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The Rainmaker - John Grisham

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Author: John Grisham / Genre: Crime / Thriller

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      20.03.2010 20:22
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      good read

      .


      The rainmaker is a book by John Grisham and like most (if not all) of his books are based on the law industry. This book is based on a young lawyer called Rudy Baylor. The book starts out when Rudy is just finishing law school and is life is not going according to plan. Initially, Rudy is going through a rough time, struggling to finish school, his prospects of employment after school seem low, he's in lots of debt, no girlfriend, few friends and no family to support him either.

      Initially when I started reading this book I did not like the main character at all. He seemed selfish, annoying and weak. There did not seem to be anything to like about the character and so I did not initially enjoy the book however as I kept reading it, I did start to feel a bit more interest. The character matures more as the story progresses especially as his term of school finishes. The story centres around a case that Rudy obtains (by accident) and how he has this one case which is against a multi national company and he needs to fight it amongst very experienced corporate lawyers and how he goes about this. I won't spoil the plot as I do recommend this book to read however it can be slightly predictable at times and although there are some twists I don't think the reader will be entirely shocked by the turn of events.

      As mentioned earlier the character does mature and he becomes a good lawyer, good friend and he becomes someone that the reader will end up liking and hoping that he will come out on top.

      I recommend this book as a read that you don't have to think about too much and is just good entertainment.

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      09.05.2008 17:02
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      Good court based legal thriller

      I have always quite liked John Grisham books but have found that he has struggled to live up to the level set by his iggest success The Firm however with his sixth novel The Rainmaker he went some way to equally the quality of The Firm.

      Once agian the action is set within the legal field with a focus on court room actions. The basic plot involves the story being told from the view point of the main character Rudy Baylor. Rudy is a student in the last few days of his time at law school and he has been successful and already has a job lind up and some cases to work on when he starts. However he comes into contact with the rather shady side of the legal profession in the form of a lawyer known as "Bruiser" Stone and this leads Rudy into a downward spiral as his luck begins to run out.

      Grisham is skilled at weaving an excellent story from a good solid plot and this book is certainly an entertaining and gripping read. I like the way that the story flows and certainly was a bit more challengng to read with a number of plot twists compared with hs other work.

      The first person style of writing is not one I always like as it can feel a bit restrictive however in the case of this particular story it works well.

      This is one of the better John Grisham books and as such is well worth reading.

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        08.05.2008 13:08
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        The Rainmaker - John Grisham's 6th novel

        The Rainmaker is the 6th novel from award winning legal thriller author John Grisham. It has been made into a blockbusting film, as have his previous 5 books.

        The Plot

        Rudy Baylor is in his final year of law school. As part of his course, he is required to give free legal advice to a number of senior citizens. He meets Dot and Buddy Black, whose son Donny Ray is dying of leukamia, and their insurance company won't pay for any legal fees. Rudy investigates the case, and finds that the company, a nationally hugely successful insurance company, may have been negligent in their refusal to mistreat Donny Ray, and it may have led to his worsened condition. As Rudy juggles finishing law school with finding his feet and surviving with no money, he finds himself embroiled in the case and enlists the help of the shifty paralegal Deck Shifflet, whose heart appears to be in the right place even if his dodgy goings on have restricted him to paralegal and no further. The combination of the two men will have to be enough against such a big insurance company, and as the case proceeds, the rpessures mount and a chain of events starts to occur.

        My Opinion

        Grisham returns to the courtroom in this, his 6th novel. His first novel, A Time To Kill, featured the courtroom a lot, and his following four novels did not. Here, it is a welcome return and very well crafted, with the character of Rudy Baylor very well treated in terms of innocence and knowledge. Youth and naivety work against him, which is where the character of Deck comes in. He doesn't so much have the innocence and youth and access to the courtroom, but he has common sense and a will to survive, and the combination of the two men is marvellous.

        The clever thing Grisham does here is to examine the whole span of the legal profession in the States. Not only does he examine the noble side of characters such as Rudy and the heart of Deck, he also touches on characters such as Bruiser, sa former legal heavyweight who has succumbed to the sleazy side of the legal profession and solves matters outside the courtroom quite often. In examining the defense for the insurance company, we are shown by Grisham the mind games often employed by lawyers in throwing a load of big gun hotshot lawyers at the one law student Rudy Baylor trying to make a difference. It shows the lack of balance and justice we sometimes see in the courtroom, not just in America, but the whole world over, and that nothing is ever just plain and simple.

        Overall, Grisham has done very well here. It is not his best novel, indeed, he would do well do scratch the surface of his excellent debut novel A Time To Kill, but this is still a very good foray into the legal world, with some intense courtroom scenes and some snappy dialogue sequences.

        Conclusion

        A snappy read, very hard to put down, and a pleasure once again to experience the skill of the pen of John Grisham.

        I rate this book at 4 stars out of 5.

        The book is available from amazon.co.uk for £4.49.

        This review may also be posted on ciao.co.uk.

        Thanks for reading.

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          09.01.2007 17:27
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          Switch your brain to fun - now enjoy

          Why don’t we like the big guy? Ever since David stuck one in the eye of Goliath we have always routed for the little one. In Britain this often takes the form of sporting events with people supporting the minnows against the might of someone like Chelsea or Man U. Whatever the situation the chances are you dislike the big guy – because you’re jealous. That’s right, jealous. They have more money, better looks and more power – don’t you just hate them. In this case there is little justification for your attitude but sometimes this is not true; sometimes the big guy is not nice and deserves everything they suffer. ‘The Rainmaker’ highlights one such case.

          Rudy Baylor is about to leave law school and is looking for work. He has a dream job set up but that has since fallen through leaving him with few possibilities. As part of his studies he stumbles across a case that could kick start his life – a young man (Donny Ray) is dying of cancer even though he has a twin brother that has matching bone marrow. The problem lies with the insurance company who refused to pay for the operation even though Donny Ray’s parents have paid their premiums. Rudy must fight for the right of this poor family against a corrupt insurance company; not to save Donny Ray’s life, but to revenge his inevitable death. Rudy’s only aid is in the form of dubious paralegal Deck Shifflet. By combining their knowledge and a whole lot of luck, they might just win justice (and a whole lot of cash)

          What Grisham does in the best of his work is highlight some of the grimier sides of the legal profession. ‘The Rainmaker’ does not try to make all lawyers seem either good or bad but instead shows them as ambitious real people. The character of Rudy could have been written as a holier than thou young man who is setting out to make the law a better place to work. However, Grisham sticks to what is perhaps more truthful and suggests that Rudy only takes the case as a means to advance his own career. These flawed characters are always Grisham’s best assets and even though Rudy does have a negative side he learns to really care for the people involved. This central journey is a highlight.

          Another highlight is the handling of the case itself. Grisham does not spend every page in the court room but shows the reader the ins and outs of how the lawyers really work. This includes tapping phones, intimidating witnesses and bribing authority. The story is advanced further by the way in which Grisham gets you hating the insurance company. He populates this company with the sleaziest characters and makes you want to go all out for their blood. By creating a great central; character, story and enemy Grisham succeeds in drawing the reader into a fast paced and fun legal thriller.

          However, for all the positives that this style of writing brings it also brings a sense of unreality. Many parts of the book read more like a fairy story than a true to life situation. The amount of good fortune that Rudy gets is far too much to believe. This stopped me from reading the book from a legal thriller standpoint and instead I began reading it as a legal romp. This is no bad thing and the book is still a lot of fun, but for readers that like their novels to be somewhat close to real life – avoid this.

          Another minor problem with ‘The Rainmaker’ is the lack of development of the smaller characters and side plots. Deck is introduced as a leading part of the story but when it comes down to it he spends the entire book in the background. The worst problem comes with the side story about Rudy falling for a battered wife and how he tries to help her divorce her abusing husband. This plot line pops up several times throughout the book but you do not get any feeling of connection towards it as you are too busy wanting to get back to the main thrust of the book. The fact that the book is pretty cheesy and outrageous in parts actually makes these problems not seem so important. The main case involving Rudy and the insurance company is so gripping that Grisham was probably correct in concentrating his efforts here.

          Overall, I found ‘The Rainmaker’ a great read. It can not be taken as a serious legal novel but as a modern day moral tale against corrupt and greedy corporations – it’s cool. The character of Rudy is likeable and his antics along with the case itself are easily good enough to keep you reading. ‘A Time to Kill’ still remains Grisham’s best work in my opinion as this has the added realism that detracts slightly from the impact of ‘The Rainmaker’.

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            22.12.2003 17:51
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            It would seem that a lot of my recent opinions are coming about after conversations with various other members. And it was one such conversation that I realised that I still hadn't done an op on another of my favourite Grisham books, Rainmaker. With the number of books Grisham has now written and the speed at which he seems currently to be writing I am starting to fall behind in catching up with the latest books due to my discovering new authors kick. However Grisham will remain a firm favourite and its books such as this that will keep me coming back to Grisham's work. A former lawyer he decided back in the early 90's that he would try his hand at writing novels and as a result A Time to Kill was written and released and there was no looking back. The majority of his work is based on the law profession and rather than using heavy law terms that no-one would understand he simplifies everything to make it an easier read. The main character is Rudy a young student just about to graduate Law school, before going on to work for a small law firm. However on a visit to a community centre as part of his course he picks up a couple of cases. The first is a Miss Birdie, a nice old lady who wants Rudy to rewrite her will for her. This is a pretty straightforward case, but Rudy finds that Miss Birdie has over $20 million and having her as a client will look good for his future employers. The second case however grabs his attention a lot more. Mrs Black and her husband have taken out an insurance policy for their son Donnie Ray who has leukaemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Despite the fact they have paid everything on time the Insurance company say the claim is invalid and refuse to pay the Black's any money despite being asked 8 times and denying it on all occasions. Rudy then has a major problem, as his job falls through after his future company is merged with one of the cities biggest Law firms and there is no jo
            b there for him. He ends up working for a small, rather dodgy law firm where he spends his days sitting in hospitals "Ambulance Chasing". After sometime he grows disenchanted and decides to try the case on his own. Can Rudy beat the Insurance company and what about Miss Birdie's estate, well there's only one way to find out. Now that's just a brief outline of the plot as with most of Grisham's novels he has a number of sub plots going on. Which is one of the aspects of his books that I really enjoy. Despite there being a main storyline there is always something else happening linked loosely with the main Plot. Its factors such as this that really draw you into it, meaning you find its very hard to put the book down. The way Grisham builds up his main character in this case Rudy is also a big factor in the readability. He makes his characters seem very realistic and compassionate towards other people. Of course having characters that people can identify with makes the book a lot easier to read as you really warm to them. The relationships between Rudy and his clients and also his co-workers and the other students develop well throughout the book and its small details like this that make Grisham one of my favourite authors. The simplistic nature of Grisham’s description of the law is that he uses simple to follow terms for those people who aren’t really up on law terminology. Now this opens his books up to a larger audience giving more people the chance to read some of his material. It also helps that with books like this one his chapters are reasonably short and come thick and fast keeping the book flowing and making it a more enjoyable read. This is one of the earlier books I’ve read and is a prime example of why Grisham made the right choice giving up being a lawyer to take on writing on a permanent basis. He writes books that are suitable for everyone, not just those into the thrille
            r genre and with the ease of his explanations making the book even more enjoyable. Yes you have to keep a lot of things in your mind when you are reading the book but I fell this helps make it more enjoyable. If you fancy picking it up then try amazon.co.uk for £5.59

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              03.03.2002 01:43
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              < RAINMAKER - a person (as a partner in a law firm) who brings in new business; also One who is known for achieving excellent results in a profession or field, such as business or politics. > This is John Grisham’s 6th novel and the 2nd set in the courtroom (A Time To Kill being the first). An intriguing and amusing look at the law told from the point of view of newly graduated lawyer Rudy Baylor. Rudy looks set as he approaches the closing days of law school, he has a job and will finish in the top half of his class and has two promising cases to take with him. But all is about to change for young Rudy as lady luck is about to deal him a bitter blow. This causes Rudy to fall by the way of “Bruiser” Stone, a lawyer at the bottom of the profession more crooked than the crooks he represents. With no home, the police on his back and a somewhat shady job will his two cases be able to save him? Rudy is about to find himself head deep with the big boys. Told in the first person this is an unusual book that could loose the reader before it even begins. Grisham solves this problem with his fresh sense of humour and intelligent plot both of which are developed in the first few pages. You soon forget the style of writing as you get drawn in and by the time you reach a quarter of the way through it actually becomes enjoyable. The characters are gritty and real (made human by their strengths and weaknesses) and even the most inconsequential of them have purpose even if he does occasionally make more of them than needed. The vividness and depth of writing makes it easy for you to feel the varied emotions often running at tangents without loosing your interest or confusing you. Probably one of his most complex books with the prominent storyline – little lawyer takes on huge corporation – being backed up by side helpings of romance, danger, friendship and much more. The basic outline is hardly original
              with dozens of books and films reproducing the old David vs. Goliath story recently but this one’s different in that it has flare and depth. Everyone from Rudy right on down to the less important Prince has a purpose and a fresh perspective. The obviousness of the plot is counteracted by the interlocking relationships between all the parties making it flow and keeping you gripped and page turning until the very early hours. Perhaps his only weakness is in his attempts at romance that I find at times boring and a little too convenient. He fails to develop his love interests beyond mere sexual attraction whereas the rest of the book has fast and furious intellectual exchanges blended with touches of soft compassion and emotional outbursts of anger and frustration which are simply delightful. The case is gripping but it’s not until close to half way through the novel that it actually starts leaving the first half to develop and nurture the wonderful relationships between all the concerned parties. It helped to give great depth on multiple layers to an otherwise over reproduced formula. Helping you to understand Rudy, the great Leo F Drummond of Tinley Britt and the relationship between the aforementioned Tinley Britt, Rudy and Judge Kipler who although only a small character adds lovely humour. Personally I feel that love interest, battered wife Kelly, could and should have been developed more, although needed this is without doubt the books week spot being obvious and rather one-dimensional. However his side kick the self named “paralawyer” Deck Schifflet is a splendid creation, he’s failed the bar exam 6 times and he’s Rudy’s best hope! His clients are splendidly written and you can’t help but feel compassion and sadness for Donny-Ray Black that leaves you lusting for blood by the end of the novel. There’s very little action, suspense or even drama but it’s the c
              haracters themselves that carry you along and Grisham’s strong writing. The book keeps you enthralled by it’s complex plots and side plots all seasoned with a sprinkling of good old fashioned “let um have it” emotions. The Rainmaker is a relatively short novel (598 pages) that begs to be read cover to cover in the shortest time possible, compelling and gripping it’s easy to re-read over and over and will have you both laughing out loud and sitting with tears in your eyes. The ending is predictable but you’ll be yearning for it none the less by the time the final pages approach. It’s books like this that makes everyone into a wannabe lawyer.

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                29.09.2001 13:53
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                If you have never read Grisham before, this book will make you a fan. If you have, The Rainmaker will be your favourite. Rudy Baylor is a rookie lawyer who is almost broke. The first case he ever bags is a case that even in his wildest dreams he could never hope to win. It is a bad faith case against a big insurance company. The insurance company could have saved a life if they had not denied a valid claim. Rudy Baylor's story is told in first person, using the simple present tense all through the book. Maintaining the interest of the reader throughout the substantially lengthy story using this kind of comparatively uncommon style of writing is indeed a feat and only a very confident writer would dare attempt it. John Grisham dares - and succeeds. Apart from fighting a case that seems almost impossible to win, Rudy has massive financial troubles and just to make thing really complicated he falls in love with a married woman who husband regularly beats he within an inch of her life. As always the courtroom scenes are relentlessly gripping. The legal machinery is depicted with authority, and why not? Mr Grisham was a lawyer himself. The novel has no sleazy sex and it has a dash of idealism; two features that I feel are becoming very rare in the best-selling fiction of today. As always with John Grisham the last few pages have a sting in their tail, and leaves you wondering how did it really end? It is all this and more that make The Rainmaker a real contender for my Top 10 favourite books.

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                04.09.2001 23:09
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                If you have read any of Grisham's stuff you will know that he concentrates on the legal profession.. In many ways the Rainmaker is no different but at the same time it is. This book is not about a bright top of the class lawyer that gets snapped up by a good firm. It is also not about wealthy lawyers who change their views on who they want to help...... The Rainmaker is about a young lawyer who has had to work hard throughout his time at law school to finance himself... He obtains an average grade...manages to secure a job before graduation.....and then..... BOOM...the rug is taken from under his feet. Rudy Baylor (the lawyer) finds that the company he is about to work for is to be taken over and that the new company is a high profile firm that does not take on average lawyers. The offer of a job falls through and Rudy finds that he has to fratically find a new job. Before Rudy graduated one of his classes was about issues that elderly people have with the law. As part of his class he was required to attend a neighbourhood group for the elderly and offer advise. Two of these cases were interesting and one could be quite lucrative. When his job falls through he hopes to use these cases as a tool to get people to employ him. The first case is a straight forward insurance case.... the second is the drawing up of a will, for a wealthy elderly woman. During his time at law school Rudy worked in a cafe. The owner is known as someone that may not have all things above board but he is a fair employer. The owner is also best buddies with a less than reputable lawyer. Rudy manages to find himself a job in a law firm that has been built up by someone thatfound himself in a similar position as Rudy years earlier.......but all does not go well...... the building goes on fire and a security guard killed and Rudy has got to answer some questions. Almost before he know what has h
                appened Rudy has to get some advice from his employers lawyer friend. During the conversation Rudy finds that his boss in the cafe has arranged for a job for Rudy with his lawyer friend. The deal and conditions are not the best to say the least and Rudy even has problems with regards to the ethics that the firm holds. But it is a stepping stone and he will be able to work for the bar exam. Rudy is told to be quite pushy about gain new clients and is often told to stake out hospitals. Rudy starts an unlikely friendship with a colleague in the firm that has failed the bar numerous times but seems willing to show Rudy the ropes... As a said earlier the chief lawyer in the firm is less than reputable and there is a feeling that the feds are closing in on the lawyer. Rudy has just past the bar exam and his colleague tips him off that the firm may be closed and all assets and cases seized by the federal agency. The head lawyer disappears and the office closed. Prior to this event Rudy and his colleague they decide to scavenge what they can from the firms cases and set up in business for themselves. Remember that old wealthy woman? Well Rudy has by this time moved into s small flat above her garage in exchange for a reasonable Rent and Gardening help. As for the second case that Rudy had it would seem that there is more to that than meets the eye. The delay in an insurance payout has left a young man seriously and terminally ill. Rudy decides to persue justice in this case. As it unfolds it becomes apparent that the lawyers for the defence of this case, just so happens to be the firm that failed to honour his first job. Can Rudy, the little man, overcome this coporate giant and gain a sweet revenge? ...Just when you think it can not get any more complexed..... Rudy begins to fall for a girl who gets beaten by her boyfriend... They met when he was staking
                out hospitals for new clients. Rudy gets emotionally attached and it culminates in a rather devasting finish. In order not to give it all away, I suggest that you find out by reading the book whether Rudy triumphs against the Insurance firm. Does he get the girl? And how does this all tie into the wealthy widow that he rents from? So there is the basic plot without giving yoo much away. I have been critised already on this so I will fill you in on why I like the book. I believe it is different from the high flying intelligent lawyer books of Grisham's. It's about the underdog & personal justice. As I have said it is complex and Grisham keeps you guessing as there are quite a few twists in the tale. Just when you have it sussed there is another wee twist. This aspect of the book means that it is hard to put down! Happy Reading!!!!!!

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                  27.11.2000 21:51
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                  One lawyer fresh out of law school and no firm will take him picks up a case on pro bono (voluntary work for the poor) of a young lad denied health insurance for lukemia even though he had health insurance from a door to door salesman. Rudy (the lawyer) takes on the insurance firm to the core even thought the son is now past treatment even though he had a perfect match in his brother's bone marrow, Rudy fights on for the principle and compensation for the family. This book takes you through the twists and turns and sub-plots of the life of a struggling lawyer living in the upstairs apartment of one of his eccentric clients. fighting for money and one of the big law firms to take him on as a new lawyer. Its up to him to choose right from wrong and discover that he can go on himself. In my opinion John Grisham is one of the best law novelists around and it is a good book and i would recommend it to anyone. Not one of his best but it is still a good read.

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                  13.09.2000 22:59
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                  Grisham is loved for his legal novel and you can't help to be absorbed with what he writes. The Rainmaker is no exception. It tells the story of a student, fresh out from law school, pitted against one of the biggesy Insurance companies in the US, defending a cancer victim by the name of Donny Ray. David versus Goliath with Grisham as the referee is the best way to describe this book. As soon as you begin this book you are faced with the Grisham writing style. Somehow he manages to get you gripped within the first few pages, and holds you in till the last. I have yet to read a book of his that hasn't held me throughout. There is so much to be gleamed from this story is it unbelieveable, as well as the cancer and fraudulent activities there is also the tales of a struggling law graduate, all to common in America, and the book even strays as far as to bring organised crime into it. Wonderfully shaped characters are yet another reason to love this book. They entrall you as much as the storyline themsleves. The first person perspective give so much more variation than usually found in thrillers. There are significant twists and turns to keep your interest from fading, but the main storyline never goes too far off track and keeps you totally absorbed. As alwasy with Grisham, the court scenes are the best, and in this novel there is no difference. I've read this book twice, and it was just as good the second time. Grisham at his best...

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                  04.09.2000 01:10
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                  A young lawyer , fresh out of law school discovers that an insurance company could have prevented a young man's death and sets out to recover millions in compensation for the family of the bereaved.The only hinderance being that he has no legal experience outside the classroom and pitiful resources.A David Vs Goliath battle ensures and every detail is described expertly by the author , John Grisham.A ripping yarn and well recommended to anyone who has ever enjoyed a John Grisham book.

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                    30.08.2000 18:24

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                    This book is another John Grisham lawyer book, and as usual, it is well written and very detailed, and allows yourself to loose yourself in the plot. It is centered around Rudy Baylor, a new law graduate who stumbles across a case where an insurance company refuses to pay out for a bone marrow transplant for a victim of luekemia. The story is of how they take the company, Great benefit to court, and Rudy and his partner, Deck, who isn't even a qualified lawyer take on the big firms at their own game. This provides great satisfaction to Rudy, as Tinley Britt, the lawyers representing Great Benefit, bought over the company that Rudy was to work for when he graduated. As ever, there's plenty of Drama - Rudy get's involved with a girl who his being beaten by her husband, and manages to find a home with an old lady reckoned to be worth millions. It's a compelling book, it has forced me to stay up late on too many occasions.

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                    22.08.2000 01:05
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                    This is a real triumph over adversity story. It is a work of romance and fiction but none the worse for any of that. This is a story of a small man taking a very large insurance company to court on behalf of a very poor family and winning. Our hero is a small-time lawyer who only just scraped his bar exam and is working for a dodgy firm. No luxuries or high salaries here. A family whose kid has leukemia is trying to claim on their insurance and being denied. Our hero takes them to court and ruins them. This is a great story and very exciting. There are a couple of under-stories too and they are both well written and add a 3D image to our hero. It's a happy-ever-after story and it's great.

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                    31.07.2000 05:06
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                    Dont you hate it when youre offered something, but when the time comes to claim, you are denied it on blatantly false grounds. In this wonderful book we are subjected to the plight of such a family, their son is dying of Leukemia and cant have the operation to save him as his insurance company wont pay on a technicality. Enter young lawyer Rudy Baylor and his less than perfect helper Deck Shifflet. Together they must take the case and see if they can take on the biggest company and best lawyers in town. Its a typical David vs Goliath story, but the way Grisham tells it is like its never been done before, he captures our imagination by playing on our feelings for the family, the lawyer and the insurance company. He makes us feel like taking part, wishing we were on the jury so we can help. Its a book where you want to always read one more chapter, like many of his books i finished it very quickly. I love this book beause its a similar tale to real life and makes you feel involved. Recommended to anyone.

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                      28.06.2000 17:49
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                      I have to say this is one of the best books I've ever read. The book is revolved around Rudy Baylor, a newly qualified lawyer and his two accounts. The first, and the main part of the story, is Mrs Black and her son who is dying of leukaemia. They are a poor family fighting against a very rich and large medical insurance organisation, who have refused to pay for the operation he needs to save his life. Rudy takes their case, and being very inexperienced himsef the following events make for more than compelling reading. The second account is a Mrs Bird, and the making of her will and her hidden 'fortunes', this is like a story within a story and involves more of Rudy's personal life. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down and even if you have already seen and enjoyed the film I would still say give the book a read....you won't be disappointed.

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