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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings
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The best

Loved this book and didn’t want it to end. I am now ‘binging’ on John Grisham. I like the pace of the book and how I can picture every scene... I am sure that I read it many years ago, when I used to read until all hours. I can do my housework with John in my ears. Absolutely fabulous.

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Best narration

Great story and brilliant performance by Michael Beck one of the best I have heard

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A very cleverly crafted story and never boring

Probably the best of several of Grisham's works that I have read or listened to. A plausible story that kept me awake and listening and increased my existing admiration of his talent and industry.

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This is purely subjective

I tried and tried to persevere with this book but in the end realised it was becoming a chore rather than a pleasure and certainly not in anyway relaxing. The Southern drawl of the narrator was no doubt essential for the story's setting but it lulled me to sleep within minutes. I came to think that Audible books are not suitable for readers who prefer to imagine their own characters 'characteristics '. Perhaps a choice of narration could overcome this. Standard English/ American would suffice without the narrator attempting to 'act' the different characters. My minds eye is capable of imagining not only how a character would, look and behave, based on the authors description but also how they would sound. The story line was good. Such a pity I will not know the end unless I can choose a different narration. I apologise as I have not explained it well. Suffice to say there are 11 hours left to read and I shall not be listening to it. I shall get hold of a written copy as the story was v good.

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loved it -

a great audible book that had me reaching for my ear phones when ever I could

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Brilliant!!

Amazingly brilliant! It didn’t matter that I knew Jake would win, it was how! I could not put it down. It was all so very real!

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Sycamore Row - Books 1,2 & 3 enthralling reading

John Grisham has once more demonstrated his legal knowledge through the brilliant characters he has developed The whole cast of characters together with the brilliance of word pictures of the Deep South provide an amazing depth & substance in his word pictures - almost impossible to put down ! Michael Beck's narration is absolutely outstanding - his clarity of voice plus the exciting variations of vocal idioms left the reader mental pictures of the characters. Just Brilliant!

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Intensely captivating

Fantastic storyline all the way through
Narrator receives full commendations
There is nothing predictable about this story

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Another great case for Brigance

This is a great follow-up to "A Time to Kill". It feels comfortable stepping back into the shoes of Jake Brigance as he tackles a new case. The book also sees the return of a few oher colourful characters, namely Harry Rex and Lucian.

The story takes a few unexpected turns and moves along at a good pace. Beck's narration is as good as it was the first time. Definitely one of Grisham's better books recently.

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Great follow up

Absolutely LOVED listening to this sequel to "a time to kill."
The Narrator does an awesome job and in fact, is one of my all time favourite narrators.
The story of course is one only Grisham could pull off so well.

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  • Madeleine
  • 04-12-2013

Grisham is all about the craft

People often dismiss Grisham as lightweight airplane novel material, but after years of listening to some pretty dismal storytelling, my return to Grisham reminded me of what an incredibly skilled writer he is. Admittedly, Jake's wife is a bit of a prop to show he's a family man, but on the whole, his characters are meaty and challenging. The plot is solid and well-constructed and gripping and his pacing is absolutely immaculate.

At no point did I do what I usually do these days, which is groan and wish the writing had been better edited. There's no fat on this story. It's all lean, page-turning (pod-listening?) goodness.

In an era of a lot of self-published, unedited, badly finished fiction, John Grisham is a long, tall drink of cool water.

9 people found this helpful

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  • BookLady
  • 10-11-2013

The Grisham you fell in love with

Sycamore Row is more like Grisham's earlier novels than the later ones. The courtroom drama, the inevitable battle and of course ..... the twist!

LOVE IT!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 06-02-2014

Hot Damn! Welcome Back Mr Grisham!

Any additional comments?

Years ago I used to love reading Grisham books then I fell out with him as they began to appear more 'churned out'. With some reticence I chose this one from Audible. Hot damn! What a great legal thriller! Beautifully paced, great characterization, plot, scene depiction etc. - simply hard to put down! And all perfectly narrated by Michael Beck who gave a simply wonderful performance! And people wonder why I love audiobooks!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vira
  • 07-12-2013

Thrilling courtroom drama

A well written and interesting court drama, with transparent narration. Themes include racism, testamentary legalities, humility, justice, compensation and forgiveness.

I love the way the story comes full circle, the end meets the beginning, and the loose ends are all neatly tied up. Very satisfactory, especially after staying awake through the night, unable to turn it off!

This is my first Grisham book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I cant seem to find the (unabridged) prequel, "A Time to Kill", on Audible but maybe that's only due to where I live. I would've liked to have listened to that as well.

2 people found this helpful

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  • lloyd
  • 01-01-2014

Alonzo

John Grtsham has returned at his best. Sycamor Row is certainly of a similar genre to Time to Kill and every bit as entertaining. The naration is excellent, as is the plot. Grisham has bought the South alive again; the location is entirely believable, painting as it does the post intergration (race) issues, some of which appear to live on

The courtroom scenes are engrosing, and include the reader, the twists and turns of the issues involved maintain an interest. In short well done

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-11-2020

Great read!

I enjoyed this book. The narrator was great. Accents were on point. Storyline somewhat predictable but what's better than a good old fashioned escape?

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  • Lia
  • 06-11-2020

Good Book A Bit Too Long

n Sycamore Row, Grisham returns to the setting and brings back several of the memorable characters first introduced in A Time To Kill that helped establish him as one of the most popular storytellers writing today. Be aware, however, If you pick up Sycamore Row because you anticipate it to be as entralling and exciting as A Time To Kill, you are liable to be a bit disappointed. The plot of Sycamore Row is built around a handwritten will prepared shortly before a very ill, very wealthy man from small town Clanton, Mississippi kills himself and leaves the vast majority of his large estate to his African-American maid and nothing to his children and grandchildren. Lawyer Jake Brigance, the hero from A Time To Kill, is hired as the lawyer for the estate to make sure that the dead man's directions are carried out exactly as instructed. This is definitely a challenging case for Brigance as, expected, each of the children and grandchildren hire their own lawyers to contest the will. While this plot is interesting and Grisham does a good job in making the reader feel a sense of "being there'' throughout the book, Sycamore Row does not have the thrills often evident in a Grisham legal thriller, and certainly not like in A Time To Kill. Further, while never boring to me, I felt that the pace of the book slowed down more times than I would have liked during a good portion of the middle of the book. I felt that if the book was 50-75 pages or so shorter, my attention span would have always stayed at a high level, rather than fluctuating as often as it did. Nevertheless, Sycamore Row is an entertaining read worthy of your consideration -- as long as you don't expect a book filled with non-stop thrills and surprises. Michael Beck was excellent with the delivery of the story

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  • Jacqui
  • 17-10-2020

John Grisham is back

This was an amazing book full of facts & such sadness. As good as Jodi piccoult's Small Great Things.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-2019

One of his best!

An excellent story with brilliant narration. Difficult to commend to highly. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book.

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  • Betina
  • 26-09-2017

Our heritage is an important driver in our present daily lives

I am loving Grisham's books old and new. The flow of the story is so amazing and I can relate to all the characters in the book.

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  • Liz
  • 10-12-2013

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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  • Kirstine
  • 21-11-2013

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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  • Kay
  • 31-01-2014

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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  • tim l.
  • 08-12-2013

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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  • Ian
  • 10-12-2013

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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  • Easyman
  • 19-12-2013

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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  • Dr
  • 07-12-2013

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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  • Dermot J. Cole
  • 29-01-2014

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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  • SuzD
  • 19-12-2013

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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  • Hilary
  • 12-12-2013

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

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