The Summons : Harry Rex Vonner

  • by John Grisham
  • Narrated by Michael Beck
  • Series: Harry Rex Vonner
  • 8 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ray Atlee is a professor of law at the University of Virginia. He's 43, newly single, and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. He has a younger brother, Forrest, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.And he has a father, a very sick old man who lives alone in the ancestral home in Clanton, Mississippi. He is known to all as Judge Atlee, a beloved and powerful official who has towered over local law and politics for 40 years. No longer on the bench, the Judge has withdrawn to the Atlee mansion and become a recluse. With the end in sight, Judge Atlee issues a summons for both sons to return home to Clanton, to discuss the details of his estate. It is typed by the Judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study.Ray reluctantly heads south, to his hometown, to the place where he grew up, which he prefers now to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The Judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.And perhaps someone else.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


The book was enjoyable but in the manner of a cheap vanilla ice cream cone; nothing remarkable or extraordinary. And the ending was a too convenient monologue that neatly tied up most of the loose ends. A few mysteries were left unsolved, leaving me wondering if I'd missed key clues and should have figured some of it out myself. But, not being too dreadfully invested in the story, it was easy to turn it off and not worry about the faceless, never-named antagonist.

As this is my first audio book, I can't really rate the narrator. I was pleased, though, to be able to easily follow the narrator as he switched his tone, cadence, and in one case, accent, to switch from one character to another.
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- Michelle

Duller than a lawbook

Grisham must have been paid by the word for this interminable book. It's main characters are drawn from the Handbook of Literary Cliches, and its plot - what there is of it - would be stretched to fill a short story. Its protagonist, suposedly a professor at a very prestigious law school, is seriously stupid. As an example, here's a man who was raised in a small Mississippi town, supposedly knowing about firearms. Yet he picks up and uses a pistol, without checking on whether or not its loaded (it's not). After making his big discovery, he does nothing but dither about. We're supposed to be sympathetic because his wife left him for a rich man. After the first hour or two, my sympathies were entirely with the wife. Listening to this dullard deal with his father's illegal legacy, his substance-abusing brother, and his own insecurities is more tedious than enjoyable. Not worth buying.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-25-2002
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks