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The Racketeer Audio CD – Abridged, Audiobook

4.2 out of 5 stars 10,466 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The Racketeer  was one of Amazon's mystery/thriller Best Books of the Month picks for October. A Q&A with the author:

Grisham3Describe The Racketeer in one sentence. 

A federal judge is murdered, and our hero in prison knows who did it, and why.

What's on your nightstand/bedside table/Kindle?

Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Sweet Tooth; a friend’s manuscript; and a Kindle Fire loaded with daily newspapers, magazines, and about three dozen books.

Top 3-5 favorite books of all time?

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; A Confederacy of DuncesThe Grapes of Wrath; Little Drummer Girl

Important book you never read?

There are so many. Atlas Shrugged, though I’ve been told for the past 30 years that it’s unreadable.

Book that made you want to become a writer?

To Kill a Mockingbird made me question race for the first time in my young, insulated, white life. It also inspired me to try and write something great.

Memorable author moment?

I received a note from Harper Lee, along with an autographed first edition of To Kill A Mockingbird.

What's your most prized/treasured possession?

A first edition of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, signed by the author.

Pen envy - book you wish you'd written?

Harry Potter – he’s the only dude I can’t outsell.

Author crush - who's your current author crush?

I’m 57 years old.  Crushes are for sophomores.

What's favorite method of procrastination? Temptation? Vice?

Don’t get me started. I can waste enormous amounts of time, and with no guilt whatsoever. Currently, I’m doing so on the golf course, playing a game that I took up only four years ago and is driving me nuts.

What do you collect?

First editions, primarily Faulkner, Hemingway, and Steinbeck.

Best piece of fan mail you ever got?

The letter began: “As the newly elected President of the Arkansas Bar Association, it is incumbent upon me to suggest various topics for your future novels……” I don’t think I finished reading the letter.

What's next for you?

I’m hard at work on Theo 4 -  “Theodore Boone, The Activist.”

>See all of John Grisham's books.

>Read a New York Times review of The Racketeer

(author photo by Bob Krasner)

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

Critical Acclaim for the Undisputed Master of the Legal Thriller

“With every new book I appreciate John Grisham a little more, for his feisty critiques of the legal system, his compassion for the underdog, and his willingness to strike out in new directions.”—Entertainment Weekly

“John Grisham is exceptionally good at what he does—indeed, right now in this country,  nobody does it better . . . Grisham’s books are also smart, imaginative, and funny, populated by complex interesting people, written by a man who is driven not merely by the desire to entertain but also by genuine (if understated) outrage at human cupidity and venality.”—Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

“The secrets of Grisham’s success are no secret at all. There are two of them: his pacing, which ranges from fast to breakneck, and his theme—little guy takes on big conspiracy with the little guy getting the win in the end. —Time

“The law, by its nature, creates drama, and a new Grisham promises us an inside look at the dirty machineries of process and power, with plenty of an entertainment.” – Los Angeles Times

“John Grisham is about as good a storyteller as we’ve got in the United States these days.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Grisham is a marvelous storyteller who works readers the way a good trial lawyer works a jury.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer

“John Grisham owns the legal thriller.”—The Denver Post

“John Grisham is not just popular, he is one of the most popular novelists of our time. He is a craftsman and he writes good stories, engaging characters, and clever plots.”—The Seattle Times

“A mighty narrative talent and an unerring eye for hot-button issues.”—Chicago Sun-Times
 
“A legal literary legend.”—USA Today
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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio; Abridged edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307943232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307943231
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1.1 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10,466 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm writing this bc I haven't bought a Grisham book that wasn't deeply discounted or free in YEARS.
I bought this book after the NYT review-- I think it's the first decent review of a Grisham book in a long time (last I remember). I have been on and off again about Grisham's books, (mostly off for a long time) honestly nothing for me will be as good as A Time To Kill, or The Chamber, or as fun as The Firm-- but I have read most of what he's written-- and mostly been "eh" about Grisham for several years.

Ok having said that-- as the title of my review states, this is a book you absolutely have to suspend disbelief-- especially if you are even remotely associated with the legal profession and if you're a lawyer - (actually even if you aren't) you will roll your eyes at some points-- but you WILL CONTINUE reading, because, as preposterous as some of the plot turns are, you will want to see where he goes with this. The main character stays in kind of a 'foreshadowing" mode throughout the story- you kind of think and sometimes know where this is going but because the main character is also 'unreliable' - you are left unsure-- so as a reader you wonder if the narrator/main character plots against his 'foes' while simultaneously doing the same to the you (the reader) --- I did think that was pretty interesting on Grisham's part. I can't explain this anymore without spoilers.

FYI-- The NYT review was bizarre-- some parts of the review made no sense after i finished the book--and i re-read the review-- this line in particular referring to the main character-- "And Mal happens to be black. That fact seems to have nothing to do with the book until Mr. Grisham makes shrewd use of race later on. " --- what?
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Format: Hardcover
John Grisham's work runs the gambit. Some serious, some funny, some nostalgic, and some sporty. But no matter what you know you're in for a good read. This one is no different. 'The Racketeer' falls somewhere between the seriousness of 'The Confession' and the fun of 'The Litigators'.

Our friend, Malcolm Bannister, is a lawyer who is in jail (I'll pause for your jokes here) for a crime he didn't commit. (Another pause). Fortunately for him the unfortunate demise of a Federal judge and his lady (hot, young, sexy, hot, you get the picture) friend is his key for early release. No clues, no witnesses, no leads, and no evidence. These frivolous minor details don't bother the FBI and they don't really bother Malcolm. He knows the truth and the Feds will pay dearly for it. Of course when dealing with the Feds and a jailed lawyer, "truth" is more of a mythological punchline than anything else.

While 'The Racketeer' is a fast read make yourself slow down, especially near the end. There are many pieces to this puzzle and you'll miss it if you read at the speed in which John writes. I mentioned earlier that our boy Malcolm goes through some pretty extraordinary lengths to get what he wants and that IS NOT an exaggeration. But then the question we must ask ourselves is; what is the price of freedom? What would you pay for or suffer through just for the chance to be free? You're about to find out. Oh... and what if that taste of freedom was seasoned with a bit of revenge?

Malcolm has people to pay back, but before he does that he must deal with this little issue of piecing together a plan with more moving parts than the space shuttle and a failure rate of my high school algebra class. Will it work? Well that depends on your working definition of "work".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What you'll get in this one: the snappy characterizations and plot twists that make Grisham's legal thrillers so irresistible to his loyal fans. I received my book in the wee hours of release day, and stayed up reading the entire novel. It was too good to put down.

Grisham wisely keeps readers guessing about how lawyer Malcolm Bannister may pull off a revenge scheme. I was hooked as soon as I grasped the basic plot.

But this doesn't mean The Racketeer is flawless.. It took awhile for me to become fully engaged with the book -- mainly because Grisham took his time revealing crucial details and spent awhile describing prison life. Some of that is interesting and adds depth. But parts of the novel lagged for me.

The Racketeer starts off with lawyer Malcolm Bannister describing his basic situation: he has been sent to prison for 10 years based on a sentence "handed down by a weak and sanctimonious federal judge in Washington, DC". I'm not giving away anything here because that info is revealed on the first page of my edition of this book (Kindle). Bannister has tried every appeal available. His wife, initially supportive, has left him. He misses his son.

In short, his life is grim and depressing. Bannister can't imagine being incarcerated for 10 years, and he is desperate to get out. The reason he is in jail constitutes "a long story." but he is convinced he has been convicted of a crime he had "no knowledge of committing" (he does, however, admit to naivite' and stupidity which helped lead to his downfall).

The rest of the details in the early half of The Racketeer mainly involved Bannister's carefully constructed plan to get out of prison, starting with info he knows about the murder of federal judge Raymond Fawcett.
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