Ford County

Ford County

by John Grisham

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Overview

In his first collection of short stories John Grisham takes us back to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his first novel, A Time to Kill.

Wheelchair-bound Inez Graney and her two older sons, Leon and Butch, take a bizarre road trip through the Mississippi Delta to visit the youngest Graney brother, Raymond, who's been locked away on death row for eleven years. It could well be their last visit.

Mack Stafford, a hard-drinking and low-grossing run-of-the-mill divorce lawyer gets a miracle phone call with a completely unexpected offer to settle some old, forgotten cases for more money than he has ever seen. Mack is suddenly bored with the law, fed up with his wife and his life, and makes drastic plans to finally escape.

Quiet, dull Sidney, a data collector for an insurance company, perfects his blackjack skills in hopes of bringing down the casino empire of Clanton's most ambitious hustler, Bobby Carl Leach, who, among other crimes, has stolen Sidney's wife.

Three good ol' boys from rural Ford County begin a journey to the big city of Memphis to give blood to a grievously injured friend. However, they are unable to drive past a beer store as the trip takes longer and longer. The journey comes to an abrupt end when they make a fateful stop at a Memphis strip club.

The Quiet Haven Retirement Home is the final stop for the elderly of Clanton. It's a sad, languid place with little controversy, until Gilbert arrives. Posing as a lowly paid bedpan boy, he is in reality a brilliant stalker with an uncanny ability to sniff out the assets of those "seniors" he professes to love.

One of the hazards of litigating against people in a small town is that one day, long after the trial, you will probably come face-to-face with someone you've beaten in a lawsuit. Lawyer Stanley Wade bumps into an old adversary, a man with a long memory, and the encounter becomes a violent ordeal.

Clanton is rocked with the rumor that the gay son of a prominent family has finally come home, to die. Of AIDS. Fear permeates the town as gossip runs unabated. But in Lowtown, the colored section of Clanton, the young man finds a soul mate in his final days.

Featuring a cast of characters you'll never forget, these stories bring Ford County to vivid and colorful life. Often hilarious, frequently moving, and always entertaining, this collection makes it abundantly clear why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739377383
Publisher: Diversified Publishing
Publication date: 11/03/2009
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 468
Sales rank: 531,209
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

John Grisham has written twenty-one previous novels and one work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man, published in 2006. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.

www.jgrisham.com www.doubleday.com

[RGG logo] Our Readers’ Guides are available at www.doubleday.com/readers


Hometown:

Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia

Date of Birth:

February 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Jonesboro, Arkansas

Education:

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

Read an Excerpt

Fetching Raymond
Mr. McBride ran his upholstery shop in the old icehouse on Lee Street, a few blocks off the square in downtown Clanton. To haul the sofas and chairs back and forth, he used a white Ford cargo van with “McBride Upholstery” stenciled in thick black letters above a phone number and the address on Lee. The van, always clean and never in a hurry, was a common sight in Clanton, and Mr. McBride was fairly well-known because he was the only upholsterer in town. He rarely lent his van to anyone, though the requests were more frequent than he would have liked. His usual response was a polite “No, I have some deliveries.”

He said yes to Leon Graney, though, and did so for two reasons. First, the circumstances surrounding the request were quite unusual, and, second, Leon’s boss at the lamp factory was Mr. McBride’s third cousin. Small-town relationships being what they are, Leon Graney arrived at the upholstery shop as scheduled at four o’clock on a hot Wednesday afternoon in late July.

Most of Ford County was listening to the radio, and it was widely known that things were not going well for the Graney family.

Mr. McBride walked with Leon to the van, handed over the key, and said, “You take care of it, now.”

Leon took the key and said, “I’m much obliged.”

“I filled up the tank. Should be plenty to get you there and back.”

“How much do I owe?"

Mr. McBride shook his head and spat on the gravel beside the van. “Nothing. It’s on me. Just bring it back with a full tank.”

“I’d feel better if I could pay something,” Leon protested.

“No.”

“Well, thank you, then.”

“I need it back by noon tomorrow.”

“It’ll be here. Mind if I leave my truck?” Leon nodded to an old Japanese pickup wedged between two cars across the lot.

“That’ll be fine.”

Leon opened the door and got inside the van. He started the engine, adjusted the seat and the mirrors. Mr. McBride walked to the driver’s door, lit an unfiltered cigarette, and watched Leon. “You know, some folks don’t like this,” he said.

“Thank you, but most folks around here don’t care,” Leon replied. He was preoccupied and not in the mood for small talk.

“Me, I think it’s wrong.”

“Thank you. I’ll be back before noon,” Leon said softly, then backed away and disappeared down the street. He settled into the seat, tested the brakes, slowly gunned the engine to check the power. Twenty minutes later he was far from Clanton, deep in the hills of northern Ford County. Out from the settlement of Pleasant Ridge, the road became gravel, the homes smaller and farther apart. Leon turned in to a short driveway that stopped at a boxlike house with weeds at the doors and an asphalt shingle roof in need of replacement. It was the Graney home, the place he’d been raised along with his brothers, the only constant in their sad and chaotic lives. A jerry-rigged plywood ramp ran to the side door so that his mother, Inez Graney, could come and go in her wheelchair.

By the time Leon turned off the engine, the side door was open and Inez was rolling out and onto the ramp. Behind her was the hulking mass of her middle son, Butch, who still lived with his mother because he’d never lived anywhere else, at least not in the free world. Sixteen of his forty-six years had been behind bars, and he looked the part of the career criminal—long ponytail, studs in his ears, all manner of facial hair, massive biceps, and a collection of cheap tattoos a prison artist had sold him for cigarettes. In spite of his past, Butch handled his mother and her wheelchair with great tenderness and care, speaking softly to her as they negotiated the ramp.

Leon watched and waited, then walked to the rear of the van and opened its double doors. He and Butch gently lifted their mother up and sat her inside the van. Butch pushed her forward to the console that separated the two bucket seats bolted into the floor. Leon latched the wheelchair into place with strips of packing twine someone at McBride’s had left in the van, and when Inez was secure, her boys got settled in their seats. The journey began. Within minutes they were back on the asphalt and headed for a long night.

Inez was seventy-two, a mother of three, grandmother of at least four, a lonely old woman in failing health who couldn’t remember her last bit of good luck. Though she’d considered herself single for almost thirty years, she was not, at least to her knowledge, officially divorced from the miserable creature who’d practically raped her when she was seventeen, married her when she was eighteen, fathered her three boys, then mercifully disappeared from the face of the earth. When she prayed on occasion, she never failed to toss in an earnest request that Ernie be kept away from her, be kept wherever his miserable life had taken him, if in fact his life had not already ended in some painful manner, which was really what she dreamed of but didn’t have the audacity to ask of the Lord. Ernie was still blamed for everything—for her bad health and poverty, her reduced status in life, her seclusion, her lack of friends, even the scorn of her own family. But her harshest condemnation of Ernie was for his despicable treatment of his three sons. Abandoning them was far more merciful than beating them.

By the time they reached the highway, all three needed a cigarette. “Reckon McBride’ll mind if we smoke?” Butch said. At three packs a day he was always reaching for a pocket. “Somebody’s been smokin’ in here,” Inez said. “Smells like a tar pit. Is the air conditioner on, Leon?”

“Yes, but you can’t tell it if the windows are down.”

With little concern for Mr. McBride’s preferences on smoking in his van, they were soon puffing away with the windows down, the warm wind rushing in and swirling about. Once inside the van, the wind had no exit, no other windows, no vents, nothing to let it out, so it roared back toward the front and engulfed the three Graneys, who were staring at the road, smoking intently, seemingly oblivious to everything as the van moved along the county road. Butch and Leon casually flicked their ashes out of the windows. Inez gently tapped hers into her cupped left hand.

“How much did McBride charge you?” Butch asked from the passenger’s seat.

Leon shook his head. “Nothing. Even filled up the tank. Said he didn’t agree with this. Claimed a lot of folks don’t like it.”

“I’m not sure I believe that.”

“I don’t.”

When the three cigarettes were finished, Leon and Butch rolled up their windows and fiddled with the air conditioner and the vents. Hot air shot out and minutes passed before the heat was broken. All three were sweating.

“You okay back there?” Leon asked, glancing over his shoulder and smiling at his mother.

“I’m fine. Thank you. Does the air conditioner work?”

“Yes, it’s gettin’ cooler now.”

“I can’t feel a thang.”

“You wanna stop for a soda or something?”

“No. Let’s hurry along.”

“I’d like a beer,” Butch said, and, as if this was expected, Leon immediately shook his head in the negative and Inez shot forth with an emphatic “No.”

“There’ll be no drinking,” she said, and the issue was laid to rest. When Ernie abandoned the family years earlier, he’d taken nothing but his shotgun, a few clothes, and all the liquor from his private supply. He’d been a violent drunk, and his boys still carried the scars, emotional and physical. Leon, the oldest, had felt more of the brutality than his younger brothers, and as a small boy equated alcohol with the horrors of an abusive father. He had never taken a drink, though with time had found his own vices. Butch, on the other hand, had drunk heavily since his early teens, though he’d never been tempted to sneak alcohol into his mother’s home. Raymond, the youngest, had chosen to follow the example of Butch rather than of Leon.

To shift away from such an unpleasant topic, Leon asked his mother about the latest news from a friend down the road, an old spinster who’d been dying of cancer for years. Inez, as always, perked up when discussing the ailments and treatments of her neighbors, and herself as well. The air conditioner finally broke through, and the thick humidity inside the van began to subside. When he stopped sweating, Butch reached for his pocket, fished out a cigarette, lit it, then cracked the window. The temperature rose immediately. Soon all three were smoking, and the windows went lower and lower until the air was again thick with heat and nicotine.

When they finished, Inez said to Leon, “Raymond called two hours ago.”

This was no surprise. Raymond had been making calls, collect, for days now, and not only to his mother. Leon’s phone was ringing so often that his (third) wife refused to answer it. Others around town were also declining to accept charges.

“What’d he say?” Leon asked, but only because he had to reply. He knew exactly what Raymond had said, maybe not verbatim, but certainly in general.

“Said thangs are lookin’ real good, said he’d probably have to fire the team of lawyers he has now so he can hire another team of lawyers. You know Raymond. He’s tellin’ the lawyers what to do and they’re just fallin’ all over themselves.”

Without turning his head, Butch cut his eyes at Leon, and Leon returned the glance. Nothing was said because words were not necessary.

“Said his new team comes from a firm in Chicago with a thousand lawyers. Can you imagine? A thousand lawyers workin’ for Raymond. And he’s tellin’ ’em what to do.” Another glance between driver and right-side passenger. Inez had cataracts, and her peripheral vision had declined. If she had seen the looks being passed between her two oldest, she would not have been pleased.

“ Said they’ve just discovered some new evidence that shoulda been produced at trial but wasn’t because the cops and the prosecutors covered it up, and with this new evidence Raymond feels real good about gettin’ a new trial back here in Clanton, though he’s not sure he wants it here, so he might move it somewhere else. He’s thinkin’ about somewhere in the Delta because the Delta juries have more blacks and he says that blacks are more sympathetic in cases like this. What do you thank about that, Leon?”

“There are definitely more blacks in the Delta,” Leon said. Butch grunted and mumbled, but his words were not clear.

“Said he don’t trust anyone in Ford County, especially the law and the judges. God knows they’ve never given us a break.”

Leon and Butch nodded in silent agreement. Both had been chewed up by the law in Ford County, Butch much more so than Leon. And though they had pled guilty to their crimes in negotiated deals, they had always believed they were persecuted simply because they were Graneys.

“Don’t know if I can stand another trial, though,” she said, and her words trailed off.

Leon wanted to say that Raymond’s chances of getting a new trial were worse than slim, and that he’d been making noise about a new trial for over a decade. Butch wanted to say pretty much the same thing, but he would’ve added that he was sick of Raymond’s jailhouse bullshit about lawyers and trials and new evidence and that it was past time for the boy to stop blaming everybody else and take his medicine like a man.

But neither said a word.

Table of Contents

Blood Drive 1

Fetching Raymond 65

Fish Files 139

Casino 205

Michaels Room 259

Quiet Haven 309

Funny Boy 387

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

 
 “Ford County is the best writing John Grisham has ever done.”
—Pat Conroy

 
“John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got.”
—The New York Times Book Review
 

Reading Group Guide

In 1989, John Grisham published his first novel, A Time to Kill, set in the town of Clanton, in Ford County, Mississippi. Twenty years later, he now brings us his first collection of short stories, returning to that rural corner of the world—a place populated by hucksters and their honest victims, the simple-minded and the shrewd, the rich and the poor. From three good ole boys on a fateful road trip to Memphis to the tale of Stanley Wade, a litigator whose encounter with an old adversary turns violent, the cast of characters in Ford County will keep you enthralled on every page. Brimming with suspense, each of these stories confirms Grisham’s reign as America’s master storyteller.    
 
The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of John Grisham’s Ford County. We hope they will enrich your experience of this captivating collection.

1. How do the small-town lawyers in Ford County compare to some of the high-powered attorneys featured in John Grisham’s other works? What struggles and temptations do they all have in common?

2. When Roger, Aggie, and Calvin decided to travel to Memphis to give blood in “Blood Drive,” what were they each hoping to gain? Was Calvin the only one who lost his innocence on the trip? What ultimately was your impression of Bailey—the character we only meet through hearsay?

3. In “Fetching Raymond,” Inez Graney and her sons Leon and Butch don’t see Raymond’s situation in quite the same way. What accounts for the difference between Raymond and his brothers? What determines whether someone will end up on the wrong side of the law?

4. John Grisham’s first work of nonfiction, The Innocent Man, recounted the story of Ron Williamson, who was sentenced to death for the 1982 murder of an Oklahoma waitress despite a spurious trial. In the fictional Raymond Graney’s case, we’re told on page 75 that he confessed to Butch, and that Butch and Leon knew their brother had ambushed Coy. Nonetheless, was it right for Raymond to receive the death penalty?

5. What drove Mack Stafford to go to such great lengths of dishonesty in his “Fish Files” escape? Was his life in Mississippi beyond salvage? Did he do any real harm in executing his brilliant plan?

6. What is Sidney Lewis’s best ammunition against Bobby Carl Leach? What really ruined Sidney and Stella’s marriage? Did money put it back together again at the end of “Casino,” or was something else at play?

7. In “Michael’s Room,” was Stanley in fact facing enormous lies of his past, or had he simply presented a different version of the truth in the courtroom? Why did Jim Cranwell lose his case? Could any amount of legislation have ensured a victory for him?

8. How did your perception of Gilbert Griffin change as you read “Quiet Haven”? What were your first impressions of him? Were you hoodwinked as well? Could someone like him dodge prosecution forever?

9. What does “home” mean to Emporia and Adrian in “Funny Boy”? What does their friendship prove about the people who make Clanton’s most powerful families feel threatened? What is Adrian’s greatest legacy to his newfound friend?

10. How do the residents of Ford County imagine city life—Memphis, San Francisco, New York? What determines whether they fear it or crave it?

11. What does Ford County tell us about the nature of small towns? What makes them safe havens? What makes them dangerous?

12. Whose lives are changed for the better by the legal agreements and maneuvers described in Ford County? What is the most significant factor in whether the law is a force for good or evil in these stories?

13. Tort reform has received much publicity in recent years. Discuss the question of damages raised in stories such as “Fish Files,” “Michael’s Room,” and “Quiet Haven.” When should an injured person be entitled to financial compensation? What should drive the dollar amount of that compensation?

14. Adrian reads much fiction by William Faulkner, who also created a fictional southern locale (Yoknapatawpha County) as the setting for many of his works. How does Grisham’s take on small-town Mississippi compare to Faulkner’s? What aspects of Ford County have remained unchanged since Grisham created it for A Time to Kill?

15. What makes Grisham’s approach to storytelling so appropriate for short fiction? Linked by time and place, do the stories in Ford County form a novel, in a way?

Introduction

In 1989, John Grisham published his first novel, A Time to Kill, set in the town of Clanton, in Ford County, Mississippi. Twenty years later, he now brings us his first collection of short stories, returning to that rural corner of the world—a place populated by hucksters and their honest victims, the simple-minded and the shrewd, the rich and the poor. From three good ole boys on a fateful road trip to Memphis to the tale of Stanley Wade, a litigator whose encounter with an old adversary turns violent, the cast of characters in Ford County will keep you enthralled on every page. Brimming with suspense, each of these stories confirms Grisham’s reign as America’s master storyteller.    
 
The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of John Grisham’s Ford County. We hope they will enrich your experience of this captivating collection.

Customer Reviews

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Ford County 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 664 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
First of all, I HAVE read the book, ALL of it, and enjoyed the stories immensely. Ford County seems to be full of interesting people, and Grisham has a smart eye for what makes them interesting. My favorite story is the comeuppance of the lawyer Stanley, but the last story touched my heart. It was a great way to end a fine book.
lemme14 More than 1 year ago
When you write a book of short stories, you'll nail a few and swing and miss on some others. I think John Grisham showed he's not afraid to venture into unknown territory: short stories. This is something Stephen King has nailed. Some stories in Ford County were real page turners that were very exciting and over before I knew it. Others were only 50 pages and each page turn was painstaking. Not a bad product, but I'd prefer he sticks with his legal thrillers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love books by John Grisham, so I expect all of them to be great. And this one did not disappoint me. It's a book of short stories and I didn't care for the people in the first two stories but that certainly doesn't mean that they don't exist and are like some of the people that I know. But the last story was so enduring and heart felt that it stays with me even now. It was about an older black woman taking care of a younger white man with AIDS. And their short journey together is heart warming and strong.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This 'book' is a collection of short stories. I'm not really enjoying them and would not purchase this book again. I like Grisham's novels, so this book was a disappointment for me.
jcrubicon More than 1 year ago
Now I don't tend to read short story collections or anthologies, but in the last month I have enjoyed two very different collections: "Say Your One of Them" and "Ford County." As I wrote earlier "Say..." is a haunting and intense study of life in Africa from that continents children's perspective. I really liked John Grisham's collection of stories, "Ford County". Starting w "Playing for Pizza," Grisham has become a great storyteller! He still displays his love-hate for the legal profession, which we have grown accustomed to in his legal thrillers. Here, however, his characters are more poignant and richly compelling then the leads of his books/movies. Now none of these vignettes could expand to a full length novel ... but that in part is their strength. If the goal is rich flavor and a pleasant aftertaste, a tort is often better than the pie.
EddyAL More than 1 year ago
These stories go down effortlessly. More than the stories, the characters stand out as rich images appearing in front of the pages. While reading, I felt I was living there, somewhere in Ford County. These are short "short stories". I can't decide if I wanted more stories or longer ones. I have read Grisham's early books but not so much the more recent ones. I recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoy all of John Grishams books, but this read was tooo short but enjoyable. I felt as if I was in Ford County....the stories keep you laughing and crying for some of the characters! He saved the best for last! Can't wait to see if he takes one of the short stories and make it an complete book with court room drama and all! Its possible....because many of the stories left you hanging with just your imagination....
Joncox-Maximus More than 1 year ago
This book being Grisham's first short story work it immediately skipped all of his novels to take its place at the top of my list. The small town portrait he paints, the characters full of color, life, humor and uniqueness... I would recommend this book to anyone who has lived in the south. Even if you don't this book is an easy, quick read with original stories that still have a hint of Grishams love for law in it. You really get to bond with the characters and pull for them when they get to a speed bump. My favorite story in this book is Blood Drive.
Helen78 More than 1 year ago
I love the voice of John Grisham, but it's a truism that authors should not read their own words. With the exception of his telling about the lawyer who is abducted and made to witness the results of his defense of the medical profession [outstanding in it's starkness] the other stories sound 'read' instead of being told. Worthy and worthwhile work by a respected author.
NanceeMN More than 1 year ago
While I don't normally like short stories, this one is OK. I love John Grisham's books so I would have preferred a novel from him. But the stories reflect his normal writing style and it was easy to get into the stories. However, they all seemed to have a very sad ending. All of the characters were down on their luck sort of folks. I don't recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a mental or emotional pick-me-up, as the stories all left me feeling rather sad. But again, if you're a Grisham fan and like his writing style, you'll want to add this book to your library.
SD83 More than 1 year ago
I just got this book on Nov 4th and I have read 2 of the 7 stories, I have a 5 month old son and don't have a lot of time to read or I would already be done with it! I love how Grisham books will just suck you right into them, & this one is no different. It is kind of strange to have a story that takes you 1 hour to read instead of a couple days but it is still a good book, and I would not hesitate to buy it again. I can't wait to finish all stories but then I will have to wait a year for a new book :(
bigorangecat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Best collection of short stories I've read in many years.
ldybug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A collection of stories from Ford Country. Each tale starts out with a character just starting out on a journey or planning a scheme all leads to mayhem. John Grisham has always been a favorite and this book is up there with the rest of his works. I found I kept reading to get to the next story. Great collection.Well done and written. Kudos
SParmelee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Grisham is always good but these short stories may be his best writing to date. They are about the people, life, ideas, language, and region of Ford County, Mississippi. Excellent!
KimSmyth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Surprisingly good Grisham. Later novels have been a bit too formulmatic and preachy for me. This collection of short stories reminds you that Grisham can write an excellent story.
mdoorn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Got bored after the first two stories... Flat, flat, flat... Not worth the read in my humble opinion.
KaitlinM on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really love John Grisham. This book was delightfully entertaining.
etxgardener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't like John Grisham's lawyer thrillers. They are too formulaic and, after reading the first one, all start sounding alike. However, I had a long plane trip to take, and as his books are light reading page turners, I picked this up in the airport bookshop. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was not one of his thrillers, but a collection of short stories set in the same small town Mississippi location as his first book, A Time to Kill, and pretty much covering the aspects of like in a small southern town. All the characters are here: the stupid rednecks who seem to be incapable of accomplishing the simple task of picking up a relative at a Memphis hospital, a middling successful divorce lawyer who is tired of his life and finally hits on his big personal injury score, a wheelchair-bound mother who journeys to a prison where her son is scheduled to be executed for murder; a man preying on the elderly at a local nursing home and the son of a prominent family who comes home to die of AIDS and runs face-on into the narrow prejudices of the town. Often very funny, sometimes sad, and at the end, very moving, this book shows that if Grisham wanted to truly write instead of churning out books to enrich his bank balance, he could surely be a writer of some account.
ALincolnNut on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After making his name as an author of legal thrillers such as ¿The Firm,¿ John Grisham has recently been exploring other areas in his writing. He has written true crime, in his nonfiction account of a man falsely on death row in ¿The Innocent Man.¿ He has penned a couple of novels that have no connection to the law, and he has even tried his hand at a couple of youth mystery novels. With ¿Ford County Stories,¿ Grisham explores another form, offering seven stories that are longer than short stories and shorter than novellas. Set in Ford County, Mississippi, each of the stories has a legal component, but often it is tangential. Exploring issues of charity and generosity, justice and revenge, loyalty and escape, Grisham paints detailed characters in situations that are unusual, yet eerily plausible. Even the most humorously outlandish of the stories have a strain of humanity and quiet desperation beneath the surface. It is difficult to pick a best among the stories, though it is clear that all of them are strong works on their own. Perhaps the most pleasurable to read is the story of a small town lawyer who sees an opportunity to run away from everything in his life and begin again. The scariest, partially because of its moral ambiguity, is the tale of an itinerant nursing home employee, whose actions are mostly beneficial, but whose motivations are unclear. The saddest, though there is sadness running through all of them in various ways, is likely the last, a story of a son virtually disowned by his family and left to die in a servant¿s home. Some of Grisham¿s work has been criticized as redundant, with mediocre character development. Whether these assessments are correct ¿ and it is certain that some of Grisham¿s books are better than others ¿ it is clear that the writing in ¿Ford County Stories¿ is consistently strong and satisfying. Grisham uses his skills to develop characters and situations in a few pages and then explores them in fascinating ways, leading to stories that are as edifying as they are exciting.
micalbi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I usually do not read short stories, but have read most of Grisham's other books so decided to read it. I thoroughly enjoyed the stories, finishing the book in a weekend. This read like his earlier books which I like more than some of his newer ones. It was a good variety of stories with moral issues both right and wrong, they make you think, but are just good enjoyable stories. I recommend it very much.
ReadersLair on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is some of John Grisham's best work. From cover to cover, readers will enjoy and be intrigued.
khiemstra631 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In Ford County, Grisham debuts his short story writing abilities. All of the stories take place in the mythical Ford County, Mississippi, which was the setting for A Time to Kill. The county seems to be generally populated with red-necks and shyster lawyers. Most of the stories have no real point to them, but they are fairly entertaining. The book is a fairly quick read and a decent way to pass a few winter evenings. It did not strike me as anything about which to get too excited, however. But then, again, I'm not a big short story fan. If you like the short story form, then you will no doubt enjoy the book more than I did.
Cailin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I'm not normally a fan of short stories, but I think John Grisham did an excellent job of wrapping up each story and the characters in them. My favorite story was Funny Boy about a young man dying of AIDS who comes home to die. I also liked the story Casino where the protagonist gets what he wants in the end albeit in a roundabout way.
lynndp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My thoughts- Excellent collection of short stories. I read them all in the span of a few days - appreciated each one but contrary to the inside back cover "a cast of characters you'll never forget", I did forget them when I sat down to enter this book. However, on reading the three sentence teaser for each story on the inside front cover, I found that the stories and settings quickly came back to mind. Keep in mind that these are not "warm and fuzzy" stories. Some of the characters are not admirable and many do not "get their just deserts". But they truly come to life under Grisham's pen and you almost surely will not regret spending time in Ford County.
Pam1960ca on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I not normally a 'short stories' reader but I have to say...I really enjoyed this collection. A few of them I would have enjoyed as a full novel. I would definitely recommend this book.