Gray Mountain

Gray Mountain

A Novel

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
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The Great Recession of 2008 left many young professionals out of work. Promising careers were suddenly ended as banks, hedge funds, and law firms engaged in mass lay-offs and brutal belt tightening. Samantha Kofer was a third year associate at Scully & Pershing, New York City's largest law firm. Two weeks after Lehman Brothers collapsed, she lost her job, her security, and her future. A week later she was working as an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic deep in small town Appalachia. There, for the first time in her career, she was confronted with real clients with real problems. She also stumbled across secrets that should have remained buried deep in the mountains forever.
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2014
ISBN: 9780385539166
0385539169
Characteristics: 1 online resource (368 p.)

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j
Jlalfor
Dec 08, 2017

Great read! Couldn't put it down. Highly recommend!

j
Jogr77
Dec 08, 2017

Good premise, but somewhat disappointing. Too predictable. Not enough expansion of characters and story having to do with the cases. If Strip Mining is the big evil, get after it. Shallow characters, having flings, not much intelligence, capricious, nor morals. I like Grisham's books, but, he needs to flesh out, but some with morals, his characters, especially those in lead roles. He seems to be targeting an easy audience, made up up of those who are rudderless, just in it all for themselves. Devil may care.

d
deebitner
Oct 13, 2017

This is one of those times where I remember that I am just not the audience for mainstream novels.

This is a perfectly serviceable tale. Samantha is a lawyer at a prestigious New York law firm - right up until the housing crash. She's driven to maintain her life as it is, but she's not particularly driven in any other way. Samantha is a child of two other lawyers, and neither of them (a government employee and a former ambulance-chaser trial lawyer, disbarred) inspire her a lot.

She's laid off, but given the option of working for free at a nonprofit somewhere and finds herself in Appalachia. Suddenly she's thrown from paperwork and research into dealing face to face with poor people who are being thrown out of their houses and the coal barons' lawyers who are destroying the environment.

It's not a secret where Grisham's sympathies lie. Nor is it a surprise at any point in the novel. Literally nothing that happens is a shock. It's well-crafted, but it's like a tape measure: as it unrolls, you know what's coming next. Every pin is set up to be knocked down. You know X character(s) is/are going to die. You know what Samantha will end up doing in the end. You know who is going to end up as the love interest. It's all by the numbers.

I asked on Facebook what people see in this author. The responses were "Predictability" and "I liked his early stuff." And I can see that! I have no quibble with the way it's set up, but I could have wished for at least one surprise, and more showing and less telling.

Three of five stars, because wow, I can see the talent... but it's not what I'm looking for.

f
fleetway
Jul 14, 2017

Grisham never ceases to entertain with his books. They are an easy read, gripping and at the same time entertaining. He provides an interesting look into the US legal system albeit fiction.

b
bookofeve
Jul 07, 2017

So nice to read, a woman lead role who does not want to GET a man.

1
1mackie
Mar 15, 2017

I'm not sure why this book was rated 1 star (when I looked March, 2017). I read it months ago and it's a well written, tauntly plotted thriller, just what you'd expect from Grisham. It is worth a minimum of 4 stars and imo, 5 stars.

2295004750964 Nov 08, 2016

I disagree the comments. I like Samantha even thought she would not do too much courtroom drama. She had strong character and feeling for her clients.

t
Tasnimelasmar
Oct 30, 2016

I'm a big Grisham fan and have read and loved every book of his. Gray Mountain, however, completely let me down! The story had so much potential to develop into an intriguing huge lawsuit against a big Coal Company that's basically breaking every rule in the book, however, the book's Ending is when the lawsuit against them is filed! So the whole story is just basically a slow-paced read about a spoiled, unlikeable brat of a lawyer from NY called Samantha and her misadventures in small town Virginia after she gets sacked from her big law-firm!!! This was very unlike a Grisham book, who's writing usually hooks me as a reader from the beginning till the end with his fast-paced story-telling, the exciting courtroom brouhaha and getting down to the nitty-gritty from the beginning (not the end of the book!)

r
rahmmie
Oct 01, 2016

It may not be fair but this book would probably get 4 stars if it had been written by a less-accomplished author. As a work of Grisham, though, it's just okay

a
andyinbc
Aug 20, 2016

Can't say this was one of my favourite Grisham novels. The story moved much too slowly and I kept hoping that our main character would grow up and become a more likeable character. Unfortunately Samantha Kofer, big city lawyer never really seemed to move beyond her entitled upbringing and self absorbed ways. I kept hoping we would see maturity and that she would show the ability to care for her clients and to take a risk. Sadly, that only happened in the last chapter, and perhaps that is where an interesting story might actually begin.

Honestly, almost any other character in this story would have been more interesting to read about. Donovan, Mattie, Jeff, Vic, Romey to name a few.

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j
jimg2000
Dec 09, 2014

“Oh, you haven’t seen anything yet. They’ll threaten you in court, out of court, in the hallways, on the phone, by e-mail, fax, or in court filings. Doesn’t matter. They’re bullies and brutes, just like their clients, and for the most part they get away with it.”
===
“I don’t want to hear this, Jeff. Do you really want to spend the rest of your life in prison?” “I’m not going to.” “Famous last words.”

j
jimg2000
Dec 09, 2014

Chester said, “It’s a favorite trick in the coalfields. A company mines the coal, then goes bankrupt to avoid payments and the reclamation requirements. Sooner or later they usually pop up with another name. Same bad actors, just a new logo.”
===
it's legal because it's not specifically illegal.
====
we can have all the cheap energy we can eat. Every person in this country uses twenty pounds of coal each day.

j
jimg2000
Dec 09, 2014

“No, nothing is guaranteed. Frankly, no one is smart enough to predict where we’ll be next year. We’re in the middle of an election, Europe is going to hell, the Chinese are freaking out, banks are folding, markets are crashing, nobody’s building or buying. The world’s coming to an end.”
===
“Okay, litigation funders are private companies that raise money from their investors to buy into big lawsuits. For example, let’s say a small software company is convinced one of the big guys, say Microsoft, has stolen its software, but there’s no way the small company can afford to sue Microsoft and go toe-to-toe in court. Impossible. So the small company goes to a litigation fund, and the fund reviews the case, and if it has merit, then the fund puts up some serious cash for legal fees and expenses.

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w
winstonbarker
Apr 09, 2015

Story of the west virgina coal mines with the usual battle between attorneys. A good read.

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