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The Client Paperback – 2 Jun 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New Ed edition (2 Jun. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780099179412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099179412
  • ASIN: 0099179415
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 506,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he 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. In 1983, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served until 1990.

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 Grisham's hobby. However, he had already begun his next book, and it would quickly turn that hobby into a new full-time career--and spark one of publishing's greatest success stories. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. 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, The Appeal, and The Associate) and all of them have become international bestsellers. There are currently over 250 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. The Innocent Man (October 2006) marked his first foray into non-fiction, and Ford County (November 2009) was his first short story collection.

Grisham lives with his wife Renee and their two children Ty and Shea. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA.

Grisham took time off from writing for several months in 1996 to return, after a five-year hiatus, to the courtroom. He was honoring a commitment made before he had retired from the law to become a full-time writer: representing the family of a railroad brakeman killed when he was pinned between two cars. Preparing his case with the same passion and dedication as his books' protagonists, Grisham successfully argued his clients' case, earning them a jury award of $683,500--the biggest verdict of his career.

When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes, including most recently his Rebuild The Coast Fund, which raised 8.8 million dollars for Gulf Coast relief in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.

Product Description

Amazon 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 and 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. --George Laney, Amazon.com --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

"Hard to put down" Daily Telegraph "Take it from me, this man Grisham spins a damned good yarn and is going to be around for a long, long time" Time Out "It's gripping enough to be best read in daylight" Sunday Express

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Anna Heelas on 18 July 2005
Format: Paperback
'The Client' is my favouraite Grisham novel. It is a gripping tale, this book is excruating to put down!
While two young boys are in the woods, a man who knows crucial information about a murder investigation tries to kill himself. The eldest boy Mark, a very mature child, tries to stop the suicide and suffers for it. He learns too much information and before long, he has the FBI hounding at his door whilst being attacked from the other side by the mafia. Luckily he stumbles over a lawyer who helps him crawl his way out of the mess.
This is an inspiring and touching read, perfect for holiday or just entertainment. Although all works by Grisham are fantastic, I would say this is one of the best.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. M. Buchanan on 16 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
Firstly I must admit to being a John Grisham fan,I have read nearly all of his work. This ranks amongst the best. Two lads are witness to an attempted suicide. One lad attempts to stop the suicde and ends up being caught and dragged into the car with the man. As the fumes fill the car the man tells the boy he was a lawyer for a mafia hit man and proceeds to tell the boy things the FBI would like to know. The boy gets out the car and the man kills himself. It is now a fight between the hit man and the FBI as to who gets control of the boy. A great story full of tension,twists and turns and it will keep you turning pages long into the night. I would have gave it five stars but no one is perfect - although this comes close.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 July 2008
Format: Paperback
If you only read one legal thriller by John Grisham, I strongly urge you to choose The Client. It's a remarkable book that will reward your patience, pique your curiosity, and keep you guessing until almost the very end.

The client has to be the most unusual legal thriller every written. The book's indomitable hero, Mark Sway, is an 11-year-old with a lot of guts and a desire to do the right thing. John Grisham takes that premise and pushes it to the limit by teaming Mark with the only lawyer that Grisham ever wrote positively about, Reggie Love. In the process, Grisham entertains with the petty foibles and vanities of the legal "powers that be" in a way that will make you wish that nice people worked at the law.

Enchanting books have heroes and heroines who intrigue and inspire us. Mark Sway and Reggie Love are well designed for those purposes. Mark is that wonderful combination of scamp, optimist, and idealist that Mark Twain first imagined in the character of Tom Sawyer. Reggie Love is a composite of the loving concern of everyone's favorite aunt combined with the toughness and smarts of Perry Mason.

The Mafia characters are bozos. The FBI agents are cretins. The prosecutors are sleaze balls. The other characters fade into the woodwork except for Reggie's favorite judge.

Have a ball!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
The Client is a worthy read with an intriguing, thought provoking plot. The book manages to keep the readers attention well throughout and culminates in a predictable but exciting finale. I was again hooked after another of Grisham's legendary first chapters and consumed the book in a week. My only complaint is that Grisham placed too greater emphasis on description often holding up the story's flow. As a result I often found myself skimming pages in the middle section and feel that the book could have been significantly shorter. I have, therefore, given it four stars as opposed to its easily achievable five. However, don't let this deter you from reading it, as it really is a classy book. Buy it.
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An interesting idea, but the characters in Grisham's novels still strike me as somewhat too two-dimensional. There's the boy, who one minute is a super-human and the next a blubbering child; the lawyer, ditto; the judge, kind and friendly; the evil lawyer, evil, evil and evil.

I've noticed that the characters in this one tend to have back stories, and we find out everything about them when we first meet them. To an extent that takes the surprise and suspense out of the tale. What's the point in going through a courtroom scene to see what the judge decides when we've just established his entire past record of similar cases? I'd much prefer to be aligned with the one central character and find out about people as he does. Admittedly, Grisham does do this with his (much) later novel Playing for Pizza.

Having been mean about it however, it was an interesting book. There's less of an insight into the American judicial system now though, and the novels are leaning more towards Thriller-with-a-lawyer-or-three rather than what I would term Legal-Thriller.

Overall, it's not unmissable. There's definitely a Grisham flavour to the writing style which is uniquely his. I'm going to pay more attention to the next one to try and put it into words.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By drew sanders on 25 Mar. 2002
Format: Paperback
i have only just read this after many of his later books but i must say that this book is very good. an eight year old becomes traumatised and his brother is being hunted by the maffia. it was gripping from the first to the last chapter. i am a big fan of john grisham and anyone who wonders why should read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec. 1999
Format: Paperback
Mark Sway, 11, is the only person who knows where the body of the senator is buried. The mafia wants him silenced, and the law wants him to speak. Only Reggie Love, his lawyer can save him from both. A gripping book, which deals with law and fights between lawyers on technical grounds.
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