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am 18. Juli 2000
I've been reading Grisham's books in the order in which he wrote them and this is my favorite so far. The court stuff gives interesting insights into the jury process (to give away only a little thing, did any of the jurors in the OJ trial knit when there were long breaks in the proceedings?) and it contributes an aspect of Grisham's writing that I find new and refreshing: wonderful humorous interludes that break the seriousness of a tobacco industry trial. I was held in suspense by the behind the scenes stuff - I kept speculating on what was really going on and a hint here or a phrase there would send me off into new speculations. By the time I got to the last 60 pages I was telling the plot to my non-reading husband to let him in on the fun. When the secrets were revealed I was not disappointed nor was he! {:-) I even went to Grisham's web-site hoping there was a place to tell him how much I enjoyed this one. There wasn't, but maybe he'll read this! Keep it up John and I'll surely keep reading and recommending your books to others!
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am 22. Februar 2000
Several years ago I read the Grisham novels 'The Pelican Brief' and 'The Firm' and was completely hooked, ripped through one of them in one marathon afternoon reading.
Since then I have read 'The Chamber', which I found more substantial but not as enjoyable as the previous ones, and 'The Client', which I thought was neither profound nor fun.
When I picked up 'The Runaway Jury', I was wondering if it would confirm the downhill trend of Grisham's writing.
It's not as bad as _The Client_, but not top of the crop either. It is suspenseful enough for me to have missed three tram stops while reading. It does demonstrate that it's possible to write a legal thriller without corpses (discounting lung cancer). It does have a relevant and controversial topic (tobacco legislation) at its core. It does give some fascinating insights into the courtsystem: Jury selection, Sequestering, Trial Strategies. It does show, that Grisham writes a smooth pen.
But: The story is very simple and straightforward. Much of the book is spent in the courtroom, listening to the pro/contra smoking specialists. The remainder is scheming to influence the jurors. It wasn't enough to keep me electrified throughout the book. The second half I was just trying to get to the verdict (and hence missed my stop!). The ending was predictable and kind of fizzed out.
All in all: I'm glad I didn't spend any money on the book. On the other hand I'm sure that I'll read one of his other books when I feel like literary junk food again. And just maybe he writes something like his early books again.
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am 22. März 2000
The Runaway Jury is an interesting read. The book keeps your attention most of the time, and leads you face to face with a number of various hot issues, the most important of which being tobacco products and nicotine (do they cause death?) This is worth reading, yet I still found myself quite disappointed with the overall work. From past experience reading Grisham's novels, I know he can do a lot better than this. First of all, I simply did not like the main characters. Why Grisham makes his seemingly "good guys" so unlikeable in this one is beyond me. He wrote it as if he wanted and intended for you to hate them. This threw me off at times completely. It actually got to the point where I found myself rooting for whom Grisham clearly identifys as the "bad guys" in the book. Rankin Fitch for the tobacco companies was so much more well developed than the juror in control and the other good guys. I don't smoke, and agree the nicotine in cigarettes is addictive. Yet I found myself hoping, even cheering for the tobacco companies. The good guys are such losers I wanted the bad guys to win. As usual (for anyone who has read any book by Grisham), the ending is predictable, though I found myself wishing it would go the other way. And there is clearly too much courtroom talk. Grisham fails to realize, as the jurors get bored with certain testimony, the reader probably will too (at times I did). Books seem to always be best too if you can limit the main characters. Here, Grisham has 12 (the jurors) plus many more, and there is simply too much to keep up with, and some of the characters are simply a bore, and the passages about them are difficult to get through. Grisham also seems to be edgy about the content he wants to be in this one. I like Grisham in large part because he doesn't have to be that dirty to write a good book. In Runaway Jury, he uses more language and sexual references than in many of his other books. In seems like he wants to keep the content level down, yet at the same time he wants to put a little adult material in. Grisham either should have toned it down (which I like best and usually turns out best) or lived a little and spiced it up a bit. In between simply doesn't work and makes the reader ponder which of these more mature portions Grisham actually put in himself, and which the editors edited in later on. Despite some complaints, and the knowing that Grisham can do better, Runaway Jury is still worth checking out sometime, especially if you are interested in the smoking and tobacco products subject of or are a fan of Grisham. See if you agree with my complaints though.
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am 3. Februar 1998
The Runaway Jury is definitely interesting and fast paced. The idea of an attractive mid 20s couple tag teaming to defeat one of the most powerful entities of all time certainly makes this book appealing to the public. i'm a big Grisham fan, and I liked this book, but it falls short of the level of The Chamber and The Firm for several reasons. First of all, Nicholas and Marlee both suffer from the Mitch Mcdeere syndrom of just being too clever and too smart. At least Mitch made some mistakes in The Firm ( his fourth floor copies...) and Patrick Laningan and Darby Shaw are likewise imperfect. Nicholas and Marlee however, not only perform flawlessly, but they make the high powered tobacco employees look like idiots in the process. The ending is okay ( why is predictability necessarily a minus?), although Grisham's trademark anti- lawyer humor isn't quite as present as in some of his other books. Overall, it is a good book, but not one of Grisham's best. But you've just got to love any bad guy with a name like Rankin Fitch!
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am 8. Juni 2000
This book is on of the best I have ever read and it is contending as the best. I counldn't put it down. I read the last 300 pages in one night. It was the best law thriller I have ever read in my life.
It is about a juror who knows the law and tries to sway the jury. I am not going to get into details but a widow is suing a tobacco company because her husband got addicted and died of lung cancer.
I loved it and could not put it down. Do not start it unless you have a lot of time to read.
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am 3. Juli 2000
Grisham manages to score a real winner with his work, "The Runaway Jury". In a nut shell, he manages to write an entertaining fiction about the politics and law surrounding one of the largest, if not the largest, health issues of the modern age. Through carefully constucted characters, the sides of the debate are cast in shades of grey rather then ideal morality or immorality. It is a real page turner, and is thought provoking.
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am 1. Oktober 1997
"A Time to Kill" is Grisham's favorite of his own books, and it shows. He wrote it with passion and belief. The next two books ("The Firm" and "The Pelican Brief") were fun page-turners. "The Client" began to show the weaknesses (and his bragadaccio ravings about being able to turn out a book in a couple of months; don't think it isn't showing, John) -- way too much implausibility, but at least a heroine I liked. Then -- oh, my -- then he got on his soapbox. First we had his anti-death penalty novel in which he had law students so blatantly breaking the law with the phone-calling scheme they'd never be allowed to join the bar if they were found out; then came his anti-insurance company novel, in which he had lawyers tapping other lawyers' phones (grounds for disbarment), lawyers refusing to respond to discovery, lawyers LYING about discovery, and fledgling lawyers having illegal ex parte conversations with the judge -- which could get BOTH of them disbarred! Now we have the anti-tobacco industry novel, in which just about every sequestered jury rule in the book was broken AND a crooked jury member TELLING THE JUDGE HOW TO RUN THINGS. Yeah, right. Like that would ever happen. Since it begins with an improbable premise -- the "hero" (yuck) has moved from city to city trying to get on a tobacco case jury (how believable is that; how often do YOU get jury notices?), it's got nowhere to go but up -- and impossible as it may seem, it goes DOWN! There is nothing I hate more than an author who assumes his readers are stupid. Grisham just doesn't think we're stupid, he thinks we're too stupid to realize how belittling he is to his readers. Never again will I spend a nickel to read a Grisham book. (I'm not the only one; I had to try FOUR TIMES before I could give away "The Runaway Jury" -- no one I know was dumb enough to take it. I finally dumped it in the library returned-books bin; let them deal with it.) There are too many GOOD authors out there to waste my time (and money) on a writer who has the arrogance to write about the law, all the while belittling his readers by assuming they know nothing about it.
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The Runaway Jury is by far the best Grisham book (or even the best book in general) I've EVER read! It is full of twists, turns, surprises, and the biggest ending you could imagine! In many of the other reviews you hear all these people talking crap about the book--like it's too predictable, too similar to his other books, too unrealistic, and too slow and boring--that's a bunch of bull!!!
I must say that this book is very fast paced, completally unpredictable, and SO true to life! It unleashes your emotions and lets them run wild, while you evaluate your morale! This book certianly poses quite a few moral questions which, I think, add to the richness and fullness of the story. I really think that the people that slammed this book are crack heads with nothing better to do than discourage you people from reading a Great book. I know that you'll love it--you just can't not!
I feel that the only bad thing about this book is that when you finish this book you don't want to say good-bye to the characters! Grisham makes each and every one of them like you're best friend. I miss Marlee so much. After the story you just want to hug her. And what about Nicholas, or Fitch??? They're all cool. So, really the only bad thing about the book is in all actuality GOOD--if you catch my drift.
I hope you enjoy it!
--Jared Philibert
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am 21. Februar 2009
Rauchen schädigt die Gesundheit. Das weiß man zwar, aber gepafft wird trotzdem, was das Zeug hält. Da Amerikas zügellose Klageindustrie bei all den Gesundheitsschäden das große Geld wittert, wurden bereits zwölf Klagen gegen die großen Tabakkonzerne angestrengt, die aber samt und sonders vom Kapital und skrupellosen Manipulationen der Verteidigung förmlich abgeschmettert worden. Klage 13 soll nun endlich mit einem Präzedenzfall die Schleusen der Tabakmilliarden öffnen. Einige Staranwälte haben sich zusammengefunden, ihre Finanzen und ihr Fachwissen vereinigt, den richtigen Mandanten und das richtige Gericht gefunden, so dass es nur noch an einer zuverlässigen Jury fehlt.

Richtig, die Jury. Wer das Wort einmal hört, denkt wohl weniger an ein edles Organ der Rechtspflege, als vielmehr an 12 Nasen, die die ganze Bandbreite vom armen Tellerwäscher bis zur spießigen Generalswitwe abdecken, stets reichlich farblos und still in ihren Stühlen hocken, sich unentwegt berieseln lassen, weniger bis gar keine Ahnung haben und sich letztendlich rein aus dem Bauch heraus und von smarten Anwälten beschwatzt auf Milliarden an Strafsummen dirigieren lassen. Zeit die Spielregeln zu ändern. Nicholas Easter, ein junger Juror, hat sich schon seit Jahren bemüht, in eine Jury gegen die Tabakindustrie gewählt zu werden, um einen minutiös ausgetüftelten Plan in die Tat auszuführen. Endlich am Ziel, kann das Spektakel beginnen. Yeah!

Es ist ein höllisches Vergnügen, mitzuerleben, wie dieser Galgenstrick mit einer subtilen Cleverness schleichend aber unaufhaltsam die Führung der Juroren übernimmt, sie in seinem Sinne manipuliert, sie gegen die Beeinflussung der Tabakindustrie wappnet und zum dominierenden Part des ganzen Spektakels ausformt. Streik für pünktliches Essen, Porzellangeschirr oder Fernsehen, überraschende patriotische Bezeugungen, Aufbegehren gegen das richterliche Diktat und allerhand Schelmenstreiche lassen den armen Judge Harkin ein ums andere Mal in ein persönliches Waterloo fallen. Scheint anfangs alles zugunsten der finanzstarken Verteidigung zu laufen, so schrumpft der Einfluss immer schneller in dem Maße, mit dem Easters Einfluss wächst. Nachdem seine Helferin mit nebelhaften Aussagen an die Tabakindustrie herangetreten ist, beginnt neben dem eigentlichen Prozess ein intrigantes Katz-und-Maus-Spiel um den ganzen großen Jackpot.


Vorfreude, schönste Freude. Zwar ist das Ende sehr vorhersehbar und unspektakulär und kostet einen kleinen Stern, aber der gesamte Schlagabtausch ist so clever, augenzwinkernd und originell inszeniert worden, dass ich mich jedes Mal wie ein kleines Kind auf die nächste Süßigkeit freute. Grishams Schreibe sagte mir schon immer sehr zu, für diesen herrlichen Schinken recke beide Daumen samt beider großer Onkel feierlich in die Luft. Hiermit geschehen.
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am 5. März 2000
I am a very avid fan of John Grishm. Ever since I read The Rainmaker I knew that I had to read everything else - which is what I did. The Runaway Jury has a seemingly simple plot but Grishm has a way of making into one of the most brilliant and engrosing stories that you will ever read. This is part of his magic in all of his books. The plot is pretty straightforward, but it has enough twists and unanswered questions to keep you turning pages throughout the night. There is somthing about Grishm's writing that can turn a normal civil courtroom case into one of the most intriging stories.
It is pretty shocking how he perfectly discribes the way that one juror can control all of the others - but when you think about it, it could really work. I didn't find it hard to believe at all. It was such a brilliant plan, that it makes you wonder if it really happens.
The only flaws are that there isn't a real hero to the story. Sure, you will like Marlee and Nicolas, but they are really just scam artists - and you don't find out why until the end. You just don't find yourself rooting for a person throughout the novel (like Mitch in The Firm). It is for this that I have to dock a star.
Great book; if you like his other works, I have to suggest this one.
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