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Gray Mountain

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  79,926 ratings  ·  8,477 reviews
The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Promising careers were suddenly ended as banks, hedge funds, and law firms engaged in mass lay-offs and brutal belt tightening. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City's largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and ...more
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published October 21st 2014 by Dell
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Fay Based on this reasoning, Upton Sinclair never would have written The Jungle. But he did and it led to changes, so there we are. If he's interested in …moreBased on this reasoning, Upton Sinclair never would have written The Jungle. But he did and it led to changes, so there we are. If he's interested in the subject, the writing is good, and it is based on solid facts, then why shouldn't Grisham write where he pleases? In the end, people write for themselves. (less)
James Seawel One cannot blame a desperate people for seeking solutions to their most pressing needs - putting food on the table. This isn't a new problem, however,…moreOne cannot blame a desperate people for seeking solutions to their most pressing needs - putting food on the table. This isn't a new problem, however, and there are other solutions besides raping the land for short-term gain. Where are all of these so-called patriotic billionaire business owners? If they love America so much, and have the means, why not invest in these regions to help the people and to save the land. The government appears to try, but political reality is that they are limited. Thanks, Mr. Grisham, for bringing exposure to this issue. May God bless the people of Appalachia and elsewhere who are limited in their economic opportunities. (less)
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Average rating 3.58  · 
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 ·  79,926 ratings  ·  8,477 reviews

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John Grisham
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wrote
I enjoyed writing this book very much in spite of knowing how it would end.
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Samantha (Grisham's new heroine) was a complete bore. She was a fence sitter in every aspect of her personal life-- friendships, career, love and family. Even if she were a young impetuous lawyer who grew and matured during the book, that would be fine, but she wasn't.

I think her personality took any fun out of any suspense that was being created. She didn't really care, so I didn't care.

I did enjoy reading about coal mining, flat top mining and black lung disease.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think John Grisham forgot to write a story. The entire book was simply a way to preach about the injustice of strip mining and poor old down home mountainfolk in Appalachia. Interesting stuff. Worthy of investigation. Boring presentation. The whole book felt sketchy - nothing had any depth to it: shallow characters, quickly resolved legal issues, shady bad guys, annoying protagonist. The only true observation: working in Big Law can be mind-numbingly exhausting and cutthroat. Skip this one.
Tucker Elliot
This is by far the least enjoyable John Grisham book I’ve read. The book starts fine with “heroine” Samantha Kofer being furloughed in New York – but when she relocates to Virginia to work for a legal aid clinic the story is at turns silly, boring and contrived, but definitely not exciting.

Samantha is a “real lawyer” for the first time and the problems she solves for her clients are certainly emotional, but the first half of the book felt like a collection of random short stories about impoveri
Oct 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Darwin
Nov 11, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have to write a review of Gray Mountain to balance the ones on GoodReads which persuaded me to spend money on this book.

It's terrible. In fact, I managed about a quarter of it and had to stop. It's a long time since I've given up on a book like that but ...

The prose is amateurish, the characters barely make it to 'wooden'; the dialogue is embarrassing — consistently implausible, with non sequiturs everywhere; there are interminable passages of exposition where a conversation turns into a loc
Oct 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing...didn't read like Grisham. Characters, dialogue, plot, all were not up to even the worst Grisham novel. Seemed like someone else wrote this, or he just phoned it in. Hope the next one gets him back on track.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Gresham's best. I grew up in the area this book is about and saw what he is talking about first hand. It is very accurate and though he does talk about some of the stereotypes of uneducated people in the area, he does not belabor the issue and he does show there are also educated people and that the general personality of the area is one of love and caring about each other. He also shows how absentee owners are raping the land to get and sell coal for the biggest profits for them ...more
I am unable to finish this book. I guess Grisham has decided to follow the lead of most best selling authors today and write a book that will ensure him high praise from the wacko left wing media. He certainly didn't write the book to tell a good story that would pull in his readers and keep them hooked for 400 pages. If you want to read boring page after boring page about the coal industry then this is the book for you. I read because to enjoy a good story and escape for a little while. There i ...more
Jacki Hall
Nov 04, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I can come up with the words to describe how much I disliked this book. While described by other characters as a "brilliant lawyer," the lead character Samantha was a cowardly idiot. Or at least all the dialog attributed to her made her seem like she should never have graduated from high school. I think the premise of the story gave us the idea this would be similar to "The Pelican Brief," but in reality it was just a jumble of unrealistic characters and evil employees of large c ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Samantha Kofer thought she would be on the fast track to making partner at her law firm in Manhattan with her long hours and dedication. What she didn’t expect was to walk into her job as an associate at the firm and find out that she’d been laid off due to the current recession.

With jobs scarce to come by in the legal field Samantha takes the firm up on the offer of finding work in legal aid for the next year with the possibility to return to her job. Heading to Brady, Virginia Samantha never e
Tea Jovanović
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it
Well, it is Grisham, and I adore his style and plots, and as his Serbian translator and editor for years, I must be honnest and say this is not his usual masterpiece... But he is only human after all... :) But worth reading for sure! :)
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
John Grisham has written several fine novels but unfortunately this is not one of them. If you are interested in reading this author take a look at his earlier books and give this one a miss.

Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm disappointed in this book. The first half is mostly about the evils of coal mining. The action picks up in the second half, but when I got to the end, I said "That's it?" No bad guys got their comeuppance.

I didn't really like any of the characters. There were various kinds of lawyers: rich corporate lawyers, high power lawyers, legal aid do-gooders, corrupt lawyers, disbarred lawyers, government lawyers. The clients were mostly poor, uneducated, drug addicts, wife beaters, greedy relatives n
Oct 27, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Grisham's weakest books, in my opinion. I was interested in the female lawyer as the main protagonist and the focus on coal mining and its human toll. However, I was at first convinced that there must be a secret female co-writer, as much of the dialogue and romantic situations read like a YA novel. Then, I thought maybe Grisham is just so talented he can summon the voice of a shallow young woman! Either way I was disappointed and will probably not follow any upcoming sequels featuring Sa ...more
Susan Johnson
Feb 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did a little happy dance when I finished this book. Was it that good? No, it was opposite. I was so happy that I had finished this piece of drivel that I was jumping for joy. John Grisham has always been a mediocre writer but a good storyteller. He was neither in this book. His writing was appalling bad and the "plot" (I use that word loosely) was so hackneyed as to be almost unreadable.

It's a shame because the issues dealt with in the book are important. The strip coal mining in Appalachia
Mike French
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Grishsam is a great story teller and Gray Mountain is among his best! Grisham tells a story of a NEW YORK lawyer that ends up in Appalachia as an intern to a legal aid non-profit. In kept me hooked from start to finish!
Lynne Spreen
When I was about 75% through the book, I realized that if the main character, Samantha, died in a fiery plane crash at that point, leaving one of the other female attorneys to rise up and take on the mantle of hero, I wouldn't have felt any emotions. Somehow, most of the characters in this book were flat. The two brothers who were love interests (one potential, one actual) weren't compelling. The bad guys were cartoons. The ending was foreshortened. There were some editing deficiencies.

It's too
If you had no opinion on coal mining, strip mining, or mountaintop removal before, or if you are in favor of it all because it means jobs and cheap fuel for America, John Grisham will surely turn you around to his opinion, or die trying. But since I already agree with him on practically everything he says and don't need convincing, after a while it does get repetitive and soapbox-like (soapboxie?). This tale of rich vs poor, and big business vs the common man went on a bit too long IMO. The narr ...more
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Gray Mountain

John Grisham has done it again! This was an amazing novel. I can easily say that I think this is the best novel he has written in a very long time and it may be the best novel he has ever written. I would love to see him write a sequel to Gray Mountain. John Grisham is another one of the first authors that I started reading as a teenager and as the years have gone by and I have gotten older his novels have just gotten better and better. Don't pass up on reading this you will definit
Doubleday  Books
John Grisham returns with an "issue-driven" legal thriller that is sure to rekindle the debate about Mountain Top Removal, especially in Appalachia. He weaves this politically/economically/environmentally loaded matter into the thrilling story of a young attorney—his first female protagonist in some time—who loses her soul-crushing corporate job only to encounter the law head-on in rural Appalachia, where she finally learns what it means to be a lawyer. A wonderful and riveting read, old-school ...more
Colleen Hawreluk
Once again John Grisham educates us about a shocking and compelling subject matter: coal mining and the companies who so blatantly disregard both human life and nature.

While I enjoyed the book I thought it fell flat in the suspense factor and character development. So much more could have been done with this book.

It is told from the perspective of Samantha who is touted as John Grisham's new hero in the book description. While she did go through some personal growth and development I would har
Thomas Edmund
Gray Mountain pulled me in with the first few beats. Samantha a youngish lawyer with prospects is put out on her butt during the 2008 financial crisis. She has the option of keeping her health-care if she signs up to pro-bono work, the only available option legal-aid near Gray Mountain.

Then the story started to get a bit too preach. by a bit too preachy I mean almost 50% of the book was spent information dumping all the problems with the coal mining industry. Heck, I don't like strip mining, I d
Alessandra Torre
Dec 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Sloppy work

Who was this editor? At any point, did he or she look at John Grisham and tell him how terrible this was? The plot wanders about, and at 75% in, I still didn't know in what general direction the book was going in. The main character is unlikeable, and not intentionally so but most importantly, it just isn't well written. I don't know if I've just grown up as a reader or JG has gotten lazy with time.
Cindy Leighton
Oct 21, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
John Grisham has been my guilty pleasure candy go-to writer for ages, so of course I had pre-ordered Gray Mountain before he made his inexcuseable, unforgiveable defense of "-old white men in prison who’ve never harmed anybody, would never touch a child. But they got online one night and started surfing around, probably had too much to drink or whatever, and pushed the wrong buttons, went too far and got into child porn.” You would think a lawyer would understand that if there were no market for ...more
Una Tiers
About the first third of the book, I liked the characters, and enjoyed the drama. The story line quickly became tedious with a narcissistic protagonist and childish figures who play cloak and dagger roles. It reminded me of the old silent movies where the music portrays the emotions along with exaggerated facial/hand gestures.
The book was too long and had poor pace.
For so much of this one I found myself bored. I almost quit reading when I was about 40% of the way through, as that is a good portion of the book to be in, yet bored with it. But there was something that kept me reading. It wasn't until the last bit that things started to pick up.

I did like how Samantha changed over the course of the book. That she went from seeing the people of Brady as pathetic as to living a hard life the best that they could. I wasn't always happy with who Samantha surroun
Judy D Collins
John Grisham’s GRAY MOUNTAIN, a suspenseful and powerful legal thriller of a young city girl, heading south; lands in rural Virginia, in the middle of Big Coal evil corruption, and a community left defenseless under their control.

Samantha Kofer (29 yr. old) loses her Wall Street job in commercial real estate law with a top firm, after the collapse, during the 2008 recession. Washington native, graduate of Georgetown and Columbia Law, she was a third-year associate at a huge New York law firm,
Oct 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a little unfair to John Grisham, but I probably would have rated this book 4 stars if he didn't write it. It was a pretty good book, but I kept waiting for the typical Grisham-flair to pop up - a huge courtroom battle, an epic good versus evil duel, etc.

Instead, the battle and storyline I would have really wanted to read about goes on in the background as a secondary storyline. The main plot follows Samantha Kofer, a young law associate at a powerful firm in New York City. However, when th
Amber ☾♥
Dec 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I'm so very good at thinking I know what a book is about and then, once opening up to the first page, discovering it is no where near what I was thinking.

Exhibit A: Gray Mountain by John Grisham

Now, I'm also the type of person who tries super hard not to DNF a book because I don't want to feel as if I wasted my time...or something. I don't really have one real reason...I just don't like doing it. So, when I came to discover this book was heavy on the "legal" side of the whole mystery genre and n
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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

Articles featuring this book

In his new thriller, Gray Mountain, New York lawyer Samantha Kofer takes an unpaid internship in Appalachia, where she stumbles on a high-stakes se...
72 likes · 82 comments
“They say a woman marries a man with the belief she can change him, and she can’t. A man marries a woman with the belief that she won’t change, and she does.” 9 likes
“Appalachia was Appalachia, regardless of boundaries someone had set an eternity ago. A land of breathtaking beauty, of steep hills and rolling mountains” 7 likes
More quotes…