The Summons

by John Grisham

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

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


Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi, a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray’s younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family’s black sheep.

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

4.00 out of 5 based on 5 customer ratings

Reader Reviews

5 reviews for The Summons

  1. 4 out of 5

    “Amazing Reading”

  2. 4 out of 5

    Every once in a while you have to read something that isn’t deep and you are just carried along from page to page. That is what the Summons is. I’ve only read a few of his books but they are all about lawyers and usually old lawyers who die in the first few pages of the book. Then there are surprises that come up through out the book that keep you guessing. At the end you are totally surprised. That is the formula for Grisham. But, having said that I did like the book. An old judge dies and leaves his estate to his sons. Hidden in one of the rooms is 3 million dollars in $100 bills. Part of the story is finding our where they came from but there are other twists to the story that keep you guessing. I like the book The Testament much better and would recommend Testament over Summons. 

  3. 4 out of 5

    Everything about it is good, but the ending did not work well for me. It is Grisham all the way, with a little twist, as this time there was no case in court, no big time law office…The summons is a document of such, though called so with a sarcastic tone. There was the usual thrill and suspense and it wasn’t quite late in the book when I figured out the culprit. I read somewhere that The King of Torts is a thematic sequel to The Summons, so I’m reading that next. Never mind that it’s only “thematic”, I was really hoping there were more pages, at least an epilogue in The Summons……I wrote the above early in the morning, and then I hit the shower, during which time I thought twice about my review. I was being selfish In a way, asking for more, I failed to dwell on the most important part of the book: the life lesson; after all, I believe lessons are what all stories are all about. Two brothers; one, educated albeit a lawyer; the other, a dope addict for life. All their lives, it’s the lawyer who’s always been the smart one, even the dope-addict brother thought so. But in the face of temptation, it wasn’t a surprise who turned out to be the smarter one, but who’s the moral one…..And for that, an extra star.

  4. 4 out of 5

    I’m surprised to see how many readers were disappointed with this book since I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe the plot was a bit thin and predictable, but Grisham’s writing style is so smooth and easy to read that I was able to consume this book in two sittings. It was like I was able to sit down and visit with an old friend. Perhaps some other readers confused this familiarity with boredom. It all starts when law professor Ray Atlee and his prodigal brother, Forrest, are summoned home by their ailing father to settle his estate. But, by the time Ray arrives, his father is already dead. The will is simple enough: the estate is to be divided equally between the two sons. However, Ray discovers something he hadn’t planned on– $3 million in cash stashed in the father’s house. It turns out that Ray isn’t the only one who knows about this fortune; someone else is after the money and won’t hesitate to remove Ray from the picture. The remainder of the book is devoted to investigating the source of the cash and trying to discover who the other party is that wants it. Some better proofreading would have made this an easier book to read since there are some glaring errors that should have been caught. But, all in all, an enjoyable, suspensful book. I will continue reading Grisham.

  5. 4 out of 5

    When I first looked at the book, I first noticed a dull scene of a car driving to infinity as the sun reached the end of the horizon. But, as I read through the book, I grew more interested in the plot and just couldn’t put down the book. I found this book unique in its content and also the characters seemed so life-like. The book I am talking about is “The Summons” by a wonderful author named John Grisham.I give this book a decent four stars because of its surprising characters and powerful storyline that has a fascinating plot that has all the characters entangled in a complex situation. The part of the story when Ray plans to transfer the money into his car literally gave me chills down my spine. This book is a wonderful piece presented by Grisham in which he has made the story in such a way that it makes you feel like you’re part of the plot yourself! By hearing the story in such a way of a dying father with two sons, one may think of how melodramatic this story would be. But, the twists and turns introduced in the book by Grisham compel you to think twice. He has organized the characters well enough and has narrated the mystery of the money with great dexterity.I enjoyed reading this book and I strongly believe that John Grisham knows how to create the best storylines ever!

Add a review