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John Grisham s five novels A Time To Kill, The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, and The Chamber have been number one best sellers, and have a combined total of 47 million copies in print Now, in The Rainmaker, Grisham returns to the courtroom for the first time since A Time To Kill, and weaves a riveting tale of legal intrigue and corporate greed Combining suspense, narrative momentum, and humor as only John Grisham can, this is another spellbinding read from the most popular author of our time.Grisham s sixth spellbinding novel of legal intrigue and corporate greed displays all of the intricate plotting, fast paced action, humor, and suspense that have made him the most popular author of our time In his first courtroom thriller since A Time To Kill, John Grisham tells the story of a young man barely out of law school who finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America and exposing a complex, multibillion dollar insurance scam In hs final semester of law school Rudy Baylor is required to provide free legal advice to a group of senior citizens, and it is there that he meets his first clients, Dot and Buddy Black Their son, Donny Ray, is dying of leukemia, and their insurance company has flatly refused to pay for his medical treatments While Rudy is at first skeptical, he soon realizes that the Blacks really have been shockingly mistreated by the huge company, and that he just may have stumbled upon one of the largest insurance frauds anyone s ever seen and one of the most lucrative and important cases in the history of civil litigation The problem is, Rudy s flat broke, has no job, hasn t even passed the bar, and is about to go head to head with one of the best defense attorneys and powerful industries in America From the Hardcover edition. One of Grisham s books that I forgot I had read a long time back Very good I m alone and outgunned, scared and inexperienced, but I m right Smooth, savvy, satisfying I think this is my new favorite John Grisham novel While not heavy on scholarly nuance, it has some depth and is crisp, right hearted, expertly paced and reads like ice cold lemonade on the porch in summertime Please feel free to mentally substitute the simile hot toddy curled up in front of a fire in winter if you prefer While this page turner is a very easy read, I wouldn t call this light as Grisham does a good job infusing the narrative with a sense of importance and emotional attachment vis a vis the characters and the central plot Grisham knows his subject and has a knack for dispensing highly digestible tales that quickly suck his readers into the middle of the story where they remain engaged until the end I can think of worse ways to spend time than reading this author s work.PLOT SUMMARY We meet Rudy Baylor when he has not yet finished his third year of Law School at Memphis State We get a scratchy taste of the less than glamorous job market search for non elite students as Rudy is smart, but middle of the pack He s an everyman and we can relate to him and the choices with which he is confronted All students enter law school with a certain amount of idealism and desire to serve the public, but after three years of brutal competition we care for nothing but the right job with the right firm where we can make partner in seven years and earn big bucks Through a series of missteps, bad luck and the realities of lawyers than legal positions, Rudy finds himself working for J Lyman Bruiser Stone, a shady, shark like ambulance chaser who makes serious bank not so secretly owning most of the topless bars and nightclubs in Memphis Tip of the cap to Grisham as Bruiser is a great character Rudy gets teamed up with another wonderful, morally lenient character named Deck Shifflet Deck has failed the bar six times and basically practices law without a license as a paralawyer Together, we watch two very struggling guys trying to scratch out a living in the overcrowded, lawyer eat lawyer world of Memphis Law There is a well done blooming romance between Rudy and an abused wife and some comic relief involving a nettlesome grandma out to re write her will to cut off her ungrateful kin However, the steak of this meal is a bad faith claim against an insurance company, Great Benefit The whoreporation wrongfully denied coverage for a bone marrow transplant that would have save Donny Ray Black, a young man dying of Leukemia We watch Rudy s trial by fire as he is thrown in the deep end battling the evil insurance company and its massive team of 1000 hr litigators from the Pole in the Keester mega law firm THOUGHTS The inner workings of the courtroom and legal proceedings are handled lightly with sparse details and the concatenation of circumstances leading to the final verdict do not always rigorously following the realistic as the expense of entertainment I didn t have an issue with this because it kept the pacing brisk without bogging the story down in details that I think most readers would find tedious The law is not an exciting place However, Grisham, to his story telling credit, creates excitement by populating his tale with a bevy of Southern flavored characters that feel alive and genuine I don t think Grisham gets the credit he deserves for this as it a real gift In this outing, we have The aforementioned Bruiser Stone and Deck Shifflet add much color to the proceedings Dot Black, the chain smoking, embittered mother of Donny and her husband Buddy, a war veteran who is quietly drunk 24 7 This description may not make them sound likeable, but they are and they are devastated by their son s illness Kelly Riker, the smart, beautiful 19 year old trapped in a horrible marriage with her drunk, abusive husband who s angry at the world because his dreams of being a pro athlete never materialized Judge Tyrone Kipler, the sympathetic judge who hates insurance companies and provides Rudy with valuable assistance and advice These characters elevate the novel above the just another bag of popcorn legal thriller I enjoyed myself reading this and will certainly pick up another Grisham book in the future Before I wrap up, a quick word on the film movie comparison I had previously seen the movie adaptation of this novel and, like A Time to Kill, I think the movie outshined its source Very little had to be cut from the movie and Coppola did a great job of translating the tone of the story Plus, with casting like Danny DeVito playing Deck Shifflet and Mickey Rourke as Bruiser Stone, the book had a pretty big uphill stroll to compete Even years later, I remember the scene in the movie where Shifflet DeVito is pressuring an auto accident victim in traction and a lot of pain to sign up with him as his lawyer When he finally gets the gut to relent mostly to get rid of him Shifflet walks away with an air punch saying, Were gonna get you a bunch a money What a classic, classic lawyer line and I was happy to see that line was in the book as well Anyway, the book is still very good and I did prefer the novel s ending than the movie The endings are not significantly different, but Rudy Baylor s outlook on the legal profession is put in much starker light in the book and I found that to be superior to the somewhat ambiguous handling of the film In sum, if you ve seen the movie, you are not missing much by not reading the book not much except a well written, entertaining story You can decide For me, the book was worth it and I enjoyed myself 3.5 stars Recommended. The Rainmaker, John GrishamThe Rainmaker is a 1995 novel by John Grisham This was Grisham s sixth novel It differs from most of his other novels in that it is written almost completely in the simple present tense 1998 1375 678 20 1385 156 9646982646 1387 9789646982642 1391 232 1375 664 9643282651 1385 9644182855 1381 664 1995 The Rainmaker takes readers into the underlying corruption of these large corporate insurance companies, pitting a law school student against an obviously much larger and powerful opponent When his new clients inform him that their son is dying of terminal cancer and that their insurance company is repeatedly weaseling out of covering his treatments, Rudy Baylor realizes just how important the case is but when you re a penniless novice arguing with one of America s best defense attorneys, how can you win Meanwhile he s caught up in the competitive world of law struggling to make ends meet, working for a stereotypical ambulance chaser alongside a guy who hasn t exactly passed the bar yet, but still practices law anyway.As usual, John Grisham s legal thrillers are incredible and have the perfect balance of drama, humor, emotion and courtroom battles With many interesting characters on the sidelines as well as front and center, even if you re not really into law it s the kind of book that could easily engage most readers and get them hooked on the unfolding mystery and the evils of insurance giants What s great about The Rainmaker as well is that it doesn t immediately paint corporations as monsters, but rather as complex structures that have the potential to be good or bad in the right hands Rudy s struggle between law school and actual practice, that dry period of no money coming in, is something many readers can probably relate to, as well Any college grad will tell you, even if they ve never studied law, that student loans and scraping for cash and careers is never an easy pursuit unless they ve been lucky enough to have a high paying job straight out of school.