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The Chamber

3.74  ·  Rating Details  ·  96,532 Ratings  ·  1,157 Reviews
In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm:
Twenty -six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.
Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison:
Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out o
Paperback, 544 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Delta (first published 1994)
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Jun 20, 2015 Neja rated it it was amazing
I started reading this book in December. Why did it took me so long to finish it? Because of the topic: death row, KKK, racism plus I saw the movie before reading it. I am strongly against death row and I can't believe something so inhumane can be legal. These things are so horrible and painful to read and because of that I've read it only a couple of times a month. It made me feel so sad every time I read it. It's a great book, amazing writing, but really sad. You can't read it with a dry eye. ...more
Dec 20, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favourites
I thought this was one of the most impacting novels I have read for a long time. Grisham thoroughly explores the implications of the death penalty and creates a well-rounded and complex character in Sam Cayhall. You come to hate him and pity him, asking yourself whether he really deserves death and cheering Adam on as he tries to save him. A book I will never forget.
Oct 10, 2012 Shesh rated it it was amazing
Just finished rereading this amazing book. This isn't one of Grisham's more popular stories however this book was a life transforming experience for me. Two issues this book forced me to deal with on my first reading in 1994: 1) How can people - any people, "Cluckers" (KKK), the Taliban, street gangs,Fred Phelps and congregation, boy soldiers of Sierra Leone, contract killers, even bullies, et al - be so cruel and mean and hateful? Where is compassion? How did they miss that piece of life? How c ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Courtney rated it it was amazing
Typically I am a Sci-fi/Fantasy reader, with a smattering of historical fiction thrown in. Really I'll read just about anything, but I have weakness for fairy tales. So when my dad recommended this book to me, and went as far as to buy it and give it to me, I was like... okay... But I decided to give it a chance because it's a book, and I like books.

And my response was: Wow. I have read very few things as heart stirring and thought provoking as this book. Who could like a KKK member? Murdering p
Jul 26, 2008 Cynthia rated it really liked it
I have strong feelings and opinions related to this book that delves deeper into the issue of "an eye for an eye" as it relates to the judicial systems of the day. A great side story about a member of the KKK after the civil war during the segragation conflict. Being from a rural southern area, riding around as a child with a father who always kept a "nigger knocker" under the seat, and having family that still refuses to grasp the concept of nonjudgmental equality, I really thought this book sh ...more
Una Tiers
May 02, 2015 Una Tiers rated it liked it
Too long, too technical (and I'm a lawyer). How do other readers feel about the loose end? It did make me think about the death penalty.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2011 Ryan rated it it was amazing
Though I haven’t read this book entirely, it so far is actually quite captivating. As a whole, it has kept hold of my attention. It also has a hint of humor in it, too. John Grisham having a background in law has put his knowledge and experience in his books.
“The Chamber” is about a young, bright lawyer, Adam Hall, who joined the Kravitz & Bane firm solely to represent and defend his grandfather, the infamous ex-Klansman Sam Cayhall, who is in Death Row for the bombing of the Kramer Firm,
Oct 01, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it
I generally was not a John Grisham fan. I had read "Peligan Brief" many years ago and found it too detailed and too boring. This is not the way I felt about this book - so John Grisham, you have earned your way back into my reading library.
The Gas Chamber is being prepared....time is running out - - Will this client be set free? John Grisham takes you through every emotion - - liking this client and even somewhat accepting perhaps of what he did - - to hating this guy and wanting to pull the g
Fauzan Anwar
Oct 29, 2013 Fauzan Anwar rated it liked it
tidak pernah terpikirkan oleh Adam Hall, seorang pengacara muda berbakat dari chicago, bahwa dirinya akan dibawa oleh takdir keluarga. karir dan segala pencapaian yang dibangun selama belasan tahun ternyata untuk rahasia keluarga, atau bahkan mungkin aib keluarga. aib itu adalah kakeknya, Sam Cayhall, narapidana yang terancam hukuman mati.

kasus pengeboman kantor pengacara Yahudi, Marvin Kramer menjadi dalang sebab Sam harus mendekam di penjara Parchman. tidak jauh dari Sam, kamar gas, sebuah hu
Aug 12, 2013 Nenette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a couple of Grishams that had very rich and exciting plots, only to end abruptly, leaving the reader wanting for more.

I'm happy to say that that's not the case with The Chamber. This story has both the thrills and the heart and it carried through to the end. It was an exciting read, and tugs at the heart at the same time; I almost cried in some of the scenes.

I admire the character of Adam Hall, I wish there were more people like him in real life - those who would put the good of the fa
Stan Usher
Jun 11, 2015 Stan Usher rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Always enjoyed Grisham, and even though this book originally came out 20 years ago, its still relevant. You can almost feel the horror of being on Death Row, knowing you only have a certain time to live. Good characters, believable storyline.....the end, almost made me cry which never happens! Please read this, I think everyone in America needs too.
Feb 22, 2009 donna rated it it was amazing
Never have i cried for literature in any medium than i did with this book. I hated Sam for keeping his secret up to his grave. I hated the fact that i was so deeply touched with this book. That now death penalty made sense to me! Up to the last few pages i expected a miracle, but then it didn't came. I cried with Adam and Lee and the rest who did not believe in death penalty. Im not a fan of Grisham after reading The Pelican Brief or was it Runaway Jury (although I liked The Client) but because ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Arwa_Y_240526 rated it it was amazing
The chamber is one of my favorite books. The author, John Grisham, has a simple way of writing where in all of his books he addresses issues such as law , politic, racism. His books are definitely strong books that cover strong topics. The chamber basically talks about a man who is being convicted and executed because of something he has done a long time back. But his lawyer/grandson thinks otherwise. Slowly, he works out things until he reaches the truth. But after finding out the truth, he mig ...more
Maybama02 Carroll
Jul 04, 2007 Maybama02 Carroll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: a-good-book
I loved this book. Never have I had such a distinct love/hate impression of a character before. It is long but you NEVER know how it will end. Its easy to finish it quickly.
Natalie Richards
Jan 31, 2016 Natalie Richards rated it really liked it
Every now and again I enjoy reading a John Grisham book; they`re easy to read and gripping. This was no different. ...more
Jun 26, 2007 Idrisidng rated it really liked it
i loved reading this book,anotha great offering from the king of law/court genre..John Grisham
It was, as most of Grisham's books, absolutely fantastic! I am amazed how he manages to make his books so much about the legal stuff of a lawyer's life and still put so much soul in it that it turns into some mind boggling story! The rythm of the book is fast, constantly coming up with new things, the action is complex and sometimes even sick, and the ending is amazing!
Though it treats legal problems, as I said before, he manages to make his way up to the human mind and study it at close range.
Jan 13, 2014 Ross rated it it was ok
I really want to like this book. As an attorney, I really wanted to. I just couldn't bring myself to like it. Sorry, Mr. Grisham.

This book could have been better without so much emphasis on the filing of documents with the courts. Grisham attempts to create drama with the main character filing motions here, there, anywhere to try to get his estranged grandfather off death row. Sorry, but filing documents and motions after document and motion really isn't as exciting as it sounds. Wait, it doesn'
Sandra Degrechie
Jan 10, 2010 Sandra Degrechie rated it it was amazing
The Chamber was based on a man fighting on Death Row for the murder of an African American boy and blowing up a shop with a Jewish family.He soon realizes he has a nephew Adam, in Law to help him exonerate him from the heinous crimes.It is a compelling story and it shows the realization of how back in the day when they had signs posted that African Americans and Caucasians were not allowed to ride the same buses together and interracial relationships were forbidden.It truly is deep, touching and ...more
Dec 09, 2015 Sabah rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite, if not the favourite novel ever, by JG. It's wonderful when an author possesses the outstanding ability to overturn a readers initial belief and condemnation to evoke sympathy and understanding of someone usually who is capable of only arousing contempt and hatred. This is exactly what JG managed to achieve for me.
Jane Stewart
Sep 10, 2010 Jane Stewart rated it it was ok
Not as entertaining as other Grisham books. It’s a somber subject – death row.

Three Ku Klux Klansmen plant a bomb in an attorney’s office. Two children are killed. Only one of the men (Sam) is caught, and he stays silent about the other two. It is years later. Sam is on death row, soon to be executed in “the (gas) chamber.” Adam is a young attorney with a large law firm up north. He gets permission from his firm to work on Sam’s case pro bono. He is Sam’s grandson. Adam and Sam now m
Aug 31, 2015 Earroway rated it liked it
Long-winded, could have gotten to the end sooner. Would have made it a more satisfying read if Adam had sleuthed around and exposed Wedge and brought him to justice.
Christopher Newton
Mar 15, 2015 Christopher Newton rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Tedious. I only finished it because I was on a long road trip and had nothing else to read in the motel nights. Takes forever to get going, the characters aren't really that interesting. Maybe I just don't like legal thrillers. On the other hand, there is nothing in the story that could legitimately be called thrilling.
Abby Guinn
Jun 10, 2015 Abby Guinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This book was awesome. Best Grisham I've read yet. Give it a try!
Tory Wagner
Dec 02, 2015 Tory Wagner rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel, legal
This was an excellent fictional account of a man on death row. Regardless of your religious or moral beliefs, the details of the account will make you think about the use of capital punishment in the United States. While the main character was certainly not a sympathetic character in terms of his actions, you couldn't help but emphathize with his demise. The scene outside the prison was a study in human nature, with KKK members and Nazis on one side and praying nuns on another. Definitely a book ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Patrick rated it really liked it
The Chamber examines and provides insight to the entire death penalty process from a number of perspectives: the person on death row, the family of that person, the lawyers who litigate on his or her behalf, the state employees who carry out the task and the courts that provide the oversight. The fictional characters are portrayed in a manner that they actually seem real and worthy of the reader’s concern. Reading this book is comparable to reading about the Titanic – you know the ship is going ...more
Bailey Wavrunek
Dec 11, 2015 Bailey Wavrunek rated it it was amazing
The Chamber is about an old man, Sam Cahall, who was once apart of the Klu Klux Klan. He was sentenced to life in prison after accidentally killing two young boys, and debilitating a man in the bombing of a Jewish law office. While this event took place in 1968, the book mostly takes place in the 1990's, when Sam Cahall is about to be executed. The book then goes to a man who just graduated from law school, and is bound and determined to represent Sam Cahall during his last 24 days to live. The ...more
Isabelle Tottenham
Nov 30, 2015 Isabelle Tottenham rated it it was amazing
Crude and slightly provocative, John Grisham has yet again provided a page-turning novel that will leave your eyes strained and fingers raw as your inability to avert your eyes increases. Twisted families, religion and bombings are all tied together in this suspenseful and dramatic book about a young lawyer lobbying pro bono for his exiled grandfather while simultaneously uncovering the truth about his family history. The Cayhall family members are known for their inherent racism and participat ...more
Knot Telling
Apr 16, 2014 Knot Telling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Chamber is a courtroom drama, a legal thriller, and more. It's a transgenerational Southern family drama and it's also the story of a young man entering into radical confrontation with his identity and values, and emerging with both intact.

Adam Hall is one year out of law school and works at a high-powered Chicago law firm. Since the tragic death of his father when Adam was seventeen he has also been the keeper of a family secret: Sam Cayhall, the infamous Ku Klux Klan bomber who has been on
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the end of this novel 29 196 Aug 16, 2015 01:41AM  
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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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“You’re old. You’re senile. You’re too calm about this. Something must be wrong…”
“Wonderful. I’ll pull out my hair and chase butterflies around the room.”
“Look at me," he said, glancing
down at his legs. "A wretched old man in a red monkey suit. A convicted murderer about
to be gassed like an animal. And look at you. A fine young man with a beautiful
education and a bright future. Where in the world did I go wrong? What happened to me?
I've spent my
life hating people, and look what I have to show for it. You, you don't hate anybody. And
look where you're headed. We have the same blood. Why am I here?”
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