Customer Reviews for

The Broker

Average Rating 3.5
( 295 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(78)

4 Star

(85)

3 Star

(63)

2 Star

(33)

1 Star

(36)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Over and Over

I read this book and loved it! I felt that Grisham really grabbed my attention right from the beginning on this one. From the late night pardon all the way to the trip back to Italy to find the lady who saved Joel's life, it was unescapable!! I bought the audio to liste...
I read this book and loved it! I felt that Grisham really grabbed my attention right from the beginning on this one. From the late night pardon all the way to the trip back to Italy to find the lady who saved Joel's life, it was unescapable!! I bought the audio to listen to while at work and I listen to it over and over. This book is worth the read!

posted by 1257456 on April 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Another 'who should I root for?' mess

While I still call myself a Grisham fan - especially with the goofy cartoon characters that appear in his prose - this book didn't work for me for two reasons: 1- Too much time and energy is spent on the Italy experience. It came across as an Italian travel commercial....
While I still call myself a Grisham fan - especially with the goofy cartoon characters that appear in his prose - this book didn't work for me for two reasons: 1- Too much time and energy is spent on the Italy experience. It came across as an Italian travel commercial. 2- Like 'The Brethren', since there was no real protagonist to root for, by the end I didn't care a flying fig how the story came out. I didn't feel the slightest bit of empathy for Joel. Teddy was a sadistic piece of work. Luigi was too cardboard to be of any help. The one engaging relationship - the love interest - was drawn far too subtly for my liking. C'mon - the guy was in prison for six years... would you want to look at porticos for two hundred pages? Extremely disappointing. Terribly.

posted by Anonymous on February 23, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    Another 'who should I root for?' mess

    While I still call myself a Grisham fan - especially with the goofy cartoon characters that appear in his prose - this book didn't work for me for two reasons: 1- Too much time and energy is spent on the Italy experience. It came across as an Italian travel commercial. 2- Like 'The Brethren', since there was no real protagonist to root for, by the end I didn't care a flying fig how the story came out. I didn't feel the slightest bit of empathy for Joel. Teddy was a sadistic piece of work. Luigi was too cardboard to be of any help. The one engaging relationship - the love interest - was drawn far too subtly for my liking. C'mon - the guy was in prison for six years... would you want to look at porticos for two hundred pages? Extremely disappointing. Terribly.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Another boring one.

    Too much talking, like the other books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    Slow and Boring

    I am so disappointed with this book. I expected it to be a thriller, but it was slow and boring. I think I will donate the book to the local library.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2007

    Boring, with lots of loose ends

    This is one of the worst books I've read, and Grisham should be ashamed. The story starts off promising, but after Backman makes it to Italy, it turns into a snoozer. Page after page after page of info that is totally irrelevant to the story's plot (might be okay if this were a tourism book). To make matters worse, Grisham leaves loose ends everywhere, and the ending is very unrealistic. I was highly disappointed, and will probably not read anything new by Grisham. He's lost his touch.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2006

    very disappointed

    I've always enjoyed Grisham's books - the intense as well as A Painted House (which told a great story)...but this one was just not up to his standards and I found it to be very disappointing - the last 100 pages, I flipped through just for the sake of finishing the book - as painful as it was. I didn't like any of the characters, and quite frankly, I just wanted all the characters to 'go away'. I've read many of his books - it may be a while before I read another 'newer' novel if they don't improve.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2006

    The Broker is a waste of your time

    The Broker is the first book of John Grisham's that I've read, and when I finished it I was wondering what all the fuss was about. This book reads like an abridged children's version of a longer, better book. All the characters are totally flat, boring, and stereotypical. Although this is meant to be a sort of political thriller, fully half the book is spent with the main character, Backman, wandering around Italy, drinking coffee and learning Italian. Parts of the book read like they were lifted directly from a tour guide on Italy. Meanwhile, the actual political side of the story seems overly simplistic and unbelievable. It's like Grisham can't decide what the main story is. Is it about one man's transformation from a greedy, rich, workaholic schemer, to a quiet man who appreciates the simple things? Or is it a thriller about espionage and corruption? As a result, neither story is any good. This book is a waste of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2006

    Finishing it just for the sake of it

    I'm more than halfway through the book and I still fail to see the point in all those conversations in Italian. And what about the descriptions of the churches with dates and all. Who on Earth cares? A big disappointment after reading other works by the same author. 'The Partner' was excellent, 'King of Torts' good, 'Street Lawyer' fine, but 'The Broker' is just plain boring!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2006

    the worst book i read from grisham

    you are loosing youre touch, this is one of the worst book, you have put out on the market, i should have listen to the critics on this one they were right.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2006

    grisham flops

    mr. grisham missed the mark on this one. i've read all of his other books and loved them. the broker, however, is packed full of empty characters and lacks definition. the plot ambles aimlessly towards some unattained goal. i struggled to complete this read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2005

    If I wanted to learn italian I would of got a book for that

    I've read most of Grishams books and I find this one , the only bad one. The plot makes no sense and the only good point is Grishams excelent narative.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2006

    Wow

    As with The Testament, I found myself wondering if the book was written so that the author could write off a trip - in this case to Italy. By the time the action picked up on about page 193, I found myself having endured a long Italian lesson and a poor travelogue of Italy. I did not feel invested in the character at all. My background is law and I enjoyed the author's early books very much. He indicated when his 13 year old word processor gives out he will probably be done writing. My thought upon reading that was, 'What a relief!'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    BORING - NOT UP TO PAR WITH PRIOR BOOKS

    Very disappointing unless you want to learn Italian -- absoutely boring until the very end. I kept waiting for the story to pick up and it finally did in the last 75 pages. Up to that time you read about failing people with failing plans and the release of The Broker to Italy where he doesn't speak the language and a tutor is hired so everything for pages and pages and pages is in Italian with English subtitles. I didn't like the book and I'm normally a big fan of Grisham. This one doesn't even come close to being a good read and it isn't a thrilling or suspensful read until the end. I normally keep my books -- this one I left on a bench in the San Francisco airport so someone could have it without spending more money on what amounted to 75 good pages of reading at the very very end. It is a cheap way to learn Italian, however.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2006

    Broker

    Absolutely one of the worst books I've read by Grisham. He should stick to the lawyer stories and leave espionage to Ludlam and David Baldacci. I would not recommend this book to anyone ... unless you're looking for a travelog for No. Italy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2005

    I love Grisham, but terrible book

    I could not believe Grisham actually wrote this book. I had to keep checking the front cover to make sure it was him. It starts out great and then ever so slowly turns ridiculous. The entire story makes no sense. Everyone is waiting to see who will kill the main character while we have to learn Italian? Read all of his books but not this one. Simply terrible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2005

    Grisham's Worst

    Having read every one of John Grisham's novels (no non-fiction), I have to say this was his worst. The character development is ok, but ends up doing unpredicatable (subsequently unbelievable) things as the story progresses. He does his usually superb job of capturing the reader from the beginning, but the book ends up going nowhere. The storyline just keeps going and going and going until Grisham opts to put the reader out of his/her misery and ends it. It is possible that this attempt at espionage is not in his skill set. I will continue to read John Grisham (especially if he returns to the Law Genre) but don't recommend The Broker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2005

    Terrible

    Read this book if you want to learn how to speak Italian but not if you want a good story. I have read every Grisham book and enjoyed them all, can't say that about this book. Wasted my money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2005

    John Grisham Learns Italian

    It galls me to have a reknown author put stuff on paper just to increase his wealth. A few more boring tales such as 'The Broker' will help drop John a bit. So, John goes to Italy as few of us can, spends some time learning about Bologna and lessons in Italian and expects the rest of us to enjoy going along for the ride. I generally get history and travel information from more reputable and reliable resources. Read if you will but don't expect the 'usual' John Grisham venue.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2005

    The title should have been 'Phoning it in'

    Typically, I buy Grisham novels because they promise to be enjoyable and a some what complex plot. That comfort level just got blown away. This book was shallow and seemed incomplete. I would have second thoughts about buying his next book, where up until now I always picked up his books as soon as they came out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2005

    not what I expected

    I had never read Grisham before (Ok I saw the movies), the Law is not my topic of interest, which is why I picked this book up because not about the law and takes place in Italy which I love - Big mistake, my mistake. Sometimes you should simply stick to writing about what you know and using your well of experience to develop the story or else you need to have done much much research - neither seemed to be the case here. Too bad ... There is no 0 star rating, so I give it 1 star. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2005

    Very disappointing

    I now believe that Mr Grisham's last 3 books have sold solely by his name. The Broker was very boring, nothing like his books in the past. I did not buy this book to learn the sights of Italy and learn to speak italian. I for one will not purchase his books anymore. I will borrow from someone only if they recommend. Mr.Grisham please go back to writing your next books that will keep you page turning, like Time to Kill, Runaway Jury, The Client, Pelican Brief

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