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The Pelican Brief: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

John Grisham
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (312 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $2.00 (20%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

In suburban Georgetown, a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garroted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief.

To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it’s political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder–a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds that there is only one person–an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate–she can trust to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House’s inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby’s brief–someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.


From the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anthony Heald gives an uncommonly compelling performance narrating this fast-paced legal thriller. The action begins with the fierce assassinations of two Supreme Court justices. Too unlikely to be coincidental, the murders have no identifiable connection until a young law student uncovers a hidden link, exposing herself and those around her to deadly consequences. Heald uses the flexibility of his voice to conjure up a large cast of diverse characters. He crafts his delivery expertly, heightening the already substantial suspense and carrying the story to its dramatic conclusion. (Running time: 6 hours, 4 cassettes) --George Laney

From Publishers Weekly

In this tale of the aftermath of the assassinations of two Supreme Court justices, Grisham delivers a suspenseful plot at a breakneck pace, although his characters are stereotypes. The hardcover was on the PW bestseller list 48 weeks and the mass market was No. 1 last week.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1273 KB
  • Print Length: 402 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385339704
  • Publisher: Dell; Reprint edition (March 16, 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003B02O0U
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,452 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Brown Pelican by Emily November 9, 2001
A Kid's Review
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"The Pelican Brief" by John Grisham is an exciting novel with an amazing plot. It begins by introducing the character Khamel, a crazed killer who is paid to murder two Supreme Court Justices, named Rosenberg and Jensen, both who have received many death threats but refuse to let the FBI protect them.
In New Orleans at Tulane University, Darby Shaw, an attractive second year law student, was trying to sove the mystery behing the killings. Darby had a thirteen page brief on who she thought killed the justices. The brief was passed on to many people and it finally came to the President, who after reading the report became very scared. The FBI wanted to pursue the lead, but after a phone call from the President that told them to back off it, they decided to look at other suspects.
In the meantime, reporter Gray Grantham received a call in the middle of the night from "Garcia" who said that he might know something about the case.
Darby was on a date with her lover/professor when he got a little too drunk to drive. Darby insisted that she drive or walk, and to her surprise, he told her to walk. When the professor got into his car and started the engine, the car exploded, killing him on the spot. Darby called a friend of the professor, Gavin, and told him what happened because he was the first to see the brief which was later named "The Pelican Brief".
Through all of this chaos, Darby managed to stay alive and found time to meet Gray Grantham in Washington D.C. He learned her entire story and in order to confirm it all, they had to find "Garcia". They knew that he was a lwyer at a small firm in Washington D.C., so they asked the many interns there if they recognized a picture of him. One out of seven did, so they go to meet him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but stupid (the President, that is) November 23, 2004
By Kris
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Someone assassinates two Supreme Court justices (the assassin is a burned out terrorist named Khamel, but the powers that be are baffled. They have no clues.

Darby Shaw spends a few days in the law library and figures out who wanted the hit, in order to stack the Supreme Court. This puts her in jeopardy, and people keep getting murdered around her.

Scary? Well, it might have been, but somehow, we know (I knew) that Darby was going to make it in the end and the "bad guys" were going to have their comeuppance. That was never in doubt.

So, not so scary.

What was interesting was Grisham's description of the law firms, and the lawyers, in Washington, D.C. This was eye-opening, the numbers, the morals, and the career ladder that such people follow.

What was interesting, but stupid, was the President. It's hard to imagine a President this stupid, but I wonder was the model Mr. Ron? And this golfer President turns the real business of running the nation over to a young smoothy by the name of Fletcher Coal, who is one of the "bad guys," in a way, but he has some good traits, too: He can work incessantly and seems to be pretty intelligent. He just lacks, what, heart?

I've read better books by Grisham. There is a story here, but not a page-turning story. Just kind of, "Okay, who's going to fail to assassinate Darby this time?"

I didn't see the movie, but the book seemed to be tailor-made for Hollywood, also, another down-side (compare Grisham's Bleachers, a more recent effort, which does not seem to be targeted so prominently toward a movie script).

Diximus.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Movie Is Better (Spoilers) August 21, 2013
Format:Paperback
This book is boring and confusing. The only parts I enjoyed were the parts I remember vividly from the movie. The movie cuts this overblown dull read into a pretty fast-paced story, and also casts Denzel Washington as Grantham, a great choice in my opinion. In the book Grantham is an older white guy who fancies Darby. In the movie, Grantham is a straight arrow, decent guy played by the ever awesome Denzel. Reading the book I just couldn't picture Grantham as white. I think it's awful that in the end of the book the Grantham character winds up in a relationship with Darby. It makes sense in the context of the book but I am glad they dropped it for the movie.

Grisham knows his stuff when it comes to lawyers and law and law school and law companies - and he should - he's a lawyer; and he knows how to write about politics and intrigue, but his style is uninspired, prosaic and confusing. Beyond the obvious key players such as Darby, Grantham, Coal, Voyles etc. - main characters I recall vividly from the movie, I was totally confused with who was who and what their purposes were. There's just too many characters in this story. And the assassins are incapable of finding and killing a 20-year-old girl but they can get everyone else? That was silly. Most of the book was about bumbling killers and then trying to find "Garcia" using a tedious process of elimination of law students that interned at the evil law company. It really dragged. The biggest annoyance - and this is another problem with Grisham's style - was they way he started many chapters and introduced a lot of characters with "He" or "She." We meet someone for the first time and Grisham's like "She was sitting at her desk and watching the..." or "He sat on a park bench and watched the..." or whatever.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
Another great read from a great author. Thank you for this exciting story! Can't wait to start the next book.
Published 3 days ago by Anthony
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
I liked the story but didn't like the characters or the way the big bad oil company was portrayed. I guess now I know how a liberal would look at a Tom Clancy or W.E.B. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Avam
5.0 out of 5 stars Grisham in the mode that made hi famous
If you are as old as I am, you remember when The Firm exploded into the world--and how much you liked it. And then there was A Time to Kill. And you knew this guy was for real. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Dennis McClure
4.0 out of 5 stars John Grisham never disappoints
It's always a relief to sink into a well-written novel without fear of cringing. John Grisham's novel plots can seem similar, which is the reason I only gave it four stars, but... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Rachel Jenkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I had read that Grisham books are great until the ending, when he seemingly loses interest and ends the story quickly. That wasn't the case in The Pelican Briefs. Great read.
Published 19 days ago by Leif C. Beck
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG AMAZING!!
This was amazing! Hence the title... I have always loved John Grisham books, the Theodore Boone series was his best to me. I really enjoyed this one,though.
Published 21 days ago by Martine S. Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars This will hold your attention
This book will hold your attention. I couldn't stop reading it and finished it way before I ever expected because John Grisham write in a manner that held my attention throughout... Read more
Published 22 days ago by kenby
5.0 out of 5 stars Page turner
I could not put this book down. It was a great read.
I am immediately going to purchase another John Grisham book.
Published 28 days ago by Parker Kersey
5.0 out of 5 stars PELICAN BRIEF
Up to the usual high standard, twists and turns, thoroughly great reading. You need to read the book before you see the film.
Published 1 month ago by Leyland Rissman
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Grisham's Best
Of course, this book is so much more thrilling than the movie! Just couldn't put it down. Bless Grisham and his ability to tell a fine story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Susan Klopfer
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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.

Photo credit Maki Galimberti

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