The Summons

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The Summons

by John Grisham

Random House Publishing Group | September 27, 2005 | Trade Paperback |

2.4 out of 5 rating. 5 Reviews
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Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi--a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray's younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.

The summons is typed by the judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south to his hometown, to the place where he grew up and now prefers to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.

And perhaps someone else.


From the Paperback edition.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: September 27, 2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385339593

ISBN - 13: 9780385339599

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The Summons

The Summons

by John Grisham

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 304 Pages, 5.12 × 7.87 × 0.39 in

Published: September 27, 2005

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0385339593

ISBN - 13: 9780385339599

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 It came by mail, regular postage, the old-fashioned way since the Judge was almost eighty and distrusted modern devices. Forget e-mail and even faxes. He didn''t use an answering machine and had never been fond of the telephone. He pecked out his letters with both index fingers, one feeble key at a time, hunched over his old Underwood manual on a rolltop desk under the portrait of Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Judge''s grandfather had fought with Forrest at Shiloh and throughout the Deep South, and to him no figure in history was more revered. For thirty-two years, the Judge had quietly refused to hold court on July 13, Forrest''s birthday. It came with another letter, a magazine, and two invoices, and was routinely placed in the law school mailbox of Professor Ray Atlee. He recognized it immediately since such envelopes had been a part of his life for as long as he could remember. It was from his father, a man he too called the Judge. Professor Atlee studied the envelope, uncertain whether he should open it right there or wait a moment. Good news or bad, he never knew with the Judge, though the old man was dying and good news had been rare. It was thin and appeared to contain only one sheet of paper; nothing unusual about that. The Judge was frugal with the written word, though he''d once been known for his windy lectures from the bench. It was a business letter, that much was certain. The Judge was not one for small talk, hated gossip and idle chitchat, whether writ
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From the Publisher

Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi--a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray's younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family's black sheep.

The summons is typed by the judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south to his hometown, to the place where he grew up and now prefers to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.

And perhaps someone else.


From the Paperback edition.

From the Jacket

Once Judge Atlee was a powerful figure in Clanton, Mississippi--a pillar of the community who towered over local law and politics for forty years. Now the judge is a shadow of his former self, a sick, lonely old man who has withdrawn to his sprawling ancestral home. Knowing the end is near, Judge Atlee has issued a summons for his two sons to return to Clanton to discuss his estate. Ray Atlee is the eldest, a Virginia law professor, newly single and still enduring the aftershocks of a surprise divorce. Forrest is Ray''s younger brother, who redefines the notion of a family''s black sheep.
The summons is typed by the judge himself, on his handsome old stationery, and gives the date and time for Ray and Forrest to appear in his study. Ray reluctantly heads south to his hometown, to the place where he grew up and now prefers to avoid. But the family meeting does not take place. The judge dies too soon, and in doing so leaves behind a shocking secret known only to Ray.
And perhaps someone else.

"From the Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of Skipping Christmas, The Summons, A Painted House, The Brethren, The Testament, The Street Lawyer, The Partner, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Firm, and A Time to Kill. He lives with his family in Mississippi and Virginia.


From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

"The Summons ranks as my absolute favorite in many years...[with] an ending too delicious and morally instructive to give away."-USA Today

"A pleasure to read...a good yarn."-The Washington Post



From the Paperback edition.
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