The Chamber

The Chamber

by John Grisham
4.1 154


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The Chamber by John Grisham

In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm:

Twenty-six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.

Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison:

Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances -- except for one: the young, liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson. While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets -- including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall's life...or cost Adam his.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385424721
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/28/1994
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 216,020
Product dimensions: 6.41(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.46(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of twenty-three novels, including, most recently, The Litigators; one work of nonfiction, a collection of stories, and a novel for young readers. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi Innocence Project at the University of Mississippi School of Law. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.


Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia

Date of Birth:

February 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Jonesboro, Arkansas


B.S., Mississippi State, 1977; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1981

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The Chamber 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 153 reviews.
carlosmock More than 1 year ago
I was a John Grisham fan. My personal favorite is his first book, A Time to Kill, later adapted into a successful film.

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.

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.

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.

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.)

This is, in my opinion Grisham's last work worth reading.
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.

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.""
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Chamber is by a long shot one of the greatest books in the series of novels written by John Grisham. It's only match so far is the Street Lawyer, as they both look beyond the court system in an extraordinary plot to problems which occur in our everyday lives. This is a masterpiece and an enjoyment to read. Anyone who finds this boring has a low mentality, so don't be swayed by any of the less intelligent 1 or 2 star reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If 'The Chamber' is the first Grisham novel you ever read, you might become suddenly obssessed with law relating fiction. I know I did. 'The Chamber' is so exciting, you should hook yourself up to a heart moniter and a breathing machine just to be sure you don't die of excitement, and I almost wrote the Surgeon General to carry a warning on the cover. The six hundred seem like three hundred, and should take you about that long
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth Grisham book I've read, I've read his first three which are also great. The Chamber has a great plot that keeps you wondering what will happen next. He keeps you intrigued to the very end and makes you think about what you think and believe about capital punishment.
BoatingBug More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes, I cryed at the ending of this book. Grisham gets the reader so involved in the feelings and emotions of the characters that I did not know whether I agreed with the death penalty or believing an individual could truly repent and be sorry for the acts he has done. I understood both sides, why someone who has committed such acts should be given the dealth penalty, but then the realization that some people should be given a second chance if they truly understand that the act they committed was morally and ethically wrong and repent their sins and seek forgiveness. I thought it was an excellent read, though some individuals have stated that the story was lengthy. I do not think that the story could of had the same affect if it was shorter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A look into the life of a prisoner who just happens to be a murderer on death roll. Is it possible to see any hint of good in a man who has done such evil? It's surprising how 'The Chamber' opens up the possibility that there could be good in those who have done so much wrong. Is any one all good or all bad? It causes you to be more open minded about the possible answers to this question.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*walks in* "im have to be a minon"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
J. Grisham has written better novels than this. His purpose is to reveal the horror of capital punishment. But you could pretty well know the ending of the novel at the beginning. There is much repetition and he lets the reader plow on for many, many pages to find out what he expected at first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Trixie3 More than 1 year ago
Once I started reading The Chamber I could not put it down. The story was ebgaging, weaving family ties with the reality of life on death row. I was in suspense about how it would end and had no advance idea about the ending until it happened. A riveting story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a must was long but a good read.would recommend it for all to read. Although the ending is not what I expected this book had 542 pages.worth the time and the money
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing much happened. Just a lot of talking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a great book I was reading this on a plane and almost near the end of the book. When for once I wished there was a delay in landing so I could finish it.
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