Thursday, September 2, 2010

Page 33: Ford County: Stories

I have been meaning to read this book since it came out.  I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago to South Carolina to visit family, and picked up a copy of this book at the airport shop and started reading on the plane.  John Grisham is one of my favorite writers.  He is not only a very good writer, but a great teller of stories.  This departure from the novel to short stories is a real joy to read.  Each story is a gem.  They all take place in Grisham's Mississippi and capture the good, bad, and ugly of any small town.  I will not try to pick a favorite story from the seven since they are all that good.  There is something special about the south when it comes to stories, and Grisham has mastered his own sense of place in Mississippi.

Pat Conroy, another great writer of novels set in the south, has high praise for Ford County.  Here it is.

"Ford County is the best writing that John Grisham has ever done.  One of the many things I've admired about his books is his intimate chronicle of Mississippi life in the generations following William Faulkner and Eudora Welty.  Grisham writes equally well about the plantation south, the black south, and white-cracker south.  Over the years he has used the legal system as an instrument to illuminate the world of mansions and sharecroppers and everything in between as he not only defined Mississippi but also staked it out as his home fictional territory.  His short stories were a surprise to me.  All of them are very good; three of them, I believe, are great."

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