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The Rooster Bar: The New York Times and Sunday Times Number One Bestseller Kindle Edition
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'The Best Thriller Writer Alive' Ken Follett
There's one last change for justice . . .
They dreamed of changing the world. Instead they're facing a mountain of debt and no hope of a future.
Mark, Todd and Zola are starting to realise it's not even worth graduating from law school. They're better off hanging out at The Rooster Bar, plotting how to dodge the loan sharks.
But maybe there's another way. Maybe they know enough about the law to pass as lawyers.
Because it turns out the crooked hedge fund billionaire who owns their law school also runs the bank that arranged their student loans.
And it's time justice was served. Even if it means taking on the FBI to do it . . .
Praise for The Rooster Bar
'Scintillating storytelling' - The Sunday Times
'A buoyant, mischievous thriller . . . This reliable best-selling author is feeling real pleasure, and not just obligation, in delivering his work' - New York Times
'A wild, hard-to-put-down romp' - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
350+ million copies, 45 languages, 9 blockbuster films:
NO ONE WRITES DRAMA LIKE JOHN GRISHAM
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The end of the year brought the usual holiday festivities, though around the Frazier house there was little to cheer. Mrs. Frazier went through the motions of decorating a small tree and wrapping a few cheap gifts and baking cookies no one really wanted, and, as always, she kept The Nutcracker running nonstop on the stereo as she gamely hummed along in the kitchen as though the season was merry.
Things were anything but merry. Mr. Frazier had moved out three years earlier, and he wasn t missed as much as he was despised. In no time, he had moved in with his young secretary, who, as things developed, was already pregnant. Mrs. Frazier, jilted, humiliated, broke, and depressed, was still struggling.
Louie, her younger son, was under house arrest, sort of free on bail, and facing a rough year ahead with the drug charges and all. He made no effort to buy his mom anything in the way of a gift. His excuse was that he couldn t leave the house because of the court-ordered monitor attached to his ankle. But even without it, no one expected Louie to go to the trouble of buying gifts. The year before and the year before that both of his ankles had been unburdened and he hadn t bothered to shop.
Mark, the older son, was home from the horrors of law school, and, though even poorer than his brother, had managed to buy his mother some perfume. He was scheduled to graduate in May, sit for the bar exam in July, and begin working with a D.C. firm in September, which, as it so happened, was the same month Louie s trial was on the docket. But Louie s case would not go to trial for two very good reasons. First, the undercover boys had caught him in the act of selling ten bags of crack there was even a video and, second, neither Louie nor his mother could afford a decent lawyer to handle the mess. Throughout the holidays, both Louie and Mrs. Frazier dropped hints that Mark should rush in and volunteer to defend his brother. Wouldn t it be easy to stall matters until later in the year when Mark was properly admitted to the bar he was practically there anyway and once he had his license wouldn t it be a simple matter of finding one of those technicalities you read about to get the charges dismissed?
This little fantasy of theirs had some rather large holes in it, but Mark refused to discuss it. When it became apparent that Louie planned to hog the sofa for at least ten hours on New Year s Day and watch seven straight bowl games, Mark made a quiet exit and went to a friend s house. Returning home that night, while driving under the influence, he made the decision to flee. He would return to D.C. and kill some time puttering around the law firm where he would soon be employed. Classes didn t start for almost two weeks, but after ten days of listening to Louie bitch and moan about his problems, not to mention the nonstop Nutcracker, Mark was fed up and looking forward to his last semester of law school.
He set his alarm for eight the following morning, and over coffee with his mom explained that he was needed back in D.C. Sorry to leave a bit earlier than expected, Mom, and sorry to leave you here all alone with your bad boy, Mom, but I m outta here. He s not mine to raise. I got my own problems.
The first problem was his vehicle, a Ford Bronco he d been driving since high school. The odometer had frozen at 187,000 miles, and that had happened midway through college. It desperately needed a new fuel pump, one of many replacement parts on the Urgent List. Using tape and paper clips, Mark had been able to wire and jerry-rig the engine, transmission, and brakes for the past two years, but he d had no luck with the fuel pump. It --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B06Y23PJ9S
- Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton; 1st edition (24 October 2017)
- Language : English
- File size : 1758 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 255 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 17,940 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Three law students Mark, Todd, and Zola come to realise their law course is a sham and they have mounting student debts. This friend goes bipolar and commits suicide but not before describing how the whole scam works. They try their hand at being lawyers but get deeper in fraud. Their lives start to unravel and they are forced to escape and hide. But are they able to make a comeback. Will the perpetrators of the scam receive justice and will their friend be vindicated.
This story becomes a bit of a cocktail. There is the usual Grishamesque description of the court system where justice out of control. It seems at first that Mark and Todd might succeed but it is a dog eat dog existence and newcomers are not welcome. Another is the fate of Zola's family who go through the eviction from America process to Senegal. This is pretty unpleasant at both ends.
Another is the complex web of companies behind the law school scam. The company is vertically integrated from governments grants through fees and private student loans and debt collection. Separately providing dubious banking services for the system and the wider community. This is a very strong area and sub plot for John Grisham. It is also sad.
The main story is about the students who turn to fraud to survive. Unlike the big end of town their criminal behaviour is immediately acted on. As they say "why pick on us with all the terrorism and murders that need to be solved". John conveys the sense of helplessness of their situation very well.
There is some redemption at the end. Mostly it is about escaping. It may depend on your outlook whether you see some justice or like me leave a bit downhearted. This is a theme Grisham has used before. The Firm is one example. It provides a chase for keep you interested but the ending while realistic represents the overwhelming odds that individuals are up against and escape becomes the only answer.
Grisham has added his touch to the book so it should be read. I found it not quite up to the bar but still above other authors might do.
Came back to find out the ending & eventually finished, but surprised, as this was the first John Grisham book read that didn't grab me.
Top reviews from other countries
So imagine my surprise when, whilst waiting for his new book The Reckoning to be published, I realised that I hadn’t read last year’s release, The Rooster Bar. How did that happen? I can’t imagine except that my memory is like a sieve these days (I blame my age and hormones. In fact, it is even possible that I have read it and forgotten, things have got that bad.) Anyway, happy days – I now had another unread John Grisham to enjoy on my recent holiday.
I am always fascinated as to where authors get their ideas for novels from and there is an interesting note at the back of this book where Grisham reveals that the idea for this novel came from an article he read about the level of debt students in the US were taking on in order to put themselves through law school. Quite how he goes from what sounds like quite a dull article, particularly to non-lawyers, to a nail-biting thriller is the nature of his genius, because somehow he manages to spin it in to one of his classic plots that kept me up late desperate to get to the end.
The plot of this book is quite outrageous and I think you need to suspend your disbelief to buy in to it, but that is true of most thrillers, which are by their nature outlandish and pushing the boundaries of what is probable. These books are pure escapism, sometimes keeping only a slight grasp on reality and I am sure the court system in the USA would be outraged to think this could possibly happen (although I am now waiting for someone to tell me that it has been done.) Anyway, likelihood aside, the plot is original and gripping and an interesting spin on the ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ roles as the protagonists are actually breaking the law but we still end up rooting for them, despite the fact that they are jeopardising the futures of their clients, because they themselves are victims in some respects. Should they get away scot-free? Is what happens to them justice? I don’t want to give anything away by revealing my thoughts but I think you will find more to ponder in these books than people often give Grisham credit for.
When I have revealed to people in the past what a massive fan I am of John Grisham’s books, I have met with some literary snobbery, most particularly from people who have never read any of his books. Well, firstly, I would query whether you can form a valid opinion of an author without reading a word they have written. And, secondly, you don’t sell as many books as John Grisham has without being able to write. He is the master of creating a taut, exciting and interesting thriller and this one is no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I always do, and can’t wait to read his new book.
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