• The Appeal

  • A Novel
  • By: John Grisham
  • Narrated by: Michael Beck
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (3,756 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a crowded courtroom in Mississippi, a jury returns a shocking verdict against a chemical company accused of dumping toxic waste into a small town's water supply, causing the worst "cancer cluster" in history. The company appeals to the Mississippi Supreme Court, whose nine justices will one day either approve the verdict or reverse it.

Who are the nine? How will they vote? Can one be replaced before the case is ultimately decided?

The chemical company is owned by a Wall Street predator named Carl Trudeau, and Mr. Trudeau is convinced the Court is not friendly enough. With judicial elections looming, he decides to try to purchase himself a seat on the Court. The cost is a few million dollars, a drop in the bucket for a billionaire like Mr. Trudeau. Through an intricate web of conspiracy and deceit, his political operatives recruit a young, unsuspecting candidate. They finance him, manipulate him, market him, and mold him into a potential Supreme Court justice. Their Supreme Court justice.

The Appeal is a powerful, timely, and shocking story of political and legal intrigue, a story that will leave listeners unable to think about our electoral process or judicial system in quite the same way ever again.

©2008 Belfry Holdings, Inc. (P)2008 Random House, Inc.

What listeners say about The Appeal

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,591
  • 4 Stars
    1,189
  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
    217
  • 1 Stars
    125
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,376
  • 4 Stars
    436
  • 3 Stars
    115
  • 2 Stars
    25
  • 1 Stars
    17
Story
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    1,052
  • 4 Stars
    535
  • 3 Stars
    240
  • 2 Stars
    77
  • 1 Stars
    59

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

And the ending?

I was absolutely spellbound by this title, for throughout the book there is remarkable character development; you love the heroes and hate the bad guys, you feel for the underdogs - possibly even experiencing the pain of the semi-bad guys who must come face to face with themselves, their circumstances and their future. You sit at the very edge of your seat, until ... the book just ... ends!
I hated it! An outstanding novel with a conclusion that left me feeling empty, wanting and believing there should be something more - I was gasping, believing there HAD to be something more - to the point of checking the Audible website to ensure I hadn't missed a section when I downloaded the entire book! I wanted to hear Grisham, in his author's notes, tell us we could expect a sequel. It didn't, there isn't, Grisham didn't, and I DID have the entire book. I believe I have read all, at least the vast majority, of Grisham's works and never before have I felt so ... unfulfilled (let down?)
The narrator (I hesitate to say "performer")does an acceptable job. Diction was clear and crisp, albeit a bit slow at times. He kept the listener involved and the characters straight, though I sensed what might charitably be called a lack of involvement, a lack of passion. There were so many sections and characters that cried out for the narrator's passion that sadly was just not there.
Would I listen to this work, knowing what I now know? Absolutely. Would I recommend the work? Absolutely. But could Grisham not, with all his skills and imagination, come up with an ending that actually ended the book?

76 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it

This is the first review I've written but I felt I needed to come to Grisham's defense. I too was a bit unhappy with the ending but that's because I prefer happier ones However, I think it ended on a realistic note.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the characters and Michael Beck's narrative performance was excellent as usual. It felt good to be immersed, once again, in a Grisham courtroom drama. I've read or listened to all of his courtroom books and this one does not disappoint.

Much of what happens in this book rings true. During my lifetime, our country has drifted far from the integrity and compassion that I once believed us to posses in abundance. The unbridled greed, win at all costs, situational ethics and extreme focus on me, me, me is way out of hand and it feels good to listen to a tale of the fight for right. Thanks Mr. Grisham and keep up the good work.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Excuse me, but . . .

I was not going to write a review on "The Appeal" but after reading the 2 reviews posted, I had to post a review of my own. If I had not read any other Grisham novels, I would have given this book a better review but I have read them all. The Partner, The Last Juror, A Painted House, The Bleachers, all had a twist of difference from one another. However, this book was "so much fluff" to me. John Grisham can stretch further and dig deeper. I would say this was like an author's 1st novel instead of his most recent out of a list in the double digits being published. "A Time To Kill" set the bar very high. I think a Jr. High english teacher, an U.S. Government teacher, & a Phys. Ed. instructor, could have pulled "The Appeal" together with a deeper character development in an collaborated effort than what I heard here. I am a Grisham fan. I just expected more.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

bad ending

I generally love his books but I am a happy ending person, or at least a fair ending. I had to stop reading this at times because I was so upset. I guess you could say that it certainly stirred up emotions. I felt depressed after reading this.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

If you like John Grisham, skip this book. It was as if he wrote the outline and someone else wrote the book. The good guys were saints, the bad guys were evil, and the gullible were stupid beyond belief. There was no depth to any of the characters. There was no suspense, no action and the story was very poor. Don't waste time with this one. I recommend earlier Grishams or go check out The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz. That's a fantastic listen!

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Grisham is Back

My favorite Grisham book previously was the partner, this is even better. Great story and charactors. Easy listening, story was always moving. Narrator was perfect. I do a lot of driving for work, at times I did not want to leave the car to go on my next sales call.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

First bad Grisham book

I think I have read or listened to all of Grisham's books and usually love them but this one left me with a very bad taste in my mouth. I thought a lot of it was written just to make it longer, had no meaning to the story and the ending was just plain bad.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

His worst book ever

If it were not for Mr. Beck's great reading,this book would have very little social value. It is clear that the author has an agenda and I feel that I was hoodwinked into reading it. There is no depth to this book and very little story line. I was very dissapointed.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Not Up to Par

I've read or listened to every Grisham book, and rate this one near the bottom of the pile. The basic plot is classic Grisham, but the ending is not what you'd expect. What bugged me about this was that the plot devices he used to get to the resolution were deeply unsatisfying, and not believable in the context of the story. It was as if he got tired of writing the book toward the end and quickly resolved it without thinking about it too much.

Of course Michael Beck's narration was excellent, as usual.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Soap Box Fiction

I am typically a Grisham fan, but this book is among his worst. It was easily 6 hours too long. The story line was uncaptivating, broken, and severly anti-climatic. The ending was overwhelming depressing. The characters, while perhaps realistic, were so unsympathetic and one dimensional that if they had all blown up in the end I would have jumped for joy.

If you want to listen to the book read no further; otherwise, the book starts off great with lawyers winning a huge settlement against a chemical company that has polluted ground water (rip off of Erin Brokovich). It then turns to Supreme Court elections and how they are manipulated by special interest groups. The majority of the book is on the elections and the campaigns. The case is brought back a little in a poor attempt at cohesion and the characters are just thin sad shadows. In the end the ones with the money bought a seat on the Supreme Court and won everything, including cases not mentioned beyond a single sentence, and lost nothing while those who have suffered and died get crapped on. The book ends with the "good guys" ending in bankruptcy, dying of cancer, living in a trailers, and losing all hope for the future while the rich got richer and sailed off into the sunset on a 60 million dollar yaht.

The book had too much reality in it. If I want a dose of reality I'll listen to the news or read a paper. In fictional books I like then to have characters that rise above and be more than the typical real human.

In short, the whole book was a soap box for Grisham to rail against how Supreme Court Justices are elected. If you want to listen to his point of view on how bad the system is (which who doesn't know this) then listen to the book. Otherwise, don't waste the time or money.

10 people found this helpful