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The Street Lawyer Paperback – 15 Oct 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 203 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Century; New edition edition (15 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712679324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712679329
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.6 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,460,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

John Grisham is back with his latest courtroom conundrum, The Street Lawyer. This time the lord of legal thrillers dives deep into the world of the homeless, particularly their barely audible legal voice in a world dominated by large, all-powerful law firms. Our hero, Michael Brock, is on the fast track to partnership at Washington D.C.'s premier law firm, Sweeny & Drake. His dream of someday raking in a million plus a year is finally within reach. Nothing can stop him, not even 90- hour workweeks and a failing marriage--until he meets DeVon Hardy, a.k.a. "Mister," a Vietnam vet with a grudge against his landlord--and a few lawyers to fry. Hardy, with no clear motive, takes Brock and eight of his colleagues hostage in a boardroom, demanding their tax returns and interrogating them with a conviction that would have put perpetrators of the Spanish Inquisition to shame. Hardy, a man of few words and a lot of ammunition, mumbles cryptically: "Who are the evictors?" as he points a .44 automatic within inches of Brock's face. The violent outcome of the hostage situation triggers an abrupt soul-searching for the young lawyer, and Hardy's mysterious question continues to haunt him. Brock learns that Hardy had been in and out of homeless shelters most of his life, but he had recently begun paying rent in a rundown building; that means he has legal recourse when a big money-making outfit such as Sweeny & Drake boots him with no warning. When Brock realises that his profession caters to the morally challenged, he sets out on an aimless search through the dicier side of D.C., ending up at the 14th Street Legal Clinic. The clinic's director, a gargantuan man named Mordecai Green, woos Brock to the clinic with a $90,000 cut in pay and the chance to redeem his soul. Brock takes it--and some of the story's credibility along with it; it's hard to believe that a Yale graduate who sacrificed everything--including his marriage--to succeed in the legal profession would quickly jump at the opportunity for low-paying charitable work. However, Brock's search for corruption in the swanky upper echelons of Sweeny & Drake (via the toughest streets of D.C.) is filled with colourful characters and realistic, gritty descriptions. In the The Street Lawyer, Grisham once again defends the voiceless and powerless. In the words of Mordecai Green: "That's justice, Michael. That's what street law is all about. Dignity." --Amazon.com

Review

"No one does it better than Grisham. This latest novel is as unputdownable as ever." (Daily Telegraph)

"Fluent and fascinating. Few writers have so much to say, the skills to make reading what they say an irresistible pleasure -- and the clout to be able to say it to an audience of millions." (Independent)

"Compelling... Grisham is more adept at getting the reader to turn the page than almost any writer working today." (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
It might seem an odd choice to review a book coming up ten years old, but this has been sitting on my shelf gathering dust, and as it is the only Grisham book I haven't read, I decided to dip into it while I waited for the new Lee Child to come out. I'm glad I did.

It tells the story of Michael Brock, Corporate Lawyer earning big bucks, pretty wife, fast lane to partner status and millionairedom. Everything is rosy until an odd incident occurs. A vagrant, a street dweller hijacks the lawyers in their tower-block office and before he can make clear his demands, special-forces blow him away. The vagrant's brains are splashed over Brock's face. It changes his outlook on life, but then it would.

He begins to take an interest in the homeless, he resigns his cushy job and big bucks, loses his wife, and takes on pro bono unpaid legal work on behalf of the street people, and that is just the beginning of his journey.

This book concentrates attention on homeless people in American inner cities. Whether their plight has greatly changed in the intervening ten years I have no idea, but my guess is things haven't altered that much.

As always with Mister Grisham's books the narrative rushes along. I was never tempted to duck any pages and it is all too easy to see why he has shifted so many copies of his books over the years. I liked this one a lot. It was thought provoking, retained my attention throughout, and though I kind of guessed the ending long before I actually arrived there, I was never disappointed.

If you like Grisham, you will like this. If you don't like Grisham you will probably still like it. Definitely recommended.

Coincidentally this very day John Grisham was in London to collect a lifetime achievement award for among other things, selling over 250 million books. Incredibly he stated he had never won an award before. Perhaps writers should be more valued by us all, and feted too.
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Format: Paperback
This book is brilliant! The story grabs you from the very first chapter which prompts you to continue reading. The story tells of how a hard-hearted lawyer re-thinks his priorities in life and chooses to help those people less off. The story is touching and makes you think after reading it. It is definately not just a read and throw away book! John Grisham has demonstrated what an excellent writer he truly is with this text and I would advise anyone who is reading this review to purchase the book as soon as possible.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As ever with John Grisham, this is an excellent read. It is particularly satisfying, I find, that this novel is much concerned with the gulf between rich and poor and the lack of understanding between the high flyers and gross earners of the 'top' city lawyers and the lawyers with social conscience and minimal salaries, who work with sympathy and compassion for the very poor, the rough sleepers, the druggies and anyone whom high society has left behind swept under the nearest convenient carpet. Grisham's espousement of the high standards of the pro bono lawyers makes for a highly interesting as well as a very moving novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't go in for superlatives but this one deserves it.
John Grisham not only writes in a lucid and compelling style explaining the legal technicalities and facts of the case but tells a ripping yarn.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
John Grisham can always be relied upon to leave his readers feeling slightly more hopeful for the state of humankind. This book, perhaps even more than his others, explores the way in which anybody with real conviction - even lawyers who are locked in a money-orientated profession - can make a positive difference to the lives of others. The story, which deals with the terrible state of homelessness in the USA, explores the conscience of one young man and how one shocking event can tip that conscience from selfishness to genuine care for others. I particularly love the ending of this book....... I just wish this was fact and not fiction.
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Format: Paperback
Grisham often writes about the mendacity of lawyers who will do all they can to earn as much as possible, usually over-billing their clients. But here we have lawyers who have a conscience. The life of one greedy lawyer is changed for ever by contact with a deranged homeless man. He becomes a lawyer for the poor losing his wealth, his wife and almost his career. My one criticism would be that his ending is so nice as to be rather incredible. Nevertheless, you have to love the abilities of a great storyteller.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read several Grisham novels and quite enjoy the tales of high end legal wranglings in the businesses and courts of the United States. This was a similar, if predictable tale. Quite easy to read....nasty bug time lawyer turns good....David and Goliath in the courtrooms....but you know how it's going to finish. It was worth 99p but I wouldn't pay more.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read all of John's books, mostly more than once. This is a really good story on many levels. It shows up man's greed and the helplessness of others. A few people with the right will can make so many others' lives so much better.
Well done John for trying to raise our social conscience.
A really good read that grabs you from the start!
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