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The Litigators [Hardcover]

John Grisham
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (478 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Book Description

25 Oct 2011

Oscar Finley: street cop turned street lawyer.

Wally Figg: expert hustler and ambulance-chaser.

David Zinc: Harvard Law School graduate.

Together, this unlikely trio make up Finley & Figg: specialists in injury claims, quickie divorces and DUIs. None of them has ever faced a jury in federal court. But they are about to take on one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the States.

David gave up his lucrative career at Chicago's leading law firm for this: the chance to help the little guy stand up to the big corporations.

But if Finley & Figg have right on their side, why do his new partners feel the need to carry guns in their briefcases? David thought he was used to cut-throat law from his days at Rogan Rothberg, but this is something else.

He knows he was right to get out. He just may live to regret his new choice of firm...

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (25 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444729705
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444729702
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 16.3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (478 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,028 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



'Grisham is brilliantly comic in a novel that is full of zest and brimming with memorable characters and rich storylines... The legal storylines are typically rich in social detail and instances of entertaining rascality... Away from his usual southern turf, Grisham is turned by Chicago into a more Dickensian writer, soft-hearted at times but predominantly funny... a brilliant comic set piece'

(The Sunday Times)

'The Litigators is up there with the best of Grisham's 25 novels... vintage Grisham. [His] style is direct and the result is a superbly plotted legal thriller' (Sunday Express)

'The Litigators is a thrilling romp through the murky world of lawsuits and shysters - rich and poor. Packed with [Grisham's] signature twists and turns, not to mention lots of double-dealing, be careful if you're reading The Litigators on the bus, you may just miss your stop' (Irish Independent)

'[A] snappy, well-turned novel...Grisham brings his usual nuanced understanding of tort law and civil jurisprudence' (Washington Post)

A racy and clever read that will once again ensure Grisham fans feel they've got their money's worth (Daily Telegraph (Australia))

Praise for John Grisham:

'The best thriller writer alive'

(Ken Follett, Evening Standard)

His stories are ferociously plot driven: they will keep you awake all night (Independent on Sunday)

'If ever an author can be said to have mastered his subject matter it must be John Grisham. His lawyer-laden thrillers are breezily written, highlight his talent of making the mundane seem interesting and always impress in the translation of turgid legal procedures into tasty and telling stories...' (Sun)

'The Litigators has many John Grisham trademarks - pace, plotting, gently liberal politics - but this time there's humour, too. This thriller is raised well above the average by Grisham's affection for his characters, however morally compromised they are.' (Mail on Sunday)

'Entertaining... bitingly farcical' (Publishers Weekly)

Grisham knows what he's doing. The book is crisply written (with some agreeably sly one-liners) and the narrative canters along. (Andrew Taylor,The Spectator)

...entirely gripping... (Evening Standard)

'The Litigators is Grisham at his very best, fast-paced, funny and packed with living and breathing characters that you'd love to share an after-court beer with. Set aside a weekend for this one, because you won't want to put it down'. (Irish Examiner)

This is the master of the legal thriller at his best. You won't want to put it down! (Press Association)

Grisham hasn't lost his deft touch. What a rollicking ride it turns out to be. (Sunday Herald Sun)

'Grisham almost single-handedly dragged the legal thriller back into the realms of popularity some 20 years ago and he is still capable of producing a good story... This is another enjoyable, briskly paced tale... There are plenty of twists and legal manoeuvring, a delightful cast of well-developed characters and some amusing set pieces and one-liners. Good fun and Grisham's best book...' (The Canberra Times)

Book Description

THE LITIGATORS is a tremendously entertaining romp, filled with the kind of courtroom strategies, theatrics and suspense that have made John Grisham the world's favourite storyteller.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
176 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable... 28 Oct 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A thoroughly enjoyable outing from the master of the legal thriller. Our hero, David Zinc, walks out of his high-pressure career in a huge, high-flying law firm; and walks into the firm of Finley & Figg, ambulance-chasers extraordinaire. Oscar, Wally and their secretary Rochelle (to say nothing of the dog) only just manage to keep their heads above water by pursuing injury cases and divorces, and their tactics are not the most ethical. David is a Harvard graduate and son of a judge but has never actually been inside a courtroom. This mismatched group suddenly finds itself handling a potentially massive lawsuit against a major pharmaceutical giant, being represented by David's former employers.

This book is much more light-hearted than some of Grisham's other novels and has lots of humour. Wally dreams of making it rich with one massive settlement, Oscar dreams of being rich enough to divorce his wife, while David dreams of having enough energy left at the end of the working day to start a family with his lovely (and very understanding) wife, Helen.

Well-written, as Grisham's novels always are, this time we get an insight into the distinctly unglamorous and uncertain life of the lower echelons of legal life and while it might not be much fun for the lawyers, it certainly is for us. Despite their flaws, all three of the lawyers are enjoyable characters that we warm to more and more as the book progresses. My only complaint is that Grisham's books are usually stand-alone, so we probably won't get to meet with them again. All the more reason to enjoy this outing. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hugely enjoyed reaD 9 Nov 2011
By jackal
The basic story is hopelessly improbable. A stressed-out Harvard Law School corporate law associate at a major firm gets drunk, literally falls into a two-partner, no associates, no - ethics litigation firm and goes to work for them merrily signing pleadings, bank guarantees and promises of huge damages to contingency fees clients. BUT it is a hugely enjoyable story which had me laughing out loud at times. I was absolutely gripped, desperate to know what would happen next, read it through mealtimes, cut the dog's walk short and was half-surprised by the ending. It is a great fun read.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A return to form ! 13 Nov 2011
By fivestarfrankie VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A short review: I paid 7 for this and have just read it through in just less than 7 hours. All the main characters are portrayed as decent people especially Mr and Mrs Zinc. As someone else said the ending is easy to guess from about a third of the way in but that does not stop this being a cracking story. If your favourite film is (like me) "A Wonderful Life" I think that there is every chance you'll enjoy reading this. Not a five star effort but well worth four I think !
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE LITIGATORS 26 Oct 2011
By Amanda TOP 500 REVIEWER
Oscar Finley an ex cop, and Wally Figg a recovering alcoholic run a law firm in Chicago with the help of their assistant Rochelle. Their speciality, ambulance chasing, hustling injury cases and any other scam they can find proves to be not too profitable, this small company who call themselves a "boutique firm" are always looking for their big break. Along comes David Zinc, a Harvard graduate who has been working for a lucrative law firm, very high salary with too much pressure. No longer able to cope David decides on a whim to leave, after spending a drunken day in a bar reassessing his life he finds himself walking into a new job working for the incorrigible Finley and Figg. The story unfolds as the opportunity arises for these three dynamic men to take on a large pharmaceutical company who appear to be selling a lethal drug. A thoroughly interesting, well written and enjoyable read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
After the disappointment, as reviewed, of John Grisham's `the Associates', I did tend towards the belief that Mr. Grisham had perhaps lost his writing `edge', a problem not unknown in the creative world.

But my interest and admiration for this craftsman has been rekindled by his latest offering, `The Litigators' because in that novel, Mr, Grisham is back on top form. His dialogue is crisp, and in places extremely funny.

His plotlines were brought from real life, his writing about the small boy, damaged beyond all help by a negligent toy manufacturer is both real and understanding; his characters weren't cardboard cut-outs, but real, imperfect human beings.

I liked the manner of his hero's awakening to the drone-like truth of his existence, and especially the scenes in Abner's bar, with one of the strangest walk-on parts ever crafted being the 93 year-old millionairess who just liked getting sozzled.

A triumphant return to the best-seller listings from this wordsmith and craftsman
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A helluva lot of fun 23 Mar 2012
In the beginning of his writing career, I very much enjoyed Grisham's books, however, books like "The testament" I found amazingly boring and flat.
And then he writes the beautiful "The painted House" and the very amusing "Playing for pizza". But I have not read anything very interesting until "The confession" and now "The litigators".

"The Litigators" is a funny, passionate book about the workings of the legal worlds in the US. We read about the partners at Finley & Figg and their tough secretary and let's not forget the dog. Then David Zinc stumbles in thoroughly drunk after having fled the morning of the same day from an enormous legal corporation and 100-hour workweeks.

Figg hears about a potentially huge torts lawsuit against a pharmaceutical manufacturer of an alleged dangerous drug and he starts signing up clients. He nor his partner has any experience to speak of in litigation and eventually is up to a formidable army of the most talented lawyers in a lawsuit that was not expected.

Grisham always points out the horrible, despicable way most? big corporations conduct their business.
Anyway, I found myself laughing on lots of occasions and it left me feeling good, thus, shoppers, buy and read the book and have fun.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very enjoyable.
Published 1 day ago by Karen Butler
4.0 out of 5 stars 7/10
I thought it was realistic but not as gripping as some of his works.
Published 5 days ago by HPENDRAGON
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I'm happy customer
Published 5 days ago by Virginia Lynes-lumsden
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely jubbly
I always like John Grisham, but here he excels himself. This is unputdownable. Even better for us OAPs it was free!
Published 5 days ago by T. James
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good seller great value
Published 7 days ago by martin mummery
5.0 out of 5 stars Real characters with real flaws.
Really fast moving story in typical Grisham fashion. Great characters with some amusing flaws. An interesting insight into how the system of law is so open to corruption - I liked... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Mrs. S. L. Dickinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Absolutely loved this book and found bits of the story good humour
Published 8 days ago by Frances McFarland
5.0 out of 5 stars A rollercoaster ride
I'm sure Mr. Grisham doesn't need me to tell him that he writes brilliantly and can turn a really engrossing story out of not very promising material. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Philip Whiteland
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Grisham so it's got to be good!
It's a story about lawyers as you would expect but this time it's about the bottom feeders - ambulance chasers! Read more
Published 12 days ago by Mo
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
John Grisham is always reliable and this is no exception. It is always disappointing to reach the end of his books so quickly!
Published 12 days ago by Colin Hilton
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