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The Chamber

Narrated by: Alexander Adams
Length: 16 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

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Summary

In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm: 26-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.

©1994 John Grisham (P)1999 Random House, LLC

Critic reviews

"A first-rate thriller" ( Sunday Telegraph)
"His stories are ferociously plot-driven: they will keep you awake all night" ( Independent on Sunday)
"Compelling... after 50 pages I could barely wait to turn the rest over... Grisham knows how to tell a story" ( Sunday Times)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Starts well but runs out of steam!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

A character who appears as a key to the subplot that is important to the story, does not get enough mileage and seems to "just go away"

Would you be willing to try another book from John Grisham? Why or why not?

Yes

Which character – as performed by Alexander Adams – was your favourite?

Sam

Was The Chamber worth the listening time?

Yes

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Depressing Story. Very Good Narration

The story doesn't have the speed or direction of some of Grisham's thrillers. It captures the hopelessness of death row, but more importantly the hopelessness of somebody on death row with very little positive about their present or past life.

The narrator is excellent. He manages to keep a rather pedestrian story moving along.

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

Highly interesting, well written, and tense

This book is another death row one, but in this case, it tackles a lot more of the legal issues death row inmates face. Last appeals, hearings, clemency. At first, Sam is really dislikeable when Adam meets him, but as the book progresses, he melts a little, seeming as he accepts his approaching death. A heart breaking revelation at the end, which Grisham delivers deliberately when it's too late to do anything about it. Sam's not innocent by a long shot, but this book certainly made me rethink this subject. If you've read the Green Mile, you may want to give this a try. A legal thriller, without as much of the detail as King's. Although executions are described in this novel. Really good, and to me, it was interesting, as well as an enjoyable work of fiction. Tells you a lot about life on death row, legal issues, and the death penalty itself.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another great book

Another great book. Do you find out in the end? you will have to listen to find out.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

boring

I think I have now listened to all of the Audible Graham novels and it would seem that I somehow left the worst until last. What promised to be a twisting, turning ride along death row turned out to be a long boring stroll on a Sunday afternoon where the promise of a twist was dangled in front but Grisham sticks plainly to the path and although I did keep listening until the end hoping for a change of direction it didn't come and I was left feeling disappointed over a Grisham novel for the second book in a row.

Don't get me wrong it IS well written and well read by the narrator it's just boring as hell with no pay off. Certainly not on par with the classic cat and mouse legal thrillers he is much more well known for.

I would give this one a miss, unless you have insomnia

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

classic grisham

exactly what you expect from john grisham, a legal story line with a few surprise twists

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

My favourite book of all time

Detailed, subtle, thrilling and completely engaging. Grisham at his absolute finest. I was thoroughly disappointed when it ended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A big fan

Love all his books and this was no exception. Good story and narrator, really enjoyed listening to this one.

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

Not his best

I normally love John Grisham books, but this was a bit of a chore. Not his best by far.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Underwhelmed

A book with much promise but in the end failed to deliver. No twists, no turns, a story that just went flat in the end.