Sooley by John Grisham


Book Title: Sooley
Author: John Grisham
Format: Paperback

John Grisham is a celebrated author for many reasons. Most of his books are based on courtroom dramas. During the 90s, US courtroom dramas from him were absolute treats and informative too.  It is indeed from his books many scenes related to court, trials, and law firms, etc. were introduced to many readers, primarily Indian readers.

It is not exaggerating to mention that many young readers dreamt and chose law as a profession by reading his books.  His books give the readers information on the law basics, the relationship between law and politics, corporate lifestyle, and its pros and cons in detail. Some other reasons like social and political issues, the ways to tackle them, corruption and crime face of the other side of the country and people also involved reasonably entertain.


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Most of the web series now that are available that deal with law and spying as subjects were long before introduced in John Grisham’s books.

Coming to his new book that was released in March 2021, Sooley is a pleasant surprise to the readers. Moving away from his usual writing style and weaving the story around court, law, and politics, this story is about a person from the African country Sudan and basketball. Being not his pet genre, i.e. the legal thrillers, this book is different. Though he talked about baseball and football in his previous works, this book is quite an attempt.

The story of Sooley is an intertwining between the many tragedies of the African continent, most of Sudan. The civil wars that made masses of people move away from the country, economic crisis, and political vendetta that prevails still have taken center stage in the story. His research and co-relation between African politics and basketball sport are absolutely stunning.

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Born into a family that is in the hemisphere of a political environment that does atrocities on its countrymen to stare and die for the oil companies’ existence, Samuel Sooleymon or Sooley, the central character, is a 17-year-old guy who loves basketball. At this juncture, NBA Talent Hunter Ecko Lam scouts various countries for future players, and his encounter with Sooley makes him bring the new talented teenager to the USA. Sooley joins the college and also prepares himself to play.

While this is the story’s plot, on the other side, his family becomes refugees and lives in extremely derogated situations. His life in the USA is much more different, and he also is a prospective immigrant of the country! Though Sooley maybe John Grisham’s first basketball story, his writing prowess in presenting the readers with entertaining morality stands on top.

He often focuses on the issues that are discussed and debated in the national and international media. In this book, readers move between politics and basketball exploits in America and the suffering of citizens in African refugee camps.

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The game is also described in detail. But, there are some critic reviews\comments on the book few from the former players, that some points mentioned in the book about the game stand absurd. While shrugging out such comments, as a reader of his works for many years, I recommend this book to every Grisham book lover!

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Read the Storizen Magazine August 2021 issue here.