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Friday, April 8, 2011

A Painted House by John Grisham

The unabridged audiobook is excellent

Published by Bantam Doubleday Audio in 2001
Duration: 12 hours, 7 minutes
Read by David Lansbury

I am not a giant fan of Grisham's latest legal thrillers but I am becoming a fan of his non-lawyer books, such as Bleachers and A Painted House. Grisham's non-legal novels are wonderful "slice of life" views of rural/small town America.

"A Painted House" is a rite of passage novel about a 7 year old boy (Luke Chandler) growing up on an Arkansas cotton farm in 1952 with his parents and grandparents. His uncle is off fighting the war in Korea.

It is the beginning of the two month long picking season and his family hires some hired hands to help pick the cotton. They hire a combination of "hill people" (poor whites from up in the Arkansas hills) and Mexicans who are literally trucked into Arkansas in the trailer of a semi as if they were cattle.

John Grisham
Luke learns a lot during this season, including about love, baseball, violence, cruelty, sacrifice, bravery, family pride, television, hard work, floods and failure. If you have worked on a family farm at any time this book will bring back a flood of memories. I was reminded of my grandparents, the massive Sunday meals, putting up hay, shoveling soybeans, riding on the tractor and plenty more. I doubt Mr. Grisham will ever read this, but I'd still like to thank him for refreshing those memories.

The audiobook is about 12 hours in length and is read very well by David Lansbury who gives distinct and realistic voices to everyone. I especially enjoyed the grandmother's voice - it reminded me of plenty of the older ladies' voices at my church as I was growing up.

Kudos all around.

I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.

This book can be found on Amazon.com here: A Painted House by John Grisham.

Reviewed March 27, 2009.

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