Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ford County - John Grisham

I borrowed Grisham's collection of short stories the other day from the library after having waiting in the queue for several weeks. The copy I borrowed was the "LARGE PRINT" version. If you've never read a large print book, it looks like something for an eight year old. The print is HUGE. I wondered if i'd requested this version on purpose? Maybe it had less people on the waiting list than the regular version? But, as I started reading, I felt so guilty - like there were all these people with bad eyesight out there (or eight-year olds) who were waiting for the few large print copies - and I had unnecessarily snatched one up. So, I tried to read Ford County as quickly as possible so I could get the book returned and back in circulation. Luckily, in true Grisham style, the stories were easy to get into and went by quickly. I think I could have read them all in one sitting, but I tried to space it out over a couple days. All of the stories take place in the rural town of Clanton, Mississippi. My favorite story was "Fetching Raymond" about two brothers and their aging mother who travel a long distance to visit their youngest brother - on death row awaiting his imminent execution. I felt the story captured the frustration, gulit, and helplessness and reality of interacting with a person in prison - that they have seemingly endless time to live and relive their legal case, while the people who love them are left on the outside trying to live their lives and move on even in often tragically difficult circumstances. "Fish Flies" and "Casino" were classic Grisham - with unlikeable main characters who set out to screw over a system that is even more unlikeable. I enjoyed each of the stories in this collection - they weren't full of twists or shocking endings, like many short stories. Instead, I felt like it was just good storytelling, and an avenue for Grisham to prove that he is more than just his formulaic legal thrillers (even though I am never ashamed to admit that I love those too!).

1 comment:

Sverige said...

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!