John Grisham is an author best known for his top selling legal thrillers such as The Firm. He also served in the Mississippi House of Representatives, after being elected in 1983. Grisham's former work as an attorney provides the insight that gives his novels rich and intriguing storylines.
John Grisham was born 8 February 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. As a child, he wanted to become a professional baseball player, but he says he did not have the talent for that and always enjoyed the world of business. He moved to Southaven, Mississippi in 1967 and earned a bachelor's degree from Mississippi University in accounting in 1977, before attending the University of Mississippi law school.
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He received his law degree and married Renee Jones in 1981. His law office handled criminal and civil cases. His first novel, A Time to Kill, was somewhat successful, but his second legal thriller, 1991's The Firm, was an amazing success. Paramount Pictures even bought the movie rights for The Firm, for $600,00 US Dollars (USD). A year before the book was published, he resigned from the Mississippi House of Representatives to live on a Mississippi farm.
The Firm tells the story of a new lawyer who lands a dream job with a fancy law firm only to find his life turned into a nightmare when murders begin happening at the law firm. The film version of The Firm stars Tom Cruise, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Gene Hackman. At least ten other John Grisham books have been made into motion pictures including The Pelican Brief in 1993 with Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington and The Client in 1994 with Susan Sarandon and Tommy Lee Jones.
Runaway Jury, is a 1996 John Grisham novel about jury manipulation. The 2003 film version of Runaway Jury was promoted with the tantalizing tagline: "Trials are too important to be decided by juries." The all-star cast features John Cusack, Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman.
A few of Grisham's books are not legal thrillers and do not even mention lawyers. Bleachers, published in 2003, is about a group of high school football players who reunite for their old coach's funeral. The story centers on whether the former students consider their coach good or bad when secrets about him begin to surface.
The 2001 story, Skipping Christmas, is about parents who consider not celebrating Christmas when they think their daughter will not be home for the holidays. Instead, they get stuck having to put together a big Christmas celebration on very short notice. Skipping Christmas was made into the 2004 family comedy Christmas with the Kranks. The movie stars Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.
A Painted House, published in 2001, is an acclaimed John Grisham novel about life through the eyes of a poor, seven year old boy growing up on a farm in Arkansas. When agriculture workers are hired to help pick his family's cotton, the boy overhears life-altering secrets. The setting of A Painted House is similar to that of John Grisham's childhood.