Corona, CA, US | Member Since 2010
As a rabid Grisham fan I am very sorry to say that this book is not up to Mr Grisham's usual standards. Predictable plot. That the only mistery in the story is left unresolved is the only surprise furnished in this book. I waited the entire book for something exciting or engrossing. This is just a sermon against the death penalty which is always expected from this author. What is not expected is that in this book he gives us very little else. If you have read many of his books you will find the characters, dialog, and plot all very familiar. I suggest you try another title. Almost everything else he has written is excellent. This is the first time I have ever been disappointed by John Grisham.
Not at all.
Sam Cahill, the murderer.
If you're new to John Grisham, I suggest downloading all of his earlier works first. Your credits will be much better spent with titles like The Firm, The Rainmaker, The Pelican Brief, etc. Although not quite as good, The Racketeer is in the genre of TheTestament, The Bretheren, and The Partner (3 of my favorites). As dissappointed as I have been in some of his recent titles, The Racketeer is a return to what has always drawn me to Mr. Grisham's work, i.e. good characters, great dialogue, and plenty of plot twists with an ending one can't see coming (at least I couldn't). As to "believability," I'll let others who care agrue that point. All I want from a book is entertainment and this book does that.
Caution! A note about the reader: If a slow, and I mean slow, reading cadence drives you crazy, you may find this a challenging listen. I truly believe that a reader can make or break a book. The greatest story is easily ruined by the wrong reader. If Frank Muller had read the phone book I would have listened with rapt attention from beginning to end. Mr. Jackson does a competent job with this work, but it was a good two chapters before his reading cadence stopped distracting my attention from the story. If there was a purpose to the style he used for this book, it was lost on me. A different reader, or reading style, could have easily changed my opening comment from "ehhh" to "pretty good."
All in all I would say that The Racketeer is for those Grisham fans who have already read everything else he has written...worth a listen, but not as good as so many that came before it.
Having read many of the reviews for this book, I decided it would be a worthy investment of time and a credit. Unfortunately, this is one of those books with all of the elements to be a great read, but one in which, despite its length, those elements never fully mature. It's as though the author went so far with each of his plot elements, took the rest of the day off, and never came back to them. I am amazed that I listened to the whole thing. But every time I was about to give up, the plot would pick up just enough, or a character would do something just interesting enough to keep me going. I was convinced throughout the entire book, right up to the last ten minutes, that all of these great elements were going to converge at some point, if I could just hang in there. It was excruciating! The characters were good, the readers were good, the plot elements were good, the #%&@! REVIEWS were good. I'm still asking myself, what the hell went wrong? That is the real mystery of this book. How can one have so many good elements and still create such a piece of anticlimactic ambivalence? I couldn't believe the ending. What ending? I'd still be listening to dead air, positive, just as I was throughout the whole book, that there would in fact be an ending, had they not spent 30 minutes at the end interviewing, not the author nor one of the readers, but the TRANSLATORS(!). An interview so dull that I wanted to throw my MP3 player across the room (sorry but by then I had reached my limit).
If you're a book gourmet fascinated by "modern Japanese literature," or an intellectual who finds beauty and wonder in those things the rest of us just can't fathom, you may very well enjoy this book. But if you're like me, just some schlub looking for a great story that entertains and carries you away while enduring time at the in-laws' house, I suggest you pass on this one.
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