Sooley Review

New York Times bestselling author John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in his first basketball novel. Samuel "Sooley" Sooleymon is a raw, young talent with big hoop dreams...and even bigger challenges off the court.

In the summer of his seventeenth year, Sam­uel Sooleymon gets the chance of a lifetime: a trip to the United States with his South Sudanese teammates to play in a showcase basket­ball tournament. He has never been away from home, nor has he ever been on an airplane. The opportunity to be scouted by dozens of college coaches is a dream come true.
Samuel is an amazing athlete, with speed, quick­ness, and an astonishing vertical leap. The rest of his game, though, needs work, and the American coaches are less than impressed.
During the tournament, Samuel receives dev­astating news from home: A civil war is raging across South Sudan, and rebel troops have ran­sacked his village. His father is dead, his sister is missing, and his mother and two younger brothers are in a refugee camp.
Samuel desperately wants to go home, but it's just not possible. Partly out of sympathy, the coach of North Carolina Central offers him a scholar­ship. Samuel moves to Durham, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season. There is plenty of more mature talent and he isn't immediately needed.
But Samuel has something no other player has: a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America. He works tirelessly on his game, shooting baskets every morning at dawn by himself in the gym, and soon he's dominating everyone in practice. With the Central team los­ing and suffering injury after injury, Sooley, as he is nicknamed, is called off the bench. And the legend begins.
But how far can Sooley take his team? And will success allow him to save his family?
Gripping and moving, Sooley showcases John Grisham's unparalleled storytelling powers in a whole new light. This is Grisham at the top of his game.

Edition Language:English

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    Sooley Reviews


    What can I say? Love it or hate it, I will understand.This is not a courtroom drama. This is not the usual book that we expect from Grisham.But one thing is for sure, Grisham is an amazing storyteller...

  • Tim

    WOW! First, it helps if you are any sort of sports fan. Without a doubt, this is my favorite Grisham ever. 10 of 10 stars!...

  • Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    I know that it has been said many times before, but John Grisham is a master storyteller. He has a way of bringing his characters to life with his words. Sooley is a very different type of book for Gr...

  • Tooter

    5 Stars!...

  • Susan Tunis

    This is a rare case of disappointment from Mr. Grisham. BIG disappointment! I am a fan of his storytelling, and it is very much on display here. This is not a legal thriller, but one of his occasional...

  • Marc

    One doesn't become a best-selling author without knowing how to tell a story, and Grisham has obviously obtained a rare level of success that indicates he can effectively connect with readers. In inte...

  • Winkie Wheeler

    4 for the story. 2 for the writing. Grisham is a master storyteller and this was a good one but the writing... who wrote this one? Really, did he give the story outline to his summer intern to flesh o...

  • Ann Reinking

    Way too many detailed descriptions of basketball games and a really stupid ending....

  • Josh Olds

    John Grisham’s latest novel released this past week and, like always, rocketed to the top of the NYT bestseller’s list. Unlike most of his novels, Sooley is not a legal thriller but a sports novel...

  • Diane

    4.5-5 stars. Any Grisham book is an automatic read for me. This one surprisingly took place at a different court. I thought his storytelling was great. I know the subject won’t be for everyone, but ...