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The Pelican Brief Paperback – April 25, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Delta; Reprint edition (April 25, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780385339704
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385339704
  • ASIN: 0385339704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (387 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #420,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

Great main characters and story line.
Su-Z-Q
There's just too many characters in this story.
TheVictorian
I read this book in one day in my backyard.
Scamp Lumm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 34 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 9, 2001
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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 18, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The pelican brief is a slow but exiting book which is the base of the book for the movie: The Pelican Brief. Most of my friends watch the hit series Law & Order and so do I. So when I asked my Librarian if there were any books like it, he told me books by John Grisham. I got hooked into the book really fast. Some people dont realize what happens in the complicated world of politics, internal affairs, and what hey do to get their job down. I suggest this book who is interested in the Law or what they do.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kris on November 23, 2004
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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TheVictorian on August 21, 2013
Format: Mass Market 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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