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The Whistler: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – July 11, 2017

4.5 out of 5 stars 8,685 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Riveting . . . finely drawn . . . The Whistler centers on an elaborate conspiracy involving an Indian reservation, an organized crime syndicate and a crooked judge skimming a small fortune from the tribal casino’s monthly haul.”The New York Times Book Review  

“A main character who’s a seriously appealing woman . . . a whistle-blower who secretly calls attention to corruption . . . a strong and frightening sense of place . . . Grisham’s on his game.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“A fascinating look at judicial corruption . . . an entirely convincing story and one of Grisham’s best. I can’t think of another major American novelist since Sinclair Lewis who has so effectively targeted social and political ills in our society. In Grisham’s case, it is time at least to recognize that at his best he is not simply the author of entertaining legal thrillers but an important novelistic critic of our society. In more than 30 novels, he has often used his exceptional storytelling skills to take a hard look at injustice and corruption in the legal world and in our society as a whole.”—Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post   

“Grisham's latest involves the rich and powerful and an abuse of the justice system. Grisham novels are crowd-pleasers because he knows how to satisfy readers who want to see injustice crushed, and justice truly prevails for those who cannot buy influence.”Associated Press

“Grisham has become an institution. For more than 25 years now he’s been our guide to the byways and backwaters of our legal system, superb in particular at ferreting out its vulnerabilities and dramatizing their abuse in gripping style. He excels at describing injustice and corruption.  Grisham’s legal knowledge is impressive, and his ability to convey it unparalleled in popular fiction.”USA Today

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of more than thirty novels, one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and six novels for young readers.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dell; First Edition (July 11, 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Mass Market Paperback ‏ : ‎ 432 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1101967684
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1101967683
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 840L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 4.17 x 1.03 x 7.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,685 ratings

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About the author

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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

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
8,685 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 26, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on February 8, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on August 5, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on February 9, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

La Colyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2018
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37 people found this helpful
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Bali Blue
3.0 out of 5 stars Never thought I'd give a Grisham less than 5 stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2017
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32 people found this helpful
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David Beeson
4.0 out of 5 stars ‘The Whistler’: Grisham nearly at his classic best
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 5, 2017
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19 people found this helpful
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Mandrek Larl
3.0 out of 5 stars Read only if you are John Grisham completist; he's not run out of ideas but he's run out of steam...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 9, 2019
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InTheDark
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read from Grisham
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 15, 2019
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