The Grisham Challenge Book 1: A Time to Kill

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Wow! John Grisham starts his writing career off with a wallop, and a hard act to follow. Racism, threats, juicy courtroom drama, murder, revenge, and controversy.

As solid and enthralling as this work of fiction is, it wasn’t the book that launched Grisham into his superstar status, believe it or not. That doesn’t happen until the release of his next book, The Firm (which I’ll start reading shortly).

But let’s talk about the controversy in A Time to Kill.

A little girl gets raped. No… your little girl gets raped. You have a weapon and a clear shot of  the rapists. What do you do?

Now you’re in the jury box. The man being convicted was just exacting revenge on behalf of his battered and bruised daughter.

Do you convict him?

I know the law states that we are not to seek vigilante justice on our own, that we must leave it to the court to execute justice. It seems plain and simple, really. The man killed. The conviction of a guilty verdict should be implemented.

But Grisham’s brilliancy is that he blurs the lines between black and white (and I mean that both morally and ethnically).

This would be one of those very few scenarios where the movie had just a tiny edge up on the book. It’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, but from what I remember, Mathew McConaughey’s portrayal of our defense attorney Jake Brigance, in his closing argument, describes the heinous rape to an all-white, Southern jury. And then at the very end he says something like, “Now, imagine that the victim is white.”

That sort of happens in the book, except it’s a jury member who pulls that gut-wrenching punch.

If I were in the jury box, I might have very well given the verdict to the vindictive father and let him walk free. What about you? How did A Time to Kill affect you?

I know a few of you have expressed joining me in The Grisham Challenge. Join the fun and let’s read the works of America’s favorite storyteller together!

Also, join my Facebook Author Page for updates on my newest works and family life!

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About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

10 Responses to The Grisham Challenge Book 1: A Time to Kill

  1. Anonymous says:

    This one is my favorite, well, tied with Pelican Brief. So hard to choose! As an attorney, I understand the law and the purpose behind it, but would not have convicted him here. It’s called jury nullification. 🙂 Enjoy your challenge–I think it’s a fantastic idea and may follow suit.

  2. dawnlizjones says:

    Ah! My husband and I have read some of his! I just considered buying one the other day. Is your book available on Amazon? And are you on goodreads?

    • My book is on Amazon. Just type in Andrew Toy. My books are The Man in the Box and I Am the Lion. I used to be on Goodreads, but my account got deleted somehow 😦

  3. oqu3 says:

    I have only read one JG book but found him to be easy to read and entertaining. He’s a good writer. Have other of his books on my shelf, don’t doubt I will get to them,

  4. earth2bellas says:

    Oh John Grisham! I’ve read them all (: You’re in for a good time for sure.

    And I could never convict that father. I agree with the first commenter (:

  5. Trisha Ann says:

    The classic JG book! I got on the first few pages and the legal stuff are just so smart and awesome but for some reasons I stopped 😐 Will have to get to it again some time

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