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The Client Paperback – April 26, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

With her sparkling voice and superb acting ability, Blair Brown gives an impressive reading of this John Grisham blockbuster. The story hinges on a young boy who gets an unwanted earful of murder, politics--and dangerous secrets about both--from a conscience-stricken mob lawyer bent on suicide. "I can tell you where the body is... the most notorious undiscovered corpse of our time." Just the kind of information most children don't need, especially when the snakeskin-wearing hit man finds out what he knows. Aside from musical cues scattered as superfluously as laugh tracks on a sitcom, the production quality is stellar, preserving the crispness of Blair's voice and the nuances of her excellent interpretation. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the bestselling Grisham will be pleased to note that he is once more on Firm ground: his latest legal thriller offers a clever, compelling plot coupled with two singular protagonists sure to elicit readers' empathy. Eleven-year-old Mark Sway, taking his kid brother for a smoke behind their Memphis trailer park, witnesses the suicide of a lawyer "driven crazy" by a lethal secret. Before he dies, the man confides to Mark where the body of a recently murdered U.S. senator lies buried, and the game's afoot. Trailed by the police, the FBI and assorted Mafia types (the deceased politico was the victim of "a successful New Orleans street thug"), Mark retains--for one dollar--the services of Reggie Love, a 50ish female lawyer. This uncommon attorney-client relationship adds an affecting, unusually humanistic layer to the novel's tension-filled events. Mark, raised by a divorced mother and wise beyond his years, thinks chiefly in terms of movies and TV; Reggie, a street-smart survivor of an acrimonious divorce, is often unsure whether to hug or slug her precocious client. True to form, Grisham employs just enough foreshadowing to keep the suspense rolling ("Neither of them could know that . . . "), and propels his action at the requisite breakneck pace. Occasional plot improbabilities and stylistic quibbles--a few fuzzy characterizations; overstatement of already obvious points; Mark's sporadic adult phraseology--will not deter readers from enjoying a rousing read. 950,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; Reader's Digest Condensed Book selection.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (April 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385339089
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385339087
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (497 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, John Grisham 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 being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff for a pro career, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. After graduating from law school at Ole Miss in 1981, he went on to practice law for nearly a decade in Southaven, specializing in criminal defense and personal injury litigation. One day at the DeSoto County courthouse, Grisham overheard the harrowing testimony of a twelve-year-old rape victim and was inspired to start a novel exploring what would have happened if the girl's father had murdered her assailants. Getting up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work, Grisham spent three years on A Time to Kill and finished it in 1987. Initially rejected by many publishers, it was eventually bought by Wynwood Press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988.That might have put an end to Grishams hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career. When he sold the film rights to The Firm to Paramount Pictures for $600,000, Grisham suddenly became a hot property among publishers, and book rights were bought by Doubleday. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991.The successes of The Pelican Brief, which hit number one on the New York Times bestseller list, and The Client, which debuted at number one, confirmed Grisham's reputation as the master of the legal thriller. Grisham's success even renewed interest in A Time to Kill, which was republished in hardcover by Doubleday and then in paperback by Dell. This time around, it was a bestseller. Since first publishing A Time to Kill in 1988, Grisham has written one novel a year (his other books are The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Chamber, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Partner, The Street Lawyer, The Testament, The Brethren, A Painted House, Skipping Christmas, The Summons, The King of Torts, Bleachers, The Last Juror, The Broker, Playing for Pizza, and The Appeal) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 225 million John Grisham books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 29 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Olson on May 9, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book starts out innocently enough: young Mark Sway (age 11) and his younger brother Ricky (age 8) are out in a grassy area sharing a few cigarettes they stole from their mom, an over-worked, abused housewife; it would be Ricky's first cigarette, but not Mark's by far. They get an unexpected surprise, however, when a crazed lawyer drives his car to the exact spot where Mark and Ricky were at (who are now hiding in the thick grass), pulls a hose from his car and begins pumping exhaust fumes into the car in an attempt to commit suicide...

Mark enters the car to attempt to convince the deranged lawyer to stop trying to kill himself- and is taken hostage immediately. The liquor loosens his tongue a little, though, and before passing out, the crook tells Mark that he knows where the body of a recently-assassinated US Senator is located. Mark exits the car to try and calm his hysterical little bro down- and they both subsequently witness the man, a Jerome "Romey" Clifford, take a pistol and blow his brains out- taking his deadly secret to the grave with him- except Mark knows it now, too.

And there are people who know that he knows it, too. And when they start trying to force it out of him, he turns to the only one who believes him: a lawyer who just passed the bar four years prior- a lawyer who was paid a dollar as a retainer fee to help little Mark out.

Grisham has once again crafted a thriller. Frankly, I am a bit confused as to why people don't really like this one... It's just as good if not better than his other novels.

Now just for fun, click the "yes" button to the proceeding question
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Clarissa on August 12, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'd actually give it 4.5 stars. The Client is, overall, an excellent book. Although it does drag in places and some of the "lawyer jargon" can get annoying, the characterization and plot are quite extrodinary. It is a very suspenseful and unpredictble novel which kept me up till 4 am reading. What makes the book so good is the complex charcters. Mark Sway--an eleven year old, trailor-trash, kid is brilliant and foolish all at the same time which keeps the book moving well because every time he gets himself out of a situation, he always manages to get himself into another. He talks like hes 45 and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. He also questions alot about society and the legal system in such a childlike matter that it really makes you stop and think about your position on the topic and what you would tell an 11 year old kid. Reggie Love is definitely the most complex character. After a painful divorce, attempted suicide, and commitment into various mental facilities, she begins a new life as a smart-talking, witty, clever, and absolutely crazy lawyer who you just have to love. They call it her "second life" and she lives it to it's fullest. Only a 4 year lawyer and shes able to outsmart the FBI. She cares so much, too much, about her "little clients" and although she denies it, is willing to risk her life for some of them. Shes a very strong character, but still very vulnerable, which makes for a great story. Foltrigg (sp?), is the opposing, big-headed, stuck up, U.S. prosecuting attorney who is absolutely determined to win the case no matter the extremes.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Romey, the lawyer of a man accused of murdering a congressman, commits suicide. Mark Sway, an eleven year old boy, observes the act but little does he know that it will lead him into serious trouble. Mark has learned crucial information that will convict the Mafia hit-man, who is accused of murder, but he doesn't want to tell the district attorney. He is afraid the Mafia will kill him too. Mark hires a lawyer to protect his rights and help him out-smart both the district attorney and the Mafia. I really liked this book. It is probably one of the best books I have read and I'm sure I would enjoy it just as much if I read it again. "The Client" is filled with suspense which made it really hard for me to put down. I love suspenseful books because each chapter leaves the reader hanging, not knowing what will happen next. I've read most of John Grisham's books and this has to be his best. His other books are not as suspenseful and riviting as "The Client." The book is really long and it took me a while to read it. It contains long, drawn-out scenes dealing with law, but the good things out-weigh the bad. One of the best things about "The Client" is how Grisham shows the age and attitude of Mark. A great example is when Mark asks the judge if he can take the 5th amendment. The judge says no but Mark replies, "Why Not? It applies to kids to doesn't it? Yes, (says the judge) but not in this situation. Then why did you put me in jail? (Mark replies) I'm going to send you back there if you don't answer my questions (the judge declares). I take the fifth amendment anyway (responds Mark)." John Grisham is a terrific writer and I really enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who really enjoys suspenseful stories.
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