Customer Reviews for

The Summons

Average Rating 3.5
( 255 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(69)

4 Star

(77)

3 Star

(53)

2 Star

(28)

1 Star

(28)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Another solid tale by Grisham!

John Grisham once again goes to Mississippi to weave a tale of family, greed, and paranoia that is solid from beginning to end. The main character is likeable although a little bland at times. The story had me guessing as to who was behind what. Although there were l...
John Grisham once again goes to Mississippi to weave a tale of family, greed, and paranoia that is solid from beginning to end. The main character is likeable although a little bland at times. The story had me guessing as to who was behind what. Although there were legal elements in the book it isn't a legal thriller but it was a thriller. One complaint was I wanted more of Clanton, MS. Many times Grisham has transported me to the South and here it was just a locale. Overall, a solid read but not Grisham's best.

posted by Sean_From_OHIO on September 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Exhausting and Unexciting

This is the first book I've read by John Grisham, and I was very disappointed given his stellar and famous reputation as a best-selling author. NOT recommended for those who find the area of the law boring nor for those who enjoy multi-faceted, changing characters. Af...
This is the first book I've read by John Grisham, and I was very disappointed given his stellar and famous reputation as a best-selling author. NOT recommended for those who find the area of the law boring nor for those who enjoy multi-faceted, changing characters. After a while the people in the southern town become very predictable (there's Ray's friend who sleeps with a woman in his law office, there's the broad whom the judge slept with for decades who wants money after his death, there's the brother who has a drug problem, etc.) There really isn't much character development beyond stereotypes (for instance the male stereotype is when Ray says that he must call one of his former students for a date because her body is just too hot to resist). Overall could be interesting at times (like when he finds the money), but besides that you read on for at least a hundred pages waiting for something worthwhile to happen. Meanwhile all Ray does is jog, drive, and gamble. Just not what I'd have expected from someone of Grisham's acclaim. Be careful of this one. Only buy it if you find it for $3 at a local bookstore like I did.

posted by Anonymous on July 21, 2005

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  • Posted September 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Another solid tale by Grisham!

    John Grisham once again goes to Mississippi to weave a tale of family, greed, and paranoia that is solid from beginning to end. The main character is likeable although a little bland at times. The story had me guessing as to who was behind what. Although there were legal elements in the book it isn't a legal thriller but it was a thriller. One complaint was I wanted more of Clanton, MS. Many times Grisham has transported me to the South and here it was just a locale. Overall, a solid read but not Grisham's best.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Boring.

    Nothing much happened. Too much talking.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 30, 2010

    A Classic Mystery- Enter if you Dare

    This book is an apple waiting to be plucked by anybody who is interested in law work or just interested in mysteries. The storyline revolves around lawyers and courthouse work. I learned some about the difficulties and controversies that take place in the courtroom. This is the first book that I have read by John Grisham and because I enjoyed it I will look forward to reading more of his novels.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2005

    Exhausting and Unexciting

    This is the first book I've read by John Grisham, and I was very disappointed given his stellar and famous reputation as a best-selling author. NOT recommended for those who find the area of the law boring nor for those who enjoy multi-faceted, changing characters. After a while the people in the southern town become very predictable (there's Ray's friend who sleeps with a woman in his law office, there's the broad whom the judge slept with for decades who wants money after his death, there's the brother who has a drug problem, etc.) There really isn't much character development beyond stereotypes (for instance the male stereotype is when Ray says that he must call one of his former students for a date because her body is just too hot to resist). Overall could be interesting at times (like when he finds the money), but besides that you read on for at least a hundred pages waiting for something worthwhile to happen. Meanwhile all Ray does is jog, drive, and gamble. Just not what I'd have expected from someone of Grisham's acclaim. Be careful of this one. Only buy it if you find it for $3 at a local bookstore like I did.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2013

    I rarely rate a book with less than 3 stars, but this one deserv

    I rarely rate a book with less than 3 stars, but this one deserved it--
    Not much to say about this book, particularly the main character, Ray. Lots of action, I suppose, with him driving back and forth from 
    Virginia to Mississippi with some unknown scary individual following his every move. However, I couldn't find a 
    reason to like Ray or any of the other characters for that matter. All I knew was that he was obsessed with greed, and later, fear,
    despite making a huge salary as an underworked college professor. Very minimal character development in this book. It reminded me of The Firm.
    If you want to read a better Grisham book, pick up "A Painted House."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 22, 2012

    I would recommend this book. It's John Grisham and it's a good read.

    If you like Grisham you'll enjoy this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Somehow, The Summons, Captivates, Charming and Melancholic, I wish it Would not have ended as it Did. Nonetheless, Grisham is good as usual.

    Grisham's " The Summons" takes readers back to Clanton, Mississippi, where judge Reuben tAlee is dying, and has summoned his two sons for one more trip to Clanton. Upon his arrival Ray now a professor of Law at a prestigious university, and the older of the two siblings found his father dead, along with three million dollars in cash money. Fearing for his lost and unstable brother Forrest he decides to take the money, and hide it from the IRS. It is in this process that he will find the adventure of his life, Beautifully written, and with an elite of characters that you will find only in Grisham's novels. The summons is great, so great that it becomes a page turner. I like finding characters that are so likable. Harry Rex is great as usual, a great representation of Clanton. Forrest is just Forrest I guess. But what I did not expected is the fact, that Grisham did not end the novel, It leaves readers thinking or wishing for more. I honestly don't know if that was the right ending, or I just did not want the author to end it like that. I found no closure when it comes to Ray's character, His character was still in development, and I wish I would have seem more of Forrest. Nonetheless, the book is great, and Grisham knows how to write a book and somehow make readers think and wonder in his own world of writing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2007

    Needing a good book?

    The Summons was almost a different type of write for Grisham. The gist of the story is a man's father dies, leaving him with a bank account. A bank account with three million dollars in it. The start of the book was slow. But after a few chapters it slowly picked up. However there seemed to be no climax, it just fell right into the end. The reason I had to keep reading was, I was tring to but myself into the main charactors shoes. What would you do with 3 million dollars? You could buy just about any thing you wanted! All in all this book was alright. If you like John Grisham, I would give this book a try.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    Apalled

    Most of Grisham's books are brilliant and I have loved them- how on earth did he lower himself to serve up this drivel?? Not worth wasting five minutes on

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2004

    An Outstanding Mystery from Cover to Cover!

    The Summons, written by John Grisham, is a mystery that will have the reader on the edge of their seat the whole way through. The main character, Ray Atlee, has just found a little over $3,000,000 in cash in his dead father¿s estate. Ray had always known his father, a prestigious judge from Clanton, Mississippi, to be conservative and never would have kept so much money to himself. The fight for the money begins the night of his father¿s death when someone attempts to break into the house, presumably for the money. From that point forward, Ray scours the tiny town of Clanton looking for some answers while someone is hot on his trail dying to get their hands on the money. I found this book to be quite the page turner. There were many elements to the book¿s characters and plot that caused it to steer away from your average mystery. The first thing I liked was that it was written in present day. Some books leave the reader confused because they were not written in this day and age, but The Summons is very descriptive in the time setting the author chose, which made it easier to follow. The plot also made the book very exciting to read because it had two mysteries rolled into one novel. The first mystery was a ¿whodunit¿ type. The reader is left with tiny hints on each page leading to a possible suspect in the crimes Ray Atlee faces. There are times in the book where the reader may say they know who is causing Ray so much turmoil, but then something Ray finds crosses that person off the suspect list. The second mystery asks ¿where¿. The reader is in constant suspense as Ray Atlee tries to find out where the money initially came from. Once again the reader is left constantly guessing. The characters also made the novel a fun read. Ray Atlee is the average middle-aged man whose wife just left him. At the beginning he is a depressed college professor but as the mysteries unfold his character evolves into an interesting detective one can¿t help but enjoy. Ray¿s brother, Forrest, is an alcoholic and a drug addict. He doesn¿t become a main character until the end of the novel, but whenever he is mentioned in short you can be sure there will be excitement to follow. There are some other very interesting characters which comprise the plot of the novel such as suspects in crime and some of Ray¿s alliances. The one feature of the book that makes it a great read from beginning to end is the cultural significance and the theme of the book. The novel shows what great power money can have over mankind. Throughout the book we follow Ray as he tries everything in his power to keep his newly found money safe from anyone who wants to take it away. There are criminals with heavy weapons not only trying to get the money, but to also get Ray. One may wonder why Ray doesn¿t leave the money to get back to a safe and normal life free of guilt and fear. The answer lies in a trait everyone possesses - greed. Ray¿s greed and yearn for wealth was enough for him to risk his life for. The theme expresses that American¿s today do not live for life itself but they live for money and power. When one stops living for something that may be completely out of reach, life can be a lot less hectic. The one aspect of the novel that may confuse the reader is the language used. Ray Atlee¿s father was a judge and Ray is a professor of law. The novel consistently uses legal terminology which can be confusing to anyone who is not familiar with the language. At times the novel can drift into what may be seen as lengthy and boring but the author makes every paragraph like a piece of a puzzle, towards the end the reader begins seeing the whole picture and the useless facts come together. The Summons is a well written piece of literature. Not only does the reader get a suspense story but they also get a moral to apply to everyday life. Though the language may be difficult to understand at times and could be better understood by someone in a law profession, anyone ca

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    Better than others

    Classic Grisham left the building many years ago ( think Painted House and Skipping Christmas ( made into the cruddy movie Christmas with the Kranks). However, this book brings out his old style in a story of brotherly "love", a cranky old father, money, envy and consequences.

    The writing is tight and enjoyable. The character of Ray Atlee is much better than Forrest, his addicted brother, but it's the characters of Harry Rex and Claudia that shine the best in this book that might just make me look for other Grisham authored books again

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Ok

    Ok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2014

    Decent book but not his best

    I enjoyed the book but it was slightly above an average book. I would buy it again but it was not his best book, although i still enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2013

    Grisham

    Good book,,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    Not one of his best, by far.

    I wasn't impressed with this at all. I guess I expected more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    !

    LOVES THIS BOOK!!!!!!

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    I really enjoy Grisham's writing, and looking forward to the next book.

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  • Posted March 24, 2012

    Interesting Study of Family

    This book was good, but not great. I found myself getting bored with the characters and there behaviour. I would not recommend this for a first time John Grisham reader as it doesn't draw you in quickly, but if you've read his other books you can tough it out.

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  • Posted March 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    i recommend the summons .i must be honest it is not as good as the Brethdrens, or the Partner.

    I enjoyed reading some.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2012

    Excellent

    I love this book...

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