Ford County, spanning 320 pages, is the first collection of short stories, set in Mississippi, by John Grisham. As you embark on this adventurous journey, you are introduced to the characters, which at first baffle you, but as you travel further, they start intriguing you, and by the time you reach the end, they sink in and stay there for a long time.
Seven tales, exemplifying the human facets of love, care, hatred, vengeance, greed, guilt, taboo, humanity, conjure up extreme emotions in you, and that, is what makes it worth a read.
Blood Drive: The three blokes set out on a bizarre road trip in an attempt of performing a heroic action of saving their friend’s life. Hell breaks loose when they take a detour and end up in a hospital injured and charged with felony.
Fetching Raymond: A mother, along with her two sons, ventures out to bid her youngest son, on the death row, the final farewell. It takes us through the chaotic lives each one of them had led.
Fish Files: A lousy lawyer receives a call on one fine day which changes his life forever.
Casino: The love for his wife and the hatred for her rich boyfriend cause him to bring down a million dollar casino.
Michael’s Room: A lawyer is abducted by a man and is hauled to a place where he comes face to face with his inhuman deeds of the past. The heart wrenching story makes you ponder over the evil existing in the society.
Quiet Haven: A man posing as an attendant appears in an old age home. Towards the end of the story, his ulterior motive comes to light. But in the process, the little joys he brings to the sick, old and dying residents are soul soothing.
Funny boy: A young white boy counting his last days of AIDS is abandoned by the family and how a black woman breaks down the walls of hatred and makes his last days tolerable by tending him, hits you hard.
A tale, when told, can either brush by you or draw you in. Blood Drive, due to its hilarious nature, fish files, with its nail-biting-twists and Quiet Haven, on account of its cryptic element, succeeded in engaging me till the end, when the need of blinking felt like a task.
The rest, although built colorful characters, lacked the intensity that makes you one with the story. Despite the downsides, the boisterous and the wild feel to all the tales, reflecting the society which has nursed the anomalies forever, and the interesting characters he has brought to life, make it worth the company.