Rudy Baylor is just like a lot of other law students, he's worked hard through law school, and he dreams of the day he'll make it as a high paid attorney at a big law firm. He's been lucky, he has found a firm willing to take him on providing he passes the bar exam. However disaster strikes and the firm he is about to join is taken over and he now faces unemployment and a huge amount of student debt.
His only chance is a bad faith case that involves an insurance company who failed to pay out on a boy dying of leukaemia despite his mother making all the necessary payments. Worse still the boy may actually have been saved if the company had paid out when it was supposed to.
Ironically, the firm involved is the very one who cost Rudy his job and when similar cases begin arising throughout the country a trial that will be one of the biggest in U.S. history looks inevitable.
For me this was one of, if not my favourite John Grisham book. I read it in a few days finding the story addictive, the characters empathetic and the plot gripping and twisting from start to finish. I've never seen the film version, but i would highly recommend this book, 5 stars!
on 6 November 2007
I so much enjoyed reading this book. The writing is extraordinary, John Grisham shows us again that he's an expert. When you read the book, you'll think you're near the main character, that you're sitting right beside him. The moral message of the book jumps right into your face and you also suffer and laugh with the main characters.
In his first courtroom thriller since A Time To Kill, John Grisham tells the story of a young man barely out of law school who finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America - and exposing a complex, multibillion-dollar insurance scam.
In his final semester of law school, Rudy Baylor is required to provide free legal advice to a group of senior citizens, and it is there that he meets his first "clients", Dot and Buddy Black. Their son, Donny Ray, is dying of leukemia, and their insurance company has flatly refused to pay for his medical treatments, a bone marrow transplant.
While Rudy is at first sceptical, he soon realises that the Blacks really have been shockingly mistreated by the huge company, and that he just may have stumbled upon one of the largest insurance frauds anyone's ever seen - and one of the most lucrative and important cases in the history of civil litigation.
The problem is, Rudy's flat broke, he has no job, hasn't even passes the bar, and is about to go head-to-head with one of the best defense attorneys - and powerful industries - in America.
I would give this book five stars, because it's the funniest novel Grisham has ever written. There's so much laughter, but - and I think that's life - there are also parts where tears will come running down your face. It's such a sensitive side of the main character Grisham shows, and that also tells us that Grisham's writings are varied and not always the same lawyer stories we expect.
Please, read the book, it's worth every minute you spend with it.
(Written by Stopfel !!!!!!!!!!! )
on 21 September 1999
This was the 4th or 5th Grisham book I read. I got a bit concerned when I noted it was written in 'I' mode (or whatever you call that in English). That concern was quickly forgotten (the brief introduction to Rudy's dad in the beginning had me laugh right away and suggested good reading coming) and I almost read it non-stop and it was very difficult to put down. Seldom do I laugh aloud reading a book alone at home but this book had me doing it a couple of times. And I wouldn't have expected that from a Grisham book. My best reading experience for a long time. I'm halfway through the 'Pelican Brief' at the moment and its great too. But not as entertaining as Rudy Baylor's story. I have learned a lot about the American legal system reading Grisham. I think most civilized people are dreaded by that crazy system and hopefully Grisham's writing makes a small contribution towards, eventually, changing that madness. When I find a new, favourite author I always get very concerned when I realize that there aren't that many more books to be read by that author. This feeling is particularly pronounced with Grisham.
on 2 March 2006
When I was searching for another John Grisham book to read having finished The Broker, I was looking for one of his older titles. I was unsure at first as to whether I would enjoy it with the narrative told by the main character, Rudy. But I needn`t of worried. Fantastic. Certainly up there with his best works like The Firm and A Time To Kill, The Rainmaker is one of those stories where you feel attached to the character and want to root for him almost all the way through. The Premise being it involves a lawsuit taken against an insurance company which refused to pay out for an operation to save its client`s life, this really puts you on the side of the client. Rudy of course leads the charge against the company in a new (but small) firm with just a local contact who cant pass the bar exam to help. The writing style puts you at ease immediately and with various courtroom chapters throughout the majority of the book, it grips you just like The Firm did. Granted his more recent work lacks some of the freshness and punch it used to have but if you like John Grisham, then I advise you to read his earliest work too and you will not be disappointed. And whatever you do, dont use the film as an indication of how good the book is, as always, please just read the book first and enjoy the unfolding story. His earliest books are the best with the odd exception of his newer novels, but The Rainmaker is definitely up in his top four.
on 1 December 1998
Ranks along side The Firm as Grisham at his best. Any law student can relate to the struggle for jobs faced by the lead character. Based on a similar formula to The Firm - ie idealistic Law graduate with high ethics entering the real world of lawyers where he finds that very little ethics exist.Bound to make potential lawyers think twice about there future careers. As usual the book beats the movie - although Matt Damon did afine job, and Danny De Vito is perfect for his character! A dry sense of humour is also present which is missing from his previous books, and Grisham's forte of great characterisation is also present.
on 18 January 2006
At the beginning I thought I wouldn't get through more than the first few paragraphs but how wrong I was. I also read this until early hours of the morning finding it hard to put down. Compelling reading exciting twists and turns and excellently written about the law courts.
A book that must be read.
It explains how a law student finds a case that changes his life and the way he thinks about people.
on 16 January 2013
'The Rainmaker' represents John Grisham writing at his peak. Unfortunately he peaked early in his writing career and much of his later output does not live up to this book, but putting that aside, here we have a good novel that - in my opinion - stands-up well with any of the popular classics. Anyone new to Grisham's work should begin with either this or 'The Firm'.
'The Rainmaker' is written entirely in the first person, through the voice of sympathetic attorney Rudy Baylor. While Baylor is newly-qualified, it becomes clear that he is no novice as he proceeds to rail and fight against injustice, causing trouble along the way: in short, doing exactly what lawyers are supposed to do. Rudy, while by no means perfect, nevertheless represents an ideation of the legal profession - the 'cautious troublemaker' - pitted against its dark, corrupt soul embodied by his corporate- and lawyer-opponents. What transpires is a simple but soul-affirming triumph of good over evil, of reason over greed and stupidity. The slight banality of this can be overlooked as it's a great story and despite the challenges of the first person voice as a literary mode, Grisham emerges with a swagger.
The only bitter lemon is that all this has to sit alongside Grisham's irritating tendency to push his 'right-on' politics on us like a sweaty salesman. On page 420 we find this gem:
"My model juror is young and black with at least a high school education. It's ancient wisdom that blacks make better plaintiff's jurors. They feel for the underdog and distrust white corporate America. Who can blame them?"
Yes, I cringed as well. Thankfully this novel is pretty clean and the author only lapses into this kind of PC garbage once or twice - a tolerable average in a fine work. What 'The Rainmaker' demonstrates is that John Grisham can be a good writer when he wants to be.
We all know that to make a good joke, you've got to exaggerate the right elements while ignoring what isn't funny. John Grisham creates a slapstick winner with a book about a bumbling young lawyer who isn't going to Wall Street . . . in fact, he has to declare bankruptcy before he passes the bar exam.
But don't confuse this book with a humorous book about the law. This novel would have to be toned down by about 60 degrees before that would be possible. This is a comic book version of a funny story about "what if" a law student didn't have a job, any money, or any connections after three years of torts and briefs.
Rudy Baylor is dragged by his professor to a meeting of senior citizens to give out free advice. He meets the meeting's hostess who wants to change her will to favor a television evangelist with her millions. Rudy also meets the parents of a young man who will die from leukemia because the insurance company wouldn't pay for a bone marrow transplant.
This all seems like a pleasant way to spend a few hours finishing a class until Rudy's promised job evaporates in a shotgun law firm merger. Now, he tries to trade off his leads into some cash and some work. The complications are unexpected, unrealistic, and slapstick funny. There's a sweetness to Rudy's character that you won't find in many real lawyers that makes the book work.
I found myself wondering what pratfalls John Grisham would foist on poor Rudy next. That was a major part of the attraction of the story.
If you hate lawyers and insurance companies, you'll find nothing to discourage either view in this jaundiced critique of the legal profession.
But you'll have some smiles and chuckles along the way, neither of which would happen if there were any real lawyers around.
on 2 January 2007
Rudy Baylor is a law graduate from Memphis State Law School. He secures a position with a Memphis law firm, which he loses when the firm is bought out by another larger firm. As one of the few members of his class without a job lined up, Rudy is forced to apply for part-time and poorly-paid law positions. Then he gets an offer from a large Memphis law firm, but it falls through before he has even begun.
Desperate for a job, he reluctantly allows "Prince" Thomas, the crooked owner of a sleazy bar where he's been working part-time, to introduce him to J. Lyman "Bruiser" Stone, a ruthless but successful ambulance-chasing lawyer, who makes him an associate. But to earn his fee, Rudy is required to hunt for potential clients at the local hospital where he must pick up injury cases and sign them up. He is introduced to Deck Shifflet, a less-than-ethical former insurance assessor
Rudy Baylor could be any of us when we had just graduated; desperate for that first job that would set the career tape rolling for better prospects. One would think that Baylor missed out being thrown in the deep end by missing out on the premier law firms but in fact that's contrary to the storyline. Here, he has to face legal bigwigs who would go to any means to crush the hopes of those honest and poor people whose sole investment was in the form of a simple insurance policy.
As i tend to favour the underdog, I enjoyed this book; so much that even when the electricity went out during a cyclone, i was still reading it in candlelight. The film too is very good, but reads the book first.
on 20 June 2003
The book begins with the main character, Rudy Baylor, leaving law school and his trials to find work. Right this doesnt sound too interesting, maybe more of a documentary about how to find work, but perservere over the apparent lack of a genuine plot to begin with, and the story soon begins.
You'll be amazed at how engrossing the first hundread or so pages are, as very little happens but dont worry because there is one hell of a storyline just after this. Once the plot does kick in then I promise you, you'll find it difficult to put down. It keeps its pace right up until the end when there is quite an unexpected, if odd ending to a very good book.