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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 30 January 2005
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!
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
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.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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 !!!!!!!!!!! )
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
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.
Excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 February 2011
I really enjoyed this e-book. A gripping story with some wonderful moments in the court-room scenes where corporate big business were shown up to be liars and cheats. Fat-cat lawyers don't come out of the book smelling of roses either! It's book rich with side stories that add to the pleasure. The central character, Rudy Baylor, is an impecunious young lawyer just starting out in his career. He's mainly a good guy fighting for the underdog. As his first case he gets embroiled in a massive law-suit against a dodgy insurance company who have repeatedly refused to pay for life-saving medical treatment for the son of one of their policy-holders. The book has many humorous moments but also exposes the fate of many poor Americans in a country without a national health service and the power of big business aided by their lawyers.
A book that made me think, but also made me laugh.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2001
The beginning of this book is a little boring but if you sit through it you will get to one of the best books every written. This was my second Grisham book i had ever read. It is one of those unputdownable books. I would recommend this book to anyone. People seem to put down the Rainmaker in comparison to other Grisham books such as the Partner but i would disagree. The plot was gripping -i stayed up all night.
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