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Extended Audio Sample The Last Juror: A Novel 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 (36,604 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Grisham Narrator: Michael Beck Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2004 ISBN: 9780739309032
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In 1970, one of Mississippi’s more colorful weekly newspapers, the Ford County Times, went bankrupt. To the surprise and dismay of many, ownership was assumed by a twenty-three-year-old college dropout named Willie Traynor. The future of the paper looked grim until a young mother was brutally raped and murdered by a member of the notorious Padgitt family. Willie Traynor reported all the gruesome details, and his newspaper began to prosper.

The murderer, Danny Padgitt, was tried before a packed courthouse in Clanton, Mississippi. The trial came to a startling and dramatic end when the defendant threatened revenge against the jurors if they convicted him. Nevertheless, they found him guilty, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

But in 1970 Mississippi, “life in prison” didn’t necessarily mean “life in prison,” and nine years later Danny Padgitt managed to get himself paroled. He returned to Ford County, and the retribution began.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of his best: a thoughtful and atmospheric thriller.”

    New York Times

  • “[The Last Juror] ranks among [Grisham’s] best-written and most atmospheric novels.”

    USA Today

  • “Grisham lets his suspense build slowly, holding the reader to the end and creating a memorable cast of characters.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “Grisham weaves the suspense of a courtroom drama throughout the novel, but this story is more thoughtful and wide-ranging than his usual thrillers.…one of Grisham’s best.”

    Atlanta Journal-Constitution

  • “Sit back, relax, and savor the descriptions of Miss Callie’s home cooking and a young man’s sentimental education.”

    Orlando Sentinel

  • “Those who enjoyed the warm sentiment of [Grisham’s] recent novels will still find much to love here.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Particularly fun.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • A #1 USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Goldcraft | 2/17/2014

    " John Grisham knows how to write about the South in the 70's. This book has wonderful characters, twists and turns, great description, and increasing levels of suspense. I enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jake Keyel | 2/9/2014

    " I've also read "A Time to Kill" and "The Pelican Brief". Those titles are thrillers, while this is more a slice of life story of a (fictional) small town in Mississippi with a legal "thriller" tacked on, almost as an afterthought. I think it would have been better if this novel had just stuck to vignettes about life in the South and left the underdeveloped courtroom drama for a different book. Although, it's John Grisham, so, I suppose it had to be a courtroom drama. The worst part about that plot line was the predictability. There was no question for me who the killer(s) were at any point. "

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

    " A good read. I wouldn't say that it is one of my favorites. I did enjoy the historical 60s & 70s aspect that was incorporated into the story. Grisham really made you feel like you lived in the time. His writing skills are truly incredible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Raquel Martin | 1/30/2014

    " Interesting and a bit different for Grishiam. More focus on charters than mystery. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kimberly | 1/26/2014

    " It started really well. Then it seemed he just got bored of the story so he decided to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandy | 1/21/2014

    " I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were easy to get involved with, especially Miss Callie and her family. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that it crammed all the suspense with the jurors into the last pages of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ndie | 1/21/2014

    " akhirnya ndie udah baca salah buku karangan john grisham.. ndie pikir buku john grisham bakal beda dengan buku sidney seldon ternyata sama aja penuh dengan adegan-adegan seks murahan.. dan menurut gw buku john grisham terlalu berat dan udah tentu bakal cocok kalo dibaca sambil nunggu orang dirawat di rumah (pengalaman pribadi nih) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joyce Swingle | 1/18/2014

    " Grisham seems to be getting bolder at his various presentations of the gospel within his recent books and this one clearly sets out the gospel in the faith-less protagonist's newspaper coverage of local churches and his relationship with a Godly mother-figure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 1/10/2014

    " Not among Grisham's best, but still a solid/entertaining read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rima | 12/31/2013

    " This is the first John Grisham book that I've read and I really enjoyed it. It mixes courtroom drama (of course), mystery, a tale of friendship, social commentary, and information on southern culture. The narrator for the audio version is excellent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 9/17/2013

    " This one got me going. Every Grisham fan should read this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dustan | 8/29/2013

    " Homor was great. Ending was not too good in my opinion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik | 8/28/2013

    " This was not a straightforward thriller. It instead allowed Grisham to comment on life and politics in the South in the 70s. It was quite interesting and allowed him to develop the characters a great deal. And it was a bit of a thriller, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Glm8408 | 8/23/2013

    " Very much enjoyed this book. This was my first Grisham read and I was thoroughly impressed. I've since read the rest of his books. I have enjoyed others as much, but none moreso that this. Great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erwin Ordonez | 7/7/2013

    " Another excellent book from John Grisham, very interesting and like-able characters, the plot and story was original and top-notch. :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clara | 6/12/2013

    " I love all John Grisham's books, but I think this may be my favorite. I like his newer books better because they seem more real and less like a movie. He seems to get a little more under the skin and into who the characters really are. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura Lynch | 4/20/2013

    " Good, quick read. Story takes place in MS during the decade of the 70's. Tale takes into account race issues and big box stores. Interesting characters and community. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil Geissler | 6/26/2012

    " I enjoyed the ending. The middle of the story seemed to drag on for me. I'm not sure I could find the climax to the story, but it ended very well. Overall I gave it a 3 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shani | 6/5/2012

    " Not as good as his others. Expected more suspense and was a bit disappointed when I got to the end to not have much happen. Also I guess the ending so no last minute twist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cari Brandt | 6/2/2012

    " I loved this book. Old school Grisham! The south, strong characters, great story. It moved right along and I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 5/9/2012

    " It was a good John Grisham book. In my opinion not one of his best but still a book that kept you interested throughout. A good example of the media's effect on law. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cat | 4/13/2012

    " A good solid read from John Grisham as you would expect. I was a little disappointed that the much touted "revenge" in the blurb was not quite as dramatic as I expected, but I enjoyed the story nonetheless. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gina | 6/2/2011

    " Terrible, slow moving....unlike other Grisham books. NOT a court room thriller. Very hard to get through. Characters are not developed to make you care about them. "

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

    " John Grisham remains a master of fiction... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 5/13/2011

    " I gave it 3 stars because I really liked Miss Callie, one of the main characters. It's kind of a gruesome storyline, but I appreciated the historical setting--1970 in the deep South. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Edward | 5/11/2011

    " This one wandered and had some sentimental moments that were poorly done and out of place in the story. This had great potential and never got to it. He's done much better. Try The Firm or Runaway Jury. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jill | 5/9/2011

    " This book is an easy listen. There are some lagging parts in the story, but overall a good Grisham book. "

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

    " My first John Grisham and, boy oh boy, did I enjoy this book. Shame the blurb on the back gave away three quarters of the plot, but I loved the writing, the broad scope of this, the neat way Grisham pulled the threads of the story together and the satisfactory ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 5/2/2011

    " This would have made a great short story.It could have been a good book but wasn't. I don't like waiting till page 295 to start on why I wanted to read this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April | 4/29/2011

    " Better watch out for others, You can't tell the good guys from the bad. "

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

    " Interesting story but not much of a climax. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Haley | 4/18/2011

    " I listened to this book on my drive to Utah recently. The plot was intriguing. My favorite part of the book is that Grisham goes beyond the murder plot to make this book about a woman who lived a great life and had a lot to be proud of. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joy | 4/11/2011

    " I decided to give books on CD another try with the 4 hour daily commute. Oh man, how I loved it!!!! This one was a great one to start out with. I couldn't wait to get back in the car and continue the story! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bob | 4/6/2011

    " Grisham keeps the tension up to the last. He makes you interested in all the characters. He has a great talent to weave the reality from his characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C. | 3/22/2011

    " Enjoyed this novel set in the deep south - about racial and cultural tensions and violence in the 70's. The protagonist was very "real" to me. "

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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.

About the Narrator

Michael Beck is an American actor and audiobook narrator. He is best known for his role in the 1979 film, The Warriors. He has narrated numerous novels by John Grisham, as well as Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz and My Life by Bill Clinton. He lives in California.