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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 Amazon.com --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

Most helpful customer reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, makes a person think twice Nov. 14 2003
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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4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Grisham Novel Oct. 18 2003
By Alan
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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Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was well aware of the popularity of Grisham before reading anything by him, and was quite surprised that such a 'bestseller' didn't fall into a formula plot. Admittedly he was well established before publishing this one - maybe the others are more conventionally pleasing?
There are hints of thriller, and (in my mind) pretty much the assumption of a dramatic courtroom climax, but while either would have fitted easily with the content of the book, Grisham rejects them both.
Rather the novel centres entirely on the anatomy of the final days before an execution. There's actually very little action to speak of, but a lot of dialogue, and reams of detailed narration of physical and judicial institutions. Rather than the pieces of the crime gradually being revealed, with a savage and vital twist forcing the pace, the opening chapters of the book simply relate precisely what happened in a neutral tone, revealing to three decimal places the exact degree of guilt of the defendant. So instead of the standard adrenaline ride of tracking down the 'real' guilty parties while dodging bullets and falling in love, we already know most of the salient details in the first few chapters.
What takes the book beyond being little more than a dramatised documentary is the personal/family aspect of our young hotshot lawyer (Adam) actually getting to know his ex-KKK grandfather (Sam) while representing him. How did some of these awful things go on in his family? How does the perpetrator feel about them now? Characters appear and recede only as far as they relate to the final days on this death row case. Several seemingly central characters turn out to be red herrings - or, at least, they would if this was a whodunit.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Could not put it down. An eye opener
Published 1 month ago by Eve Drouin
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping.
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. Read more
Published on June 17 2011 by J Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars An Extended Look at Guilt, Remorse, Punishment, and Redemption
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... Read more
Published on June 19 2008 by Donald Mitchell
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
4.0 out of 5 stars My Review on the Chamber
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. Read more
Published on May 30 2004 by "sell0uts0ciety"
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 okay...it 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
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