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Publisher's Summary

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

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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disappointing ending

this was fiction and could have had a happy ending it didn't. on so many levels .

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Great story

I really enjoyed this book and loved to listen whilst walking during yet another lockdown. I now feel like I know a whole lot more about American basketball

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Sooley a wonderful story

A wonderful story very well narrated. The characters came alive.
Most enjoyable.
It is not the normal Grisham type of story of law courts but a basketball court. I don't know much about basketball but that didn't detract from the story.

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Moving story of triumph, tragedy and hope

While I am not a basketball tragic, I just loved this story written by someone who clearly knows the ropes.

While it is about a basketballer, it isn't about basketball so much as the love of family and the break through of grit and determination.

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A wonderful ride

Did not see this year jerker coming. Far far better than the reckoning. Well written, and masterful narration. ..

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great listen

Happy, sad, intense...it has it all. Narration was amazing too. Another great book from the master.

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too predictable

Too sentimental, even sacherine. one dimentional main character. dissappointing. could have done with plot twists and more depth to characters.

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Absolutely enjoyed

Loved the story, couldn’t stop listening, probably the best book I have listened to so far.

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Brilliant

Totally worth listening to whether you are a basketball fan or not
Story has everything
Read well

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Sooley - worth it!

Loved this story! well written and read. It was enthralling to listen to. Thank you!

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  • George Odo
  • 08-05-2021

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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  • Mr. K. G. Hann
  • 31-07-2021

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
  • 14-06-2021

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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  • rosenberger Inbar
  • 20-05-2021

Great Grisham, excellent narration!

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

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  • C.Chaston
  • 02-05-2021

Outstanding

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

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  • EFM
  • 28-04-2021

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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  • Sheila Mallett
  • 02-05-2021

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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  • PugsMum
  • 05-05-2021

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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  • STEEN
  • 05-05-2021

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Vaughan
  • 05-05-2021

Misled by Audible

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-05-2021

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lotta
  • 03-05-2021

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. K. Walker
  • 23-07-2021

Riveting

I thoroughly enjoyed the book, I would highly recommend it for anyone who likes sport or the plight of the underdog.

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  • Darren Moody
  • 14-07-2021

Compelling tale

A brilliantly written story that takes you through every possible emotion. A compelling journey - thoroughly enjoyable.

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  • PDC
  • 14-07-2021

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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