John Grisham The Chamber

ISBN 13: 9780099179511

The Chamber

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9780099179511: The Chamber

Adam Hill is in his first year at a top Chicago law firm. He volunteers for the toughest assignment any lawyer could ask for. His prospective client doesn't want Adam or his law firm. He is an unrepentent and outspoken racist with a violent past. He is on Death Row for the murder of two Jewish children in a horrific bombing in 1967. Why would he take on Adam, a complete novice, to defend him? And why would Adam want his case so desperately? The answer lies in the past, in a twenty-year-old secret buried in the madness of another time...

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Review:

"The decision to bomb the office of the radical Jew lawyer was reached with relative ease." So begins Grisham's legal leviathan The Chamber, a 676-page tome that scrutinizes the death penalty and all of its nuances--from racially motivated murder to the cruel and unusual effects of a malfunctioning gas chamber.

Adam Hall is a 26-year-old attorney, fresh out of law school and working at the best firm in Chicago. He might have been humming Timbuk 3's big hit, "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades," if it wasn't for his psychotic Southern grandfather, Sam Cayhall. Cayhall, a card-carrying member of the KKK, is on death row for killing two men. Knowing his uncle will surely die without his legal expertise, Hall comes to the rescue and puts his dazzling career at stake, while digging up a barnyard of skeletons from his family's past. Grisham fans expecting the typical action-packed plot should ready themselves for a slower pace, well-fleshed-out characters, and heavy doses of sentimentalism.

Review:

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

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