Gray Mountain

  • by John Grisham
  • Narrated by Catherine Taber
  • 14 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John Grisham has a new hero...and she's full of surprises.
The year is 2008 and Samantha Kofer's career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track - until the recession hits and she gets downsized, furloughed, escorted out of the building. Samantha, though, is one of the "lucky" associates. She's offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she'd get her old job back.
In a matter of days Samantha moves from Manhattan to Brady, Virginia, population 2,200, in the heart of Appalachia, a part of the world she has only read about. Mattie Wyatt, lifelong Brady resident and head of the town's legal aid clinic, is there to teach her how to "help real people with real problems". For the first time in her career, Samantha prepares a lawsuit, sees the inside of an actual courtroom, gets scolded by a judge, and receives threats from locals who aren't so thrilled to have a big-city lawyer in town. And she learns that Brady, like most small towns, harbors some big secrets.
Her new job takes Samantha into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, where laws are often broken, rules are ignored, regulations are flouted, communities are divided, and the land itself is under attack from Big Coal. Violence is always just around the corner, and within weeks Samantha finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

So Disappointing

Remember John Grisham? Remember the books that shot him to #1 over and over again? The Client, The Firm, etc? Gray Mountain is a pathetic shadow of one of his good earlier stories.
I kept waiting for the action to start. The beginning was great, loved meeting her parents and having her get fired, and getting the internship--all the parts that were written in the publishers description of the book. But after that, nothing happened. I was patient for hours as the story developed, but there was no climax. There was no one and nothing to cheer for, there was no John Grisham moment! The story is set in Appalachia, filled with colorful characters, but none of them really did anything. The stage was set, and then nothing happened.
The main character, Samantha, wasn't developed to the level you would expect in a 12 hour story. What she eats or doesn't eat is not enough for me to care about her as a character. What details were developed left her simpering and weak and a victim, when she was supposed to be the "heroine" of the story. Everything happened TO her, she didn't actually do anything. In the end, I just didn't care.
I know John Grisham isn't high literature, but I think it is fair to expect a level of entertainment from him and to hold him to the standards of his past books. I was very disappointed.
As for the narrator, yeah, she was terrible. She spoke way too slowly, which didn't help the fact that there was no action. She made me feel like she was reading to a group of 1st graders at a library. She also didn't change her voice for men vs. women so I sometimes couldn't tell who was saying what.
It's a John Grisham, so lots of people will still read/listen to it. But at least go in with much lowered expectations.
I do not recommend this book.
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- Marci

What's Up with Early Reviewers?

I was prompted to write this review to counter the first couple of inexplicable one- and two-star denouncements of this book as uninteresting "chick lit." It is, quite simply, a well-told and well-written story about believable people and actual legal and social issues. Yeah, it's not the verbal equivalent of Terminator, and spends more time talking about thoughts and emotions than guns and ammo. But chick lit it isn't, nor is it anything like a one-star book. If you like Grisham, legal thrillers, well-developed characters and a story that deepens understanding of legal issues most of us our fortunate enough to never see, invest a credit!
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- C. Rogers "Audible Addict"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-21-2014
  • Publisher: Random House Audio