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The Summons

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  45,164 ratings  ·  1,190 reviews
Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi-a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss hi ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 373 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Dell (first published February 5th 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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John Conrad
Feb 04, 2008 John Conrad rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like slow manipulative plots
Recommended to John by: Luckily it was free
Grisham has thrilled in the past, but those days are over, it appears. While I appreciated the theme of two brothers conflict over a large inheritance, and the drug addiction part was interesting, I thought I would go mad if Ray Atlee went to one more casino or hotel or restaurant or old friend or law office or rich lawyer's yacht or storage unit or private detective.... ad nauseum... Grisham is not his old self. I recommend The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Runaway Ju ...more
I'm surprised to see how many readers were disappointed with this book since I thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe the plot was a bit thin and predictable, but Grisham's writing style is so smooth and easy to read that I was able to consume this book in two sittings. It was like I was able to sit down and visit with an old friend. Perhaps some other readers confused this familiarity with boredom.
It all starts when law professor Ray Atlee and his prodigal brother, Forrest, are summoned home by their ai
Claire Grasse
And Grisham continues his downhill slide, unhindered.

Oh for the days of his earlier books, when the plots were intricately woven and I couldn't put the books down! You know what I thought when I read this book (and King of Torts, and The Broker)? I thought, OK, JG, we get it that you're a rich boy now, and now you want to explore your rich-boy interests in your fiction. Single malt whiskey, high-stakes gambling, yachts, piloting small aircraft... whatever. The reader can almost see the author's
Everything about it is good, but the ending did not work well for me. It is Grisham all the way, with a little twist, as this time there was no case in court, no big time law office...The summons is a document of such, though called so with a sarcastic tone. There was the usual thrill and suspense and it wasn't quite late in the book when I figured out the culprit. I read somewhere that The King of Torts is a thematic sequel to The Summons, so I'm reading that next. Never mind that it's only "th ...more
Boring. Predictable. Stupid. Read it only if you really hate yourself.
So I'm at my mom's house drooling over her book collection...Okay, I'm lying. I'm looking over two shelves of either leftover college books in uninteresting subjects or my mother's extension collection of John Grisham books. They're all in hardcover. Let's just say she's a huge fan. I've avoided his books like I avoid anything I see on the bestseller's shelves assuming they are a bunch of crap because they are popular and popularity of most things literary tends to correlate with the number of i ...more
Writing For the Money (2012)

Grisham, John (2002). The Summons. New York: Random House.

A lawyer in Mississippi finds three million dollars in cash in his father’s house after the old man dies. The money is not mentioned in the will, and indeed there is no obvious way the judge could have amassed that much cash. Should the lawyer declare it to the IRS and lose half in taxes, as the law requires, or quietly split it with his no-good, loser, drug-addict brother who would probably use it to overdose,
Shabby ending spoils good first three-fourths of money story...

We see now why literally half a thousand reviewers either panned or expressed their disenchantment with Grisham's latest. Obviously his name and rep make it a best seller regardless - the book's been out a little while, which is why a bazillion people have weighed in. Indeed, at first, we were captivated and entertained, almost in the style of The Firm or The Partner. Grisham sinks a hook early with the discovery of three million in
Dec 06, 2007 Fatema rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
When I first looked at the book, I first noticed a dull scene of a car driving to infinity as the sun reached the end of the horizon. But, as I read through the book, I grew more interested in the plot and just couldn’t put down the book. I found this book unique in its content and also the characters seemed so life-like. The book I am talking about is “The Summons” by a wonderful author named John Grisham.
I give this book a decent four stars because of its surprising characters and powerful sto
Every once in a while you have to read something that isn’t deep and you are just carried along from page to page. That is what the Summons is. I’ve only read a few of his books but they are all about lawyers and usually old lawyers who die in the first few pages of the book. Then there are surprises that come up through out the book that keep you guessing. At the end you are totally surprised. That is the formula for Grisham. But, having said that I did like the book. An old judge dies and leav ...more
Andrea Ika
The Summons (2002)
by John Grisham (Author)

Original Language: English
Publisher: Doubleday
Country: United States
Publication Date: February 5, 2002
ISBN: 978-0385503822
Page Count: 384

Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi--a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a
Der alte Richter Reuben Atlee ist gestorben und hinterlässt zwei Söhne. Einer Juraprofessor (Ray) der andere ein drogenabhängiger Tunichtgut (Forrest). Als Ray in seinen Heimatort reist, um die Verlassenschaft zu regeln, findet er mehrere Kartons mit Geldscheinen. Er macht sich auf die Suche nach dem Ursprung dieses Geldes. Eine Suche die ihm seinen Vater neu kennen lernen soll. Der Hauptaspekt dieser Geschichte ist jedoch weniger die Suche nach dem Ursprung des Geldes, sondern die Veränderungen ...more

I understand why not all John Grisham books get made into movies. If the protagonist is not wholly likable, it's sort of a downer.

That is the case with the main character in this book -- Ray Atlee, the older of two brothers who have grown up and grown apart from each other, as well as from their long widowed, now elderly dad. Both sons have made homes far from the small Mississippi town where their father, a widowed a
Neveen Helmi
Though classified as a thriller, reading "The Summons" left me truly thrilled but only over the fact that I have finally got over with it. Worse kinds of stories, in my opinion, are those you bear on with just for the sake of knowing how they end and for the shame of quitting after you have gone that far. "The Summons" perfectly qualifies as one; it starts all promising, the suspense is building up, the main characters are getting gradually unfolded, and it seems that a lot more excitement is he ...more
Over the years, I've dismissed John Grisham's books, thinking there's not much there. Admittedly, my assessment has been based on hearsay as lawyers claim in the courtroom. So after some at-home marital disagreements on Grisham's writing, I decided to dive into The Summons.

And I was pleased, sort of. The story moved along clearly (although slowly), and I was interested in the outcome. The plot ended in a twist that brought some symmetry to the the story and stimulated a little thinking about who
Dag Dawit
The Summons is a great book. This is one of the best work done by John Grisham. It was a number one new york times bestseller. Filled with excitement, and mystery the summons is a must read for all book lovers. I would definetly recommend this book to my friends.

The Summons is about a Judge that is well known in his city of Clanton Mississippi. Judge Atlee soon dies from sickness "there was no pulse Judge Reuben V.Atlee was dead". Since the judge knew that he was going to die he wrote a summon t
Doug Clemens
This is a mildly entertaining book. I'm fairly new to this genre so I'm not sure if I don't like this genre as much or if this wasn't done that well. I guess I'm not a fan of books that you are trying to figure things out and then come to find out the explanation given is really not that plausible just so you would be surprised. It feels contrived to me. Maybe that can't be helped but that is how I felt on this book. It had its moments but overall it just didn't do it for me.
My second Grisham novel, this one concerns Ray, a law professor, the son of a respected Judge of a small Southern county. Summoned to the Judge’s house, he finds his father dead and three million dollars in cash hidden in boxes behind the couch. Uncertain what to do and unwilling to tell his drug
addict brother Forrest, Ray hides the money. Soon, however, he’s plagued by greed and doubt, as well as the more physical threats of someone who knows about the money. This is a pretty suspenseful book,
Hope Harris-Gayles
I chose The Summons as my first selection from Audible thinking I couldn't go wrong with a Grisham book. Well...yes and no. In this story two sons are summoned to the family home by their ailing father Judge Atlee. The main character arrives to find the judge already dead and a very large sum of money. The story picks up from there--where did the money come from, was the judge dirty, etc. A good premise but the story was lacking in drama. Several times drama seemed around the corner, but instead ...more
Dylan Harris
This book ... I don't think I'm a natural reader of John Grisham. It's not a bad character story of three unsympathetic characters, a father and two sons. The plot, though, is obvious pretty much from the get go.

I'm a setting guy, it's what I want from a book to get me excited. I want something interesting and/or unusual. I want a created setting that explores something philosophical, or human, or anything, really. I want a setting that challenges presumptions, or explores, or tests. I want a st
Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's forty-three, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.
And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for forty years. No longer on the bench, the J
Christine Blachford
Plot: Ray is a Professor of law and likes to fly. He goes home to see his dad who is dying but finds him already gone, along with a simple will that omits the boxes containing three million dollars in the cupboard. Where did it come from? What should he do with it?

Characters: Ray seems normal enough, his brother Forrest is a drug addict. Both are described very well. It’s really interesting to follow how Ray changes when he decides what to do with the money. Cash changes people.

Style Of Writing:
Dora Okeyo
For those who expect the Grisham evident in The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Pelican Brief and The'll be GREATLY DISAPPOINTED!

So, what did he do this time?
He got two sons fighting over an inheritance. One is a Professor, while the other is a drug addict. He gave them plain names : Ray, Forrest.
There's no court battle here or the kind of case that would attract the media and lead to people forming teams in support of one brother over the other.

And you know what, I respect th
Jessica Cockroft
This was my first read of John Grisham, and after reading others' comments of the novel, it seems as though this is not his most recommended work. However, I did enjoy it; I found it to be entertaining, well written, and a page turner, especially within the last 50 or so pages. The story line challenged me to consider how I would act if I found $3 million, which is also the most ironic part of the story. The moral, educated brother (Ray) ends up lost and unsure of what to do with the money, wher ...more
This book was just given by my older brother to me, he said when he saw this one in his room he just think of me cause he knows I love to reads books. I’m a type of person who reads whatever kind of books that has given to me, so I decided to read this one. I kind of like the plot it gives me insight of what would I expect as usual and I love mystery books because I wanted to become a lawyer but I give up to be one because I don’t have the courage, confident, strength and also intelligence to be ...more
Darren Ashley
In THE SUMMONS, Ray and Forrest Atlee, the sons of Judge Reuben Atlee, have been summoned by their father to return to his mansion to discuss the details of his estate as his health declines. But he dies from cancer prior to their arrival so Ray and Forrest deal with the loss of their father and distributing his estate which includes $3,000,0000 cash that Ray discovers in his father's house which he carts around for the entire story until it gets lost in a house fire towards the end of the book. ...more
Kressel Housman
Between history books, I like to read light fiction, and I figured I couldn't go wrong with John Grisham, but unfortunately, this wasn't one of his best. The protagonist was likable enough, but not lovable like Mark Sway and Reggie Love in The Client. The mystery was compelling, but not nearly as admirable as the attempt to take down big tobacco in The Runaway Jury. And the plot twists were nowhere near as complex as those in The Firm. But even with all that, I still would have given the book a ...more
Grisham, John (2002). The Summons. Nvew York: Random House.

The summons is a document of such, though called so with a sarcastic tone. There was the usual thrill and suspense and it wasn't quite late in the book when I figured out the culprit.

A lawyer in Mississippi finds three million dollars in cash in his father’s house after the old man dies. The money is not mentioned in the will, and indeed there is no obvious way the judge could have amassed that much cash. Should the lawyer declare it to
Peter Goodman

“The Summons,” by John Grisham (Random House, 2002; audiobook read by Michael Beck). Another good one by Grisham. Ray Atlee, successful law-professor son of a revered small-town southern judge, gets a summons to visit his father, who is dying of cancer. He didn’t like his father, who may have been beloved by all but he and his brother Forrest (named after the Judge’s hero, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest). Forrest is a worthless reprobate, always in trouble, always getting drunk or hooked on drugs, al
"Meh," that's all I have to say about this book. Definitely not Grisham's best. Found most of it rather dull, and Ray Atlee's decision-making skills annoyed me throughout the narrative. I'm not certain what I would do if I acquired that kind of cash, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't act that irrationally.
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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
More about John Grisham...
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