The Pelican Brief Hardcover – 1 Mar 1992
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|Hardcover, 1 Mar 1992||
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" Gripping... a genuine page-turner. Grisham is a skillful craftsman." -- "The New York Times Book Review,"
" Grisham has done it again!" -- "Chicago Tribune,"
" A fast-paced thriller... it's got the unmistakable Grisham style -- conspiracy in high places, evil and innocent lawyers, assassins and a plot that will keep you reading into the small hours of the morning." -- "The Cincinnati Post,"
"Gripping... a genuine page-turner. Grisham is a skillfulcraftsman." -- "The New York Times BookReview."
"Grisham has done it again!"-- "Chicago Tribune."
"A fast-paced thriller... it's got the unmistakableGrisham style -- conspiracy in high places, eviland innocent lawyers, assassins and a plot thatwill keep you reading into the small hours of themorning." -- "The CincinnatiPost.""
AN AMERICAN CLASSIC FROM THE NO.1 BESTSELLING MASTER LEGAL THRILLER WRITER --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
For the first two thirds of the novel, I couldn't put it down. It was a bona fide page turner, but as more and more of the story unfolded, I couldn't help but feel that Grisham was somehow cheating me out of a better novel. The vast majority of the characters we meet in the book have already read the contents of Darby's brief, but Grisham decides to leave the reader completely in the dark until the last act. It reeks of convenient plot device : here we have twenty odd characters wandering around with full knowledge of The Brief, and not one of them feels the need to talk about its contents, just so Darby can have her big Narrative Moment several hundred pages into the book. I haven't seen the film, but it doesn't take much thinking to know how Julia Roberts must have played it!
And it's pretty much downhill from there. With the big mystery out of the way, the novel devolves into the usual scenarios. Will the bad guys find Darby ? Will she expose the villains ? Will she survive ? It doesn't take a genius to work it out, and the continual cat-and-mouse chases are fairly standard, been-there-done-that, thriller fare.
The last hundred or so pages of the novel are padded out beyond belief. I kept waiting for something more to happen, and when it didn't, I wondered why Grisham didn't just wrap them up into one small chapter.Read more ›
Law student, Darby Shaw, is one of those who speculates on a potential motive, sharing it with her Law Professor lover, who subsequently passes it on to a friend in the FBI. From here, events quickly spiral out of control as the document known as the Pelican Brief, creates waves at the very heart of the American government.
This is an enjoyable, political thriller filled with lashings of corruption and greed. I really enjoyed the unrelenting pace of the first half but for me this pace isn't sustained in the second half and as a result my interest began to waver. I believe the latter half of the book would have benefitted immensely from some additional editing to trim the length.
However I would still recommend it. This is one of John Grisham's early publications and perhaps not as polished as his later efforts but it's still a decent read.
I was disappointed with this overall and feel that the 6 out of 10 is slightly generous. The previous Grisham novel I have read, "The Partner", was a solid page turner whereas this one never really got going. I couldn't get into the main story and it felt like Grisham was trying to keep a fast pace and glossed over a couple of areas which could have been fleshed out more and created a better overall read.
The thing that annoyed me first was the obsession Grisham had with drumming home the fact that Darby was a good looking, young, smart female. I got it the first time she was described; I didn't need every male character to then mention how stunning she was. Hit men who are paid to hunt her down and kill her are busy oohing and aahing at her good looks. Do the bad guys only hire hit men who think with the wrong kind of gun? Even the guys who are in grave danger go on about it. Give it a rest!
I do have my qualms with this book and whilst it never got flowing as I expected there were some good ideas overall. But once you understood the conspiracy and what she wrote in the brief, there were over a 100 pages left it took a little nose dive in pacing and interest. The characters weren't great either so they couldn't keep the story going at the end. Talking of endings, this one was rubbish. I genuinely wanted to throw the book on the floor when reading the last chapter.
Obviously I wasn't impressed but I will read more from this author and put this one down as a misunderstanding. I much prefer the Mickey Haller series by Michael Connolley and would recommend them to anyone looking for a good legal thriller but I have a few more of Grisham's novels lined up and hoping he can supply me with a good thriller down the line.
To make it work would have taken a better writer. Grisham seems never to revise, never to wonder if something could be better expressed. So someone asleep is "dead to the world" (more than once). Two nurses "sort of" drag a patient; the journalist "sort of" dances to the phone. People "ease into" a room, "ease through" a door, traffic "eases" downtown. And "rather unique" is meaningless; there are no fractions of uniqueness.
Characterisation is one dimensional and sometimes plain unbelievable: the girl vacillates between being immobilised by fear and making inordinately detailed plans for her escape - only to put off discussing them in one instance until she had had "a bite to eat." On another occasion "there was not a second to lose." And for the nice girl she is portrayed as the phrase "spill my guts" sits uncomfortably.
This is a very long, tedious book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic in every way. Strong plot strong characters. Fast moving and plausible . Great read just should have read it years ago.Published 24 days ago by Edgson Medoras
Intriguing. You can get used to the US idioms afetr a few chapters.Published 1 month ago by J. Claves Silurorum
The story starts well but wanders in the middle and ends in a drawn out way
Room for improvement in my opinion
I'd never read a John Grisham book but after reading The Client and The Pelican Brief I'm hooked.Fantastic!!Published 3 months ago by irene scott