Prime Camino Island By John Grisham – Andy-palmer.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 290 pages
  • Camino Island
  • John Grisham
  • English
  • 24 April 2017
  • 9780385543026

10 thoughts on “Camino Island

  1. says:

    I m a great Grisham fan, and I can say without a doubt that this is not one of his best works The truth is, the book goes from very fast and very gripping to very slow and very girly far too quickly It s like reading two different books intertwined, and I couldn t care less about the second one I seriously doubt John Grisham wrote the whole thing Some of the portions where the girl s POV is adopted are just too intimately girly in style to have been written by him I m not saying girly in a negative sense at all, just a matter of tastes, but I have this very strong feeling that he had some help from a female ghostwriter, one who writes VERY differently from John Grisham.When I buy a Grisham book, I DO NOT want to end up reading a ghostwritten novel where the innocent girl with no personality ends up in bed with the rough, handsome and mysterious boss of the local literary world WTF Loved the beginning and the end, that actually sound like Grisham, but the middle section was a huge letdown, and it has a COMPLETELY off sound My guess and warning is, this is ghost writing gone too far Also, the main character Mercer is an absolutely unbearable, pretentious woman with no likable feature at all Maybe the woman who wrote that part of the book put her own personality into Mercer I don t know what to think.


  2. says:

    Back with another new novel, John Grisham seeks to expand his horizons with a story free of much legalese, but with the slightest hint of some criminal activity A heist at one of Princeton s libraries puts a number of original F Scott Fitzgerald s manuscripts in the hands of some career criminals Quick acting FBI agents are able to scoop up two of the five, but the others are still in hiding, along with the manuscripts When one is rumoured to have surfaced at a small book shop on Camino Island, the FBI s Rare Asset Recovery Unit pegs Bruce Kabel as being involved and plan keep an eye on his bookselling operation Meanwhile, Mercer Mann is approached by a private security firm to help with the reacquisition of the manuscripts under the guise of writing her next novel Mercer has struggled with her craft and is not sure she wants to play sleuth, particularly if it means returning to Camino Island, where she spent many summers with her grandmother Taking a risk, Mercer agrees to open some old wounds and pretends to be writing, while surrounding herself with the local writing community Slowly, Mercer begins building bridges with Bruce Kabel, in hopes of learning about the manuscripts However, as she grows closer to an answer, Mercer may have second thoughts of toppling all she has built in a short period of time With millions of dollars on the line, Mercer must decide what is most important to her Grisham shows that he has talent to pen novels that keep lawyers and the law outside of the narrative Sure to appeal to a different group of readers, the story offers some interesting insight into the craft of writing the next great novel I have long been a fan of John Grisham and his novels, having cut my teeth on his legal thrillers throughout the years This story differs greatly from those and serves a completely different purpose While the legal thrillers are usually quite sharp edged, this book shows a much smoother edge to Grisham s writing The characters offer an interesting mix, giving the reader a great sampling of both mannerisms and characteristics that complement one another at times and clash at moments to offer some dramatic flavour to the story One might say that the characters are a lot softer than Grisham usually presents, but the genre might play into that, alongside the intended audience The plot and setting are also a much softer, transitioning from the rough and tumble heist at the beginning to the oceanfront setting of Florida, where the breeze and sand denote a peaceful place for the book to develop One also has a feel of romance and emotional discovery in this book, where the reader is subjected to Mercer s inner turmoil and portions of her self discovery as she grows closer to the man she is supposed to betray Its structure also left me a little baffled, choosing chapters in what are surely part divisions and then chopping up the chapters into enumerated pieces, clearly of the usual chapter variety I will admit that the book was well crafted and kept the story moving forward, but I feel it tapped too much into sentimentality and the development of the author s process than gritty legal battles and a dark exploration of the criminal element, which better suits Grisham as an author and my enjoyment of his stories This book will surely create a stir, both good and bad, for the vast number of Grisham fans I am happy to have offered my five Canadian cents and will watch as things transpire Kudos, Mr Grisham for another interesting novel While it was not my favourite, your versatility shines through by penning this piece I am eager to see how it is received Like hate the review An ever growing collection of others appears at


  3. says:

    Your secrets are safe I can t think of a soul I would want to tell And these secrets are within a crime A jumbo, over the top, kick in the door of modern literature, and pull down the shades type of heist Dollar signs that even have dollar signs.When a group of well rehearsed thieves make their way into the tombs of Princeton s lower vaulted depths, they come away with a golden grail in the form of original hand written manuscripts of F Scott Fitzgerald Miraculously, they stage enough diversions that they escape the university grounds and burrow into their hideouts But the coast is not always clear just because time passes A flubadub occurs and two of the members are caught Each of them utter not a word Clear sailing for the others Maybe yes and maybe no.Advice to oneself ala Grisham Write what you know.So Grisham parachutes this story into the waiting arms of a bookstore owner in a small town on Camino Island in Florida Bruce Cable interesting name in regard to ol Bruce s widely growing circuit in the book world doesn t always ring his daily sales on his cash register Bruce dabbles, on occasion, in the darker side of intellectual exchange A first print version in impeccable condition sends his heart racing..almost as much as a shapely woman swinging her hips and opening the bookstore door at the same time.Enter Mercer Mann who grew up on Camino Island and is a fledgling writer with a brief kiss of fame She s now broke, unemployed, and somewhat bewildered when she s approached by a mysterious woman A deal is struck in which Mercer will go undercover and try to get the goods on the elusive Bruce Cable Mercer doesn t realize that someone else may be trying to get a foothold into Cable s backdoor operations as well.John Grisham presents quite a different read this time We are immersed in the world of books and the intricate mechanisms of publishing Dinner conversations abound with the chatter of authors bantering on about their books It almost has the flavor of Hemingway and his feasts in Paris in the 1920 s with his jaunty friends And the drinks flow just as hard and fast.I enjoyed this one despite the fact that there is not a courtroom in sight as in Grisham s golden days The heist itself seems to provide background noise There wasn t the usual high tension as in times past In addition, you may feel somewhat of a nudge that his character choices and dialogue have a bit of a different flavor for him this go round And different can be good.Now the endinga swift kick in the pants and a wry smile.


  4. says:

    I know it s been a few several years since I read Grisham, but, my gosh, he has changed Often accused of cranking out legal thrillers and following a specific formula, maybe he wanted to depart to a simpler, softer, feminine style If that was his intention, he succeeded I found the subject matter very entertaining, otherwise I probably would not have finished it The mystery not much of a mystery at all revolves around some stolen manuscripts that are worth millions in the literary world The reader gets to learn a bit about the black market as we follow the actual theft of F Scott Fitzgerald s original Gatsby manuscript from Princeton University We follow the stolen papers and see how they eventually end up on Camino Island, Florida, in the hands of Bruce Cable, a local bookstore owner.The story is light and entertaining IF you are interested in writing or literary history Grisham provides tons of anecdotes about Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and others He also has definite opinions on what makes a good book He has a list of bulletpoints for anyone attempting to write fiction and it is really funny and spot on.The setting is beautiful and tropical and the writing is just as easy, breezy as you please No hard hitting legalese to be found A few interesting tidbits about FBI technological advances, but that s about it in the way of any procedural information So, no cops or lawyers to speak of, just one English teacher writer who goes undercover to try and bring down Bruce Cable I wasn t a big fan of our girl, Mercer Mann She thought she was so good at this spying job she fell into and she comes across as incredibly naive with a big ego at the same time Weird Hard to relate to or root for.I found Bruce very interesting and wish there was of his story.I also could have done without all the romance stuff ick Romance in a Grisham novel What s the world coming to The story is going along and all of a sudden, it s epilogue time and all over It truly feels cut short and too abrupt This could be a nice short book for the plane or the beach But, only if you go in knowing there isn t a mystery or any thriller scenes typically found in a Grisham novel.


  5. says:

    What a fun summer read I haven t read a John Grisham book since the 90s, but I picked up Camino Island after seeing a positive review I was intrigued because the story is a departure from Grisham s usual legal thrillers The plot is that priceless manuscripts by F Scott Fitzgerald were stolen from a Princeton library, and the hunt is on to catch the thieves and save the papers.The novel starts off with a thrill as we watch the gang of thieves go about the heist As a librarian and also as someone who wants literary archives to be protected, I liked that Grisham completely made up the details of the theft and didn t base it on the real library layout, because he didn t want anyone trying to imitate the crime in real life After the Fitzgerald manuscripts are stolen, we watch the police and FBI work the case, but when the trail goes cold, investigators decide to send in someone undercover.Enter Mercer, an aspiring novelist who is tasked with infiltrating the social world of Bruce Cable, a bookseller in Camino Island, Florida, who is suspected of purchasing the stolen manuscripts Mercer meets Bruce and some other writers in the area, and I really enjoyed the literary discussions they had I won t spoil the ending of the mystery, but I was satisfied with how the plot was resolved.I enjoy reading books about books, so it was fitting that I liked this literary mystery so much The dialogue is a bit on the nose at times, but I enjoyed this novel so much that it seems silly to quibble Recommend for those who like bookish thrillers.Favorite Quotes Some writers are seasoned raconteurs with an endless supply of stories and quips and one liners Others are reclusive and introverted souls who labor in their solitary worlds and struggle to mix and mingle Mercer was somewhere in between Writers are generally split into two camps those who carefully outline their stories and know the ending before they begin, and those who refuse to do so upon the theory that once a character is created he or she will do something interesting Why do writers suffer so much It s because the writing life is so undisciplined There s no boss, no supervisor, no time clock to punch or hours to keep Write in the morning, write at night Drink when you want to Cable s Rules For Writing Fiction, a brilliant how to guide put together by an expert who s read over four thousand books I hate prologues I just finished a novel by a guy who s touring and will stop by next week He always starts every book with the typical prologue, something dramatic like a killer stalking a woman or a dead body, then will leave the reader hanging, go to chapter 1, which, of course, has nothing to do with the prologue, then go to chapter 2, which, of course, has nothing to do with either chapter 1 or the prologue, then after about thirty pages slam the reader back to the action in the prologue, which by then has been forgotten Another rookie mistake is to introduce twenty characters in the first chapter Five s enough and won t confuse your reader Next, if you feel the need to go to the thesaurus, look for a word with three syllables or fewer I have a nice vocabulary and nothing ticks me off than a writer showing off with big words I ve never seen before Next, please use quotation marks with dialogue otherwise it s bewildering Rule Number Five Most writers say too much, so always look for things to cut, like throwaway sentences and unnecessary scenes There should be a rule in publishing that debut novels are limited to three hundred pages, don t you think


  6. says:

    I got like 140 pages in and did a lot of eye rolling, skipped ahead to read the ending and then rolled my eyes one last time and moved on.


  7. says:

    I enjoyed this than some other recent John Grisham novels I have read Many parts of it were 3 stars and many parts were 4 stars I will compromise at 3.5 stars but round up to 4 on the official scale since I have been so harsh on Grisham lately The main appeal of this book is that books are central to the theme Hardcore readers which most of you probably are will appreciate the discussion of bookstore business politics, book values, first edition collecting, and book heists All of that was what kept me in this right up to the very end.The story was just okay some of the plot points convenient and convoluted It is fiction, so of course the author is making it up, but I want there to be at least some sense that the events are plausible In this case, it seemed like any time Grisham wanted something to fit he would be like, Well, it just so happens that over here is the exact thing we were discussing It s a bit silly, but only mildly distracting.One thing I liked a lot compared to Grisham s recent efforts is that it felt fresh and unique Normally, it feels like he is using the same formula and it is getting stale But, in this case the mystery was different than anything I have seen in one of his books before.Finally, I go back to one of the things that amuses me about Grisham the most I feel like he plans his plot and scenes around food I dare you to try and find a Grisham where he doesn t mention what people are eating every few pages, characters are not planning a get together based around food, or the main character doesn t stop of somewhere for beer and burgers to contemplate what just happened It makes me laugh every time


  8. says:

    Every time I read a book by John Grisham, I am consistently reminded of what a great storyteller he is His style is compact, direct and to the point, and pulls you in immediately I wasn t 10 pages into his new book Camino Island and I knew that I would be spending most of the day focused on reading it The good news is that it was worth it.Rather than focusing on lawyers, it takes aim at the world of bookstores, publishing, and writers It begins with a skillful heist of five John F Fitzgerald manuscripts from a secure vault below Princeton s Firestone Library The manuscripts end up in a secondary black market and a young female writer, Mercer Mann, is hired to go undercover an investigate a popular independent bookstore owner and prominent dealer in rare books that is thought to have or know who is in possession of the manuscripts Using a background that is second nature to Grisham works well and provides interesting tidbits and name dropping throughout the book As usual, Mercer is in over her head and the reader is right there with her The plot develops fast and flows well His prose is easy to read and take in as the pages meld together in a character driven adventure that captures your attention Even though this book is one of his shorter ones just under 300 pages , it is well worth the time Overall, Grisham knows how to tell a story that readers enjoy I especially appreciated his respectful name dropping of Stephen King, support for independent bookstores, a nice small shot at The question to ask myself is whether I ever really read a bad Grisham book Although some are better than others, the answer is no All of them have been good, better, or best If you re honest, you are probably nodding your head right now Camino Island is one of the better ones Just try it.


  9. says:

    Seldom has such a good premise and beginning of a novel fallen as far and as fast as this The story languishes with not one, but two inept agencies looking for perpetrators, despite apprehending some immediately The weak and incomplete ending finishes this bottomless piece 0 of 10 stars


  10. says:

    This isn t a John Grisham book , it s a bit of froth It s starts off well with The Heist that s not a spoiler it s the title of the first chapter Then it descends into aimless meanderings among the colony of authors on the island Almost zero suspense Absolutely zero thrills The ending was phoned in If you want an extremely gentle ride through the soporific world of book authors then it will be good I suppose Otherwise grab a different Grisham book I m a huge fan by the way.To be fair I think Grisham was indeed trying for something different He succeeded He found an audience for it obviously and that s great I just wanted to give you a heads up before you spend your bucks.


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Camino Island A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University s Firestone Library Their loot is priceless, but Princeton has insured it for twenty five million dollars.Bruce Cable owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy resort town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida He makes his real money, though, as a prominent dealer in rare books Very few people know that he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books and manuscripts.Mercer Mann is a young novelist with a severe case of writer s block who has recently been laid off from her teaching position She is approached by an elegant, mysterious woman working for an evenmysterious company A generous offer of money convinces Mercer to go undercover and infiltrate Bruce Cable s circle of literary friends, ideally getting close enough to him to learn his secrets.But eventually Mercer learns far too much, and there s trouble in paradise as only John Grisham can deliver it.


About the Author: John Grisham

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60 70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby writing his first novel.Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of