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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Grisham's best
In THE TESTAMENT, we have an obscenely wealthy businessman committing suicide after devising the perfect plan to vengefully deprive a flock of vulture-like heirs from inheriting his $11 billion estate. Rather, he leaves it all to an illegitimate daughter working as a missionary to the Indians in the remote outback of Brazil. Our hero, Nate, is a burned-out lawyer just out...
Published on 17 Dec 2002 by Joseph Haschka

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good but not great read - still worth the effort
This is a good book & classic Grisham, but not his best (which is still "The Rainmaker" as far as I'm concerned). The difference here is that it's refreshing to see the main character - Nate - removed from the usual seedy surroundings of the law, and sent to deepest, darkest South America to find the mysterious heir to an $11bn fortune. A recovering...
Published on 26 Jan 2000


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good but not great read - still worth the effort, 26 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
This is a good book & classic Grisham, but not his best (which is still "The Rainmaker" as far as I'm concerned). The difference here is that it's refreshing to see the main character - Nate - removed from the usual seedy surroundings of the law, and sent to deepest, darkest South America to find the mysterious heir to an $11bn fortune. A recovering alcoholic and drug addict fresh from his 4th stay in rehab, Grisham concentrates on exploring the reasons for Nate's habitual self-abuse and his struggles with getting - and staying - clean just one last time. Even so, I felt this darker side could have been delved into much more. His South American adventures make gripping and sometimes amusing stuff, but the downside is that you also have to put up with is "reawakened spirituality", a plot twist which after a while becomes thin and tries your patience. The final chapters where Nate is deposing the ghastly Phelan tribe bring us sharply back to what Grisham is best at - courtroom drama. The story has as poignant ending which peters out somewhat, but don't let this put you off. Still worth the effort.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Grisham's best, 17 Dec 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
In THE TESTAMENT, we have an obscenely wealthy businessman committing suicide after devising the perfect plan to vengefully deprive a flock of vulture-like heirs from inheriting his $11 billion estate. Rather, he leaves it all to an illegitimate daughter working as a missionary to the Indians in the remote outback of Brazil. Our hero, Nate, is a burned-out lawyer just out of alcohol rehab sent to find the will's sole beneficiary. Even though she doesn't want the money, he returns to the States to defend her interests against those of the money-desperate ex-heirs and their just-as-greedy lawyers, probably the largest school of razor-toothed sharks ever encountered in a single volume.
Suffice it to say that Nate is one of the most appealing characters conjured by Grisham in a long time. By the end of the book, he finds professional, spiritual and emotional redemption stemming from his surprisingly brief encounter with Rachel, the elusive missionary daughter, and a somewhat longer bout with dengue fever. That, in itself, makes this story worth reading. The fact that the truly avaricious get their just desserts is frosting on the cake. A delicious read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Nutty Billionaire, Hapless Heirs, Greedy Lawyers, a Brazilian Search for Livingstone, and Redemption, 21 Jun 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
Troy Phelan, worth $11 billion, loves his business and hates his ex-wives and children. Rumored to be suffering from terminal cancer, Phelan calls the family together to sign a new will. The heirs cooperate by providing psychiatrists to observe and verify that Phelan is in his right mind. That's the apparent game plan, but Phelan has a second and more shocking one. Thus opens The Testament.

Probate law isn't very exciting, and John Grisham decides to dress it up with a cast of characters that are almost parodies of parodies, so much so that they didn't resonate with me. As a result, the "exciting" beginning bored me.

The bulk of the story eventually shifts to recovering alcoholic and drug addict, attorney Nate O'Riley, who is sent straight from rehab to Brazil to find a missing heir, Rachel Lane, who is a medical missionary to the indigenous people there. His journey is harrowing and tests his limited strength to the limits. But the journey also is a beginning of his personal redemption through receiving Salvation for the Lord, Jesus Christ. As soon as the redemption part of the story begins, the book vastly improves. Without that element, I would have rated this as a one- or two-star effort.

It's unusual for a secular writer to put a major Christian theme in a popular work of fiction. I applaud Mr. Grisham for doing so.

May God bless you, Mr. Grisham!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable easy read, 18 Jan 2006
By 
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
John Grisham is what I would call airport fiction. His stories are rarely taxing and in fact are often too simple. However, if you are on a long journey of lying on a sunny beach Grisham is a perfect read.
'The Testament' is one such novel and in my opinion the best I have read of his so far. After a multi billionaire kills himself his greedy family expects a huge pay out. However, the billionaire has decided to give his money to an unknown heiress who has become a missionary in Brazil. It is up to washed out lawyer Nate to track down this mysterious woman and get her to sign the forms – or the awful family will get it instead!
This book jumps between the pre-courtroom drama of the family suing their fathers estate with the adventures Nate has traveling the wilds of Brazil. The book is quite far fetched and in places a bit ridiculous but its fast pace and fun feel means you let it off. Another criticism lies in how fast the book is wrapped up. Perhaps Grisham could have added a few more pages rather than rushing to a conclusion.
However, overall I enjoyed the book immensely and I think you would too if you switch off the rationale part of your brain and go for the ride!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Page Turner, 7 Oct 2007
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
John Grisham has done it again. I had read this book originally a year after release. And I just finished my second read. And though it all started to come back to me as I read it...It was still an exciting page-turner as it was the first time. That says a lot about this book.

A self-made billionaire, the tenth richest man in America, has all his heirs come in to prove he is sane and competent before signing his last Will and Testament. Which he does, right before he commits suicide in front of those still present. And of course as he leaves out each and every known heir from his will. And as you learn how greedy and selfish they are, you are pleased he did.

He does pay off all his children's debt and leaves the remainder of his holdings to his illegitimate daughter no one knew he had. Nor does anyone know where she is. His law firm sends a drug/alcohol addict just out of rehab for the fourth time to find her. He finds her an M.D. who has dedicated her life to God and is working deep in the jungles of Brazil.

I found the book a very fast read that has some plot twist and is well written. Well worth the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Girsham's best since The Partner!, 23 Feb 2000
This review is from: The Testament (Hardcover)
Grisham is back with his most unputdownable book to date. He takes you on a trip through the amazon as a kind of metaphor for Nate O'Riley's, his central chracter, scramble back from alcohol and drug abuse (not to metion his failed marriages). Money, greed and amazing plot twist are all the best parts of Grisham's novels and this is no exception. Oh the last twist is the best one but your going to have to read it for yourself because I'm not going to tell you it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Grisham at his best - sleazy & moving!, 28 May 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
Troy Phelan, lunatic, eccentric, bored, lonley, or a mix of all four? Nate O'Riley do we feel sympathy or distain for this washed up litigator? Those terrifying spouses & siblings, bloated with rightous indignation & sheer greed; egged on by a ruthless and equaly greedy pack of lawyers.
Grisham treats us to a gripping page turner as O'Riley battles his personal demons and natural foes as he forges some unlikely bonds on his quest to find the elusive Miss Lane.
Interspaced with this we have the utterly disgusting tales of the heirs and their scheming lawyers, do people like this truly exist in the US? (Grisham time and again shows his obvious revulsion of the American litigator, it makes one wonder if he was frightened by a 'whole bunch of lawyers' as a small child.)
The climax of the book is both sad and uplifting a true mix of emotions. Nate O'Riley the next great Anti-Hero?
Classic Grisham - a must for any fan or a great introduction to one of the US's best mainstream fiction writers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A worthy read, 7 Jan 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
Grisham maintains his good form with a very readable tale giving sufficient depth to all the characters to retain the reader's interest throughout. The first chapter is a stormer leaving you anxious to read on, and although the rest of the book can't compete with the start it retains enough interest throughout to avoid any waning of interest. A Washington litigator's plight in the Brazilian jungles, in an area called the Pantanal, seaching for an unknown beneficiary of a rather large wad, leaves the reader wanting to know more about the region without it becoming a travelogue. It's a mixture of the legal wranglings back in Washington and the main character's adventures in the remote swamps of Brazil. Fans of Grisham should not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Money is the Root of all Evil, 17 Aug 2006
By 
G. M. Buchanan "Page marker" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
As I have stated in some of my other reviews I am a John Grisham fan having read most of his work. This may not be his best to date (not as good as The Client) but an enjoyable read nonetheless. Troy Phelan billionaire has found a way to die without leaving his back stabing family his money. Instead the money is left to his illegitimate daughter who is a World Tribes missionary on the Brazil-Bolivia border.It is left to Nate O'Riley a down and out lawyer to travel to Brazil to find this daughter while the rest of the family fight over the will in court. A good read that shows up the modern western way of life in a bad light and shows that you don't need lots of money to be content-----(No but it does help!).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously The Best, 3 Mar 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: The Testament (Paperback)
I was 14 and had gotten totally bored of all the Point Horror series, and the Christopher Pikes... I was about to leave Cape Town International on a 11 and a half hour journey to Spain and so decided i had to have something to read! Something clicked in my head and i thought of a book i had seen lying on the my friends bedside table, a book called The Firm, by John Grisham.. But, they didnt have that one and so recommended The Testament, which i dissapointedly accepted. Well, i cant tell you how happy i am i bought that book... I have never read something so excellent, thrilling, edgy, and capturing in my life... I mean the beginnig sentence had me crasped to the book for 6 hours of the flight... For anyone, this book is possibly one of the best ever...Trust me, you'll be happy you decided to buy it!
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The Testament
The Testament by John Grisham
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