Customer Reviews for

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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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Not his best work.

    If your a Gresham fan, its worth it. I think he could to a better job. I was VERY disapointed with The King of Torts. You must read cc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2003

    Yawn

    I'm a big fan and now a disappointed one. There were so many much more complicated and interesting places to go with this story, but it was just too predictable. I couldn't put it down, waiting for something cool to happen, but nothing ever did. <sigh>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2003

    Disappointed

    I absolutely could not wait to start reading a new book by one of my favorite authors, and could not have been more disappointed when I finished. It's sloppy and rushed - like he just wanted to get another book on the shelves. Very underdeveloped plot and characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2003

    back where you began

    John Grisham should take a break, a long break. Get back to where he was when he wrote the Firm, and then write again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    I enjoyed it, but not his best work

    Although I enjoyed the twists and turns of the story, I didn't enjoy this one as much as his earlier novels. Grisham's work, while becoming more poslished, loses something of the rough enthusiasm that caused works like 'A Time To Kill' to consume your imagination.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2003

    Nice story

    Grisham disappointed me with the previous book The Summons. He somewhat redeemed himself with King of Torts. The book has great characters and the story is entertaining. I do hope that he continues to improve and gets back to quality writing that he is capable of. Yet, I do recommend this book to all Grisham fans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2003

    The Best Writer Ever?

    I will agree that the plots of his earlier works were "can't put it down," which made up for the fact that his writing was poor at best. Now that his writing has improved, the stories are trite and regurgiatated from one novel to the next. I still read all of them, hoping he will find a balance between the intrigue of his first novels and more devolped prose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2003

    Enjoyable, albeit Preachy

    This certainly isn't Grisham's best work. I'd probably give that nod to "The Firm", his first seller. That being said, its an enjoyable little yarn: young lawyer turns to the "dark side" of the law, learns a valuable lesson about life, finds redemption in the end. You could almost term it an "After Law School Special". The story draws the reader in thoroughly, but it lacks the suspense of the real physical danger suffered by the hero in "The Firm", for instance. (There is some violence in the book; I half suspect Grisham included it to prevent the hero with more that financial danger.) It is undoubtedly, though, a book with a message, and that message is "mass class action suits are a Very Bad Thing". The book pulls no punches it making the lawyer who get very rich filing such legal actions look extraordinarily sleazy -- they're almost parodies of the "flaunt your wealth" rich. To be fair, Grisham does not call for massive reform of the entire civil justice system; he goes out of his way to make it clear that there are people with legitimate reasons to sue and get large settlements. Of course, these people end up harmed by being part of the class action suits. I tend to agree with Grisham on his points, but I prefer to save my sermons for Sunday morning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    No Thrills.. Few Twists and Turns

    I read the book quickly, sure that the next page would bring an unexpected plot twist or a blood pumping conflict. But alas, soon the book ended and nothing imaginative had occurred. A promising premise and a sympathetic main character plodded their way to an uneventful end. Seems Mr. Grisham wanted his money for this book much the same way his lawyer did for his cases. Without expending much effort or much skill

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2003

    Well, it did entertain me...

    While I enjoyed watching Clay Carter spend all that money, I was so distracted by the references to Phoenix and Flagstaff...Does the author not know that these cities are totally unrelated and about 300 miles apart? I was so distracted trying to figure out if the trial(s) in Phoenix and Flagstaff were indeed the same one that I had a hard time keeping up with the rest of the book. (Since when is it 105 degrees in September in Flagstaff, AZ? It's like 7000 feet above sea level, with September temps of 70 degrees.) This was my first Grisham novel. I won't hold this one against him-as I mentioned, it was indeed entertaining. But I'll be skipping the movie, whenever they get around to making it...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Interesting, but fairly predictable

    I just finished reading The King of Torts, and it is definitely a page turner. The story and characters are interesting, and I was somewhat surprised that the main character, who begins as a typical idealistic Grisham character does not become an altruistic street lawyer. Unfortunately, the story is completely predictable once the premise is set. When I read "A Painted House," I thought Grisham was destined to become the next John Steinbeck. This book, while entertaining, is Grisham going back to the same old stuff.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    'Good Read but Too Stereotypical of Lawyers'

    Great page turner but it made all lawyers out to be sleazes in an era when Bush and his corporate allies are working day and night for tort reform. There are bad apples in all professions that are greedy--insurers, corporations, doctors, and attorneys. We should all remember that most attorneys are small business people making a living in a competitive world like the rest of us.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2003

    Another stamp in the Grisham assembly line

    This is an okay book, reminiscent of Grisham's previous works. However, he doesn't really break any new ground with it, and I have to wonder what his future plans are. I think he needs to make a major change with his next book and break out of his current mold.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    Perdictable

    Not one of his best but better then The Brethern.Would rate it 12 out of the 13 I have read.Read like it was written for a movie.No surprises,after chapter one could of skipped to four and so on and not missed anything. Needs to get the fire back.ie 'A tlme to Kill','The Client'.I will continue to read anything he publishes.I was sold on his first Five.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2003

    Just O.K.

    Not a bad read, but I found it fairly predictible. Still, it was worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2003

    Grisham reader

    Very disappointing. Took off...then crashed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2003

    Who cares?

    Who was this novel suppose to "touch?" Those against Plaintiff lawyers who seeth at the "greed" of the fraternity? Those who detest big companies who make billions despite defective drugs or products? Or just a warning to the general public to be aware that this greed may in fact be inherent in the judicial system. I am wary that the "system" is as corrupt as Grisham makes it to be (just as Clay never tried a civil case to a jury, one wonders if Grisham has either). Much of the plot was predicatable (I knew the Arizona jury verdict a 100 pages back); the writing was ordinary and somewhat tedious unless you were interested in the mathmetical calculations necessary for settlements, overhead, airplane and villa purchasing (2.6 billion divided by 2,400 clients minus a gulfstream)and you certainly didn't know for whom to "root" (certainly NOT Clay, who you really wanted to take Tequila's place in prison; Rebecca, nooo, spoiled rich girl) I think I finally settled upon either Clay's dad (like father, like son) or Max, because he left the pages early on and one can only surmise his fate. I gave it 3 stars, rather than 2, simply because Grisham does make you want to keep reading, in this case, only to see whether Clay or the rest had any redeeming value.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2003

    DISAPPOINTING

    After reading The Summons and The Testament, I think John Grisham has lost his crown as the best legal thriller author. The books were so dull and unimaginative that I'm planning to read this one with trepidation by checking it out of the library. People buy his books because of his name, at this point they don't care what he writes, even if it's bad.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2003

    Hoping for a return of the king

    I was surprised to see another book from Grisham this early, wasn't The Summons only a year ago? Anyway, I hope he returns to his early form and not the painful to watch decline we've seen in his past couple legal novels. A Painted House was his last good book, The Summons and The Partner left me wanting. Hopefully this book will live up to its name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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