The Chamber by John Grisham

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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 bombing in 1967. He has run out of  chances -- except for one: the young, liberal Chicago  lawyer who just happens to be his grandson. While  the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while  the protesters gather and the TV  cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes  to save his client. For between the two men is a  chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets --  including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall's  life...or cost Adam his.

"A dark and  thoughtful tale pulsing wit moral uncertainties...  Grisham is at his best."  --People.

"Compelling... Powerful...  The Chamber will make readers think  long and hard about the death penalty." --  USA Today.

"His best  yet." -- The Houston Post.  

"Mesmerizing... with an authority and  originality... and with a grasp of literary  complexity that makes Scott Turow's novels pale by  comparison -- Grisham returns." -- San  Francisco Chronicle.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from John Grisham's The Litigators.

About John Grisham

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Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, and The Broker) and all of them have become international bestsellers. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marks his first foray into non-fiction. Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.
Published March 9, 2010 by Dell. 686 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Horror, Action & Adventure, Education & Reference, Political & Social Sciences, Crime, Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Chamber

Publishers Weekly

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Tie-in edition with the forthcoming movie starring Gene Hackman and Faye Dunaway.

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Publishers Weekly

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This ranks as top-notch Grisham and reveals new dimensions to his talent: the focus on character, the credible emotion and the simple moments of human connection bear comparison to Grisham's work in A Time to Kill .

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Entertainment Weekly

B- Originally posted Jun 21, 1996 Published in issue #332 Jun 21, 1996 Order article reprints

Jun 21 1996 | Read Full Review of The Chamber

Entertainment Weekly

But Sam has one last defender: his grandson, Adam Hall (Chris O'Donnell), a progressive young lawyer from up North — the two have never met — who believes that Sam is guilty but intends to rescue him from execution.

Oct 18 1996 | Read Full Review of The Chamber

Entertainment Weekly

As Sam sits (and sits, and sits) in the maximum security unit of the Mississippi prison known as Parchman, Grisham uses the extra pages of one of his longest, densest novels to create an assiduously detailed portrait of life on death row — when inmates shower, what they eat, how many books they c...

Jun 03 1994 | Read Full Review of The Chamber


When Adam Hall, a 26-year-old rookie at the Chicago firm of Kravitz & Bane, fights to take on the pro bono case of Sam Cayhall, 69, it is for purely personal reasons.

Jun 27 1994 | Read Full Review of The Chamber

Time Out New York

Adam is Sam's grandson, and despite Sam's brush-offs, the young lawyer suspects the black sheep of the family is taking the fall for a racist conspiracy.

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The Gospel Coalition

The directors added action to the movie that is not found in the book, and this makes the movie much less compelling.

May 23 2007 | Read Full Review of The Chamber

A Patchwork of Books

Add your reply to Sharon .

Jul 02 2014 | Read Full Review of The Chamber

The Baltimore Sun

In any event, his character -- a racist, anti-Semitic murderer named Sam Cayhall -- is the thorny heart of "The Chamber," and Hackman's brilliance in giving us a Sam of flesh and perplexing blood as opposed to blowhard 'toon goober keeps the movie decent.

Oct 11 1996 | Read Full Review of The Chamber


The John Grisham film festival continues with "The Chamber", the fifth screen adaptation of his writings in three years, an intelligently proficient movie that works more effectively as a family drama than a legal thriller.

Oct 06 1996 | Read Full Review of The Chamber

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Michael Manley 19 Aug 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5