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Summary

The incredible new novel from international best-selling author John Grisham.

ONE MAN. ONE HOPE. ONCE CHANCE TO BECOME A LEGEND.

One man

Seventeen-year-old Samuel Sooleyman comes from a village in South Sudan, a war-torn country where one third of the population is a refugee. His great love is basketball: his prodigious leap and lightning speed make him an exceptional player. And it may also bring him his big chance: he has been noticed by a coach taking a youth team to the United States. 

One hope

If he gets through the tournament, Samuel's life will change beyond recognition. But it's the longest of long shots. His talent is raw and uncoached. There are hundreds of better-known players ahead of him. And he must leave his family behind, at least at the beginning.

One chance

As American success beckons, devastating news reaches Samuel from home. Caught between his dream and the nightmare unfolding thousands of miles away, 'Sooley', as he's nicknamed by his classmates, must make hard choices about his future. This quiet, dedicated boy must do what no other player has achieved in the history of his chosen game: become a legend in 12 short months.

Global best-selling author John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in this gripping and incredibly moving novel that showcases his storytelling powers in an entirely new light.

©2021 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2021 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

Critic reviews

"With every new book, I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions." (Entertainment Weekly)

"A master of plotting and pacing." (New York Times)

What listeners say about Sooley

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Very different, not in a good way

I appreciate Grisham’s talent as I’m definitely a lifelong fan. This is not a typical novel of his, I’m 12 chapters in and I am trying to remain engaged about what’s happening in the story.
Narration is excellent, and the story itself is ok - but I want suspense, tension, high stakes well told when I pick up a Grisham. This title does not deliver.

17 people found this helpful

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Sound levels

You're asking me to review a book I've only just received. Don't be annoying.
I will make a general observation: the sound levels on all but a few of your books is far too low. This problem requires more concentration, and detracts from my enjoyment of the content. Even when the audio starts well, it soon dips below an acceptable level, and can't be boosted. It would be appreciated if this could be sorted out, very soon.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointing.

Not at all what I was expecting. Great narration but not the kind of story I was expecting.

3 people found this helpful

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What a performance!

Don’t expect a classic Grisham, but do expect a truly amazing and gripping feel good listen that will appeal to most readers - And sports fans.

Dion Graham’s narration is one of the absolute best I have ever heard. He made Sooley come alive and gave an a meeting performance.

Absolutely recommended.

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Misled by Audible

As someone with no prior interest in or knowledge of basketball this left me cold.

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Disappointing

Struggled through most of it but don't know basketball and only listened to hear the story of sooley. Gave up with one hour left of it.

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Unbelievably boring - do not waste your money

I quite like basketball, no doubt I am sure that many people will enjoy the ENDLESS play by play descriptions of plays and games but for the love of god spend some time on the actual story.

This is THE John Grisham, right? Not another person who goes by the same name? I'm a lifelong fan but this is such a disappointment.

Utterly boring, unless you are really into US college basketball, avoid.

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Disappointing ending

Huge fan of John Grisham and this book deviated from the norm. The books ending was unexpected and not what I wanted. I didn't enjoy the book.

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A campaign for human rights

This book is different from most of Grisham books, & many folk are disappointed. It crusades for major contemporary humanitarian atrocities. Our hero is a basketball player & his rise to fame is enjoyable if not very original. Sometimes there can be too much detail in the actual sport for the layman!. I think we have to take it that he is using the ‘game story’ to make us aware of huge crimes against humanity. His huge readership will guarantee that.




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One of the best books I haver ever read.

Without question this is one of the best books I have ever read and I've read a lot of books. It's about basket ball yes and I have no interest in the sport but quickly picked up on the terminology to understand what was going on. The book is funny at times, tragic at times but I won't say anything to give the game away. I was truly sad to reach the end of the story.
I thoroughly recommend this book if you want a very good yarn to read or listen to. The narrartor Dion Graham really made the book so much better with his enthusiastic reading of the story and particularly his reporting of the numerous basket ball matches. Plesase enjoy a fabulous story, very well written and narrated.

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  • rosenberger Inbar
  • 20-05-21

Great Grisham, excellent narration!

Grisham at his best. A story that grips you and breaks your heart.
Dion Graham was PERFECT in every way!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • George Odo
  • 08-05-21

One of Grisham’s best!

Fell in love with the main character, and like that it’s based on a real life conflict that the world chose to ignore. Very moving, very well written and told.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Glenn
  • 09-01-22

Nowhere near the "John Grisham" I know … !

What can I say, such a disappointment, and it's from one of my favourite authors, three-quarters of the book sounded like "commentary" from a live basketball game …!
I wouldn't recommend it!

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  • Mr. K. G. Hann
  • 31-07-21

too much basketball

A good story as always from Grisham very well read.
But I forgot how much of a basketball fan john is and there is far too much really boring match descriptions with technical terms I didn’t fast forward but I was very tempted to the book would have been a third of the length if detailed descriptions of slamdunks whatever they are had been ignored

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  • Phil Fleming
  • 14-06-21

For basketball fans

whilst I enjoyed this book I found the games commentary tedious as someone who is not a basketball fan and who doesn't understand the terminology, it was not that as easy to keep up with.
As usual the characters well well developed by the author who is one of my all time favourites, I should have chosen a book with a different subject/storyline.

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  • C.Chaston
  • 02-05-21

Outstanding

A griping and moving story of talent overcoming great obsticals and dedication to his family