• Search this blog

AddThis Share This Article Get Updates by Email email2 Tell a friend

An enduring influence on Grisham's work is John le Carre, author of such celebrated thrillers as "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," "The Honourable Schoolboy" and "A Small Town in Germany."

"He's still my hero," Grisham says.

  1. The Little Drummer Girl by John le Carre

    Book Cover
    "LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL is a book that I read about every four or five years because it's just so clever and brilliantly plotted. And it's the kind of book when -- and his writing is just off the charts, the way he expresses himself and the way he describes people in dialogue.

    And every time I read that book-- it inspires me to be better. Because - I'll never be as good as he is. And that's when I'm writing, I really have to watch what I read, 'cause you always want to read great books. And if I catch myself reading a really good writer when I'm writing-- invariably, I'll start try-- I catch myself imitating, you know, imitating somebody else. I love Pat Conroy, you know. but his descriptions and his language and narratives are so over the top, you know. But I'll catch myself adding a few extra words to a sentence just 'cause I'm reading Pat Conroy. So, I'll put him down for awhile until I finish the book. "

  2. Source:

"The first book I remember that really grabbed me was a book that Miss McGuffey made us read, a book called Tortilla Flat by Steinbeck. When I read it, I really enjoyed the book. So I went to her and said,'I like this.' She was shocked that I would show any interest in what she was making us do. So she said, okay, read this. The next one was, Of Mice and Men. So she sort of fed the Steinbeck books to me. When I read The Grapes of Wrath — we saved that for last — I knew that was a very powerful book. I don't know if it had anything to do with my writing style, or me as a writer, because I wasn't thinking about it back then. It had a lot to do with the way I viewed humanity and the struggles of little people against big people. It was a very important book for me."
  1. The Grapes of Wrath

    Book Cover: The Grapes of Wrath
    (literature and fiction, classics)

    "When John Steinbeck wrote THE GRAPES OF WRATH in 1939 you know, about the plight of these poor Okies in California, and how mistreated they were. The book was scandalous, it was criticized, it was hated. But it was read.

    Listen, my goal for 2008, my plan is to read every one of Steinbeck's books again. That's how much I love Steinbeck."

  2. Of Mice and Men

    Book Cover: Of Mice and Men
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  3. Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  4. The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, science)

  5. Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  6. The Pearl by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: The Pearl by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, classics, mystery and thrillers)

  7. The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  8. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  9. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

    Book Cover: Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
    (literature and fiction, classics)

  10. Source:

"I keep up with the other lawyers (who write) — Scott Turow. I read all Scott's stuff. And I think Scott is really underestimated as a writer. He's really, really good"

  1. Source:

John Grisham's Fave Five of 2008

  1. Mark Twain by Ron Powers

    Book Cover
    "''An accessible and compelling biography of the great man.''"

  2. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

    Book Cover
    "''A provocative look at who succeeds and why.''"

  3. The Second World War (six volumes)

    Book Cover
    "''A defining history of the war.''"

  4. Marathon Man by William Goldman

    Book Cover
    "''A book I reread to remind myself what great suspense should be.''"

  5. A Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger

    Book Cover
    "''The true story of a sensational crime and a wrongful conviction.''"

  6. Source:

John Grisham Who?

John Grisham is the author of several best-selling novels of the "legal thriller" genre, including The Firm (1991), The Pelican Brief (1992) and The Client (1993). Grisham graduated from law school and set up a legal practice in Mississippi in the early '80s. His first novel, A Time to Kill (1989) did moderately well, but his second, The Firm (1991) made him a household name, thanks in large part to the $600,000 he got for the movie rights. Several of his courtroom dramas have been made into movies, including the novels The Pelican Brief, The Chamber (1994) and The Rainmaker (1995). Although not the hot property he was in the '90s, Grisham's books continue to be quite popular, including The Brethren (2000) and The Summons (2002), and A Painted House (2001), one of his few books outside the thriller genre.

Extra credit: The movies from his books include: The Firm (1993, starring Tom Cruise); The Pelican Brief (1993, with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington); The Client (1994, with Susan Sarandon); The Chamber (1996, starring Gene Hackman); A Time to Kill (1996, starring Sandra Bullock); The Rainmaker (1997, starring Matt Damon); and The Gingerbread Man (1998, from a story by Grisham).


blog comments powered by Disqus

Like what you read? Then please sign up for Free Email Updates.
Your Ad Here
Clicky Web Analytics ss_blog_claim=97ecb57082a7f066aef5d0c86d1492fd