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Ford County: Stories [Paperback]

John Grisham
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 17 2010

New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill. This riveting collection of short stories features an unforgettable cast of characters: Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons embark on a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit Inez’s youngest son, Raymond—on death row. A hard-drinking, low-grossing divorce lawyer fed up with his wife, his life, and the law plans a drastic escape after an unexpected phone call. A quiet, unassuming data collector sets out to bring down a flashy casino owner with his skill at blackjack—as payback for the theft of his wife. A stalker hunts victims in a retirement home, a lawyer confronts a vengeful adversary from the past, and a young man from a prominent family is driven off by scandal and fear—but finds unexpected redemption on the wrong side of the tracks. Often hilarious, frequently moving, and always entertaining, this collection makes it abundantly clear why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.

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Product Description


“Grisham shows off his literary chops: He can do wry, emotional, funny, serious.”
USA Today
“The best writing John Grisham has ever done.”
—Pat Conroy
“Terrifically charming . . . You absolutely can’t stop reading.”
The Washington Post

About the Author

John Grisham has written twenty-two novels, including The Confession. He has also written a fiction collection, and one work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one."

--Psalm 14:3

If you are looking for a funny John Grisham book about crooked lawyers, you won't begin to find the usual quota in Ford County. You won't like these short stories nearly as much as what you are looking for.

I was attracted to this book after hearing Mr. Grisham talk about how these were stories that he had worked on for a long time that refused to turn themselves into full-fledged novels. I was immediately curious about how a gifted story teller like Mr. Grisham could possibly paint himself into a large number of boxes.

Keeping that perspective in mind, I found that these stories were more rewarding than his interview suggested to me. In many cases the reason they cannot be novels is because he has built up a single scene or episode in a character's life to such an extent that anything else you might add to it would pale too much by comparison.

I also didn't expect to find some terrific stories and was pleasantly surprised to find one. Michael's Room is one of the most compelling short stories I remember reading. I also disagree with Mr. Grisham about this not being able to become a novel. Add the background to this story as the rest of the novel, end with this story, and you've got quite a compelling and rewarding novel.

For pure irony and humor, Blood Drive rings very true about the ways we are all easily distracted into doing things that we shouldn't. You could drop this story into the middle of a novel about a pill-popping drunk on his way down (Roger Tucker) and end the novel either with him in the gutter or experiencing redemption.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Blue collar short stories Dec 2 2010
Short stories are a disrespected art form, largely because they seem to be dominated by practitioners who prefer dull literary exploration to actually writing anything that anyone might be interested in reading. Grisham doesn't have that problem. He's no literary master, so he has to make his stories readable. For the most part, he does. I agree with the reviewer who declared "Michael's Room" the strongest story in the book. Overall, not as enjoyable as the best of Grisham's novels - but since Grisham has declared these "failed novels" for the most part, that's not really a surprise. A welcome change of pace and one that Grisham can get away with, considering his large readership. Grisham isn't a writer that wows you but his writing doesn't make you grimace more than occasionally either, so I will continue to read his books on occasion, despite his seemingly failing powers as of late.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grisham is a great storyteller Oct. 5 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you like short stories, then this book is for you. I borroweed this book from my mother and was skeptecial before I started reading. After the first 10 pages, my opinion changed. Each story brings different characters to life. Mr. Grisham uses humour, drama and very eloquent prose to tell stories of 3 drunken friends on a blood drive, an insurance adjuster turned card shark and a person living with an awful disease in rural Mississippi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome May 29 2010
Each storey leaves you wanting more...once you start reading you can not put it down. Brilliant Read!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Grisham Sept. 14 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While not usually a fan of short stories, this collection was terrific. A great "just before lights out" read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Get to know Ford County July 3 2014
By W. VanB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This provides some more insight into the setting of so many of Grisham's novels. These stories are very intriguing and interesting to read. Possibly the beginnings of longer novels, that didn't have quite enough to get there. But they are good stories none the less. Worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! Jan. 4 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent short stories; for each the ending is not what you expect.... A very enjoyable read.
Each story plot, taking place in Ford County, is so vivid that it almost discourages the reader to visit the County :o))
Quite imaginative, as usual John Grisham at his best,
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3.0 out of 5 stars No postcards July 27 2013
By Chris
Format:Kindle Edition
John Grisham isn't Stephen King or Richard Matheson when it comes to short stories, though the collection improved with the final three offerings. Of the seven stories, "Funny Boy" was the best, while "Blood Drive" and "Casino", though unpredictable, had dismal conclusions.
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