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The Chamber
The Chamber
Author: John Grisham
In the corridors of Chicago's top law firm: Twenty -six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case. — Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison: Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780385424721
ISBN-10: 0385424728
Publication Date: 5/1/1994
Pages: 496
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.

3.8 stars, based on 276 ratings
Publisher: Doubleday
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Chamber on + 472 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I've read every one of John Grisham's books and while I like almost all of them, I feel that his best work was done in his first 5 books, those being A Time To Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, and The Chamber. The Chamber, to me, is the most powerful among these books because more than any other book by Grisham, it brings a hot button justice issue out in the open and it challenges the way people think about that issue. It is just as simple to say "an eye for an eye" as it is to say that any killing is wrong and this book definitely makes you consider both sides of the issue.

The ending scene is, without a doubt, the most power scene that you will find in any Grisham book. I am not a very emotional person but I can say that I was moved to tears by The Chamber's final pages. If you're a Grisham fan or a book enthusiast of any kind or even if you have a strong stance on either side of the capital punishment debate, you simply must read The Chamber.
reviewed The Chamber on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Of Grisham's novel, this is one of my favorites. The issue of the death chamber, of what is truth, what is lies and what lies past in times that still haunts everyone today.... Hatred, racism, murder, pain... An excellent read.
reviewed The Chamber on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Grisham is brilliant. His experience as an attorney makes him excel at his craft. Better than any "Law and Order" on t.v. Take the night off and read a good book, instead!
reviewed The Chamber on + 44 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In 1967 in Greenville, Mississippi, known Klan member Sam Cayhall is accused of bombing the law offices of Jewish civil rights activist Marvin Kramer, killing Kramer's two sons. Cayhall's first trial, with an all-white jury and a Klan rally outside the courthouse, ends in a hung jury: the retrial six months later has the same outcome.

Twelve years later an ambitious district attorney in Greenville reopens the case. Much has changed since 1967, and this time, with a jury of eight whites and four blacks, Cayhall is convicted. He is transferred to the state penitentiary at Parchman to await execution on death row.

In 1990, in the huge Chicago law firm of Kravitz & Bane, a young lawyer named Adam Hall asks to work on the Cayhall case, which the firm was handled on a pro bono basis for years. But the case is all but lost and time is running out: within weeks Sam Cayhall will finally go to the gas chamber. Why in the world would Adam want to get involved?
reviewed The Chamber on + 192 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very interesting, fast moving. Not a slow page in the whole book. Hard to put down.
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reviewed The Chamber on + 32 more book reviews
Grisham's The Chamber examines death penalty and racism
A former Klansman is convicted of murder 20 years after the crime; he is sentenced to death. All his legal appeals have been exhausted and now he only has weeks to live.
The former Klansman's grandson has become a lawyer and argues for a stay of execution. The family whole, long troubled history is laid out
He has done a lot of crimes while in those white robes, but did he commit the one crime that he is in prison for? There are some surprising answers to that.
An examination of the death penalty and of racism in America make this an interesting and thoughtful read.
reviewed The Chamber on + 135 more book reviews
Very good book. John Grisham knows how to tell a story!
reviewed The Chamber on + 3389 more book reviews
The Chamber is an epic-like excursion into many of the issues regarding the gas chamber as a method of execution. The main protagonist is an old man who participated in a terrorist bombing of a Jewish attorney in Mississippi during the height of KKK activity.

The other key character is his grandson, a fresh-faced attorney from a large Chicago-based law firm who only "discovered" his grandfather a few years earlier. He is his grandfather's last chance.

This novel is peppered with facts about the gas chamber and about the litigation of the death penalty in general. The characterization of a large number of characters is deep and it makes you sympathize with a character as hateful as Sam Cayhall.

This moves at a slower pace than many of his other novels, but this allows for greater character development, which I really enjoyed. I felt that I knew the characters as the novel was developing. I found this refreshing as many novels these days seem to skip the development of characters.