The Street Lawyer Paperback – 15 Oct 1998
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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
"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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Well done John for trying to raise our social conscience.
A really good read that grabs you from the start!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First John Grisham book I have read, very good and will read more.Published 3 days ago by fannyfear
Gt to 58% & have better things to do with my life, this is so drawn out, not his normal standard by any stretch. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Laserman59
This for me is a good one, doing what John Grisham does best in the 'venial lawyer wakes up and reclaims his soul, doing something amazing to stick it to the bad guys on his or her... Read morePublished 14 days ago by millywhiz
Not the usual page turner, usually finish JG's books in a couple days but not finished yet.Published 22 days ago by mlynda j
If legal thrillers are your thing you can't really go wrong with John Grisham who must be the king of the genre. A tale of David and Goliath with a strong moral underpinning. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Minkymoo