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The Summons: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 28, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 3,139 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Should you answer this summons? You bet.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Grisham has grown more comfortable with his voice while expanding its range. . . . The Summons is more than a . . . return to form; it marks out the rich literary territory Grisham has begun to occupy.”—Los Angeles Times

“A master of the legal suspense thriller.”—Richmond-Times Dispatch
 
“A pleasure to read . . . a good yarn.”—The Washington Post

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of twenty-three novels, including, most recently, The Litigators; one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and a novel for young readers. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dell; Reprint edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 384 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0345531981
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0345531988
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 7.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 3,139 ratings

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Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi, law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn’t have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, 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. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.

That might have put an end to Grisham’s hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career—and spark one of publishing’s greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.

The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham’s success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller.

Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written at least one book a year (his other works are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, The Appeal, The Associate, The Confession, The Litigators, Calico Joe, The Racketeer, Sycamore Row, Gray Mountain, Rogue Lawyer, The Whistler, Camino Island, The Rooster Bar, The Reckoning, and The Guardians) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently more than 350 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 45 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection. In addition, Grisham has written seven novels for young adults, all in the Theodore Boone series: Kid Lawyer, The Abduction, The Accused, The Activist, The Fugitive, The Scandal, and The Accomplice.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books’ protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients’ case, earning them a jury award of $683,500—the biggest verdict of his career.

When he’s not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
3,139 global ratings

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Gina
1.0 out of 5 stars First Grisham book, and the last for me!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Flying lessons and bags of cash
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth revisiting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 4, 2020
When we moved house, management took the opportunity to relieve us of most of my paperback collection.....

Fortunately, with the aid of my Kindle, I am now able to revisit some of the better novels - and that definitely includes a number of books by John Grisham. "The Summons" is one if my favourites, well written and with an interesting twist in the tail.

Very enjoyable and highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Grubby!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A slow burner, but all the better for it
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