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The Tenth Justice Audible – Unabridged

3.2 out of 5 stars 391 customer reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Since starting law school, and continuing into being a clerk for a state supreme court, novels have become the occupation of the last ten minutes of my night, after I've become exhausted enough to stop what I was doing and drag my corpus to bed and before my eyelids slam down mid-sentence. The Tenth Justice, however, caused me to neglect friends and loved ones during my scarce 'free' time until it was finished, within two days. This book certainly scores as a page-turner.
The Tenth Justice's other claim to worthiness is its premise. First, it exposes the tremendous degree of influence judicial clerks, most fresh from law school, have over the written, precedential product of the high courts. Second, the book examines how easily someone could lulled into a false sense of security by feeling 'behind the scenes' and out of the public eye. That the primary work of opinion writing is done by clerks, with experienced judges acting mainly as watchful editors and mentors, is true of some chambers. The naive sense of invisibility and harmlessness one sometimes feels as a clerk is also not far off. That the protagonist clerks write U.S. Supreme Court opinions that sail by their Justice with hardly a changed word and that a clerk might give away the outcome of a major case at a first meeting are both sheer hyperbole. They are not so far out of the question, however, as to be beyond suspending my disbelief.
On the other hand, the quality of the writing probably says more about why Meltzer is writing page-turners, not being a clerk or a practicing lawyer himself.
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Comment 51 of 56 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit it. I only finished this stupid novel because it was a gift from someone who knows I love police procedurals and legal thrillers. It seemed disrespectful to the giver and to the author for me to walk to the trash can and fling this book into the rotting leftovers of last night's enchiladas and rice when I was only on the 100th page. I also kept thinking, "This is a long book. It absolutely has got to get better!" Boy was I dumb. It didn't.
This is a most definitely NOT a "legal thriller." You will find no plaintiffs or defendents, no prosecuting or defense attorneys, no testimony or cross examinations, witnesses, juries or even any courtroom scenes. And you will definitely find absolutely NO thrills. It's not about the law. It's about five 20-somethings behaving badly. Its premise suggests that Ben, the supposedly brilliant protaganist (a Supreme Court clerk. Legal ... get it?) believes that he can fix an extremely stupid ethical lapse with still more ethical lapses. And his friends all go along with it. If they can just manage all this unethical behavior properly, they'll get away with it which will, of course, make it all OK!
The characters are drawn with almost no depth and then they get shallower. I defy anyone to care one whit about whiny, self-centered Ben by page 200. I just wanted to slap him silly, fire his sorry butt, throw the book in with the enchiladas and go watch a rerun of "Law And Order."
The editing stopped completely on about the 200th page. The thing just goes on and on and on while these five childish, self-absorbed and morally challenged "adults" have endless repetitive conversations in which they are being oh-so-witty, or they are screaming at one another.
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4 Comments 31 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
My fascination with legal novels over the years led me
to trying Brad Meltzer's "The Tenth Justice".
This is the stuff of "Best Sellers"? After slogging
through several chapters of the prattle of
self-aggrandizing juveniles who are supposedly the
brilliant clerks of Supreme Court justices and other
brainy yuppie-types I said to myself "Surely this
gets better." Wrong. How many times can we read
"Don't you trust me?" ...or "That was stupid of me."?
I can only hope that this effort was written as
Meltzer's spoof of the legal novel genre that has
gained such great popularity. If so, he has done so
with success.
Comment 17 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
If Ben Addison is representative of Supreme Court clerks, our legal system is in deep trouble. I'm not referring to the slip of the tongue in revealing a court decision, which, after all, is the key to the story and not an implausible one for a new employee. Rather, the immature way he and his adolescent-mentality friends try to deal with the situation does not square with the intelligence and savvy one expects from a top notch law student (the only types who get to work on the Court).
Meltzer's character development and dialogue are no deeper than that of the sitcom "Friends," where perhaps he got his inspiration. The characters are shallow, dim bulbs. Moreover, Meltzer is totally clueless about the State Department's role which does not include investigations of threats to US citizens. Hello, Mr. Meltzer, the State Department is involved in FOREIGN POLICY! At least, he knows the Supreme Court has something to do with the law.
But the plot does have its moments, hence the two stars. The fictional court decisions are interesting. Too bad they aren't well developed. And why doesn't the Justice for whom Ben and Lisa work not make an appearance early on? He might have lent some gravitas to a book that makes a "Seinfeld" episode an intellectual challenge by comparison.
Comment 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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