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A Time to Kill

(Jake Brigance #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  657,393 ratings  ·  4,822 reviews
Before The Firm and The Pelican Brief made him a superstar, John Grisham wrote this riveting story of retribution and justice -- at last it's available in a Doubleday hardcover edition. In this searing courtroom drama, best-selling author John Grisham probes the savage depths of racial he delivers a compelling tale of uncertain justice in a small southern tow ...more
Paperback, 515 pages
Published March 15th 2004 by Dell (first published 1989)
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Juan Ponce In fact, it was written back in 1989. This was John Grishams first novel! No one ever believed this was going to become such a great and successful…moreIn fact, it was written back in 1989. This was John Grisham´s first novel! No one ever believed this was going to become such a great and successful novel. It was rejected by a lot of publishers, until Grisham got one opportunity and he blasted, with this jewel! It captivated me, and now I am excited to be able to read it again! Great impact, great story, incomparable book! (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Juan Ponce I have read it once already. Some time later, I borrowed it o a friend who unfortunately left it in the public bus and my book got lost. Now, last…moreI have read it once already. Some time later, I borrowed it o a friend who unfortunately left it in the public bus and my book got lost. Now, last weekend I found and purchased a used version for only $3.00, therefore, I am happy to be able to read this incredible novel again! You won´t regret it, this is a 10-star book! This a must-read novel! (Thumbs down to spoilers! Buuuuuu!)(less)
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4.06  · 
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 ·  657,393 ratings  ·  4,822 reviews

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Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Considered Grisham's best novel by many readers far more perspicacious than moi, this well-written, emotionally-charged thriller certainly delivers. While it doesn't rank as my eye's own personal apple, I can certainly see why it is esteemed by fans of both the legal-thriller and Grisham.

Despite being fast-paced and a true page-turner (what I would call a popcorn-read), there's a gravity and social conscience that pervades the story and adds a weight to the narrative. There is depth here, more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This 1988 first Grisham novel is outstanding. 10 of 10 stars!
Fabian {Councillor}
"A Time to Kill" is a riveting story of retribution and justice ... so does the title imply. Replace riveting by frustrating and you know what I felt while reading this doorstopper of a book.

On more than 500 pages, John Grisham delves deep into the schemes and entanglements of a trial in the Southern USA. The premise was so interesting that it was impossible not to pick this book up: A ten-year-old girl is raped by two drunken men, and her father takes the law into his own hands by killing the r
Rebecca McNutt
Riveting, somber and powerful, A Time to Kill is a totally unforgettable legal thriller telling of secluded prejudice in a small Southern town, and one lawyer who wants to change the world.
Ahmad Sharabiani
A Time to Kill, John Grisham
A Time to Kill is a 1988 legal thriller by John Grisham. It was Grisham's first novel.
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه اکتبر سال 2001 میلادی
عنوان: زمانی برای کشتن؛ نویسنده: جان گریشام؛ مترجم: هادی عادلپور؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، کوشش، 1378، در 526 ص؛ شابک: 9646636145؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی قرن 20 م
عنوان: زمانی برای کشتن؛ نویسنده: جان گریشام؛ مترجم: جواد سید اشرف؛ مشخصات نشر: تهران، زرین، 1378، در 640 ص؛ شابک: 9644070178؛
داستان وکیل جوانی به نام «جیک بریگانس» است که
Andre Gonzalez
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book totally rocked my world! I had asked for a legal thriller as a recommendation and I'm glad to have this one suggested! The racial tension in this story felt as real as it did in To Kill A Mockingbird. I felt I was right there in Clanton, Mississippi trying to dodge the KKK and marching with everyone else. This is my first Grisham novel, and I'll definitely be exploring more!
James Thane
Mar 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal-thrillers
I confess that when one of my book clubs made this our monthly selection, I approached it with more than a little trepidation. I knew that this was Grisham's first book and that when it was first published as a hardcover, he could hardly give it away. Sales were so poor that there was initially no paperback release. Only after the success of The Firm and other of Grisham's books was this one finally resurrected and released in paperback.

Like most of Grisham's other readers, I jumped aboard the t
Mar 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read when it first came out. I really ought to reread this prior to reading Sycamore Row. I remember being captivated with the story of Jake Brigance but I details are sketchy at best at this time. Seems like a summer reread is on the horizon.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Continuing with my reading of all Grisham titles. This is the first I've read of the southern trial novels. Extensive use of the N word was disturbing but it's used for an accurate portrayal of the voice of white southerners of the period, not gratuitously. Much more disturbing was the scene of the violent attack on a little girl that's the basis of the story. Again, not gratuitous. This novel was based on a true story. A thoughtful and thought provoking reminder of the cruelty and racial prejud ...more
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
A satisfying legal thriller.

Grisham gives the reader much to ponder in this story of a black man who kills two men who raped and brutally beat his 10 year-old daughter. It's hard not to root for the father. It also makes one wonder if the story would have worked as well had it been his wife or sister who had been raped instead (probably not), which in and of itself is worth thinking about. It certainly makes one wonder if and when murder is ever justifiable, and exactly how we draw those lines i
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
One of my least favorite Grisham's books, and that's saying something. Actually I kind of liked The Pelican Brief and one or two of his others, but mostly they strike me as mediocre writing combined, more often than not, with pulpit-pounding and breast-beating about some legal issue.

In this case the setting is a murder trial for a African-American man who gunned down his 10 year old daughter's rapists, who are stereotypical Southern white trash racists who tried to murder this little girl and l
Aug 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: J. Grisham fans
There are 104 pages of review on this book, and I read two pages worth and agreed with a dozen or so. I always wondered why cheap thrillers like this book never get discussed in great literature classes and I think I can answer that question. 1. Because there is no interpretation. Books like this are no brainers. Little thinking is required.
That's really it.
Now for the book review. First of all, Grisham needed like 1 or 2 more pages to close out. He rushed the ending.
Sure it was a great thrill
Karl Marberger
I liked it.
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Grisham, and I've read almost all of them. He states in his own words that sometimes he gets "a bit verbose" - but I really liked it because of the depth that he goes into on the characters, which is mostly absent from his other stories.
J R Lynn
Apr 04, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J R by: Mary S. R.
Buddy Read with Mary and Aqsa in the summer! I am so excited!!!
Paul Eckert
Feb 11, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cody | codysbookshelf
My first John Grisham novel was his latest release, The Whistler: a capable, if not entirely thrilling, read. Because I give every author two chances to 'wow' me, I decided to take a stab at Grisham's debut, A Time to Kill.

Wow. Wow wow wow. Was I impressed!

Set in northeastern Mississippi (an area I've ridden through many times, and have a certain affection for), a young black girl is kidnapped and brutally raped by two white rednecks, both career criminals despite only being in their twenties.
Reading Sycamore Row took me down the memory lane to its prequel, A Time to Kill. And I realized that I haven't written a review for this much beloved book. So here I'm trying to rectify that omission.

A Time to Kill is one of the few emotional contemporary books that I have read. Based on the theme of racism and set in mid-eighties in a southern town in Mississippi, Grisham tells the tale of a black man who murdered two white men who raped his child and one white lawyer's heroic struggle to d
A Girl Has No Name
4 stars!

Die Jury - A Time To Kill in English – was the first Grisham I have read. I’ve heard about him and his books a lot, but somehow I kept going back for other authors I already knew. But I have to say that I enjoyed this one a lot.

I won’t write anything about the plot itself – most people know it anyways, either because there are tons of good summarizing reviews out there, or because they have read or seen the movie (which isn’t nearly as good as the book) themselves. So let me just say a
Janie Johnson
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I don't normally read books like this one, but a good friend recommended it so I decided to give it a shot. Now I am glad that I did, it make me view court room dramas in a whole different light. This is also a first time read for me with this author.

In this searing courtroom drama, best-selling author John Grisham probes the savage depths of racial he delivers a compelling tale of uncertain justice in a small southern town...Clanton, Mississippi.

The life of a ten-year-old
Apr 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
I HATED this book - why I finished all 500+ pages I will never know. I picked it up at the library just browsing for something light - I liked Pelican Brief and thought I would read another John Grisham. I think Mr. Grisham is trying to protray Clanton, Mississippi as the main character and to do this employs a lot of stereotypes about the deep south, including extensive use of the "n" word, as well as describing others in the town as "the whites" "the rednecks" etc. The main character, Jack Bri ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Before returning to Clanton Mississippi and Ford County, I took some time to refresh myself of my first journey here, to see where the Grisham journey had its humble roots. While it is likely this novel is not the traditional 'must-read' before diving into SYCAMORE ROW, I chose to remember the powerful novel that Grisham admits barely made a blip on the radar until after THE FIRM pushed him to the top of all the reading lists. This is a wonderful book that introduces readers to a Mississippi whe ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Este libro me ha mostrado una nueva forma de abordar el genero de novela negra.

Estaba acostumbrado a ver el típico detective que se enfrenta a un caso imposible el cual con astucia y mucho talento lo puede resolver dejándonos a toso asombrados al final de la historia. No es este el caso. En este libro John Grisham nos demuestra que no es necesario y nos muestra un thriller judicial con un caso bastante simple el cual es resuelto de forma bastante impresionante.

Déjenme que les hable un poco del
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
I enjoyed this but it didn’t entertain me as much as I hoped.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a powerful book, I can't believe I hadn't read it sooner. I've seen the movie a numerous amount of times because I'm a big fan of both Matthew McConaughey and Samuel L Jackson. My eyes were glued right to the pages from beginning to end, I just couldn't put it down.

I remember watching the movie for the first time when I was in my mid-teens and I remember not liking it at that time because it was hard for me to understand the court and legal system, but as I got older I watched it agai
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been a fan of John Grisham for years yet I missed reading his first book. And what a great first book he wrote!
I can usually handle gory details and crime quite well but after a long time something made me terribly queasy - this book is incredibly well written.
I’m not a fan of the death penalty neither of the vigilante justice and this book touches on both and makes you question any absolutism towards your beliefs.
I've actually never read a Grisham book before. Don't everyone throw tomatoes at me at one. Maybe the reason I haven't read one before was 'cause I was afraid I would be compelled to buy the rest of his books and I'd rather save the money for purchasing my very own movie studio.
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-lit, thriller
John Grisham is always a favorite go-to for fast-paced, engaging storytelling that pulls you through, chapter by chapter, page by page, clear up until you reach the end. This was a great depiction of race tensions, and the good, bad and ugly of 1980s Southern life. The author is well suited to portray the South both sympathetically while at the same time never shying away from its more shameful aspects.

Carl Lee Hailey's young daughter, who happens to be black, is brutally raped and left for dead
May 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A Time To Kill by John Grisham was an enthralling tale, it appealed to me because although the book as a whole, was written to sound very serious the way the humour was mixed into the story was perfect. The triumphs and defeats all the way through Jakes court case were explained very clearly, so much so that I felt as though I was Jake, sitting stiff in front of the judge testing my witnesses and building my case. The way the drama is presented is thrilling and at many points throughout my exper ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Alternate cover edition 4 10 Jul 10, 2018 10:51AM  
Goodreads Librari...: format correction 1 12 Jul 07, 2018 10:37AM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance #1) by John Grisham - Starting May 1st 2018 5 8 May 02, 2018 04:18AM  
Around the Year i...: A Time to Kill, by John Grisham 9 16 Apr 25, 2018 04:53PM  
Where are my books? 1 10 Apr 03, 2018 03:32AM  
Reading Order 3 29 Jul 22, 2017 12:51PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Jake Brigance (2 books)
  • Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance, #2)
“Mr. Buckley, let me explain it this way. And I'll do so very carefully and slowly so that even you will understand it. If I was the sheriff, I would not have arrested him. If I was on the grand jury, I would not have indicted him. If I was the judge, I would not try him. If I was the D.A., I would not prosecute him. If I was on the trial jury, I would vote to give him a key to the city, a plaque to hang on his wall, and I would send him home to his family. And, Mr. Buckley, if my daughter is ever raped, I hope I have the guts to do what he did.” 34 likes
“With murder, the victim is gone, and not forced to deal with what happened to her. The family must deal with it, but not the victim. But rape is much worse. The victim has a lifetime of coping, trying to understand, of asking questions, and the worst part, of knowing the rapist is still alive and may someday escape or be released. Every hour of every day, the victim thinks of the rape and asks herself a thousand questions. She relives it, step by step, minute by minute, and it hurts just as bad.
Perhaps the most horrible crime of all is the violent rape of a child. A woman who is raped has a pretty good idea why it happened. Some animal was filled with hatred, anger and violence. But a child? A ten-year-old child? Suppose you're a parent. Imagine yourself trying to explain to your child why she was raped. Imagine yourself trying to explain why she cannot bear children.”
More quotes…