As the undisputed master of legal thrillers, John Grisham has been among America’s favorite writer for over two decades. This Buzzle article compiles a list of best-selling John Grisham books in chronological order.
Did You Know?
John Grisham’s latest novel, Sycamore Row, is a sequel to his first novel, A Time to Kill, which was published way back in 1989.
John Grisham’s name almost immediately springs to mind at the mention of thrilling novels based on the legal system. A lawyer himself, Grisham’s inspiration for his very first story came from a real-life incident which occurred in 1984. Grisham happened to overhear a young rape victim recounting the horrific incident to the jury and decided to follow her trial. The idea to garner justice for the hapless victim is what eventually became A Time to Kill, Grisham’s debut novel which was published in 1989.
Fame didn’t come as easily, since he had a tough time finding a publisher for his debut novel. Success arrived much later with The Firm, his first bestseller released in 1991. A spate of phenomenal novels later, Grisham remains one of the most admired fiction writers of our times.
- A Time to Kill (1989)
- The Firm (1991)
- The Pelican Brief (1992)
- The Client (1993)
- The Chamber (1994)
- The Rainmaker (1995)
- The Runaway Jury (1996)
- The Partner (1997)
- The Street Lawyer (1998)
- The Testament (1999)
- The Brethren (2000)
- A Painted House (2001)
- Skipping Christmas (2001)
- The Summons (2002)
- The Wavedancer Benefit+ (2002)
- The King of Torts (2003)
- Bleachers (2003)
- The Last Juror (2004)
- The Broker (2005)
- The Innocent Man* (2006)
- Playing for Pizza (2007)
- The Appeal (2008)
- The Associate (2009)
- Ford County** (2009)
- Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer (2010)
- The Confession (2010)
- Theodore Boone: The Abduction (2011)
- The Litigators (2011)
- Calico Joe (2012)
- Theodore Boone: The Accused (2012)
- The Racketeer (2012)
- Theodore Boone: The Activist (2013)
- Fetching Raymond (2013)
- Sycamore Row (2013)
+ ‘The Wavedancer Benefit: A Tribute to Frank Muller’ is co-authored by Grisham.
* ‘The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town’ is his first work of nonfiction.
** Short stories
John Grisham Trivia
▶ John Ray Grisham, Jr. was born in Arkansas and spent his childhood there until his family moved to Mississippi, where they eventually settled. No wonder then, that most of Grisham’s novels are set in Mississippi.
▶ Among his own work, he is said to like The Innocent Man the best.
▶ His wife is reportedly the first person to read each of his novels.
▶ The Theodore Boone series is his first aimed at preteens and teens. He claimed in jest that the series was written to regain his spot in the list of bestsellers, particularly from J. K. Rowling.
▶ He originally wanted to name his debut novel ‘Deathknell’, but later decided to name it A Time to Kill.
▶ Speaking of Grisham’s debut novel, it took him three years to finish the draft, which was subsequently rejected by 28 publishers.
▶ Cut to now, when it takes him an average of just six months to write a story.
▶ He has confessed to have never suffered from writer’s block.
▶ The Mississippi State University Libraries, Manuscript Division, maintains the John Grisham Room, an archive containing materials generated during the author’s tenure as Mississippi State Representative and relating to his writings.
▶ As a child, he dreamed of becoming a baseball player when he grew up. He studied at the University of Mississippi School of Law, and eventually ended up becoming an acclaimed writer.
As John Grisham continues to churn out one novel after the other, his fans have nothing to complain about. Those of you who are done with reading Sycamore Row will soon have something as exciting in store.