Customer Reviews for

The Chamber

Average Rating 4
( 148 )
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  • Posted February 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Chamber is John Grisham's best-selling book - ever.

    I was a John Grisham fan. My personal favorite is his first book, A Time to Kill, later adapted into a successful film.<BR/><BR/>The Chamber is John Grisham's best-selling book - ever. From beginning to end, it is an engrossing read. The reader flies through the 600+ pages, as Grisham paints a picture of a family wrecked by the sinful racism of the father.<BR/><BR/>The Chamber tells about a fictional character named Sam Cayhall, condemned to the gas chamber because of a crime he committed in the late 1960's against a Jewish lawyer. Cayhall was an accomplice in setting a bomb that destroyed the lawyer's office and unintentionally killed the lawyer's two twin boys. With just a month before his execution date, Cayhall's grandson, a fresh, young lawyer named Adam Hall, arrives on the scene to save the day.<BR/><BR/>The Chamber forces the reader to wrestle with the idea of the death penalty. The crimes are described in horrific detail, and we later discover that Cayhall was guilty of even more egregious sins than the one for which the government wants to execute him.<BR/><BR/>If you skip the book and decide to rent the movie, be aware. The movie isn't half as good as the book. (I know everyone always says this, but trust me on this one.)<BR/><BR/>This is, in my opinion Grisham's last work worth reading.<BR/>I gradually tired of Grisham's writing. His approach has become overly familiar and formulaic. Many of his books read as if the author was planning for an immediate movie adaptation of the current novel (the Stephen King Movie of the Week syndrome) while he was writing. As a consequence, I simply stopped reading his subsequent books. Grisham can produce page turning prose with the best of them, but after awhile the repetition became monotonous for me. After reading six of his books, I stopped cold.<BR/><BR/>It was not so much a case that Grisham was not entertaining, he was, but as a reader I had the sense of having been there and done that. Some gifted authors have a talent for writing books that always seem to be fresh and new, even when employing the same set of characters, while others seem to fall into a predictable, if profitable rut. Someday, I may check out another Grisham book to see if I was incorrect in my original assessment.""

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Mr. Grisham delivers another Legal Thriller.

    Mr. Grisham is one of my favorite authors and I thought this novel was an excellent and compelling story. Actually, I thought this book was a notch or two above "The Firm and The Pelican Brief", which I enjoyed tremendously. The book starts off a bit slow and then picks up the pace as you the reader become involved with the young lawyer as tries to save his grandfather from the gas chamber for the murder of a father and two children. Overall, I would gladly recommend this novel by an author that knows how to deliver a thrilling story.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2004

    Get Inside The Chamber

    The Chamber is an exciting book filled with new trials and tribulations on every page. This book gives people a chance to really think about their own views on the death penalty, and that¿s why John Grisham is such a successful author; he makes you think about things that wouldn¿t ordinarily cross your mind. The intended audience for this book would be young adult to adult readers because of the language and harsh issues such as murder and prejudice. The focus of this book is justice, and all of the characters are looking for it in different ways. The main character in The Chamber is a belligerent older man named Sam Cayhall who is sentenced to the death penalty for bombing a building with two little boys inside, therefore leading to their deaths. With only a few weeks until his execution a new lawyer steps in to fight for his survival and possible clemency. His new lawyer though, is not someone he expects to see. This book is filled with twists and turns, but sadly the ending falls a little flat. Although this is book has some loose ends, it is still a great read and very easy to follow. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone because the writing style is so original; it is humorous, yet at points very dramatic. Although it¿s hard to feel sympathetic for Sam, you understand his position and why he is the way he is. This book is very human in the way that its' ending is realistic and not easy to predict. The Chamber also confronts family issues, which to some people would hit hard to home and really make you think if your family is ¿normal¿. The Cayhall family is anything but normal, and Sam's daughter and grandson go through some tough times. This book draws the reader into the suspense of the courtroom and hard life on Death Row. This is a lengthy read, but don¿t abandon the reading and watch the movie, because the book gives you so much more drama and entertainment. The book gives such great details on what¿s it like to be on Death Row that you feel like you are there. Not having read any other works by John Grisham I can¿t give an opinion as to if this is his ¿best yet¿. But in reading this excellent book it has turned me on to reading other books by John Grisham.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2003

    You won't be able to put it down!

    An exceptional book with a great story line. John Grisham really makes you think about the death penalty in this book as he tells the story of 70 year old Sam Cayhall and his mistakes as a Klansman. Sam was put it jail at Parchman for the involuntary murder of Mr. Kramer's two sons. Sam Cayhall has followed the family footsteps and has a long history of bombing. Young attorney, Adam Hall has studied Cayhall's death penalty case for years while Sam has been on death row. Sam Cayhall and Adam Hall are the two main characters in this book. Their objective is to save Sam's life. Adam is an attorney at Kravitz & Bane. He is so determined in saving Sam's life because he shares a special connection with Sam and feels like it's his job to save him. Sam is also connected to a woman named Lee. She is afraid to visit Sam because of his actions and attitude towards people in the past. Sam's life lies in the hands of destiny. Although Sam is very well known, not everyone wants him alive. No matter how many people want Sam dead, the decision, the life, and the hope is all in the judge's hands.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2000

    Skeletons in the Closet

    A young attorney, Adam Hall, is confronted with his family's history, by defending his racist Uncle, death row resident Sam Cayhall. Grisham does a good job depicting life on death row and the appeals processes involved. Not fast-paced, but entertaining.

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