A Time to Kill Book Review – Written by John Grisham

A Time To Kill Book Review by John Grisham

A Time to Kill Book Review – Written by John Grisham

At this point, is there anything left to be said or written about John Grisham? With over 250 million copies of his books sold worldwide, eight novels adapted into feature films and a Galaxy British Book Award under his belt, Grisham is one of the most widely celebrated thriller writers of his time. However, it hasn’t always been like that. Back in 1989, a then-unknown Grisham had to send his first novel – aptly named A Time to Kill – to 28 publishers before finally finding success with New York-based Wynwood Press, which published it in a modest first printing of 5,000 copies. Wynwood Press kicked the bucket shortly thereafter, but the book itself eventually sold out and became popular for both its undeniable quality and introducing the genius of John Grisham to the world.

A Summary of the Book

A Time to Kill takes place in the fictional Southern town of Clanton, a setting that should be familiar to most Grisham fans. The story begins with a brutal rape of a 10-year old black girl named Tonya Hailey by two racist rednecks; while the perpetrators are quickly caught, the girl’s distraught father Carl Lee Hailey decides to take justice into his own hands. After murdering both assailants in cold blood, Carl Lee is charged with first-degree murder and imprisoned to await a trial. He quickly decides to put his fate into the hands of his old friend, Jake Brigance, a young white attorney modeled largely after Grisham himself. However, with a resurgence of the local Ku Klux Klan unit hellbent on seeking revenge against Carl Lee, it’s anybody’s guess whether the case will even get to the trial.

Important Thoughts

Right from the start, it becomes obvious that Grisham won’t be pulling any punches. The very first chapter contains a shocking depiction of a gang-rape and numerous instances of vulgar language, including the infamous N-word. While it’s hard to outright recommend the book to those with weak stomachs, it’s important to note that the violence is never too gratuitous and is always in the service of the story. The novel deals with heavy themes, including but not limited to racial prejudice, gender equality and capital punishment, and this kind of fiery storytelling is pretty much necessary to convey the gravity of the situation.

The book’s biggest strength undoubtedly lies in its cast of characters. The fictional town of Clanton feels like a real place with its own rich history, mostly thanks to the characterization of the people living in it. While it probably would have been easy enough to focus on the relationship between Jake Brigance and Carl Lee, Grisham decides to expand upon the story by introducing at least a couple of new characters in every chapter, most of whom end up being memorable and entertaining enough to help propel the story further forward. Many of the minor characters’ main purpose is to provide some much-needed moments of levity, which is a technique that Grisham would perfect in his later novels. The sheer length of the book allows Grisham to take his time and let his characters explore both sides of each important argument.

Overall, the book flows well and absorbs the reader from the very beginning. The almost palpable suspense, one of the key features of Grisham’s work, is present here throughout. However, as is the case with the majority of the first novels, A Time to Kill has certain narrative problems that clog the story’s pace. As Grisham himself readily admits, the book focuses too a bit too much on the repetitive townsfolk chatter while at the same time neglecting the trial the story is centered around by holding it off until four-fifths of the way in. Still, this is only a minor concern; the book is fast-paced enough that any problems disappear as quickly as they arrive.

In Conclusion

In the years that followed its humble beginnings, A Time to Kill slowly found an audience through its 1996 movie adaptation and John Grisham’s imminent rise to relevance. It may not have made much of an impact when it was first published, but make no mistake – this book is pure and unfiltered Grisham, and as such, deserves to be treated with utmost respect. There is a certain kind of passion that a writer injects into his first real book, and A Time to Kill is a wonderful reminder why those works are such a joy to read.

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“It” Book Review Written by Stephen King

IT Book Review by Stephen King

A Review of Stephen King’s IT

Stephen King has long been seen as one of the most iconic figures in the history of horror novels. His 1986 novel IT is one of the most noteworthy stories that he has ever made. The story is one that focuses heavily on memories and childhood trauma.

A Summary of the Book

IT is a book that takes place in Maine over the course of two periods of time. The story begins in the 1950s as a number of kids in a small town come across a strange being that they refer to simply as IT. This is a creature that roams the sewers and kills children by posing as things that they fear. The most noteworthy form that IT takes is that of a clown although it can be seen in many other forms by all the kids in town.

The story picks up in the 1980s as a group of friends refer to their small town in Maine through a blood oath stating that they would return if IT appeared again. The story then moves on to look into what the team has to do in order to stop IT as the strange being continues to roam the town while killing people all around.

The story particularly delves into the origins of IT throughout its entire run. This includes a closer look at how IT has evolved from centuries as it was responsible for the killings of various people throughout the years.

Important Thoughts

IT is a fascinating story in that it focuses heavily on the concept of fear and how it can take hold in many forms. This can especially be seen from how IT can appear in many styles as a means of stopping people in their tracks and killing them. IT mostly appears as a clown named Pennywise, an interesting concept considering how many children are afraid of clowns.

The story also looks into the concept of small town facades. This looks into how many children are led to believe that the places that they can call home are supportive and welcoming when in reality they are often places that can be extremely dangerous. This is an interesting look at how the places that people often trust in and find comfort in may not always be as peaceful and calming as they wish they could be. This is a great look into just what makes some of these places, so intriguing to people, while also being specific in terms of how dangerous the world might be at times.

It is clear that the book is a little lengthy, what with it being a little more than a thousand pages in length. However, Stephen King manages to fill the space with plenty of characters that people will easily get invested in. The characters are described well and it is very easy to sympathize with them as the story goes along. This is especially for how many of them have their own ulterior motives in terms of what makes them want to stop IT before that creature can get into any real trouble. The story certainly has plenty of gripping moments that will intrigue people all the way through.

There is also a great look at how childhood trauma can last in this book. The trauma that the character experienced when they were young continues to be noticed as the story goes along and proves to be a fascinating part of the story. This shows that while anyone can move on with life, it may not always be as easy to do this as some might think it could be. As difficult as it can be, it is a good point that could be seen in terms of how important it is for people to develop throughout their lives in order to avoid the traumas and pains that they often get into.

Conclusion

Stephen King’s IT is a very entertaining horror novel that stands out for how it has a variety of appealing characters and scary situations. The story has a great theme as well as it focuses on how fear works and how what people think is peaceful is not always as happy as it might seem. This is a great book for those who are interested in getting into King’s world of literature to check out.

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The Catcher in the Rye – by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye book cover by J.D. Salinger

Introduction

Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger that is considered to be one of the greatest works that American literature has ever produced. It is also a controversial piece of literature that has often been linked to the assassination attempts at President Ronald Reagan and the murder of John Lennon. It was written in 1951, and all the controversy surrounding the book and its author has made it a timeless classic that sells by the thousands even on this day. 

While this book may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is certainly a compelling read filled with excitement, a heavy dose of reality, a pinch of humor, and severe moments of depression to keep the readers engaged.

Summary

The story follows a 17-year-old character, Holden Caulfield, who is trying to make a sense of the world that surrounds him and the consequences of his actions. The plot deals with a personal and tragic story that many readers can relate to, regardless of their age. The story begins by portraying Caulfield as a loner who has recently been expelled from the prestigious boarding school, which leads him to roam around New York City aimlessly urging people to lend an ear to his plight. He finds out that the world is indeed very cruel as he thought as people never make an effort to understand him.

Making matters even worse is the fact that Caulfield’s teachers never seem to have the right words to encourage him, his mentor makes an unduly advances, and his friends barely managed to understand him. His journey of finding love meets a similar fate as his belief in humanity, as he fails to recognize or experience both. There is a lot more to the story that the user will experience as it progresses.

Impressions

Catcher in the Rye is one of the most influential and misunderstood novels of the 20th century due to the presence of strong language and themes related to controversial subjects. The story timeline stretches for just three days, but that is just enough for Salinger that to create the hard-hitting impressions of a cynical world with a young man caught in the middle. Most of the story takes place in a flashback with occasional references to the current time. 

Through the use of profanity, the author has ensured that readers can walk in the proverbial shoes off Holden Caulfield, who has almost given up on finding the meaning of life. The plot of this book is centered around the concept of morality that young readers may find hard to grasp, but it is nonetheless an eye-opening read for young adults and adults.

Conclusion

The author wrote this book in 1951, and it is still widely acknowledged and recommended even today. One can probably find a copy in every bookstore, and this novel has been assigned to many high schools as a lesson for over 50 years. Salinger managed to capture the voice of adolescence more poignantly and perfectly than anyone else did in his generation, and better than anyone probably could in the times to come.

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