The Reckoning

The Reckoning

A Novel

Downloadable Audiobook - 2018
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John Grisham returns to Clanton, Mississippi, to tell the story of an unthinkable murder, the bizarre trial that follows it, and its profound and lasting effect on the people of Ford County. Pete Banning was Clanton's favorite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church. Then one cool October morning in 1946. he rose early, drove into town, walked into the Church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell. As if the murder wasn't shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it--to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends, and to the people of Clanton--was "I have nothing to say." And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became the most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford County had ever known.
Publisher: [New York, NY] :, Random House Audio,, 2018
Edition: Unabridged
Description: 1 online resource (1 audio file)
ISBN: 9780525639268
0525639268
9780525639282

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SharonB_1954
Oct 05, 2020

I do agree that this book could have been edited down a little - it is long. And I was beginning to wonder if we would ever find out the reason behind the murder. When we did find out, I have to admit I didn't see it coming. It left me with a "holy cow" reaction. Grisham does nail the atmosphere of the post-WW2 Deep South, and if you listen to audiobooks, Michael Beck's narration is spot on. Just enough drawl to be real - not enough to grate on the nerves. I enjoyed it.

j
janerf
Apr 14, 2020

Wow. What a story.
What a family!
An honorable man, tested and found true, who did an atrocious and heinous act, and his family lost everything.
"How did we get here...?"
And that's the question.
Why do good people do horrible things?
Why do good people let the atmosphere be polluted to the point that 70% of all large mammals were killed off by the year 2018? Why do good people let the oceans be polluted to the point that trash gyres bigger than the state of Texas exist, in several places? Why do good people raze tropical forests and obliterate acres and acres and acres of living things?
Because people are short sighted, self righteous, greedy, selfish.
Does stupid mean people are just no blank good?

Book was TOO long!! I listen to audiobooks, and this had 16 CD's. I listened to first six, then listened to the last disc to found out what happened??? I would recommend this book ONLY if you are homebound

m
maipenrai
Nov 11, 2018

I have been a Grisham fan for many years and still consider him to be an excellent writer. ( There is a "however" in that sentence. ) I think "The Reckoning" was / or should have been 2 books. The story set in Philippines of WWII was compelling. It could / should have been a book in itself. Then we have the home story in Ford County and the murder which had sufficient narrative to be its own book. When reading the two put together, I have two bones to pick. The first is that the WWII events convince us completely that Pete is an honorable man who went thru horrific events and still maintained that honor. The second is that a character in the story has the answer to the WHY of the murder all along and does not tell us or the children (or Pete) the secret until the very end. After reading all the intricacies of the war and the lives of the children, I was so sick and tired of not knowing the "why" that I almost stopped caring. When I found out the reason for the murder I was angry and disappointed. I was angry because for hour after hour I had been shown that Pete was a man to be admired. He was not. He committed an act of violence without knowing the truth. I felt betrayed by Grisham and by Pete. I was disappointed because had been tricked into believing that the murder was somehow an "honorable" act. It was not. I do not think the man who fought in the Philippines would have committed the violence at home without knowing the truth. Doesn't an honorable man nurture his children instead of his sense of vengeance???? I still think Grisham is an excellent writer because a bad writer could not provoke the sense of betrayal in me as a reader that I felt after finishing the book. All this being said, I think everyone should read the book and decide. Kristi & Abby Tabby

s
smiler44
Oct 23, 2018

Publisher’s Weekly got it’s review wrong. They stated that The Reckoning is a “subpar” effort while praising The Rooster Bar in passing.
Although The Reckoning isn’t out yet, l thought that RB was one of his weakest novels ever. It had a silly unbelievable plot, weak character development, and it seemed to me that Grisham just mailed it in.

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