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Ford County: Stories

por John Grisham

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2,888884,954 (3.54)34
John Grisham returns to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his immensely popular first novel, "A Time to Kill," with this wholly surprising collection of stories.
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Ford County by John Grisham.
Print: COPYRIGHT:) 11/3/2009; PUBLISHER: Doubleday, First edition; ISBN 978-0385532457; PAGES 308; Unabridged

Digital: Yes

*Audio: COPYRIGHT: 11/3/2009; ISBN: 9780307702135; PUBLISHER: Books on Tape; DURATION: 08:42:13; PARTS: 7; File Size: 250985 KB; Unabridged; PARTS:14 (Overdrive: LAPL)

Feature Film or tv: No, I don't think so.

SERIES: No, but related to the Jake Brigance Series

Blood Drive; Fetching Raymond; Fish Files; Casino; Michael’s Room; Quiet Haven; Funny Boy

How I picked it. It was next in line of my John Grisham reads.
What it was about: Seven different short stories, all about an hour long. One about a community that came together when a young man got injured on the job, sending out a few young fellows to the hospital to donate blood, but they get side-tracked; One about a prisoner on death row whose family visits before the scheduled execution; One about a quiet fellow whose bored wife leaves him, finding more excitement with a Casino owner. The quiet fellow, not knowing where his wife went, takes up gambling and becomes quite good. This leads to encounter with the Casino whose owner has taken up with his wife, and things get interesting; Another story is about a family who had attempted to sue a doctor for malpractice, but lost their case. The take matters into their own hands. Another is about an attendant at a nursing home; and the last is about a young man who comes home to die after he’s contracted aids.

What I thought: Each story was well told and held my attention. The concepts always seem so unique. I don’t know if Grisham gets his ideas from cases he came across while practicing, or what, but they are always interesting.

John Grisham:
From Wikipedia:
“Grisham, the second of five children, was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to Wanda (née Skidmore) and John Ray Grisham.[6] His father was a construction worker and a cotton farmer, and his mother was a homemaker.[9] When Grisham was four years old, his family settled in Southaven, Mississippi, a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee.[6]
As a child, he wanted to be a baseball player.[8] As noted in the foreword to Calico Joe, Grisham gave up playing baseball at the age of 18, after a game in which a pitcher aimed a beanball at him, and narrowly missed doing the young Grisham grave harm.
Although Grisham's parents lacked formal education, his mother encouraged him to read and prepare for college.[1] He drew on his childhood experiences for his novel A Painted House.[6] Grisham started working for a plant nursery as a teenager, watering bushes for $1.00 an hour. He was soon promoted to a fence crew for $1.50 an hour. He wrote about the job: "there was no future in it". At 16, Grisham took a job with a plumbing contractor but says he "never drew inspiration from that miserable work".[10]
Through one of his father's contacts, he managed to find work on a highway asphalt crew in Mississippi at age 17. It was during this time that an unfortunate incident got him "serious" about college. A fight with gunfire broke out among the crew causing Grisham to run to a nearby restroom to find safety. He did not come out until after the police had detained the perpetrators. He hitchhiked home and started thinking about college. His next work was in retail, as a salesclerk in a department store men's underwear section, which he described as "humiliating". By this time, Grisham was halfway through college. Planning to become a tax lawyer, he was soon overcome by "the complexity and lunacy" of it. He decided to return to his hometown as a trial lawyer.[11]
He attended the Northwest Mississippi Community College in Senatobia, Mississippi and later attended Delta State University in Cleveland.[6] Grisham changed colleges three times before completing a degree.[1] He eventually graduated from Mississippi State University in 1977, receiving a B.S. degree in accounting. He later enrolled in the University of Mississippi School of Law to become a tax lawyer, but his interest shifted to general civil litigation. He graduated in 1981 with a J.D. degree.[6]
After leaving law school, he participated in some missionary work in Brazil, under the First Baptist Church of Oxford.[12]”

John Grisham:
See above

Fiction; Literature; Short Stories; Thriller

(Fictitious) Ford County; Clanton, Mississippi

Contemporary (2009)

Death Row; Gambling; Strip clubs; Retirement homes; Lawyers; AIDS

Not found

From Blood Drive:
“ A neighbor’s cousin lived in Memphis, and this cousin reluctantly agreed to go to the hospital and monitor things. His first call brought the news that the young man was indeed undergoing surgery for multiple injuries, but he appeared to be stable. He’d lost a lot of blood. In the second call, the cousin straightened out a few of the facts. He’d talked to the job foreman, and Bailey had been injured when a bulldozer struck the scaffolding, collapsing it and sending the poor boy crashing down fifteen feet into a pit of some sort. They were putting the brick on a six-story office building in Memphis, and Bailey was working as a mason’s helper. The hospital would not allow visitors for at least twenty-four hours, but blood donations were needed.
A mason’s helper? His mother had bragged that Bailey had been promoted rapidly through the company and was now an assistant job foreman. However, in the spirit of the moment, no one questioned her about this discrepancy.
After dark, a man in a suit appeared and explained that he was an investigator of some sort. He was passed along to an uncle, Bailey’s mother’s youngest brother, and in a private conversation in the backyard he handed over a business card for a lawyer in Clanton. “Best lawyer in the county,” he said. “And we’re already working on the case.”
The uncle was impressed and promised to shun other lawyers—“just a bunch of ambulance chasers”—and to curse any insurance adjuster who came slithering onto the scene.
Eventually, there was talk of a trip to Memphis. Though it was only two hours away by car, it may as well have been five. In Box Hill, going to the big city meant driving an hour to Tupelo, population fifty thousand. Memphis was in another state, another world, and, besides, crime was rampant. The murder rate was right up there with Detroit. They watched the carnage every night on Channel 5.
Bailey’s mother was growing more incapacitated by the moment and was clearly unable to travel, let alone give blood. His sister lived in Clanton, but she could not leave her children. Tomorrow was Friday, a workday, and there was a general belief that such a trip to Memphis and back, plus the blood thing, would take many hours and, well, who knew when the donors might get back to Ford County.
Another call from Memphis brought the news that the boy was out of surgery, clinging to life, and still in desperate need of blood. By the time this reached the group of men loitering out in the driveway, it sounded as though poor Bailey might die any minute unless his loved ones hustled to the hospital and opened their veins.
A hero quickly emerged. His name was Wayne Agnor, an alleged close friend of Bailey’s who since birth had been known as Aggie. He ran a body shop with his father, and thus had hours flexible enough for a quick trip to Memphis. He also had his own pickup, a late-model Dodge, and he claimed to know Memphis like the back of his hand.
“I can leave right now,” Aggie said proudly to the group, and word spread through the house that a trip was materializing. One of the women calmed things down when she explained that several volunteers were needed since the hospital would extract only one pint from each donor. “You can’t give a gallon,” she explained. Very few had actually given blood, and the thought of needles and tubes frightened many. The house and front yard became very quiet. Concerned neighbors who had been so close to Bailey just moments earlier began looking for distance.
“I’ll go too,” another young man finally said, and he was immediately congratulated. His name was Calvin Marr, and his hours were also flexible but for different reasons—Calvin had been laid off from the shoe factory in Clanton and was drawing unemployment. He was terrified of needles but intrigued by the romance of seeing Memphis for the first time. He would be honored to be a donor.
The idea of a fellow traveler emboldened Aggie, and he laid down the challenge. “Anybody else?”
There was mumbling in general while most of the men studied their boots.
“We’ll take my truck and I’ll pay for the gas,” Aggie continued.
“When are we leavin’?” Calvin asked.
“Right now,” said Aggie. “It’s an emergency.”
“That’s right,” someone added.
“I’ll send Roger,” an older gentleman offered, and this was met with silent skepticism. Roger, who wasn’t present, had no job to worry about because he couldn’t keep one. He had dropped out of high school and had a colorful history with alcohol and drugs. Needles certainly wouldn’t intimidate him.
Though the men in general had little knowledge of transfusions, the very idea of a victim injured so gravely as to need blood from Roger was hard to imagine. “You tryin’ to kill Bailey?” one of them mumbled.
“Roger’ll do it,” his father said with pride.
The great question was, Is he sober? Roger’s battles with his demons were widely known and discussed in Box Hill. Most folks generally knew when he was off the hooch, or on it.
“He’s in good shape these days,” his father went on, though with a noticeable lack of conviction. But the urgency of the moment overcame all doubt, and Aggie finally said, “Where is he?”
“He’s home.”
Of course he was home. Roger never left home. Where would he go?
Within minutes, the ladies had put together a large box of sandwiches and other food. Aggie and Calvin were hugged and congratulated and fussed over as if they were marching off to defend the country When they sped away, off to save Bailey’s life, everyone was in the driveway, waving farewell to the brave young men.
Roger was waiting by the mailbox, and when the pickup came to a stop, he leaned through the passenger’s window and said, “We gonna spend the night?”
“Ain’t plannin’ on it,” Aggie said.
After a discussion, it was finally agreed that Roger, who was of a slender build, would sit in the middle between Aggie and Calvin, who were much larger and thicker. They placed the box of food in his lap, and before they were a mile outside of Box Hill, Roger was unwrapping a turkey sandwich. At twenty-seven, he was the oldest of the three, but the years had not been kind. He’d been through two divorces and numerous unsuccessful efforts to rid him of his addictions. He was wiry and hyper, and as soon as he finished the first sandwich, he unwrapped the second. Aggie, at 250 pounds, and Calvin, at 270, both declined. They had been eating casseroles for the past two hours at Bailey’s mother’s.”


12-18-2022 to 12-24-2022 ( )
  TraSea | Apr 29, 2024 |
I hadn't read any Grisham in awhile, but I'm glad I read this one. This is a collection of 7 short stories, all of them good. A couple are mildly humorous, but mostly they are poignant and sad in their own ways. All of the characters are from Ford County, Mississippi. Some of them are likable, and some of them aren't. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the stories. The last one, particularly, was touching and sad. If you like short stories, this is a good one to read. ( )
  hobbitprincess | Sep 7, 2022 |
Not very interesting for a short story collection. After reading some of them I found myself thinking 'where is the climax and what was the point of this book? Shallow, one-dimensional characters not worthy of a second glance. ( )
  FrankieClark | Jun 20, 2022 |
I read the first two and started the third short story. The characters were unlikable. The plots were depressing. I could not continue
2,417 members; 3.55 average rating; 3/19/2022 ( )
  mainrun | Apr 30, 2022 |
I read "Michael's Room" before loaning it out. Very intense, hard-hitting indictment of showboat lawyers who put their pride before the needs of the people involved in their cases, on both sides.
  librisissimo | Sep 20, 2021 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 88 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The intermittent bursts of genuine thought and originality in “Ford County” show us how good [Grisham] might be if he weren’t so content to coast.
Full of strong characters, simple but resonant plotlines, and charming Southern accents, this collection is solid throughout; though his literary aspirations may seem quaint, Grisham succeeds admirably in his crowd-pleasing craft while avoiding pat endings or oversimplifying (perhaps best exemplified in ""Michael's Room,"" which finds a lawyer facing the consequences of successfully defending a doctor against a malpractice suit).
adicionada por a.thomerson | editarPublishers Weekly (Nov 2, 2009)
Mr. Grisham can give his story an unexpected twist without need of a heavy hand. His novels sometimes moralize; these short stories don’t need to because they transform their agendas into pure, vigorous plot.
adicionada por Shortride | editarThe New York Times, Janet Maslin (Nov 2, 2009)
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John Grisham returns to Ford County, Mississippi, the setting of his immensely popular first novel, "A Time to Kill," with this wholly surprising collection of stories.

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