The Last Juror - John Grisham
In 1970, one of Mississippi's more colourful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership wa...
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Review of "The Last Juror - John Grisham"
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To quote one newspaper critic on the cover - 'the juggonaut that is Grisham' rolls on. This most appropriate epithet to the multi-bestselling list topper, describes one who has sold millions of copies of his blockbusters and who is also, a cracking story teller.For someone who wants a dollop of drama with a spoldge of social commentary thrown into their light fiction, then Grisham is the perfect choice. Not being a frequent flier, I cannot claim to have picked this up in an airport terminal, but it is great for relaxing and a bit of escapism.
The Last Juror takes us back to the early days of Grisham's career. Although published in the mid-1990's, when he was at the height of his career in terms of Hollywood's enthusiasm for adapting his novels to turn them into films starring the likes of Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts (it is suggested that he wrote The Pelican Brief with her in mind), to my knowledge this one has never been adapted.Trained as a lawyer before he turned his hand to fiction, Grisham's novels draw on his background - a small town lawyer takes on a big, Goliath-like corporation, or the mafia...and eventually wins (or lucks out, as the Americans would say).
Here the setting is the southern United States, in a small town called Clanton in Missippipi in the 1970's. Danny Padgitt, a local bootlegger whose family has a history of crime, is convicted or rape and murder. However he escapes the death penalty, partly because he threatens the members of the jury should they vote for it. A young newspaper trainee, Willie Traynor, has just moved to the town. When the paper's owner is made bankrupt, Willie decides to take a chance and buys up the paper, using some of his inheritance. Gradually over time he restablishes its credibility and reputation, but still is reluctant to settle down in the town.Traynor is reluctant to get involved, but when Padgitt gets paraole after 9 years and returns to Clanton, the journalist is drawn in through his growing friendship with one of the last remaining jurors, an elderly black woman, MIss Callie Ruffin. Two of the former jury members die suddenly and a bomb also goes off. The hunt is on for Padgitt who, it is presumed, has taken refuge in the swamps where his criminal family has traditional hidden out to avoid the law. The showdown comes in the courtroom in the final scenes, when Danny is finally captured but that is far from the end of the story...
I liked the setting and characters of Traynor and Miss Ruffin, with her garden and cookery skills. She is an outstandingly intelligent woman who never had much formal education and this is neatly contrasted withTraynor's drop-op-out background. The novel has an authentic atmosphere of life in the Southen states and a great plot to move things along.
Product Information : The Last Juror - John Grisham
Manufacturer's product descriptionIn 1970, one of Mississippi's more colourful weekly newspapers, The Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a 23 year-old college drop-out, named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper. The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courtroom in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison. But in Mississippi in 1970, 'life' didn't necessarily mean 'life', and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began. About the AuthorJohn Grisham is the author of seventeen novels. The Last Juror is his first novel since A Time to Kill to be set in Ford County, Mississippi.
Author: John Grisham
Title: The Last Juror
ISBN: 0099457156; 0375728295; 0385339682; 0385510446; 0739441655; 1844131599; 1844131610, 0099457156
Publisher: Arrow Books
All Authors: John Grisham
Listed on Ciao since: 01/05/2004