... but I guess that's probably a good thing and probably on purpose. If you're looking for surprise endings, this is not the book for you. The stories are great but there really aren't any sharp twists or turns to turns to them. This was a nice short listen.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Very rarely do I begin a book and am not able to trudge through it. I expected so much of this book because I am a huge John Grisham fan, from his legal thrillers to his fictional books and even his non-fiction. This book fell so flat for me, however, that I couldn't even finish it. I supposed that when I hear a book is full of southern short stories, I immediately begin to compare it to Eudora Welty or Flannery O'Connor. Their stories always had a finality to them, a twist in some, and just mad Very rarely do I begin a book and am not able to trudge through it. I expected so much of this book because I am a huge John Grisham fan, from his legal thrillers to his fictional books and even his non-fiction. This book fell so flat for me, however, that I couldn't even finish it. I supposed that when I hear a book is full of southern short stories, I immediately begin to compare it to Eudora Welty or Flannery O'Connor. Their stories always had a finality to them, a twist in some, and just made you interested in them. These stories are nothing like that. It seems like the ramblings of a local newspaper columnist and even then, in a paper that no one really reads. I am very disappointed.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jessika

    3.5 stars Although it seems like an odd place to start, this was my first real read of John Grisham's work (I read Skipping Christmas years ago). I will definitely be reading more, although I won't lie, I'm kind of disappointed to hear that this is out of the norm for his writing. As a whole, I really enjoyed this collection. I'm a very big fan of Southern lit, and I felt that Grisham truly portrayed the Deep South with genuine authenticity. The reason why I'd give this collection 3.5 stars is be 3.5 stars Although it seems like an odd place to start, this was my first real read of John Grisham's work (I read Skipping Christmas years ago). I will definitely be reading more, although I won't lie, I'm kind of disappointed to hear that this is out of the norm for his writing. As a whole, I really enjoyed this collection. I'm a very big fan of Southern lit, and I felt that Grisham truly portrayed the Deep South with genuine authenticity. The reason why I'd give this collection 3.5 stars is because while I did like the first 3 stories, I really loved the last 4. The unevenness is what kept this from being a solid 4 star for me. So, I'm just going to give some short wrap-up thought on the stories: - "Blood Drive" - I thought this one was darkly hilarious. I mean, I felt like I was reading something off a darker version of the Dukes of Hazzard, it had so much slapstick humor at times. I will say, I wasn't expecting such a gritty ending. - "Fetching Raymond" - This was definitely moving--between an elderly mother's unconditional love for her youngest son on death row and his brothers' almost stoic detachment. - "Fish Files" - What I liked about this one was that you almost can't help but root for this lawyer, even though he's actively swindling money. - "Casino" - I don't know why, but I really love reading stories about people figuring out how to win big at blackjack. I have never gambled & have NO clue how in the hell to play blackjack. But this story was highly entertaining to me. - "Michael's Room" - I LOVED this story. It was my second favorite of the collection. A lawyer actually REALLY having to see the consequences of a lawsuit he won for a client. Violent, but also heartbreaking & eye-opening. - "Quiet Haven" - I absolutely love unreliable narrators, and that's all I'm gonna say about this one. Really enjoyed it, expertly done. - "Funny Boy" - Oh, my heart. This was, by far, my favorite story of the collection. The ending had me tearing up. (The last line of Adrian's letter to Emporia KILLED me.) This story made my heart physically ache, it moved me that much. It blew me away--I was not expecting that from John Grisham. Overall, this collection is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are in the mood for authentic, gritty Southern lit. This review is also posted over at my blog: https://tinyurl.com/mbzk56d

  30. 4 out of 5

    Fabiola Castillo Autora

    Siete Vidas es una colección de cuentos de Grisham. No soy muy asidua a los cuentos porque prefiero las novelas, sin embargo este libro me gustó mucho. Hay para elegir: dramas, historias divertidas, enternecedoras y mucho suspenso legal. Recomendable al 100%!!!! #sietevidas #Grisham

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