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CHAMBER, THE (LARGE PRINT) [Large Print] [Hardcover]

John Grisham
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1 1994 Bantam/Doubleday/Delacorte Press Large Print Collection
Another spellbinding tale of legal intrigue from the most popular author of our time.  Set in Mississippi and Chicago and revolving around a tumultuous death penalty case, The Chamber will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

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From Amazon

At first listen, the narration of this abridged version of John Grisham's The Chamber seems flat and uninvolved. But Michael Beck has chosen his vocal style well, purposely eschewing unnecessary adornment and allowing this searing indictment of racism and murder to unfold on its own terms. Beck uses character voices sparingly, adding subtle emphasis to the already charged plot. The story begins with a Klan-sponsored bombing and then traces a trail of rigged acquittals stretching over three decades, until a young lawyer with secrets of his own brings the case to a powerful conclusion. --George Laney --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The chamber in question is the gas chamber at the Mississippi State Penitentiary--and for 69-year-old Sam Crayhall, the road thence has been many years long. Sam was twice tried and twice acquitted for murder after a 1967 Ku Klux Klan scare bombing accidentally killed the twin sons of the intended target; 14 years later he was tried a third time, convicted and sentenced to death. Now, in 1990, a young Chicago lawyer, employed by the firm that represented Sam but which he has just unceremoniously dumped, wants Sam as a client. Adam Hall, the 26-year-old rookie, is Sam Crayhall's grandson. Adam's efforts to save this splendid curmudgeon from death form the center of Grisham's quietly compelling novel, a hub from which the far-reaching spokes of personal dramas extend. The despair of prison life has rarely been so grippingly evoked--no riots or dazzling escapes here, just a drab, pervasive dailiness. And the gradually revealed dysfunctions of the Crayhalls prove both surprising and affecting. This ranks as top-notch Grisham and reveals new dimensions to his talent: the focus on character, the credible emotion and the simple moments of human connection bear comparison to Grisham's work in A Time to Kill . The prose, too, has more subtlety and texture than Grisham has previously exhibited. Though the countdown to an execution is a well-worn plot device, it has seldom been as effective, especially in the novel's last 100 pages. Readers can almost hear the cogs of justice turning ever faster--or is that the sound of Grisham's fans stampeding the bookstores for this riveting read? 2.5 million first printing; Literary Guild main selection; audio rights to BBD audio; major ad/promo.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If your idea of a good book is one where there is lots of action and fascinating twists and turns of plot complications pop up on every page, you shouldn't go anywhere near The Chamber. If, however, you would like to gain a visceral sense of the issues around capital punishment, The Chamber is a well-constructed fictional treatment. It won't be a pretty or a pleasant experience, but neither is capital punishment.

I remember as a youngster carefully following the case of Caryl Chessman, a convicted robber and rapist who was executed in California's gas chamber. Reading The Chamber brought back those visceral memories of thinking through my reactions to the death penalty. I became an opponent. Most people who read this book will too.

John Grisham does a good job of making the book about the death penalty, rather than the general flaws in the legal system. He also explains the reasons why gas chambers were an awful way to execute criminals.

The condemned man in the story is clearly guilty, by his own admission, in the book; but Grisham makes him somewhat appealing: Grisham wants us to think about what should happen to this old white man, Sam Cayhall, a KKK member who participated in terror bombings in the South during the Civil Rights era. Grisham's clever idea for this book is to have Sam's grandson Adam Hall, who doesn't know his grandfather, handle the last few weeks of desperate appeals. Hall becomes a surrogate for a neutral observer in a situation where there can be no neutral observers.

I was impressed by the plotting and character development in the story. Murder creates more victims than most people realize, even among the killer's family. Grisham adds those dimensions in persuasive fashion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 13 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Could not put it down. An eye opener
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly Eductional? Grusome? Great Book! March 7 2004
Format:Audio CD
The Chamber is a book that can't be put down and left unread! It gives you a true look into the racial issues from the 1960's. The detail that John Grisham gives in this book would not be recommended for the "weak" stomach! As you read the book, as The Chamber goes along, the grusome details become very clear. The best book for a true education that's put into novel form to make the story "true to life"! Be prepared! The book is great!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping. June 17 2011
By J Reader TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of Grisham better offerings. It drawns you into the stories of the two lead characters and paints a gruesome and heartwrenching picture. I loved how a hateful character is humanized but not excused for his heinous actions.

Grisham tackles a serious issue in this novel and does so with tact, respect and above all page turning drama. A well writen novel that most fiction readers should enjoy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars My Review on the Chamber May 31 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Chamber by John Grishman was an okay book. The good points of the book were the details, the legal "terms", and the realistic quality. The only downside of the book, to me, was how long it was. I felt that the story was carried out a bit more then needed. Overall, this book is decent. This book is for anyone who is interested in law, controversy, drama, and debatable topics. I also recommend this book to anyone who can stand to read 676 pages or more of John Grishman's writing.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very Boring Jan. 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I like all of J.G.'s books except this one. I couldn't even finish it!I thought the plot of the story was slow and it put me to sleep.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A long and enjoyable ride! Dec 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is incredible, it actually makes you feel sorry for a man who is a disgusting and deplorable specimen of an individual. The ending is realistic, not fairy-tale and I respect that. As an author of non-fiction myself, I appreciate a little reality in fiction.
Kasey Hamner, M.S., author of "Whose Child?" and "Adoption Forum"
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1.0 out of 5 stars zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz Nov. 20 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's a whole lotta book that goes a whole lotta no place.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and moving
A friend of mine lent this to me saying it's the best book he's ever read. I can see why some people would think this. Read more
Published on July 8 2004 by D. Spidet
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad book on death penalty
I think this book has portrayed fairly well on the position against the death penalty. It made more powerful argument than, I'd say, Life of David Gail. Read more
Published on July 1 2004 by Pseudonymus
1.0 out of 5 stars Depth
Clumsy. A pathetic attempt to convey emotion. Ending was a total disappointment. Plots lines went nowhere. The characters are impossible to relate to and feel for. Read more
Published on April 4 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read
The Chamber is the story of young Adam Hall who stands poised at the brink of a highly promising legal career. Read more
Published on April 3 2004 by A. Bayhan
3.0 out of 5 stars Whaaa?
eh, the book was took forever to get to the climax, but it was alright.
Published on March 11 2004 by "svturtlechick"
2.0 out of 5 stars OK but not a realistic portrayal of a racist murderer
The Chamber is well-written and has a decent storyline. As such, it is a typical John Grisham legal thriller, although, as it happens, it is not one of my favorites. Read more
Published on March 11 2004 by Roger J. Buffington
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS READER IS ALWAYS A HIT
John Grisham's books are never hit or miss, they're always hits and so is this audio version of The Chamber, which centers on young lawyer Adam Hall. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004 by Gail Cooke
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