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CHAMBER, THE (LARGE PRINT) Hardcover – Large Print, May 1 1994

261 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday; Lrg edition (May 1 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385474393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385474399
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 839 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,426,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

3.6 out of 5 stars

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on June 19 2008
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill Jenkins on 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
For a former lawyer who has never witnessed a death row case, John Grisham's ability to portray such a case was impeccable. John Grisham tells the story of an ex-KKK member who is on death row for the murder of two young boys, and his defense attorney is his estranged grandson. Grisham was able to capture all the emotion and reality of an inmate's life on death row, and the lives of the inmate's family, as though death row cases were part of his daily routine. The Chamber is a complex novel about a controversial and painful topic to which almost every person has an opinion. During Grisham's time as an attorney he represented people accused of a variety of crimes, but never a capital murder case. John Grisham used the expertise of lawyers and members of the judicial system to learn about all aspects of a death row inmate's life and their cases. The Chamber is intended for an adult audience who has an interest in the controversial topic of the death penalty that causes them to reflect upon personal views and beliefs.
The Chamber is a compelling story of a family's deep, dark secrets that have been hidden from everyone, including each other... The book captures the reader's attention during the first chapter...
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By Alan on Oct. 18 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Those who read alot of Grisham novels know that a typical book written by John Grisham is suspensful, fast-paced, and a quick read. Well don't expect that at all from THE CHAMBER. The book is almost 700 pages and the plot and storyline go alot slower, as the characters are more developed.
The story starts with Sam Cayhall, a racist KKK member who bombed a Jewish lawyer's office killing his two sons. Sam Cayhall is about to be sentenced to death by the gas chamber. Adam, who is a fresh and young laywer, gets involved in the case. Adam is Sam's grandson who wants to know about his turbulent past. The book is about Adam's fight to try and save his grandfather from the gas chamber.
The book is not preachy, but is a novel against the death penalty. It talks about botched executions, racial imbalances in executions, and how it is morally wrong. I am a believer in the death penalty, but this book has softened my views, though has not changed it. The book is also about Adam as he copes with his past, from his father's suicide to his aunt who wants nothing to do with Sam.
A pretty good novel, though different from Grisham's usual work. It isn't a bad novel for sure, though it could use a bit of trimming. Grisham does make it hard to sympathize with Sam, because Grisham is well aware that generally the death row inmates are not angels.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm now right in the middle of reading John Grisham's "The Chamber". I discovered John Grisham several years ago. At one point in my life, I had lost my capability to read. When I got that capability back, I found the Author John Grisham. I truly enjoy his mixture of Novel/Educational writing! I've learned so much about our Law Makers and The Lawyers who work with the laws in a very interesting, delightfull way thanks to this special Author! This book concerns the first decade of my life. I can remember many of the events that John Grisham inserts materfully into this book during that decade. The 1960's! My children don't and can't conceive the events that took place during the Black American revolution! This book states the events in a clear manner. I would recommend this book for adults and children at their parent's discretion. If you like to read Novels that educate you, you'll love "The Chamber" by John Grisham! Note Date: October 10, 2003. I've now finished this great book. In it's detail, I wouldn't suggest this book for the younger children.
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