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Extended Audio Sample A Painted House Audiobook, by John Grisham Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (38,772 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Grisham Narrator: David Lansbury Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2001 ISBN: 9780553753592
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"The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop."

Thus begins the new novel from John Grisham, a story inspired by his own childhood in rural Arkansas. The narrator is a farm boy named Luke Chandler, age seven, who lives in the cotton fields with his parents and grandparents in a little house that's never been painted. The Chandlers farm eighty acres that they rent, not own, and when the cotton is ready they hire a truckload of Mexicans and a family from the Ozarks to help harvest it.

For six weeks they pick cotton, battling the heat, the rain, the fatigue, and sometimes each other. As the weeks pass Luke sees and hears things no seven-year-old could possibly be prepared for, and he finds himself keeping secrets that not only threaten the crop but will change the lives of the Chandlers forever.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonita | 2/15/2014

    " This book made me think of John Steinbeck's GRAPES OF WRATH. In places it became too heartbreaking to read. Very good writing! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Edwards | 2/11/2014

    " The struggles of a cotton farm in Arkansas told through the eyes of a seven year old. It is a poignant picture of the struggles of the rural poor. I thoroughly enjoyed the story. It is a departure from the legal stories that John Grisham tells, but it is well written and enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zarinah | 2/5/2014

    " ok so i found this book in my garage and gave it a go and I will say its one slow but interesting country book. I like the word "sod buster" any ways I have read several of John G books so I know the man can write and so the story had its way of growing on me and had it comical and suspenseful interludes. Its all from the point of view of a very intelligent 7 year old boy. You should find this book likable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 R.L. Anderson | 1/29/2014

    " A great story about life in the rural south in the 1950s, all told through the eyes of a young boy, which made it a truly unique read. Having an interest in farming and everything rural, I really liked the rural setting. As with all of Grisham's books that I've read so far, this was one I didn't want to put down till the very end. My only criticism was the end, which seems to leave a lot of loose ends. No real closure. It seemed to me that it ended too soon, and perhaps a sequel is in order. Otherwise a great story and one I would recommend very highly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Biogeek | 1/26/2014

    " Not the usual Grisham fare. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kp2 | 1/23/2014

    " This book was not my favorite mainly due to the lack of any really exciting moments, other than a few small bits here and there. My favorite thing about the book is the fact that it does give us a good look into the past decades of our country. It really puts a picture in your head of what it was like. So if you enjoty American History, I would definetly recomend this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Churchill19 | 1/22/2014

    " I really enjoyed this one. It reminds me of the stories older members of the churches I've visited have told me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shea | 1/21/2014

    " I somewhat enjoyed this story of a summer spent in 1952 Arkansas as seen through the eyes of a child. My disbelief that a 7-year-old would think, act and reason as Luke does distracted me throughout the novel. Grisham repeatedly reminds us that Luke is only 7; which is necessary because I inevitably thought of him as at least 10 years old if not a little older. As the mother of two boys Luke's actions often seemed very unrealistic to me. I wanted the story to feel authentic and would have enjoyed it much more if it had. Normally I don't mind if a story ends without all the plot points resolved but in this case I felt cheated because nothing seemed resolved. I wanted to know if Ricky comes back from the war, do the Latchers remain on the farm, what happens to Tally & Trot and how does the Chandler family's life change after they move to Michigan. I cared about the characters enough to want to know what happens to them so for that the novel gets 3 stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert Hays | 1/18/2014

    " I like John Grisham's legal thrillers for light reading. This is something very different. A Painted House is literary fiction of highest quality, among the best I've read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janiej78 | 1/15/2014

    " Since this book was so different from his others I put off reading it until a lady on the plane was reading it and said it was so good and she was RIGHT! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris Bumpas | 1/12/2014

    " Pure crap, in my opinion. Grisham should stick with law thrillers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David Sanders | 12/22/2013

    " Best book Grisham ever wrote. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 11/30/2013

    " One of my favorite John Grisham books about hard life on a farm. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nathalie Gould | 11/18/2013

    " An enjoyable twist to the typical Grisham formula. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joauk | 8/4/2013

    " Worst book ever by John...very disappointed :( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennie | 7/2/2013

    " I was sad when it ended! I wanted more of the story. Maybe Grisham will write a sequel. Excellent read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 4/19/2013

    " I really liked this book. When I first bought the book, way back in whenever, I couldn't get into it. So, now, I finally picked it back up and it was much better than I ever thought it would be. My only problem with it is would a 7-year old really be that mature in his thoughts at times? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie Whitehurst | 12/26/2012

    " Another departure from the legal format for John Grisham. OK book, never really got into the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 12/8/2012

    " The character descriptions were fantastic, I felt like I knew them personally. The setting was described with great detail and easy to imagine. I wish the story had moved a little faster and had covered a longer span of time, but all in all, a good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peg | 8/16/2012

    " What an amazing story from Grisham. I'm very impressed! Great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonny | 6/3/2012

    " One of my all-time favorite books! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Arlie | 5/20/2012

    " FINALLY finished it last 4 chapters was better than whole book did not like the way it ended. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberley | 3/14/2012

    " Lol, I read this when I was what? 12? 11? I remember how confused I was. But I did get most of the story. It was nice ans suspenseful somewhat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matthew | 3/5/2012

    " Thanks to Danielle for the reccomendation. What a wonderful narrative and beautiful characters. If John Grisham produced more of this type of literature, he could easily become the best writer America has had in a century. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patty | 9/1/2011

    " Beautifully written novel about life on an Arkansas cotton farm in the 1950s. You appreciate the hard work of the American farmer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Frankie | 7/28/2011

    " The only John Grisham book I have ever liked. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda Patterson | 7/26/2011

    " John Grisham has to stick to writing legal thrillers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joy | 5/26/2011

    " Riveting! So different than the other Grisham books... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Ann | 5/23/2011

    " I found it interesting, how a child's life can be altered by a senseless act. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica | 5/14/2011

    " I was sad when it ended, so what happens to them now? Sequel please. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geoffrey | 5/13/2011

    " Surprisingly good for being outside the realm of his legal bailywick. I don't know what possessed him to write this, unless he was getting his childhood out of his system, but it's good. The story is sensitive without being sentimental and the writing is better than a lot of his other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yuri | 5/9/2011

    " I am not a huge John Grisham book, but this book I think was amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard | 5/7/2011

    " Enjoyable despite the fact it wasn't one of his thrillers. It had soul and showed a side of Grisham I admire even though it wasn't the best literary novel ever. I liked it better than the lesser of his thrillers. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dee | 5/5/2011

    " If I wasn't strong in the spirit, I would have hurled myself out a window after reading this-which by the way was one of the most difficult books ever for me to finish. Supremely boring and lacklustre. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/29/2011

    " Excellent read. I didn't want the book to end. Charming Little Luke Chandler kept me entertained throughout his challenging little boy fears and hopes and all the secrets. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 4/24/2011

    " It's been a while since I read this book but I remember liking it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 4/22/2011

    " It was an easy and entertaining read as with all Grisham books. A Painted House was a nice detour from his usual court house drama. I enjoyed it very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Churchill19 | 4/17/2011

    " I really enjoyed this one. It reminds me of the stories older members of the churches I've visited have told me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 4/16/2011

    " Loved it! Totally recommend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 4/14/2011

    " Very different from his legal thrillers. Enjoyed it very much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karentokmakoff | 4/10/2011

    " Great story. Unlike anything that John Grisham has written before. "

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About the Author
Author John Grisham

John Grisham, whose name has become synonymous with the modern legal thriller, used to work sixty to seventy 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. When finally published, A Time to Kill met with little success, but when he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers. Spending forty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991. The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham’s reputation as the master of the legal thriller. His success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was then republished. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year, and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 275 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into forty languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films, as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man. He lives in Virginia and Mississippi.