Sparring Partners By John Grisham
Book/Novel Author: John Grisham
Book/Novel Title: Sparring Partners
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • John Grisham is the acknowledged master of the legal thriller. In his first collection of novellas, law is a common thread, but America’s favorite storyteller has several surprises in store. “Homecoming” takes us back to Ford County, the fictional setting of many of John Grisham’s unforgettable stories. Jake Brigance is back, but he’s not in the courtroom. He’s called upon to help an old friend, Mack Stafford, a former lawyer in Clanton, who three years earlier became a local legend when he stole money from his clients, divorced his wife, filed for bankruptcy, and left his family in the middle of the night, never to be heard from again—until now. Now Mack is back, and he’s leaning on his old pals, Jake and Harry Rex, to help him return. His homecoming does not go as planned.In “Strawberry Moon,” we meet Cody Wallace, a young death row inmate only three hours away from execution. His lawyers can’t save him, the courts slam the door, and the governor says no to a last-minute request for clemency. As the clock winds down, Cody has one final request. The “Sparring Partners” are the Malloy brothers, Kirk and Rusty, two successful young lawyers who inherited a once prosperous firm when its founder, their father, was sent to prison. Kirk and Rusty loathe each other, and speak to each other only when necessary. As the firm disintegrates, the resulting fiasco falls into the lap of Diantha Bradshaw, the only person the partners trust. Can she save the Malloys, or does she take a stand for the first time in her career and try to save herself?By turns suspenseful, hilarious, powerful, and moving, these are three of the greatest stories John Grisham has ever told.
First of all, similar to a number of people, I didn’t know this was a set of novellas. Even so, these stories feel like they ended in an abrupt manner, barring the 2nd one. Almost feels like an incomplete homework turned in.
John Grisham has done it again with some great short stories. Each story is different and each has a surprise ending.
It appears that John had three unfinished stories that were going nowhere so he combined them into a book which also goes nowhere. I’ve read most of his works and this was his weakest effort. Truly a wallet biopsy.
I’m pretty sure that I’ve read almost everything that John Grisham has published, but this particular Novella, in my opinion is the best thing he’s written in a long time. In these 3 short stories he’s able to develop each character in a way that made me feel like these people could’ve been a person living next door to me. The second story dealing with the execution of a boy who was convicted of murder, after being tried as an Adult, when he was only fourteen , has made me rethink the notion that several states like Texas and Florida seemed to believe is an appropriate sentence. Of course I’m referring to the number of people who are executed for committing murder. After reading this story, I plan on finding out about the number of people who were children, when they committed their crimes, but were tried like they were adults. I could go on and on about what made each of the three stories worth the time I spent reading them, but suffice it to say that I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s searching for their next new book to read!
John Grisham’s attempt at a novella was a surprise – exciting and different from his books, all of which I’ve read. Really enjoyed the “realistic” characters! Always waiting for the next John Grisham book or perhaps another novella!!
Grisham has an interesting style, a matter of fact layering of information without false leads or hyped up excitement. It can be quite effective.Three stories here.Homecoming is first and best. We get to revisit Jake again and it is interesting to the end.Strawberry Moon is a split decision. Grisham hates the death penalty and he skillfully uses a sympathetic boy who never actually shot anyone during his last fours on death row to make his case in a subtle way. The details of the last hours or fascinating but it is really manipulative. How about a story involving someone who actually commits a brutal murder?The final story Sparring Partners is not bad but there is little sympathy for anyone in this piece and it just kinds of runs out of gas and end.All in all, a mixed bag I would recommend but not rave about.