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am 22. März 1999
John Grisham's first popular novel, The Firm, was an excellent book that revitalized the tired genre of law thrillers. Unfortunately, Grisham's novels quickly became formulaic to the point of being boring ... there was always the innocent protagonist being hunted/persecuted/stalked by the sinister underworld/corporate entity bent on keeping some kind of secret.
In The Rainmaker, Grisham still loosely adheres to the same formula, but manages to craft an immersive plot around Rudy Baylor, a down-and-out law student who prosecutes a case against, you guessed it, a corrupt insurance company.
One of the elements, however, that Grisham uses to freshen the stale formula is that of romance, namely between our hero and domestic-abuse victim Kelly. Usually the protagonist is too busy defending his/her life and protecting/revealing incriminating evidence against the bad guys to be much interested in sex or any semblance thereof, but Grisham's Rudy manages to cultivate a pretty decent relationship with Kelly in between court appearances.
I suppose that, if I stuck to my guns, I could write this off as more Grisham schlock but, to tell the truth, I rather enjoyed the interplay between Rudy and the various other characters in the novel such as Miss Birdie, Deck and especially Kelly.
Perhaps Grisham simply spent more time developing the characters in this novel. Whatever the reason, The Rainmaker stands out as one of the few books in my Grisham collection worth reading more than once.
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am 8. September 1997
This is the first time that I have ever read a John Grisham book. Ironically enough, the first review I ever saw came from the Amazon website. I found the first third of the book, showing Rudy Baylor's experiences in Law School to be slightly tedious. I felt that it was important for Grisham to set up Rudy's background, but felt that he should've spent less time upon it - perhaps a fourth of the book.
However, the other three-quarters of the book I throroughly enjoyed. Grisham seems to have the uncanny ability to make courtrooms and trials seem dramatic and exciting. It is a technique that he uses to great effect in this novel, and it is for this reason that I could not put the book down.
The characters were adequately created. I felt that Kelly Riker didn't get enough attention, my reasoning being that if she were to be the love interest she deserved more attention.
Francis Ford Coppola has made a movie based on the novel. It stars Matt Damon as Rudy Baylor, and Claire Danes as Kelly Riker. I only hope that the film can do the storyline of this book justice.
Overall, I took two marks off because I thought one-third of the book could have been shortened, and another one mark off because I thought Kelly Riker deserved more time.
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am 26. Mai 2000
I saw the movie, listened to the tape and then read the book. To book was great and the tape would be great for a family on a long trip. I also like the movie very much. The audio tape holds your attention and would probably hold the interest of kids 12 and up (for those soon approaching summer car trips). The narrator was excellent.
This is a great book for people who want to know what law school is like - the last year and especially for those students (75%) who aren't one of the top students. Most people don't realize how hard it is for the majority of graduates to get good jobs after finishing law school. Not only does Grisham write accurately about law school, his story of the typical lawyer (not the white shoe corporate types) is also right on target. Finally, there are so many million dollar cases that never collect for all kinds of reasons and Grisham really tells a story of how frustrating being a young, inexperinced lawyer can be at times. For all you "learn" in Law School, you know very little about how law is practiced in the courts everyday. Armed only with truth and a just cause, is simply not enough.
The book should be required reading for anyone thinking they want to be a lawyer or to really get an understanding of what most young average lawyers go through. It really is like this!
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am 25. Januar 2000
Grisham is just awesome at getting his audience to root for the protaganist ... Patrick from The Partner, Darby from Pelican Brief, Mitch McDere from The Firm: these are the characters whom I've played novel after novel, ducking into malls, avoiding tails by the FBI or the Mafia, battling grueling trials and struggling to pass the bar ... these guys add adventure and realistic obstacles to an otherwise boring and banal reality, pre- professional school! And now Rudy Baylor! This kid introduces the element of revenge for a society against him, and plays it off beautifully with the hint that we can make it even without the proverbial lucky break!
The book is awesome! It winds itself up for the pitch with the introduction of a world packed with competition and lack of sympathy for those crushed under the heel of capitalism, i.e. said graduate of Memphis State Law School, our friend Rudy! Then he meets the people who will be the unknowing stepping stone out of hardship, and into a pot of respect so profound it'll disorient the young rookie! He plays hard, and we're right there with him as his whoops the menacing opposition, and moves to win a deadly game of "who's better?" It'll keep you on the edge of your seat, I guarantee it! John Grisham has lit the fuse of another terrific legal dynamite! Awesome!
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am 10. Juni 1999
I really enjoyed this bok, it's one of the best I have ever read. John Grisham erally captured the excitement of a larger corporaate lawsuit in this book. He goes into vast detail in the procedures that a real laywer would have to in that situation. Though the insurance fraud case was incredibly simple to win, it really added something special to the book, a real-life situation. It seemed real through the whole book, from beginning to end, from the last year of Rudy Baylor's law school to the hesitation in Dot Black to file the lawsuit against the Great Benefit Insurace Company. Grisham went a little overboard with Rudy's romance, that small portion of the book is the only part I found unrealistic. Although I couldn't relate to this book in any way, of course, I'm not in law school or a lawyer, I still found it a valuable piece because of it's representaion of this decade. He was able to capture the essence of multi-million dollar lawsuits and faulty mairrages in an excellent book. It is different from most boks today because of the complicate first person narrative. It's present tense setting also sets it apart from many books. With The Rainmaker, Grisham has dared to go where most autors are afraid to. I, at first was hesitant to pick up this book because I 've never read anything in the genre before, but after the first five pages, I was hooked.
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am 13. April 2000
Remember the little guy in the comic strip Li'l Abner who always had a dark raincloud over his head as he walked around mumbling to himself?

Well, Rudy Baylor, the protagonist in this story, had about the same outlook. It isn't just that he was paranoid--they really were after him!

Rudy was in his final year of law school in Memphis, Tennessee, a town overrun with lawyers, when the law firm that he intends to join is swallowed up, and he loses out. Not only that, but he is forced into bankruptcy, he loses his girlfriend and his apartment is burglarized.

Is that all? No way! He digs up a promising insurance case, and so another slick law firm takes him on, tries to grab his case and dumps him. Then, his third employer, an underworld character, gets run out of town by the feds and he is again out of work.

Then Rudy falls in love with a married woman whose husband likes to beat her up with a baseball bat and he rents an apartment from an old bat who wants him to work a 40 hour week on her yard, in addition to his other jobs.

This guy has more hard luck than the guy who asked God, "Why me, God?" and the voice came down from heaven and said, "I dunno, Smith, you just ( ) me off!"

Grisham has written a doozy of a book, here. It is pure entertainment. Because Grisham is himself a lawyer, of course, you get the real lowdown on what a trial lawyer thinks of his colleagues and his profession--and also, as icing on the cake, what he thinks of insurance companies, with which he has had vast experience in real life.

As might be expected, his opinion on both subjects is probably shared by the bulk of Americans, which accounts for all the lawyer jokes and crooked insurance company stories.

You should enjoy this one. I did!

Joseph Pierre,
Author of The Road to Damascus
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am 19. März 2000
The Rainmaker is probably one of John Grisham's most entertaining books. The pages will turn faster than lawyers can scribble on legal pads in this one, the story of young lawyer Rudy Baylor. An interesting look at the world of law, what young lawyers must go through, and what they must overcome to be successful. With Baylor, Grisham's takes us on a joyride of constant up and downs. And a classic battle of David Vs. Goliath emerges when the to say the least "green" Baylor, barely out of law school, takes on Insurance Godzilla Great Benefit. Baylor is interesting as the lead character, but more interesting are the supporting characters. Deck, Rudy's "Paralawyer", Kelly Rifer, Rudy's new found love, and my favorite character, Leo Drummond, the notorious "in charge" Lawyer for Great Benefit. The Rainmaker is a bit predictable (the verdict that is) and after things are hard at first in the trial for Baylor, things get a little bit too easy. The insurance lawyers fold a little too easily. I believe in real life, Baylor would have had quite a bit more problems on his hands. I liked The Rainmaker the film, perhaps even better than the novel, because things were more difficult in the courtroom for Rudy. Jon Voight is also outstanding as the part of Leo Drummond in the film. I additionally felt the novel was about 40 pages too long and should have ended differently. Yet The Rainmaker, besides a few complaints, is an absorbing, page turning read in which you'll find yourself reading the last page of a lot sooner than you thought you would.
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am 24. November 1999
Has John Grisham decided to give a weather forecast instead of writing fascinating fiction law stories? Fat chance. In fact, John Grisham's Rainmaker has hit the bookstores like a storm. Since the Firm, no one thought another book would top it, but the Rainmaker was very successful in doing so. The book gives a setting of a typical Memphis and a young inexperienced lawyer that is faced with normal minor cases. However, as the book progresses, the adolescent lawyer is faced with a case that not only puts his job at risk but his life as well.
John Grisham has, once again, brought the whole courtroom to life. He has captured his fans and other readers by constantly firing suspense into the story. Those that are big supporters of fiction books dealing with law will fall in love with this book after the first page. In addition, John Grisham has added a slight touch of humor to spice up the book.
The characters in his novel are well developed. Although the characters are somewhat strange and unpredictable in their actions, they are rather entertaining, colorful, and ornamented. The characters all play in a part to create a fascinating and complex plot that will keep the readers up for hours.
The plot is well structured with a solid base and an exciting climax. This young average lawyer with a basic life has found himself fighting against a whole professional corporate defense team in this simple insurance dispute. At least, he thought it was just a simple insurance dispute, but it had turn out to be the case of his life. He had found himself caught up in a middle of a storm filled with lies. The case had turned into a test that would cost the 100% attention and effort of the lawyer in order to overcome. If he fails, all he had to lose was his life. This book was definitely worth reading, and it should be considered a classic in the future.
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am 5. März 1999
John Grisham's book, The Rainmaker, is a touching, yet action-filled story of a young lawyer trying to make it in the big leagues.
The thing that caught my interest about this remarkable book is that it is by John Grisham. If you enjoy books about lawyers and their cases you will definitely enjoy any book written by Grisham. Grisham has a way of writing that really draws you to the stories being told. He has such good description of characters that you will feel you have known them forever.
There is Rudy Baylor, a young lawyer who gets his first job and his first big case in the book. There is Rudy's associate, Prince. He is the man who will teach Rudy what real lawyers do. Then there is Kelly, she is a young innocent girl who is in the hospital for being beat by her husband Cliff, who is a rough cruel man. One of the most important characters in this story is Donny Ray Black. Donny Ray is a part of Rudy's first break through case, Black vs. Great Benefit. Donny Ray suffers from leukemia; he is in pain and hurt, he has lost trust, but hasn't lost hope in many things and is not afraid of death. His parents, the Blacks', are confused by the insurance company and wondering where or who they can turn to. Each character has a special quality about them, they make you love or hate them.
The lessons that this book teaches all of us is that we are to never give up. Donny Ray fought for his life, Kelly fought for her freedom from her husband, and Rudy fought for his case. It is a compelling book that everyone will love.
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am 15. Juli 1997
I picked up The Rainmaker two days ago, and I just finished it. I loved the writing techniques that Grisham used, which included both writing in present rather than past, and writing in the first person. I enjoyed the hints of humour and the great wealth of legalese that I learned. This book was not only educational, but also a fun, addicting read. It's even made me think harder about attending law school after I complete high school. Law school for me has always been in the back of my mind, but I haven't thought so seriously about it until I finished this book. This may be unbelievable to those of you who have already read the book, as it paints a bleak picture of the 'world of law'.
I was prevented from rating this book a nine or ten as I was disappointed with the ending of the book. Not with the writing, but rather with the content. When I read the verdict I was overjoyed, but then, in the next thirty pages my joy quickly turned to dismay as Rudy's future in law was flushed away forever. I know that it is this surprise element at the end that makes the book interesting and fun to read, as it isn't too predictable, but in my opinion: All's well that ends well. Sorry, I just like my happy endings. This ending was happy for Rudy and Kely I suppose, but not for me. I got too invovled in the law side of the story that I didn't want Rudy to give up his career. Oh well, in his mind this was the best and most prosperous decision for himself, and his love. You've gotta read this book!
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