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The Appeal

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  37,673 Ratings  ·  3,401 Reviews
John Grisham is now an institution -- a writer whose bestselling status is assured, So assured, in fact, that expectations for each new book are as high as can be imagined. Does The Appeal make the grade? And will it appeal to Grisham admirers -- or disappoint them?

The stakes in the novel's plot are high: corporate crime on the largest scale. The duo of lawyers at the cent

Hardcover, 355 pages
Published January 29th 2008 by Doubleday (first published 2008)
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A Time to Kill by John GrishamThe Firm by John GrishamThe Client by John GrishamThe Street Lawyer by John GrishamThe Pelican Brief by John Grisham
The best of John Grisham
22nd out of 33 books — 238 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsBreaking Dawn by Stephenie MeyerThe Host by Stephenie MeyerThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferCity of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Best Books of 2008
153rd out of 1,444 books — 6,837 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jan 28, 2008 babyhippoface rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who are on the edge and just need one teensy push to go completely over?
This book has made me angrier than any I've read in years.

Okay, first off --what is with the absolutely horrid neon orange color of the jacket back? Who picked this? Must have been colorblind. Each time I reached for this book my eyes felt violated.

*SPOILER ALERT* If you haven't read it yet, stop reading now...

Second, well, let's just say it: the ending was even more offensive than the neon orange jacket back. The book was well-written, compelling (and yes, possibly completely undeserving of tha
Jason Miller
Apr 25, 2008 Jason Miller rated it did not like it
John Grisham's books have been getting steadily worse, ever since the Painted House (another lame book). What happened to the excellent author that produced such books as The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Street Lawyer, and Runaway Jury? I think he's out to lunch. I keep reading his new books, hoping he'll come back, but so far, no luck.
This is his worst in a long line of bad books. Stay away from this one, as well as his other latest, The Innocent Man. They are boring, long, and a chore to get
Apr 14, 2008 Melissa rated it it was ok
Shelves: legal-crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2008 Alicia rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: liberal politicians with a distinct agenda
As I began reading this book, I was very worried that it sounded too familiar. It reminded me of "Law & Order" episodes that are "ripped from the headlines." Whenever I hear that, I think, come on, can't you guys think of anything new? Saying that, the storyline of Grisham's latest began in that similar sort of way. I was pretty convinced that it was going to be boring.

I was very pleasantly surprised that only after a few chapters, I started to find it pretty interesting. While the trial por
Apr 28, 2015 Abdullah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
يجب عليكم تحملي اليوم ..

انوي ان اثرثر كثيرا

جئت لجزيرة أفريقية نائية ليومين ومعي خمسة كتب أنهيتها بخطأ بتقدير عدد الكتب اللازمة للرحلة او ربما بإبداع كتابها الذين جعلوا مني سائحا لم يغادر غرفته قط

الرواية هي ثالث ما اقرأه لجون جريشام - وفي رواية غريشام- بعد المؤسسة ورواية اخرى يفوتني اسمها الان

من الواضح بأن غريشام لن يجد من يباريه في كتابة الروايات التي تكون المحاكم والقضايا وما بينهما محور ما يكتبه فقلمه بارع جداً ومتمكن في هذا العالم

احداث الرواية سلسة وجميلة وأول ما تستشفه منها هو نفس ما شعرت
Apr 18, 2009 Ty added it
don't read this piece of shit. what the hell grisham?, you're usually so solid.
Jessica Sue
May 21, 2013 Jessica Sue rated it did not like it
I'd like to appeal the ending to this shitty book.
Mar 19, 2008 Johnny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
The Appeal wouldn't make a successful film. At times, it appears to accede to the Hollywood formula, but then, it retreats to Grisham's forte'--realism. Oh, I know Grisham's work isn't as gritty as the descriptions of the world of meat-packing in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, the vivid characterizations of a couple fighting in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned, or the depiction of blatant sexism in Sinclair Lewis' The Job (or even in Ann Vickers, his thinly veiled roman a clef ba ...more
Apr 12, 2008 Rick rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: trial lawyers seeking confirmation of their world-view
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
I read this in April of 2008 after Justice Nehring (of the Utah Supreme Court) told me he was listening to it on CD during his commute each day. Three quarters of my way through it, he told me it was not worth finishing. He was right.

Talk about much ado about nothing. The novel starts strong, provides an interesting conflict, and than (spoiler alert) completely drops the ball. Not that the bad guy has to lose and the good guy has to win every time, but the characters are skewed and distorted so
Aug 06, 2013 Mona rated it really liked it
It didn't take me long to finish this book. As usual, I like John Grisham's style of writing; crisp, fast-flowing and gripping. I also get to know a lot of new words that I have never heard of before. I get to know a lot of jargon from the law world.

I gave it 4 stars because of what John is trying to reveal in this book. He certainly lifts the lid on corporate obscene greed and insatiable appetite for moving up the 'Forbes' list, even if that meant treading over the misery of others. It delves
Feb 14, 2015 Annette rated it it was ok
Harder to persevere with this one where his other books are smoother. Could not gel with the characters. Although at times I was looking forward to the outcome, I was not as riveted as I could have been. Ending was terrible. Makes me think I have wasted time on this book when I could have been reading something else.
Daniel Bastian
Oct 05, 2015 Daniel Bastian rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
A candid look into the seedy underbelly of campaign finance in the U.S. It's no secret that in this country, money and politics walk hand in hand, with Big Business barons leveraging their own interests against those of the people and, at times, basic procedural justice. It is this systemic prioritization of corporate well-being over human well-being on which Grisham wishes to shine a light.

He chooses his own home state—Mississippi—for the setting. Mississippi is one of the few states which elec
Oct 17, 2011 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction, legal
Alright...well, I admit that I read a few one and two star reviews before posting mine because I wanted to read what the nay-sayers had to say about the book. I was pretty sure I knew what they wouldn't like, and I was pretty sure I would disagree. I was right. I understand others' chagrin with Grisham's choice of ending, but I thought it was refreshing. It's about time someone bucked the system and didn't give us a patented ending, all tied up with a pretty bow.

So here is the deal. Mississippi
Jul 15, 2008 Emily rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one, or maybe people who are idiots
Recommended to Emily by: my mom
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Johnny Story
Dec 29, 2008 Johnny Story rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 02, 2015 Elza rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is part of my 2015 reading challenge

More book reviews here: Elzas book reviews

I’m a little bit torn about this book review. This is my first John Grisham book and I really didn’t like it but I know that I can’t judge him only based on one book. However, this book did not impress me at all.

This book is about a big chemical company that poisons the water of a small town in Mississippi. The story starts out when the company is found liable for the cancer death that accrues in the small
Jul 02, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
The Appeal is a book every American should read. It essentially explains how wealthy companies can literally buy judges - as in, have one taken out and a new one installed - in order to make decisions in their favor and protect them from having to pay damages to the people they maim with their practices.

It also goes over the importance to the average citizen of being able to sue for malpractice or damages from defective or unsafe products.

It was so dead-on that when i bought the hardcover (used)
Jan 15, 2009 Michelle rated it it was ok
I have read numerous John Grisham books and have continued to pick them up because I have enjoyed them. I have always found his books to a be an entertaining and easy read. Once I pick up the book, I usually have to keep reading until the end. With this book, I was bored by page two. The book is about the big bad company that poisons the water of the unsuspecting small town. The company is bad, bad, bad, and the small town villagers are good, good, good. The lawyers for the company are BAD and t ...more
Mar 27, 2009 Eliece rated it did not like it
What I learned from this book is that supreme court justices should be appointed not elected like politicians because then they get bought out by big businesses and the one with the most money wins and this is BAD, BAD, BAD. (point made, Mr. Grisham) This book is lacking a storyline, character development, excitement of any kind, and all other desireable elements of a novel. I usually like John Grisham but this book is BORING, BORING, BORING. In Grisham's honor I will recommend The Innocent Man, ...more
Feb 05, 2009 Shevawn rated it really liked it
I admit, I like a lot of Grisham's novels; I especially like them when spending long hours on an airplane, as I did recently. I found this book to be very disturbing; it has definitely affected the way I will view future election campaigns for judges. I also liked how his Christian characters were reflective of the current Christian culture, even though they bothered me at times because of that. The ending surprised me, as it took some surprising turns the last 60 or so pages.
Nov 02, 2008 Rick rated it did not like it
Grisham seems to get worse with every book. This conspiracy novel that is so agenda driven isn't worth a library late fee.
The Writer
Apr 18, 2010 The Writer rated it did not like it
There is this small round sticker on the book cover that tips “His first legal thriller in 3 years”. Something that I just noticed after I finished the book officially minutes ago.

If the existence of that sticker is solely to excuse the book’s major crap quality, I dissent. However, it does provide an explanation about why this book should not allowed to sit side by side with other Grisham’s novels and why it only qualifies as toilet reading in my honest opinion.

As a Grisham fan through and thro
Jan 23, 2010 James rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 19, 2013 John rated it really liked it
Last Thursday, Nov 14, I went to Deseret Industries with my wife so she could buy some white cups and bowls for a still-life she wanted to create for an art class she was teaching Saturday. While she was looking for her white things, I decided to go look at the books, even though I now spend most of my reading time on my Kindle. To my delight I found what looked like a brand new hardback copy of The Appeal by John Grisham for only $2. I read a little at the beginning and decided I hadn't read it ...more
Marcy Nisbeth
May 17, 2008 Marcy Nisbeth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all my friends
Recommended to Marcy by: myself
Another amazing book by Grisham! At this time of elections, we are facing a few judicial seats to be elected instead of appointed by a non-partisan board. This, as Grisham has so aptly pointed out, is not what the judges should be doing . . . running a campaign for a judicial seat! These people, for the most part, are judges with a full time job on the bench and should NOT have to try to go out and stump the campaign trail while trying to decide very important cases in front of them at this very ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave readers unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.
Shocking isn't the half of it.

I love a good mystery. Love when the story takes twists and turns I never saw coming. The Appeal has that and more.

There are only a few books I've read that really get under my skin. You know th
May 17, 2008 Jen rated it liked it
After a large chemical company is found liable for the cancer deaths of Jeanette Baker's son and husband, the jury awards Baker a 41 million dollar verdict. The chemical company sets out to do everything in their power to get this verdict reversed.

I found that the first three quarters of this book went VERY slow for me, but the end made it all worth while. I'm glad I stuck around and didn't give up. When the book starts out about big business contaminating the water and making people sick, I tho
Nov 11, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it
Maybe more of 3.5, but I'll go with the 4 rating. During an (almost) election year as I watch the televised Republican debates, I am suddenly thinking, "Who are these people?" (thinking back to one of the three candidates for a state supreme court position in The Appeal who is put into the mix to unbalance a candidate ... is paranoia setting in on my part?!) In today's political climate, The Appeal is a dandy.
Brian Schroeder
Aug 24, 2015 Brian Schroeder rated it really liked it
This is a bit of a mix bag for Grisham fans. I went back and forth with my opinion on this book before deciding that on the whole, it was enjoyable and relevant. It had some slow parts, and it wandered off a few times, but in the end it won me over.

There are several compelling characters, ranging from the broke small town husband/wife legal team who gave up everything to take on the big chemical baddies; to the despicable chemical company CEO who tries to buy a friendly seat on a court in anothe
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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
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