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The Last Juror

by John Grisham

The Last Juror by John Grisham X
The Last Juror by John Grisham
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2004, 368 pages
    Dec 2004, 496 pages


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this doesn't seem to know what kind of book it wants to be. it is not particularly suspenseful, and rather obvious, however it is a great character study of a small southern town and interesting to see the hero 'grow up' amongst the townfolk.

I think I have read all of John Grisham's books. This is not his best, but it is still a good read. He divided the book into three sections and for a while in the second section it seems to be another book. However at the end he ties the whole thing together quite well. A Grisham fan will find this book enjoyable.

This is the first Grisham novel I have read and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was lucky enough to be able to devote a few days to read the book; however, I got through it in a day. Either my speed reading skills have dramatically improved, or it was an easy read. As an Australian, I found the content interesting; as a 27-year-old, I identified with the main character; as a translator, I gasped at a lapse in editing. Fortunately, the Australian vernacular has not succumbed to the North American overuse and misuse of the word “bunch”—e.g., bunch of papers, bunch of jokes, and in The Last Juror “…bunch of promises.” The use of ‘bunch’ (twice) in the book really spoilt a good read. To my knowledge, a well-spoken 50-something black woman in the 70s, Miss Callie, would not have said: bunch of promises. While a poor oversight on the editors’ part, I think it shows just how one has to be careful when writing in a different era.

I admit, I did shed a tear during the last few pages. An ideal book to take on an aeroplane on one's way to New Zealand...

The Last Juror is not up to par with John Grisham's standards for captivating reading. There were too many descriptions of and too much time wasted on eating food and drinking liquor. I found myself using the Evelyn Woods method of reading this book skipping unnessary sentences to get the idea he was trying to convey.

The beginning was really hard hitting and too graphic. It was hard trying to connect with the characters in the book and was centered on one main character that had little to do with the ultimate ending. Characters in this novel were all over the place.

I think it had more of a racial/political connotation than a legal one.

I consider myself a huge Grisham fan. I thoroughly enjoy his writing but I also notice the decline in substance of his material. Lack of new material? Boredom? The Last Juror is not up to par with his first few published books, notably, A Time to Kill and The Firm, books I enjoyed immensely and couldn't put down. This book I was able to walk away from for days without missing it. It was disappointingly predictable and at times, annoying. I was extremely annoyed by the ease of the main character, Willie's life even though he tried to make us think it was so difficult and painstaking at times. Things just seemed to fall into his lap without much effort. Poor Kid <insert sarcasm>. Willie's relationship with Miss Callie although I applaud Mr. Grisham's attempt to prove racial tolerance and acceptance by his main character, I was annoyed by the blatant stereotypes in which he wrote his black characters. Even though he had all of the Ruffin children earning doctorate degrees, you never saw any of them actually working, especially the women. They were always in the kitchen cooking and their husbands were almost obedient little children. The women always rushed to the kitchen to cook or get food and this is one of the typical Aunt Jemima stereotypes of black women (including being extremely over weight). It was not believable to me that Willie would have been as accepted to the Ruffin family as he was in the book, or that he would have taken the time to be a family chauffer or mediator. Willie laud and loathed Clanton in the same chapter and by the end of the book we really wasn't sure how he felt about living there. Not Grisham's best and it seemed he was reaching for a story here. I think its time for me to retire him.
Paulette Sioson

I have read most Grisham's books except for Skipping Xmas and Bleachers. I must say that I am so totally disappointed with this book.

The ending was pretty obvious chapters before it was even delivered. There were a lot of irrelevant characters and situations -- very not Grisham.

Boo hoo!
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