'A master of plotting and pacing' - New York Times
'With every new book I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions' - Entertainment Weekly
ONE MAN. ONE HOPE. ONCE CHANCE TO BECOME A LEGEND.
Seventeen-year-old Samuel Sooleyman comes from a village in South Sudan, a war-torn country where one third of the population is a refugee. His great love is basketball: his prodigious leap and lightning speed make him an exceptional player. And it may also bring him his big chance: he has been noticed by a coach taking a youth team to the United States.
If he gets through the tournament, Samuel's life will change beyond recognition. But it's the longest of long shots. His talent is raw and uncoached. There are hundreds of better-known players ahead of him. And he must leave his family behind, at least at the beginning.
As American success beckons, devastating news reaches Samuel from home. Caught between his dream and the nightmare unfolding thousands of miles away, 'Sooley', as he's nicknamed by his classmates, must make hard choices about his future. This quiet, dedicated boy must do what no other player has achieved in the history of his chosen game: become a legend in twelve short months.
Global bestseller John Grisham takes you to a different kind of court in this gripping and incredibly moving novel that showcases his storytelling powers in an entirely new light.
'Grisham's books are smart, imaginative, and funny, populated by complex interesting people' - The Washington Post
'A superb, instinctive storyteller' - The Times
350+ million copies, 45 languages, 9 blockbuster films:
NO ONE WRITES DRAMA LIKE JOHN GRISHAM
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
John Grisham is a master of high-stakes drama. With this powerful novel, he takes on some of the most vital questions of our time through the story of a desperate young refugee, Samuel “Sooley” Sooleymon. Sooley gets the chance of a lifetime when he’s invited to travel from South Sudan to a basketball camp in the United States. But while the talented 17-year-old is playing for scouts, his village back home is decimated by a raging civil war, leaving his family broken and stranding Sooley thousands of miles away. This is so much more than a sports story. We felt every pang of hope and fear that drives Sooley to make it into the NBA so that he’ll finally have the resources to save the people he loves. Grisham paints a vivid portrait of the horrors of war, but also of the unbreakable human spirit. Sooley is a deeply moving read about the power of hope in the face of even the worst tragedy.
Grisham (A Time for Mercy) shoots an airball in this sappy novel about a South Sudanese teen's journey from his impoverished home to the world of American sports. Samuel Sooleymon, 17, described as the best basketball player in his village of Lotta, is invited to try out for South Sudan's national basketball team amid the civil war's relative peace. Despite undeveloped passing and shooting skills, Sooleymon's natural athleticism appeals to the national team's coach, Ecko Lam. With Sooleymon away in the U.S. for an exhibition game, a rebel rampage through Lotta is described in grisly detail, with the fate of his family uncertain. When Sooleymon learns of the attack, he's determined to return home, but Lam convinces him there's nothing he can do. Eventually, he accepts a full scholarship at North Carolina Central, where he's nicknamed Sooley, dedicates himself to practicing, and determines to gain attention from the NBA so he can earn the money needed to bring his family to the U.S. As Sooley's star begins to rise, though, Grisham tosses in a jarring tragic episode, and clunky foreshadowing and thin characters, such as Sooley's love interest, don't help. This is a disappointing outing from a writer capable of much better. Agent: David Gernert, the Gernert Co.