Customer Reviews for

The Appeal

Average Rating 3.5
( 297 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(68)

4 Star

(85)

3 Star

(53)

2 Star

(60)

1 Star

(31)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

excellent book vintage Grisham

John Grisham is tops when it comes to writing legal thrillers. His books pose the realistic thoughts of what if..... in regards to legal issues. This book is about the possibility of can a position be bought on a Court. Since the Roman's this has been done so why sho...
John Grisham is tops when it comes to writing legal thrillers. His books pose the realistic thoughts of what if..... in regards to legal issues. This book is about the possibility of can a position be bought on a Court. Since the Roman's this has been done so why should be belive it can't happen in America. No question in my mind that more than one Judge currenty sittin on the bench has been paid for his position. Grisham writes with a Southern flavor that's makes you long for the smell of Magnolia's and the South. You can never go wrong reading a John Grisham book.

posted by deantalley on May 23, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

What has happened to Grisham?

What in the world has happened to John Grisham? Has he run out of ways to make his books interesting and/or exciting or just forgotten how to do that? I loved his early books but in the last few years his books have become increasingly boring. Years ago he forgot how...
What in the world has happened to John Grisham? Has he run out of ways to make his books interesting and/or exciting or just forgotten how to do that? I loved his early books but in the last few years his books have become increasingly boring. Years ago he forgot how to write a satisfying ending, but at least the journey was entertaining ("The Broker" for example.)

With "The Appeal" he has reached a new low. I plodded through the thing hoping that eventually there would be something interesting only to be disappointed at the end of every chapter, including the last one.

I used to wait impatiently for a new Grisham book and loved his early works like "A Time to Kill." In the last few years I've read his books sporadicaly and with varying degrees of disappointment. This will be the last. My verdict on John Grisham is that he should retire from fiction writing and go back to practicing law.

posted by kalooney on December 5, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    Wealth Overpowers Justice

    Once I began reading this book I could not put it down. In the beginning, (for being a younger audience member to such a detailed book) I didnt quite get the point of the story. I am not one who follows politics. But as I kept reading, Grisham continued to bring me in through the many characters and perspectives he created. He also explained in high detail about politics. As you go along the tale of one man's journey to regain wealth and power in society you will see the effect that money has on people and the justice system in our world today. You can't help but to think to ask yourself, "do things like that actually happen in our present world?" The book is very entertaining throughout the story up until the end. The end of the novel was very weak and leaves the reader hanging. However, the moral is clearly shown in this story and I would recommend The Appeal to anyone looking for a dramatic novel filled with the harsh truths in our society.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Too slow & too many characters!

    I am a big fan of John Grisham but I was disappointed here. Grisham usually makes me feel like I know the characters so well that I can believe they're real. Here, the vast cast isn't fleshed out enough due to the huge number of players. Added to the fact the plot itself is tedious and incredibly slow the book is just average. While the ending was both parts predictable and not, it still wasn't satisfying. There are plenty of better offerings by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Okay Read

    A pretty fast read, with an ending that was unexpected for a John Grisham book. Great book for a vacation or car trip, but I probably won't read it again.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Give it a ho! Give it a hum!

    Read John Grisham's 2008 novel THE APPEAL primarily to while away a couple of hours. When stuck in an airport, let us imagine, or in bed late at night fighting insomnia. *** You will also garner as a by-product of time invested a few facts about the workings of courts in Mississippi, including trial courts and the elected nine-person Supreme Court in Jackson. You are presented a teary melodrama about innocent little people being kicked around by evil tycoons. You get a slightly different take on the psyches of John Edwards stereotypical trial lawyers: sure they are quirky egomaniacs, but deep inside their combative souls there is a spark of love for the little man and a professional intent (compensated by contingency fees) to right gigantic rascals tooth and nail in court. *** Once read, soon forgotten. -OOO-

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  • Posted November 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    '>' THE CLIENT but '<' THE FIRM or PELICAN BRIEF

    I enjoyed this Grisham novel so much more than the last one I read [THE CLIENT], that I was on the verge of rating it with 4 stars.

    But I'm calmer now.

    All the same, here's a novel with interesting characters. It starts off with a court room climax and winds its way through a plot one hopes is outlandish but rings frighteningly true. And while elements feel slightly recycled from PELICAN BRIEF, the stakes are anchored with unsettling verisimilitude, not to say heartbreak.

    A huge verdict is awarded a woman who has lost her husband and child to cancer brought on by the local water which has been poisoned by corrupt corporate behaviour. In fact, there have been numerous cancer-related deaths, between 12-15 times the national average, in this particular county. But that doesn't mean that the Big Corporation wants to take any responsibility for its actions. And, unfortunately, they have a plan to overturn the verdict upon appeal.

    So Grisham examines the two paths taken to the appeal. One from the plaintiff's married lawyers, who have risked everything to try the case; and the other from the men who don't want to part with any of their profits, and who face possible ruin otherwise. Cue: The Pawn.

    Again, Grisham's prose is nothing to write home about, but it feels just a bit more fleshed out than the short-hand he used to fill the banal pages of THE CLIENT. So it moves along at a rapid pace but still makes one care about the race to the outcome of the appeal, with characters to root for, to feel sorry for for being naive, to hiss at, and moments to hold one's breath over.

    And, unlike the obvious, predictable 'surprise' ending of THE CLIENT, the reader won't know for certain just how this tale will pan out.

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  • Posted August 5, 2009

    ARGH! What an ending!

    After investing several days trying to muddle through to what I was SURE had to be a satisfying conclusion, I was ready to write John Grisham and chastise him for such a let-down! The story and plot were classic Grisham, but usually the bad guys gets their come-uppance in the end. This time, I guess he was going for true to life, but it was VERY disappointing.

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  • Posted March 24, 2009

    Good Book

    This book is a good book not great but good. The ending will surprise you. Starts a little slow but gets better.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    Interesting look at judicial elections

    Not his finest, most compelling work. At times, I had to force myself to remain engaged to see it through. Then the ending was less than satisfying.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2009

    "A Civil Action" on appeal

    The Appeal's predecessor in plot, A Civil Action, covered the trial court proceedings, and the lead up to the trial, in better form. The factual background of The Appeal is nothing more than an adoption of A Civil Action. But The Appeal is entertaining nontheless, despite its lack of originality. Those who like Grisham, and The Appeal, should also read the superior A Civil Action, however.

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  • Posted February 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not what you would expect from Grisham

    The story built up with plenty of thrilling moments but the ending was unexpected. I didn't expect John G. to try and teach me a lesson with this book. I'm not sure I liked it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2009

    Where's the old John Grisham?

    This was my 3rd john grisham book and i thought it was pretty weak and the plot was very boring. I kept on reading brcause i thought the plot would get better but it did not and at the end i was very disapointed.

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  • Posted January 9, 2009

    Strong Political Statement

    While not as well-written as some of Grisham's other books, it does make a strong statement for appointed justices. I had never thought about this before and am glad I read this book to understand reasons why it makes sense to appoint our judges. I live in a state that elects them; most of the time nobody has any idea who we are voting for or why they would be better or worse than another judge. The book also explains how elections are manipulated. To those of you complaining about the bad ending - What do you expect? If good would triumph over evil, there would be no need to make any changes in our electoral systems. The most disturbing person was the weak, spineless newly elected judge. He sold out on any principles he may have had. And so it is in real life. Great ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    2/3 build up, 1/3 let down

    I found the first 2 sections to be grossly entertaining. It was the classic build up, character development, and story telling. The last third seemed rushed and lack luster. I felt the 3rd part landed with a thud. It could have been more in depth. The plot was just starting to deleve in to classic good vs evil. Yet, it basically wrapped it up in 1 lousy paragraph. John, you are better than this!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    Funky Ending

    Predictable at times . . . but what killed the story was the funky ending where the good guy lost.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2008

    Entertaining but...

    In general this was a competent book, but the artless character evolution was a little irritating. I set out to enjoy the story, but some of the characters were a little too consummate. Having said that, this is still another solid book from Mr. Grisham.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    Did I read this before?

    It is great to see Mr. Grisham return to the legal fiction that made him a household name. His more recent works on Christmas and Italian football were less than wonderful. However, the story of the class action lawsuits and the apparent no-win situations for the clients and the lawyers has been told many, many times. Please find us the way back to a novel in the vein of 'A Time to Kill' or 'The Pelican Brief.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    A reviewer

    This had all the promise of a great Grisham book. Then he gets to the end and just when you think here comes the twist, it's just predictable. So disappointing. I am giving up on his books. The last few fiction works have been just OK. Or the ending is predictable. I feel like he is just tired and instead of coming up with something creative, he just ends it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    Not up to par

    Being a toxicologist, I was interested in the story line toxic wastes causing cancer in a small southern town. The book had its moments of interest and intrigue and was an easy read as all Grisham books are. However, far too much of the story centered on the campaign for the supreme court position and not enough on the legal process. Maybe The Campaign would have been a more fitting title for the book. I think this is one of his weaker 'lawyer' books. The Innocent Man was excellent as have been many of his earlier books. Hopefully, he is not over the hill and will come back with something approaching the quality of The Testament or The Runaway Jury.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2008

    A reviewer

    ...other than the ending this book was rather boring. That said, I LOVED the ending. In a crowded field of authors leave it to Grisham to be the lone voice with the guts to offer a non-predictable ending. This is the reason I buy Grisham books, to get away from typical endings. What's the point in reading 400 pages if you already know how it's going to end? This is the very reason No Country for Old Men was so succesful. Thank God writers and producers are finally coming around to breaking the traditional, 'bad-guy-loses-good guy-gets-girl' endings. Something Grisham has known for years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    A Measurement of Our USA System???

    In reading the Appeal, I was wondering, is this the lay-out of our system.? I shall finish the book.

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