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4.23  ·  Rating details ·  12,589 ratings  ·  1,112 reviews
New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel "Sooley" Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dreams...and even bigger challenges off the court.

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teamm
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published April 27th 2021 by Doubleday Books
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Kathryn in FL Unfortunately, not so much for me. I could see why sports fans would really love this book. I was hoping that by reading this I would enjoy basketball…moreUnfortunately, not so much for me. I could see why sports fans would really love this book. I was hoping that by reading this I would enjoy basketball more and understand the terms better, however that isn't the case. I found reading one game after another boring to be honest.(less)
Fenris I personally have won several "giveaways" of advanced copies, and as others have said, they also received advance copies of books soon to be published…moreI personally have won several "giveaways" of advanced copies, and as others have said, they also received advance copies of books soon to be published.(less)

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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,589 ratings  ·  1,112 reviews

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May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
WOW! First, it helps if you are any sort of sports fan. Without a doubt, this is my favorite Grisham ever. 10 of 10 stars!
Apr 30, 2021 rated it really liked it
What can I say?
Love it or hate it, I will understand.
This is not a courtroom drama.
This is not the usual book that we expect from Grisham.
But one thing is for sure, Grisham is an amazing storyteller.
There were plenty of dramas and the conclusion was truly heartbreaking.
But if you are not into sports, especially basketball, you may have a hard time enjoying this book, unless you have no problem skimming (expect lots of skimming!).
I’m not a fan of basketball, however, because the author describe
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
I'm not an avid sports fan so I was reluctant with Sooley, a story about a young basketball talent from South Sudan.

GR friend Tim, referred this book as his "favorite Grisham ever" so obviously I have to give it a chance. I love Grisham legal thrillers in general and this is my first sport story by him.

I'm glad I decided to read it, although I haven't a single clue what's going on during basketball games, but Sooley is character driven and I enjoyed the story, a human story. 🏀
May 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
Sooley follows 17 year old Sudanese basketball player, Samuel Sooleymon (Sooley), who has the chance to travel to America for an international tournament and be scouted by college coaches. While he’s a great player in Sudan, he’s not up to par with most of the others at the tournament. He also receives devastating news about his family back in Sudan when he’s in the US. This of course shifts Sooley’s focus from basketball to family — Heeding the advice from his coaches to stay put for now due to ...more
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
I know that it has been said many times before, but John Grisham is a master storyteller. He has a way of bringing his characters to life with his words. Sooley is a very different type of book for Grisham, although I have now discovered it is not his first book about sport. His love of the game of basketball shines through in this emotional novel that will break your heart.

Samuel Sooleyman is 17 when his dream of playing basketball in America comes true. He leaves his family in Sudan and travel
Josh Olds
May 06, 2021 rated it it was ok
John Grisham’s latest novel released this past week and, like always, rocketed to the top of the NYT bestseller’s list. Unlike most of his novels, Sooley is not a legal thriller but a sports novel focusing on a fictional South Sudanese basketball player. Grisham has made these forays into sports before—Calico Joe (baseball), Playing for Pizza (football), and Bleachers (football)—but they were smaller, shorter endeavors at around 50,000 words. Sooley is a full-length novel birthed out of the COVI ...more
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars!
May 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
John Grisham is a great storyteller. I have read all of his books and "Sooley" is no exception. However, without giving away any spoilers, I found some events in the book troublesome; others may disagree. If anyone who has read the book cares to have a discussion about it, I would like to do so. I am still going to give this book 5 stars and recommend it highly simply because it is a great story. ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
4.5 stars

First let me tell you that I am not a basketball fan, which is about the only sport that I know very little about and do not watch or follow. Therefore I could have used about 5 less play-by-play games during this book. However, the plight of Samuel Sooleyman and his Sudanese family more than made up for reading through too many basketball games.

Samuel Sooleyman - better known as Sooley to his team mates and fans - barely made the cut on a South Sudanese basketball team with a chance
I don't pay attention to the book blurbs from this author, he's an auto read and I request them when they appear on my library's website. But I will say that I expect a law thrill, so color me surprised when as I started to listen to this one I realized it wasn't a law thriller, more a coming of age and one that will break your heart on so many levels.

I don't know how a person could not like Sooley, he was so happy. Happy to be given a chance to play basketball, happy to see all the new things i
Ann Reinking
May 01, 2021 rated it it was ok
Way too many detailed descriptions of basketball games and a really stupid ending.
May 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-book
It may benefit with a bit of skimming but the game plays are like listening to a game on radio. It moves along pretty well.
May 08, 2021 rated it it was ok
One doesn't become a best-selling author without knowing how to tell a story, and Grisham has obviously obtained a rare level of success that indicates he can effectively connect with readers. In interviews about this book Grisham says he decided to break from his legal thrillers and write a basketball book after the 2020 NCAA tournament was cancelled and he was missing his basketball fix.

What he created strives to simultaneously capture college basketball and the issues faced in a war-torn Sout
Susan Tunis
Apr 27, 2021 rated it liked it
This is a rare case of disappointment from Mr. Grisham. BIG disappointment! I am a fan of his storytelling, and it is very much on display here. This is not a legal thriller, but one of his occasional sports-related tales. It's not my favorite subject, but he got me very invested in this story and the character of Sooley. I can't really go into my complaints about this book without spoilers, so I'll simply say it's emotional manipulation, and leave it at that. ...more
Aniruddha M
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
From the war ravaged badlands of South Sudan to the glitzy world of the NBA draft, Samuel Sooleymon has come a long, long way. With an abundance of God gifted talent and tenacious hard work, Sooley is an instant hit in the College Basketball 🏀 circuit. The NBA draft comes calling!
Back home, his family is struggling in a refugee camp, fighting daily for food, water and shelter. Sooley's goal is to bring them all here to the US, whatever be the cost!
Please read my detailed review from the link bel
Kathryn in FL
Jun 07, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sports Fans


I love John Grisham's writing for the most part and was very intrigued when we are introduced to Samuel Sooleymon, a South Sudanese teenager, looking for success and escape from his dangerous world of tribal warfare via playing competitive American College Basketball. You will love Samuel. He is hard working, driven even to improve himself and nature works with him as he grows more
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Sooley was a beautiful and touching book written by John Grisham in the middle of the pandemic last year spurred on by the March Madness in 2020 being cancelled and leaving a lot of us craving our favorite college basketball teams at the "Big Dance." March Madness has been a delightful family challenge that we have all embraced and enjoyed for many years, but alas it was not to be. While we all sulked and felt deprived of the posting of our brackets, John Grisham wrote a novel about basketball a ...more
May 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
“Sooley. By the time you said his name, and saw that smile, you knew that you loved him.”

“Rich versus poor, private versus public, elites versus upstarts. The commentators feasted on the story. And everybody was looking for Sooley.”

“Sooley! Sooley! Sooley!”

First off, I devoured this book in two days. I’m a sucker for a John Grisham book, regardless of the subject matter. In “Sooley”, Grisham trades the courtroom drama for the hardwood court. As an avid basketball fan, I gobbled up every word. An
Susan Seaman
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had no idea what this book was about. I was interested purely because of Grisham’s reputation as an author and assumed it would be good based on previous novels of his that I’d read. Sooley is beyond good, it’s excellent. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. A beautifully written story that I will read again in the future. This one goes at the top of all time greats for me.
May 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5-5 stars. Any Grisham book is an automatic read for me. This one surprisingly took place at a different court. I thought his storytelling was great. I know the subject won’t be for everyone, but I love basketball, especially NCAA, and really enjoyed this rather quick read.
Kasa Cotugno
Only John Gresham would have the heart and talent to create this lovely story of a phenom from South Sudan, brought to the U.S. to play basketball while the horrific civil war rages in his home country. In an interview, Gresham reveals that he loved playing the sport while in school, but that this is his first basketball novel. Written to satisfy his "sports itch" after the pandemic closed down The Big Dance last year, how he and his family love college basketball and how he supports UVA despite ...more
Jean-ann Stump
May 02, 2021 rated it did not like it
I absolutely loved this book until the end. That is the reason for the low rating.
Winkie Wheeler
May 01, 2021 rated it liked it
4 for the story. 2 for the writing. Grisham is a master storyteller and this was a good one but the writing... who wrote this one? Really, did he give the story outline to his summer intern to flesh out? The basketball theme was exciting and the South Sudan situation was heart wrenching but the rest, meh. It felt like Grisham wrote the game scenarios and an intern wrote the rest. Samuel’s totally out of character ending felt like a mean manipulative plot device just to wrap up and it made me ang ...more
Una Tiers
Jun 02, 2021 rated it it was ok
This is not the writing that John Grisham is capable of writing.
May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to admit that I was skeptical about reading this book, but being a fan of Grisham, I went for it. I am so glad I did. It makes no difference whether you are a fan of basketball or not, this book will tug at your heartstrings. Just try it.
Lyle Boylen
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
John Grisham doesn't always write legal novels, Sooley being one of them. A touching story of Sooley, a young man from South Sudan, basketball bringing him to the US, and his efforts to bring his family to America. ...more
Nurse Lisa In Ohio (PRN Book Reviews)
Holy wow. What a CAPTIVATING story by a master story teller! Book hangover is real from this one…I’m a huge college basketball fan, so this one resonated on a totally different level. Read it. 5 Sooleymania stars.
May 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Legal eagle and mystery maven Grisham shifts gears with a novel about roundball.

What possessed Grisham to stop writing about murder in the Spanish moss–dripping milieus of the Deep South is anyone’s guess, and why he elected to write about basketball, one might imagine, speaks to some deep passion for the game. The depth of that love doesn’t quite emerge in these pages, flat of affect, told almost as if a by-the-numbers biography of an actual player. As it is, Grisham invents an all-too-believab
Jun 01, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
One doesn't become a best selling author without knowing how to tell a story, and John Grisham has obviously obtained a rare level of success that indicates he can effectively connect with readers. Grisham’s novels are concerned with the underdog who, against all odds, takes on giant corporations, “big government,” or terrorism and often wins. There was a time when I could not wait to read the next Grisham novel. Grisham spoiled me with gripping page turners so I picked this book hoping it would ...more
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-books-read
By: John Grisham
It has been awhile since I truly LOVED a book. & I enjoyed this one immensely.
Sooley is a boy from the impoverished Sudan. A scout from the US spots him & brings him to the states. A college coach scoops him up, & he is provided w a scholarship, room & board, etc. He is a sweet, humble, hard-working young man, & his raw talent & dedication to his sport earn him his freedom in America.
The trajectory of his life is revealed in the book. It cannot really be commented upon w
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Play Book Tag: Sooley by John Grisham 4 stars 2 12 Jun 11, 2021 04:12AM  
Love Hoops and Love Grisham 2 14 May 04, 2021 12:21AM  

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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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