The King of Torts

The King of Torts

by John Grisham
3.7 346


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The King of Torts by John Grisham

The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every week.

As he digs into the background of his client, Clay stumbles on a conspiracy too horrible to believe. He suddenly finds himself in the middle of a complex case against one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, looking at the kind of enormous settlement that would totally change his life—that would make him, almost overnight, the legal profession’s newest king of torts...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385508049
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/04/2003
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 756,176
Product dimensions: 6.44(w) x 9.59(h) x 1.22(d)

About the Author

JOHN GRISHAM is the author of Skipping Christmas, The Summons, A Painted House, The Brethren, The Testament, The Street Lawyer, The Partner, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Firm, and A Time to Kill.


Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia

Date of Birth:

February 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Jonesboro, Arkansas


B.S., Mississippi State, 1977; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1981

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The King of Torts 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 326 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read, but could have called the outcome early. Little too much of a sappy love story. Written well but the story line is pretty cookie cutter.
Mysticbooks More than 1 year ago
This book will make a great gift .It is one John Grisham's best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book so long ago that I had forgotten most of it so I decided to read it again. I thoroughly enjoyed it this time, too.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
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.
MM45 More than 1 year ago
The King of Torts is one of those odd sort of books were the protagonist and antagonist are really the same person. We have all heard this story, good rather innocent man gets a taste of money and power, becomes corrupt, then seeks some sort of salvation. I found the book to be good "mind candy" and I would recommend it. Though not as good as other Grisham novels it does serve the general purpose of entertainment. 3 out 5 stars.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first Grishman's book I have read. When I first started reading the book, The King Of Torts by John Grisham, I thought it was going to be as boring and uninteresting book as there are so many, but I was wrong. John Grishman really get into the mood of writing this book. Clay Carter a lawyer that works at the Office of the Public Defender finally finds a way to get out of the cheap job he has, where he has work for more than five years, and finally form his own firm. He gets into a lot of trouble before getting what he wants. He takes the case of a young man charged with murder, which he assumes is just another random street killing. As he explores the history of Tequila, his client, he meets Max Pace, a man who reveals a hidden truth about a drug company that has been making a bad drug called Tarvan. Max offers Clay to help him silence the victims that had being use this drug paying them five million dollars. Clay takes the risk and trust Max. Max gave Clay fifteen million dollars for helping him silence the people. Later Max gives Clay more cases and helps him get his own firm. 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.¿ Later he starts to have some problems with the FBI and some of his cases were lost. He now he finds himself bankruptcy. As you read the novel you will find so many interesting things. I really recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was in ottawa for vacation this past week and i just happened to pass a bookstore. I was choosing books when i happened to come across this book. It was fantastic!! I couldn't put it down if my life depended on it. I read it all in the bookstore and then brought it and re-read it. The plot and the story were all very well written. John Grisham is still the king of the courts.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although I never got my law degree - and had to settle for my Master of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Science in Hotel & Food Service Management - I have been obsessed with legal thrillers! Why? The degrees I received had enough 'pre-law' type courses to whet my appetite for the legal profession. KING OF TORTS takes on the hottest topic in the United States today - the law and the unbelievable amount of 'class action suits' and money to be made - much of it for lawyers; with clients expecting their fact share! YOU - believe it or not may PERSONALLY be confronted by a class action suit - sooner than you think ! A MUST READ *****+
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Right up there with The Firm! I've read them all, and this one was FABULOUS! A true glimpse into the world of legal greed! I have no doubt this is the stuff that lawyers are made of, and the unsuspecting public is none the wiser. A wild ride Grisham! Keep em comin if they're all like this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome read, as usual I could not put it down. Love anything John Grisham writes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nothing much happened. Too much talking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The King of Boredom John Grisham’s best seller book, The King of Torts, is about a lawyer named Clay Carter. Clay is assigned to defend a murderer named Tequila Watson, who was a drug addict. As his lawyer, Clay decides to investigate a rehabilitation center that Tequila was being treated in. The rehabilitation center was very secretive and Clay could tell that he wasn’t given the information he needed. The results of the investigation lead Clay down a path he thought he’d never go down. The case of Tequila Watson in the beginning of the book catches the readers’ attention almost instantly. However, as the readers follow Clay down the path he chooses, the story becomes less appealing. The plot line in the beginning is much more interesting than what became of the book later on. The first case given to Clay is a very thrilling case. The character of Tequila Watson is secretive, mysterious, and very quiet. His character will occasionally give small pieces of information. Nevertheless, it is usually not enough to satisfy the readers’ desire to know more. This keeps the readers wanting to know about him and what the outcome of his case will be. However, the storyline shifts and leaves this case completely unresolved with no further connections to it in the story. The readers become disappointed of the quick twist the story makes away from such a fascinating case. As the story shifts from Tequila’s case, its main topic focuses on bad or defective drugs. These drugs usually have side effects that affect a small number of people but can be very consequential. Throughout the book, there are three of these drugs. The process in which these drugs are dealt with is shown in the first drug and is repeated for each drug that comes afterwards. The readers’ knowledge of this process makes the story predictable for each of the drugs. The repetition and lack of diversity of the events surrounding only drugs becomes very boring. The middle part of this book is mainly about one drug and how Clay and other big lawyers are filing lawsuits against it on behalf of the patients with side effects from the drug. This part of the book includes most of the statistics. Statistics are used very often within the book making the readers feel lost and confused by the numbers and percentages. Keeping track of the statistics and which numbers belong to which character is the most confusing aspect of the story.The story loses the readers’ attention around this area of the story because there are no interesting or even unusual events that occur. Characters are another weak aspect of the book. They are not explained very thoroughly. An example of this is Clay’s character. His personality is the most important so that the readers understand how someone like him would resolve the issues he faces. There are also irrelevant characters. These have no important role within the story. Most of them appear in at the beginning of the story and leave in the middle without having any significance to the plot. The characters are not appealing to the readers. The character of Clay might be interesting in the beginning. However, turning into a greedy and selfish lawyer makes most readers dislike him. Therefore, the readers would not care if anything occurred to him. The one interesting character in this book that would have appealed to some readers is Tequila Watson. However, it is not fully developed either. A small but significant improvement that could have been done to this book is to add an exposition. A point that has been brought up many times is that most good books have an exposition to explain characters, setting, and the basics of the story. The book’s lack of exposition makes it difficult for the readers to understand the characters. To add on to the confusion of the readers, the book contains many phrases that are not explained, especially to readers who are not familiar with the world of lawyers and drugs. Therefore, an exposition would have introduced the readers into a world they do not live in. An introduction that would explain some of the characters, how lawyers live, and the setting could make the book much less confusing. The author chose the third person limited point of view to tell the story. This perspective is limited to only Clay’s point of view. Therefore, Clay’s point of view is the only view the readers receive which is mostly unsatisfying. If the perspective was changed to third person omniscient, then the readers could know more than Clay. This way the readers can react to the decisions he makes and how his decisions conflict with what he is unaware of. If the point of view were to be third person omniscient, there would be much dramatic irony in the story making the book more exciting. Overall, this book started out being interesting and exciting, but went on a different path and lost its appeal to its readers. Another issue is how predictable its topic of drugs is. An additional weak point is the confusion of the readers caused by statistical numbers. The underdevelopment of the characters is another aspect. An improvement that could have been made to help this book be better presented is adding an exposition to introduce the setting, the characters, and the plot. Changing the point of view of the story from third person limited to third person omniscient is another improvement that could have made the book more exciting. Due to this book’s underdevelopment of characters and its unappealing story, it does not seem to deserve its best seller award. E. Hassan, 14
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
John Grisham has yet again shown us his talent for writing. Love, monry, the law, and a complex plot will keep you reading until the lastbpage
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Clay is greedy good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DenDen52 More than 1 year ago
This is one of his best. Good read. Hard to put the book down.