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The King of Torts

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

An Irresistable Proposal

Successful writer John Grisham dazzles readers in his novel, The King of Torts, where he makes a moving argument about how greed is, once again, man¿s tragedy. We¿re captured in the average life of thirty two year old Clay Carter, a lawyer providing free legal c...
Successful writer John Grisham dazzles readers in his novel, The King of Torts, where he makes a moving argument about how greed is, once again, man¿s tragedy. We¿re captured in the average life of thirty two year old Clay Carter, a lawyer providing free legal counsel to impecunious defendants at the Office of the Public Defender where he has worked for a consecutive five years, and dreams of one day working in a real firm. He reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with murder, which he assumes is just another random street killing. As explores the history of his client, however, Clay meets Max Pace, a man who reveals a hidden truth about a giant pharmaceutical company that has been testing anti-addiction medication on drug addicts. Even though the drug showed hopeful results, a small percentage of the users turned homicidal including Clay¿s client. Max offers Clay a deal: to help silence the victim¿s families with five million dollar settlements given by Max¿s employer and if the job is done successfully, Clay would receive fifteen million dollars. Tantalized by the offer of a new future, Clay agrees thinking he does not have much to lose. The job is a complete success and Clay begins his own firm. As time progresses, Pace provides new information and new cases helping Clay turn into a successful tort lawyer in a short period of time. Clay soon finds himself rich and famous as the ¿King of Torts.¿ Tort lawyers are attorneys that file large class action suits that bring massive payouts from corporations however, very little money goes to the plaintiffs but huge amounts go to the lawyers who represent them. Grisham depicts tort lawyers as vultures interested only in increasing personal fortunes as they drive corporations into bankruptcy. As you get deeper into the novel, you tumble down the spiral of greed, financial woes, and looming disaster, tempting you to read until the bitter end.

posted by Anonymous on May 25, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

No characters to like!

John Grisham always does such a good job of fleshing out characters. So much so that the protagonists have their faults and the antagonists seems plausible. Here, the main character, Clay, just didn't appeal to me at all. I seemed to be rooting against him. There wa...
John Grisham always does such a good job of fleshing out characters. So much so that the protagonists have their faults and the antagonists seems plausible. Here, the main character, Clay, just didn't appeal to me at all. I seemed to be rooting against him. There was no one to root for. I know every book doesn't need those things but Grisham's novels usually do. Oh well, they all can't be gems.

posted by Sean_From_OHIO on January 17, 2011

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  • Posted January 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    No characters to like!

    John Grisham always does such a good job of fleshing out characters. So much so that the protagonists have their faults and the antagonists seems plausible. Here, the main character, Clay, just didn't appeal to me at all. I seemed to be rooting against him. There was no one to root for. I know every book doesn't need those things but Grisham's novels usually do. Oh well, they all can't be gems.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Predictable and Dry

    A cautionary tale by the numbers. None of the characters is particularly interesting. Main character is unlikable so you don't care what happens to him. Written like a report with very little to no flourish. Grisham can and has done alot better.

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Blah!

    The story started out somewhat strong, but really fizzled out at the end. I never came to care about any of the characters in this book, and usually, I get drawn in by at least one. I didn't really care about the outcome of the book..I just wanted it to end. However, I was able to finish reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    Disappointing

    When I got to the end of the book, I was not pleased. Was this book supposed to be thriller fiction? If so, the attempt at creating the suspense effect was very disappointing. The book definitely had a plot to it. However, this book was not what I would have expected of someone of the same caliber as the author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2006

    Slow, plodding, almost predictable

    While I am John Grisham fan this book simply did not fulfill my expectations. There seemed to be numerous plots within the book and little connecting all the stories. I kept waiting for Grisham to connect all the dots and he never did. At the end of the book I felt like I had finished a movie which producers blatently left the end of the film open for a sequal. The characters are predictable and the story gripping at times, plodding at others. The twists in the book are hardly surprising, until the end, and the biggest shock was the unanswered questions. Grisham closes the book leaving the reader with more questions than answers.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2005

    DISAPPOINTING

    Having read several of Grisham's books, I expected better. I had impression that I was reading a ledger. Dollars, thousands of dollars, millions of dollars on each and single page... I'm not an auditor, but a reader and expected more feelings than figures.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2005

    Very Disappointing

    The King of Torts was a very disappointing read. I struggled to get through this one. I expected at some point the storyline would pick up. The main character was weak and the the story was too predictable. Also there seemed to be no real spark between Clay and Rebecca. I didn't feel as if the relationship was worth saving. The only character I could care about was Tequila but he was written out early on. I'm finished reading the book and I'm still wondering what the point was. If Clay had served the original purpose of serving as Tequila's public defender, this story would have had some substance. I wouldn't recommed this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    Usually love Grisham...

    Not one of his greatest works. I continued reading thinking it would get better. Beginning was long and drawn out; the end was abrupt and hurried. Very predictable - none of the twists you've come to expect from Grisham.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2004

    Too easy to put down...

    I usually find that I can not stop reading one of John Grishams books however this was not the case with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2004

    Not his best.

    It was a good storyline but the way he keep the story going wasn't to hot. He has done way better before. I've read all his books. The best on was 'The Partners'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2004

    Painfull!

    This book is incredibly insightful on the process of greed. However, I found myself skiping pages near the end because John Grisham's account is painful. I do not want to give away the plot, but in the end, I wanted the time spent reading the book, back. I experienced much anguish and regret for reading this story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2004

    Should have been the king of rats.

    Yeah, we get it already. Lawyers are shifty. Can we have something fresh?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2003

    Losing His Touch

    I've enjoyed reading all of John Grisham's books until the last 3 books. Skipping Christmas, King of Torts and Bleachers. Quite boring and disappointing. I find them not to be up to his writing expectations. John, needs to go back and review the excitement in his first couple of novels. They receive such rave reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2003

    The King of Torts Made Me Out of Sorts

    'TORT LAWYERS ARE A BUNCH OF IMMORAL, GREEDY CROOKS--DISTAINED BY CLIENTS, HONEST ATTORNEYS AND ANYONE WITH THE SLIGHTEST SENSE OF FAIR PLAY.' That was one of the underlining themes from Grisham's earlier novel, The Summons. Okay we got the message. So why an entire novel about the topic? The King of Torts is unconventional but not in a positive way. No heroes, no life lessons, no solutions--just a lot of quasi-preaching. The main character, Clay Carter, does not inspire sympathy or empathy, but does deserve some self-chastisement or at least some resolution to repair the damage he caused to his clients. You'll find none of that in this book. Most of the novel finds Clay detesting the obscene, immoral behavior of tort lawyers while he works tirelessly to become one. The women in his life appear exceptionally shallow, more due to the author's lack of knowledge or unwillingness to research the complexity of women other than what is stereotypical. Grisham's earlier novels were at least entertaining. This novel left me unsatisfied and disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    Grisham obviously has a contract to fulfill

    And he's quite capable of banging out bestsellers to meet his obligations. The premise of the book offered alot but Grisham failed to capitalize on it. A 'fluff' novel when you can't find something more substantive to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2003

    John Grisham at His Worst

    I have always been captivated by John Grisham's characters but the character of Clay Carter was the most poorly written character I have ever seen. Grisham's characters are usually believable but Clay Carter was utterly STUPID! I was hard to believe that any person good be so foolish. I hated the book from start to finish. I only read to the end because I hoped that Grisham would redeem him self. Two words for this book - Utterly Disappointing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2003

    Pass it by

    The end was a mess. Grisham is a good plotter and his books are generally interesting but when I want to read something strong and meaty I go for Elmore Leonard, W. L. Ripley, or James Lee Burke.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    Grisham no longer king of legal drama

    YAWN! That was my reaction to this less-than-impressive novel from the writer who brought us The Firm and The Pelican Brief. Unlike his previous works, Grisham's most recent novels have been letdowns. This is the story of Clay Carter, a lawyer who is chosen to lead such tort cases against large pharmaceutical companies. The book starts out strong, a murder case, but then starts to drag as we enter the world of tort lawyers whose major decision of the day is to decide which Gulfstream jet they want to use. The King of Torts is a yawn-inducing book that started out strong and sunk down into a grave six feet under.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2003

    Not his best work

    The book is okay-very predictable.It took me months to finish it, b/c I wasn't so anxious to find out how the story ends. It seems that John needed to put a book out, so he threw together a very under-developed plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2003

    Downhill...

    It's getting more and more disappointing. His earlier work was the best. This story is so unbelievable. If you like a cheap thrill, then go for it. Otherwise, another so so book.

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