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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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I have read John GRISHAM books for what amounts to decades. If you know the author, although there have been a couple of blips, I sincerely doubt that you have ever had a major disappointment.

This book, once again is superb.

I will give away no more of the story line. I judge a book by the intensity by which I want to keep reading. A book that compels you to keep
turning for just one page more, one page more. That is a good book.

Not the absolute best of his books but the book has me, wanting to keep reading.
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on 5 July 2011
I'm afraid to say I wasn't particularly impressed by this Grisham. Clay Carter is a run-of-the-mill public defender in Washington when he's offered an unbelievable opportunity, to take a mass tort case worth millions. Sadly, Clay comes across as a bit of a gullible money-grabbing idiot, and there's little there for the reader to identify with.

The set-up is a good one, and the book starts really well, introducing the characters and their relationships and kicking off the plot in good time. However it's all a bit downhill from there - it skips through a lot very quickly, and in fact the whole book covers 18 months while it feels like only a week or two should have passed.

The plot is not really at all as billed. The first few chapters cover this but it's only the set-up for what's to come, and particularly the second half of the book becomes quite depressing, and although you feel that the right thing is happening in a moral sense, it's disappointing after the effort that the first half went to build Carter up.

Overall, I feel this is one of the weakest Grisham books. I was unsure of the situation from the start, and found it failed to engage. His plots seem to have gone downhill quite a bit since the days of 'A Time To Kill' and 'The Firm', and I hope they pick up again.
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on 7 March 2014
I found ‘King of Torts’ to be a fine read.
It is very much in John Grisham’s predicable style.
For me it got a little hard going about ¾ the way through but was never the less an interesting book which I recommend to those of us who like classic Grisham.
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Clay Carter had worked at the Office of the Public Defender for too long. His uptown girlfriend, Rebecca, wanted to stop working, get married, buy a large home, and have children. Her parents keep sticking their rich noses into the situation also. Of course, this made the situation worse, especially when her daddy gets Clay a high paying job (thinking Clay would never be able to get a better one on his own) and expected Clay to snatch it up. But Clay refused to be beholden to her family or under their thumb, even if it meant losing Rebecca.
Things changed when Max Pace entered the picture. Max became Clay's source to getting several cases against pharmaceutical companies. Clay's settlements would change his life. Then he stumbled upon a conspiracy too horrible to believe!
**** While reading this book I kept being reminded of John Grisham's last novel. I now believe it was foreshadowing this book. There is nothing shocking to the reader here or any unexpected twists. Any reader with a lick of sense will easily be able to predict what is going to happen in the main character's near and distant future. However, the story is still pure joy to read and written in a way that only John Grisham can do. Recommended reading! ****
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on 10 February 2003
Greed is good or is it? These are the words that best describe 'The King of Torts'. Having read all of Mr. Grisham's previous books and been thoroughly disappointed by some of the most recent ones ('A Painted House' & 'The Summons') I didn't quite know what to expect this time. However, Mr. Grisham is after all the author of some of the most exiting legal thrillers I have ever read ('A Time to Kill', 'The Pelican Brief', etc.) and I therefore decided to give him another chance. Luckily he didn't let me down this time - 'The King of Torts' is without doubt the best Grisham book in years!
The book presents the often repeated and much used story-line "Lawyers are greedy, bottom-feeding sharks and generally a menace to society" - so there is nothing new here. Nevertheless, the story is interesting and the book in many parts proved to be a real page-turner.
The story centers around a bright young public defender, Clay Carter, who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and therefore reluctantly ends up defending a young man charged with murder. Carter, who is overworked and underpaid, and to a certain extent scarred by his father's premature 'retirement' from the legal profession is fed up with his current job. His relationship with his long-term girlfriend (and her obnoxious parents) is also suffering and he is therefore easy prey for the mysterious Mr. Pace, who approaches him with a deal too good to turn down - a deal that could make him the new King of Torts.
Driven by his desire to succeed and the promise of massive cash rewards Carter soon finds himself attacking 'corporate evil' i.e. one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, who knowingly has launched a faulty drug into the market.
Although Carter does not know it yet he will soon realize that he is in way over his head and that only a very thin line separates 'The King of Torts' from 'The King of Shorts'....
At times some parts were far fetched but overall I believe Grisham in 'The King of Torts' has found the balance of being descriptive without being too wordy and thorough without becoming boring.
This book is vintage Grisham - a good and suspenseful read that kept me interested the whole way and I would therefore recommend it to anyone interested in this genre.
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on 25 February 2003
Having read most of John Grishams previous novels I eagerly awaited the 'King of Torts' the book starts of brilliantly with the excellent character development and pacey plot that Grisham fans expect. It wasn't until I was half way through that I started to realise this book was seriously below par.
Grishams books are hard to fault due to his extensive research and brilliant writing style, he manages to twist and turn the plot without throwing the reader off, but this excellent writing style was completely lacking in the second half of the book.
Whilst I appreciate this is not supposed to be a 'thriller' (unlike most of his efforts) I found the book suddenly lost pace and became predictable after such a good start, it seemed like Mr Grisham had lost interest in the excellent tale he'd set out to tell and instead just switched off.
Rent this book from a library if you're a Grisham fan, it's not even worth the discounted price unfortunately...
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VINE VOICEon 26 January 2005
I'm a Grisham fan and unlike some, I wasn't disappointed by this book.
It details the story of a young lawyer, Clay Carter, who comes across the chance to sue a large company, via a class action suit, for a large financial reward.
Following through on his chance Clay is thrust into the big leagues of class action attourneys, and soon gets to meet fellow tort lawyers who have made their fortunes by signing up many clients and suing on their behalf, skimming off a hefty slice of the settlement for themselves.
He feels good about himself and getting carried away sees the opportunity to earn another bucket of money, and jumps in feet first .
This is a story of greed and excess at the expense of the people you should be there to protect. I feel its an example of how the focus today is on the quick and easy buck at the expence of what you may have initially set out to achieve, with a valuable lesson learned at the end.
All in all I think this is a solid enough read
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on 4 March 2003
Clay Carter, 31 years old, is a financially poor, disillusioned Washington D.C. public defender. Although he just wrapped up a three year murder case and would definitely like a break, he doesn't get it. Instead he gets Tequila Watson, a young man arrested for a random murder. The sheer randomness sets Clay sniffing for clues, and what he sniffs out is more than he ever bargained for -- a visit from a stranger named Max Pace who is known in the legal world as a fireman, someone hired by large companies who have messed up to fix their mistakes behind the scenes. This time, a huge corporation's drug is making people kill. Tequila was on this drug. If Clay will quit his job and set up his own practice, the corporation will pay him 15 million to help them quietly settle with the victims. Unable to say no to so much money, Clay agrees. Besides the money, he gets as a reward a huge mass tort case and is soon richer than his wildest dreams. But even after he owns his own jet and fancy home and has a beautiful model on his arm, he doesn't have the woman he loves. And he doesn't have security. The FBI is sniffing at his heels. Former clients aren't happy. What will happen if the King of Torts himself gets sued?
I never thought I'd see the day when I was ready to give a Grisham book five stars, but by the middle of THE KING OF TORTS I was planning to do just that. Somehow, without resorting to unexpected twists, violence, sex, or worldwide conspiracies (seemingly the fare of many thrillers today), Grisham managed to achieve incredible suspense. While certainly no master of setting, his prose is clean, his plotting tight and fast, and his message as clear as the nose on your face (pardon the cliche) -- mass tort litigation is bad! And I have no doubt readers will be convinced he knows what he's talking about, since I was.
However, this book never actually made the five stars in my mind because of the last third. I can't point to any particular place where it went wrong, just that it slowed to the point where I was checking pages to see how many I had left and finally, in the last couple chapters, skipping paragraphs altogether. THE KING OF TORTS is like THE FIRM in many ways, from weak women characters to protagonists with poor morals to endings that sag. Grisham has remarkable talent, especially when it comes to writing books that would make great movies, but he also works from a formula and too often his novels reveal that formula. Unfortunately, THE KING OF TORTS is no exception.
Although readers who enjoy high intrigue and lots of twists will probably be better off looking elsewhere, for legal thriller lovers and Grisham fans, THE KING OF TORTS is a solid, moralistic read I highly recommend.
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If you've already read any of Grisham's earlier books then you'll love this one, he just gets better. He creates a likeable main character, makes you love him and then when it all goes awry you love him even more. A very gripping fast read and, as usual, great twists.
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on 12 February 2003
Anyone who likes John Grisham and was dissapointed with " A Painted House " Will love this book as it is Grisham returning to top form, as good as "A Tim to Kill" & "The partner".
All the characters are instantly likeable particulary Clay Carter & Patton French, a measure of how good this book is, is that I was getting genuinely concerned about the number of Dyloft cases which would raise their head ( Read the book and find out)
Apart from being a brilliant story it is also an analysis of the way money and power corrupt and ultimatley destroy someone.
Nice One John
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