The Appeal

by John Grisham

3.80 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)

3.80 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings
(5 customer reviews)


The jury was ready. After forty-two hours of deliberations that followed seventy-one days of trial that included 530 hours of testimony from four dozen witnesses, and after a lifetime of sitting silently as the lawyers haggled and the judge lectured and the spectators watched like hawks for telltale signs, the jury was ready. Locked away in the jury room, secluded and secure, ten of them proudly signed their names to the verdict while the other two pouted in their corners, detached and miserable in their dissension. There were hugs and smiles and no small measure of self-congratulation because they had survived this little war and could now march proudly back into the arena with a decision they had rescued through sheer determination and the dogged pursuit of compromise. Their ordeal was over; their civic duty complete. They had served above and beyond. They were ready. The foreman knocked on the door and rustled Uncle Joe from his slumbers. Uncle Joe, the ancient bailiff, had guarded

Genre, Thrill Mystery Adventure

About The Author

John Ray Grisham, Jr. (born February 8, 1955) is an American bestselling writer, attorney, politician, and activist best known for his popular legal thrillers. His books have been translated into 42 languages and published worldwide.

John Grisham graduated from Mississippi State University before attending the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981. He practiced criminal law for about a decade and served in the House of Representatives in Mississippi from January 1984 to September 1990.

He began writing his first novel, A Time to Kill, in 1984; it was published in June 1989. As of 2012, his books had sold over 275 million copies worldwide. A Galaxy British Book Awards winner, Grisham is one of only three authors to sell 2 million copies on a first printing; the others are Tom Clancy and J.K. Rowling.

Grisham’s first bestseller was The Firm (1991); it sold more than seven million copies. The book was adapted into a 1993 feature film of the same name, starring Tom Cruise, and a 2012 TV series which “continues the story of attorney Mitchell McDeere and his family 10 years after the events of the film and novel.” Eight of his other novels have also been adapted into films: The Chamber, The Client, A Painted House, The Pelican Brief, Skipping Christmas, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and A Time to Kill.

Average Reader Rating

3.80 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings

Reader Reviews

5 reviews for The Appeal

  1. 4 out of 5

    “Amazing Reading”

  2. 4 out of 5

    The novel finds Grisham in familiar territory—the courtroom—but it begins in an unconventional way: with the end. When the verdict is announced in the novel’s first chapter, readers are immediately thrown into the case and the controversy that surrounds it. The husband-and-wife legal team of Wes and Mary Grace Payton is representing Jeannette Baker in an effort to prove that her son and husband died as a result of contaminated water. On the other side of this battle is the chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into the water supply. After a protracted trial and agonizing deliberations, the jury finally delivers its verdict. The chemical company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, though lawyers don’t anticipate a favorable outcome. Enter Wall Street billionaire and chemical company owner Carl Trudeau, who purchases a court seat with pocket change—a few million dollars. The fate of the case is left up to the nine state Supreme Court justices, one of whom is ensnared in conspiracy. The judicial system may never be viewed in quite the same way again.

  3. 4 out of 5

    I was pretty sure I knew what they wouldn’t like, and I was pretty sure I would disagree. I was right. I understand others’ chagrin with Grisham’s choice of ending, but I thought it was refreshing. It’s about time someone bucked the system and didn’t give us a patented ending, all tied up with a pretty bow.Of course, you want the bad guy to get his due here. Maybe he does and maybe he doesn’t. But Grisham leaves the reader feeling uncomfortable and perhaps a little guilty for playing into the game of big political campaign spending…naively believing everything one hears on t.v. about a candidate and his or her record based on a thirty-second commercial that takes sound bites completely out of the context in which they were meant to be be heard. He even makes one a bit uncomfortable with the idea the a judiciary is elected and that a judge would feel beholden to those who paid for his or her election. And in the end, I liked that he gave me something to think about. It reminded me of The Client and The Rainmaker, and that is a good thing.

  4. 3 out of 5

    I admit, I like a lot of Grisham’s novels; I especially like them when spending long hours on an airplane, as I did recently. I found this book to be very disturbing; it has definitely affected the way I will view future election campaigns for judges. I also liked how his Christian characters were reflective of the current Christian culture, even though they bothered me at times because of that. The ending surprised me, as it took some surprising turns the last 60 or so pages.

  5. 4 out of 5

    The Appeal wouldn’t make a successful film. At times, it appears to accede to the Hollywood formula, but then, it retreats to Grisham’s forte’–realism. Oh, I know Grisham’s work isn’t as gritty as the descriptions of the world of meat-packing in Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, the vivid characterizations of a couple fighting in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and the Damned, or the depiction of blatant sexism in Sinclair Lewis’ The Job (or even in Ann Vickers, his thinly veiled roman a clef based on his relationship with Socialist activist Dorothy Thompson). I simply find that, whenever he stays away from his tendency toward sentimentalism, Grisham can conjure up images of the South of not so long ago with a vividness reminiscent of Faulkner and blend those images with stark, insightful looks at the humanity we see everywhere.
    If you are any kind of political junkie (the “Karl Rove” character running the campaign for the judge’s race is uncannily true-to-life), this is a “must read.” It says as much about political campaigns as it does about jurisprudence. If you’ve ever invested years of your life and portions of your possessions (or all of them) in what others tell you is throwing your life away on a hopeless cause, this is a “must read.”Frankly, I think this may be the best book I’ve ever read by this author. It may well be his masterpiece, even though I don’t think it will be his most successful by any means.

Add a review