Unwritten Epilogues – A Time to Kill

22 05 2009

Title: A Time to Kill

Author: John Grisham

Publication Date: 1989

Publisher: Wynwood (original); Doubleday (hardcover); Dell (softcover)

Genre(s): Drama / Courtroom / Murder

Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, is one of his best. Slow to take off with publishers, it has now been made into a full length motion picture, which I consider one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

Set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, the story begins with the brutal  rape and attempted murder of a 10-year old African-American girl, Tonya Hailey. Her father РCarl Lee Рdetermined not to allow the men to go free, shoots the accused as they are escorted from their courtroom appearance. Sophomoric (yet talented) lawyer Jake Brigance is hired by Hailey to take on the most important case in the country in years. The odds are stacked against the defendent and the young lawyer, and if extremist groups have their way neither will live to see the end of the trial.

A racially charged, whirlwind of a novel, A Time to Kill, is an absolute must-read. You will find yourself on the other side of the bar, sitting in the jury box and weighing the facts. A life is on the line…guilty or not guilty?

I recommend John Grisham’s A Time to Kill with a 8.9 out of 10 score.


Unwritten Epilogues – Prey

14 12 2008

Title: Prey

Author: Michael Crichton

Publication Date: 2002

Publisher: Avon Books (HarperCollins)

Genre(s): Science Fiction / Thriller / Tech / Disaster / Creature

After losing his job attempting to uncover a corporate scandal, Jack Foreman was unfairly black-balled by the entire silicon valley community. Now a house-husband, Jack has gotten used to the fact that he is the caretaker for his family. His wife, Julia, works for Xymos – a nanorobotics company on the verge of perfecting some incredible new technologies, which he – unknowingly – wrote operational code for at his previous job. When things go awry at Xymos’ facilities, Jack is called on to find the problems…while all along Jack suspects his wife is having an affair, due to some erratic behavior. And that is not all that is wrong at home, because his daughter is showing signs of some strange illness. Is this a coincidence or is Julia responsible somehow? Just what IS she doing at Xymos?!

Jack heads to the Nevada desert to track down the errors in the tech company’s operational code only to discover that a swarm of nanorobots has escaped from the production facility and is causing some…problems. When things turn deadly, the race is on to find a way to stop the menacing cloud of learning nanokillers.

I recommend Michael Crichton’s Prey with a 7.0 out of 10 score.

Unwritten Epilogues – Out of the Silent Planet

8 12 2008

Title: Out of the Silent Planet

Author: C. S. Lewis

Publication Date: 1938

Publisher: The Bodley Head, UK (Random House)

Genre(s): Science Fiction / Space / Adventure

Lewis’ Silent Planet is the first installment of the famous Space Trilogy (Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength)¬† by the author. It follows the protagonist Ransom on an unexpected cosmic journey to Malacandra, a planet whose inhabitants are quite different from humans in many aspects. The three major species on the planet – hrossa, seroni, and pfifltriggi – coexist and even value their respective strengths. But the harmony of that world is shattered by Ransom’s captors when they arrive.

What is to happen to those who come from the silent planet, Thulcandra (Earth) – the planet that breeds only destruction? Can their evil ways be overlooked or will they doom themselves and their home world?

I recommend C. S. Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet with a 7.5 out of 10 score.