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Book review: ‘A Painted House’ by John Grisham

July 27, 2011

A Painted House

A Painted House is a February 2001 novel by American author John Grisham.

Inspired by his childhood in Arkansas,[1] it is Grisham’s first major work outside the legal thriller genre in which he established himself. Set in the late summer and early fall of 1952, its story is told through the eyes of seven-year-old Luke Chandler, the youngest in a family of cotton farmers struggling to harvest their crop and earn enough to settle their debts. The novel portrays the experiences that bring him from a world of innocence into one of harsh reality.

That’s off wikipedia. Obviously.
The image is taken from the  author’s official site. (Not the same cover as mine)

This is the first book I’ve read from my ‘to read’ pile since starting this post:

I stopped reading about 2/5ths of the way in.

It took me some time to read, even though I’m a really quick reader. I’m not likely to read it again.

I put it down, read ‘HP7’ for the second or third time in a matter of days, then went back to ‘A Painted House’. I read a page or 2 while thinking of other things and decided it wasn’t for me, which I guess I knew anyway.

The book said it was a best seller on the front cover so I thought it would get better and ploughed (ha ha, cotton farmers) on.
Just to make sure, I flicked to random pages later on and it all seemed similar.

The book just didn’t hook me enough.

I liked the idea of it, the storyline is okay it just needs to be more gripping.

‘A Painted House’ seems like a good summertime read, and it makes you appreciate your time (in comparison with the characters – and also the time it takes to re read each paragraph!).
I would bother watching it as a film but unless it had the drama emphasised and there was a great director behind the scenes it still wouldn’t be amazing.

If I didn’t have such a big pile I would keep reading this book; it isn’t bad, it’s just not gripping in the same way ‘Lord of the Rings’ wasn’t. The font inside doesn’t help matters either- quite pale and stretched out.

Verdict: wouldn’t bother reading again unless nothing else there. Not going to keep.


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