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Summary

Fight them, Mr Brigance. To the bitter end. We must prevail.

In the long-awaited successor to the novel that launched his phenomenal career, John Grisham brings us the powerful sequel to A Time to Kill. As filled with twists as it is with legal mastery, Sycamore Row proves beyond doubt that John Grisham is in a league of his own.

Jake Brigance has never met Seth Hubbard, or even heard of him, until the old man's suicide note names him attorney for his estate. The will is dynamite. Seth has left 90 per cent of his vast, secret fortune to his housemaid.

The vultures are circling even before the body is cold: the only subject more incendiary than money in Ford County is race, and this case has both.

As the relatives contest the will, and unscrupulous lawyers hasten to benefit, Jake searches for answers to the many questions left by Seth Hubbard's death.

What made him write that last-minute will leaving everything to a poor black woman named Lettie Lang?

Why did he choose to kill himself on the desolate piece of land known as Sycamore Row?

And what was it that Seth and his brother witnessed as children that, in his words, 'no human should ever see'?

©2013 John Grisham (P)2013 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Sycamore Row

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Grisham back at his best

What made the experience of listening to Sycamore Row the most enjoyable?

Beautiful characterisation, an unusual yet gripping plot, set in the stunning surroundings of the deep south. Grisham returns to what he does best in this novel. A steady paced, character driven story with twists and turns to maintain interest.
The reader has a beautiful tone very fitting for the southern "drawl" of the characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Jake - a true Grisham hero

What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

He brought to life the characters with perfect intonation.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The "video" scene in the courtroom brought a lump to my throat

Any additional comments?

A must buy!

16 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Vintage Grisham

I tried to ration my listening but was so gripped by the story I finished the book very quickly. It's the author at his best. Grisham's usual laconic and cynical opinion of lawyers is given full rein. Two sets of protagonists to an eventual court case are carefully set up so that the reader/listener is partisan and wants the underdog to win. Race relations in the Deep South add to the uncertainty over the eventual verdict over whether a last minute hand-written Will is valid. Pre-trial discovery and jury selection all add to the tensions that builds up to an edge-of-your-seat court battle with surprises and set-backs.
The narrator does a grand job bringing the various characters to life in this highly recommended book.

36 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent read

What did you like most about Sycamore Row?

This is an interesting and unusual mystery that grips you right from the beginning. It has twists and turns that are unexpected and is set up with the main theme NOT around a murder, which is intriguing.

What other book might you compare Sycamore Row to, and why?

I cannot compare this to another book as from the start it is a unique storyline and the uniqueness runs through the book.

What about Michael Beck’s performance did you like?

A very expressive performance with each character clearly given his or her own voice and read in a way that kept you listening and enthralled.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were many moving moments in this book and it left me with a story I will not forget.

7 people found this helpful

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A return to form

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes its well written well read and entertaining.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The centar Character is well rounded but not perfect. He first appeared in A Time to Kill this book references back to that book but this stands alone.If you try this book and enjoy it defiantly get A Time to Kill which has the edge in my opinion.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to all the unabridged Grisham on audible and enjoyed them all but I especially like the earlier grittier stories. I also prefer the earlier longer books that really take the time to build critter and tension.
Look out for William Dufris as the narrater of the early books he is my favourite reader and does a great job.

7 people found this helpful

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Good Grisham fare, brilliantly read.

Grisham always tells a great tale, however this was brought to life by the fantastic narration of Michael Beck. Enjoyed every moment.

6 people found this helpful

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20 Hours Isn't Long Enough!

I really didn't want the story to end. If you liked A Time To Kill, you will love this book. The only negative that it wasn't long enough.

5 people found this helpful

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  • 07-12-13

Really enjoyable

If you could sum up Sycamore Row in three words, what would they be?

A typical Grisham - set in the 1980s around a contested will. This brings in to play money, racial relations and family dynamics with a not entirely unexpected plot twist. Very enjoyable.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes- I could have easily listened to it all at once - the plot was good and the characters engaging. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would happily recommend it. A good listen.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Padded Short

What did you like best about Sycamore Row? What did you like least?

I like a procedural legal thriller, and being neither American or a lawyer I generally learn something from books like this. The voice narration was good, although slow.. Seems like actor and author combined to make this thin story stretch.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

There are whole swathes of the book that simply summarise the story to that point. For example chapter 17 recounts an overheard conversation in a cafe, people effectively summarising the key points. It's full if 'so you're telling me that....' and 'so what you're saying is...' You could start the book at chapter 18 and not have missed out. The whole book is a story - with a twist - one of two twists I considered and was right on one, and I'm no genius. Full of stock characters, some more engaging than others but in truth Jake as protagonist is worthy but dull. Not terrible, but of all Grishams creations this was a strange one to follow up. The main points if the story are covered very two or three chapters.

What does Michael Beck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I enjoyed the narration, although at time it was a bit slow. This could have been a reflection of the story however.

Could you see Sycamore Row being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

I think the casting of A time to kill was pretty good, and it was this actors I had in mind whilst reading. Stock characters aplenty through.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Intricate

What did you like most about Sycamore Row?

It reminded me of a modern justification of to kill a mocking bird

What did you like best about this story?

Law is not my strong point, but Grisham saled me through it leaving no confusion

Have you listened to any of Michael Beck’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I loved Becks slant on the characters

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It gave me a sense of satisfaction and hope for the human race

Any additional comments?

Grishams not everyone's cup of tea but he's certainly good at what he does

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A battle of wills

If you could sum up Sycamore Row in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining, courtroom ,drama

What other book might you compare Sycamore Row to, and why?

If I was being very generous the obvious comparison would be to Bleak House due to it being a will dispute but it's much more approachable than Dickens with characters being rather less complicated and the story more starightforward

Have you listened to any of Michael Beck’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Michael Beck's performance is good. His characterisation works well and is mostly clear. I did find that, as the author only uses "said" to indicate speech rather than "muttered" or "shouted" etc, it was a little jarring at times.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It was a good listen and kept me entertained for many hours on the M62. I would say that it is very long and does have interest peaks and troughs. Stick with it though it's worth a listen and is a good folow up to A Time to Kill

Any additional comments?

Worth a credit

6 people found this helpful