When you live in a city of less than 10,000 people as I do and take taxis on a fairly regular basis (we sold our two cars when we moved here 5 years ago, our major "act of green" and with no regrets) you get to know the regular drivers fairly well.
One man that drives for our one and only local taxi company is an avid reader and I always enjoy discussing what we we both currently reading, when I get him as a driver. The conversation moved to John Grisham on a recent ride home and the book Ford County came up. He hadn't read it so I gave him my (twice) read copy to enjoy. How's that for a unique tip! ;<)
Thought I'd share my thoughts here on this wonderful book too.
I've been a long-time fan of John Grisham's books but never a fan of short stories by any author, for the most part. I usually find that short stories end much too soon for my liking, just when the story is starting to unfold. Not the case with Ford County by John Grisham.
I picked up a copy of this book at a library book sale a couple of years ago. In spite of it being short stories, my love of most things Grisham won out and I shelled out the $$ to buy it. It was money well spent. :<)
Ford County takes the reader back to the setting for his first novel: A Time to Kill and John Grisham's home state of Mississippi.
I read all the stories in this book in a couple of days. Some of them made me laugh... loud and long. Some brought tears to my eyes. All were entertaining from start to finish. As is the case with most of Grisham's books, the characters were so real and memorable, long after I read the last line of each story, making each of them a pleasure to read.
Down on his luck divorce lawyer, Mack Stafford gets a phone call that promises to turn his endless misfortunes around, fast and in a big way.
Sydney, a dull and unpretentious data collector discovers a new skill for winning at a local casino and at the same time, making the man who stole his wife, pay for his misguided decision.
When three "good, old boys" make the trek to Memphis to donate blood to a seriously injured friend, things run way off course in a big way and helping their pal is soon the last thing on their minds.
Just a small sampling of the entertaining characters and stories this book provides.
From the John Grisham website:
"Featuring a cast of characters you’ll never forget, these stories bring Ford County to vivid and colorful life. Often hilarious, frequently moving, and always entertaining, this collection makes it abundantly clear why John Grisham is our most popular storyteller."
"Grisham has always had a rare gift for breaking hearts when he invokes unforgettable images of the broken, hopeless South. Some of the stories are hilarious, and Grisham’s gift of humor has never found a showcase like this. One of these stories should find its way into the anthologies of the best short stories of 2009. It might not happen, but I for one think the stories in Ford County are that damned good.--Pat Conroy"
I couldn't agree more, on all counts.
Even if you've never been a fan of short stories either, this definitely is a book that might be the one to change your mind.
As I titled my review over at Amazon this is: Grisham Gold!
Overall rating for this book: Excellent. 5 out of 5.