//Jhon Grisham – Master of the legal thriller
John Grisham books

Jhon Grisham – Master of the legal thriller

Almost everyone has seen a film by Jhon Grisham without knowing it. And it is that his work has had great relevance over time. Grisham is to legal fiction literature what Stephen King to horror literature. Some will say that we exaggerate, until we show them the statistics about his work:

  • Jhon Grisham has written at least 45 books between 1987 and 2019.
  • Grisham has also written four short stories.
  • 26 of his books are legal fiction for adults. There is also the saga “Theodore Boone” composed of 7 legal fiction books for teenagers
  • He has seven non-legal fiction books.
  • Three books that do not correspond to the fiction genre.
  • Most of his books have been translated into many languages but some of his books are still waiting. We hope they don’t take long to be translated
  • His books have sold more than 250 million copies around the world.
  • Eleven of his books have been adapted to the cinema with great success.
  • In addition, three of his books have been converted into series or miniseries.
  • For 15 consecutive years (between 1991 and 2005) he had at least one book in the list of the 10 best-selling books in the US. From 2001 to 2003 he had 2 books in the top 10.
John Grisham books
John Grisham books


Some of the film adaptations of his books can be found in the list of the best legal-themed films. Some of these successful films are:

  • The Firm (premiere in 1993)
  • The Client (premier in 1994). This movie had a “sequel”.
  • The Runaway Jury (premiere in 2003)

These movies were very successful. The movie “The Client” was so successful that a TV series was derived from it, which was broadcast from 1995 to 1996.

Jhon Grisham vs Stephen King

For all these reasons, we consider that Jhon Grisham is the Stephen King of legal fiction literature. The suspense that prints his work is one of his distinctive marks. We believe that for this and much more, Jhon Grishnam could become one of your favorite writers. Let’s get to know a little more about this outstanding writer. So you can discover more parallels between Jhon Grisham and Stephen King we leave this interview between these two giants.

Bookends: John Grisham in Conversation with Stephen King

Jhon Grisham’s life

John Grisham
John Grisham

His full name is Jhon Ray Grisham. Jhon Grisham’s father harvested cotton and in turn was employed in the construction sector. His mother, a housewife, encouraged Grisham to continue his studies and passions. Jhon Grisham parents had 5 children and Grisham was the second in the litter.

His passion for reading began from his childhood. In addition, this passion was promoted by his mother. One of his greatest influences in this regard was the writer Jhon Steinbeck. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi.

One of the things that his vein as a writer portrays was that during his adolescence and youth he kept a newspaper. This was one of the determining elements that would help in his subsequent job as a writer.

Subsequently, Jhon Grisham obtained his PhD in law from the same university in Mississippi. From then on Jhon worked for several years in the field of criminal law. This experience exhausted him and he decided to change to civil law to obtain new airs.

Little by little he made himself known and this led him to run for political office. In 1983 he managed to win a position for the House of Representatives for his homeland. He held this position until 1990.

The cases he observed in court led him to start building ideas for his novels. In 1988 he published his first book Time to Kill.

John Grisham writer’s facet

Time to Kill went through several publishers before getting published. This first Grisham book was not a bestseller, at first. Only until other of his books triggered interest in the southern author did interest turn to his first work. This is how A Time to Kill after being modestly received was reprinted managing to become, this time, a Best Seller. This explosion of interest led to this book being adapted to the cinema and even adapted to the theater.

Other of his books that are Bestseller, which apart are among his best books, are:

  • The Pelican Brief (1992): it is the best selling book by Jhon Grisham. One of the few books of the writer who has sold over 10 million copies.
  • The Firm (1991).
  • The Client (1993): One of the most selled books. Also had a successful movie adaptation.
  • The Rainmaker (1995).
  • The Runaway Jury (1996). It book had a successful movie.
  • The Testament (1999).

Recently one of his most famous books “The Williamson Project” was brought to the miniseries format. This book, unlike most, is not a work of fiction. It is a real-life case about a man wrongfully sentenced to death.

Because of this and his activist vein he participates in “The Innocence Project”.

The Innocent Man Netflix TV Series
The Innocent Man Netflix TV Series


What is “The Innocence Project”?

It is a US organization that studies cases where it is intuited or proved that there was an unfair conviction. The organization has two objectives:

  • Work from the judicial point of view to reverse unfair sentences to innocent people.
  • Promote legal reforms that avoid unfair sentences, increasing judicial guarantees.

In this way, Jhon Grisham fights for a more secure and fair legal system. His judicial and political activism is highlighted.

In Guantanamo prison they banned John Grisham’s books because he made his prisoners understand their rights.

The Innocent Man by Jhon Grisham
The Innocent Man by Jhon Grisham

Three movies or books by John Grisham to enjoy

Four films adapted from John Grisham's books
Four films adapted from John Grisham’s books

In order to satisfy the need of both readers and moviegoers, we will recommend 3 works by Jhon Grishan. In each recommendation we will make a brief synopsis of the recommended work. We hope you enjoy it.

  1. Time to Kill: Framed in the 80s and in a more segregated society. This novel tells us the revenge a black father takes on two drunken young men who rape his 10-year-old daughter. This man murders the rapists and throws himself on the justice system and southern racism. A young lawyer tries to save the life of a man who took justice while avoiding losing his own life. Main actors: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson
  2. The Firm: A promising young lawyer leaves Hardvard directly to conquer the world. He is hired by one of the best and most respected firms. Your salary package includes house, car and access to the best clubs in the city. But this law firm is not what it seems. Among its doors is a secret that will be able to this young lawyer between a rock and a hard place. Loyalty to his principles or a life of luxuries … Perhaps even for his life He must decide. Leading actors: Tom Cruise, Ed Harris, Gene Hackman and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
  3. The Pelican Brief: A prominent unsolved case. Two judges killed and no clue. A law student raises a crazy theory. He decides to write a university paper linking the murders to cases carried by both judges. He doesn’t know that his incredible theories will put the bulbs and bullets pointed at his head. Main actors: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washinton and Sam Shepard.

Jhon Grisham a man to study

Definitely from his facet as a lawyer, activist or writer Jhon Grisham is successful and integral. Jhon Grisham, a man that anyone can admire. His work is full of realism, ethical dilemmas and suspense. You will definitely like his books.
The recommended works, as we commented, can be obtained in written or cinematographic format. In this way everyone can choose the version that best suits them. Watch the movies or read their books and tell us what you think about them on our social networks. We hope you like them.

The Firm (1993) - Trailer






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