Regular price: $24.49

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The Fall of the House of Zeus tells the story of Dickie Scruggs, arguably the most successful plaintiff's lawyer in America. A brother-in-law of Trent Lott, the former U.S. Senate majority leader, Scruggs made a fortune taking on mass tort lawsuits against "Big Tobacco" and the asbestos industries. He was hailed by Newsweek as a latter-day Robin Hood and portrayed in the movie The Insider as a dapper aviator-lawyer. Scruggs's legal triumphs rewarded him lavishly, and his success emboldened both his career maneuvering and his influence in Southern politics - but at a terrible cost, culminating in his spectacular fall, when he was convicted for conspiring to bribe a Mississippi state judge.

Here Mississippi is emblematic of the modern South, with its influx of new money and its rising professional class, including lawyers such as Scruggs, whose interests became inextricably entwined with state and national politics. Based on extensive interviews, transcripts, and FBI recordings never made public, The Fall of the House of Zeus exposes the dark side of Southern and Washington legal games and power politics: the swirl of fixed cases, blocked investigations, judicial tampering, and a zealous prosecution that would eventually ensnare not only Scruggs but his son, Zach, in the midst of their struggle with insurance companies over Hurricane Katrina damages. In gripping detail, author Curtis Wilkie crafts an authentic legal thriller propelled by a "welter of betrayals and personal hatreds," providing large supporting parts for Trent Lott and Jim Biden, brother of then-senator Joe, and cameos by John McCain, Al Gore, and other D.C. insiders and influence peddlers. Above all, we get to see how and why the mighty fail and fall, a story as gripping and timeless as a Greek tragedy.

©2010 Curtis Wilkie (P)2010 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A remarkable illustration of how far the mighty can fall." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    62
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    53
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    52
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Tory
  • 1 Elm Tree Ln SW Huntsville AL 35824
  • 02-21-11

True Story But Almost Like a Novel

I found this book fascinating. Though it is a true story, it was like listening to a novel and I found it entertaining all the way through. Tory Dutton

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Monica
  • United States
  • 03-11-12

The title says it all - The fall of Scruggs

Would you listen to The Fall of the House of Zeus again? Why?

Yes, because it is masterfully done. You feel as if you are really getting a sense of who Dickie Scruggs is. You don't want to care about this man - this lawyer, but you do. It is kind of the story of a prostitute with a heart of gold. It is great listen and it is probably an even better read. It gives you some insight into why people are driven and why things sometimes turn out wrong, even though they started out right.<br/><br/><br/><br/>

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fall of the House of Zeus?

The most memorable moment is when the law firm, now located in Oxford, Mississippi, learns that Dickie, his son and partners are about to be arrested. Dickie, who has been cruising on pain killers and anti-anxiety medication, is now painfully alert that it is about to all fall down and he basically has nowhere to go.

What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

Sean Runnette seems to capture the Southern cadence without being grating. He was down-home and lawyerly at the same time - a feat!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

You can never pay off enough people and when you piss off someone - there will be hell to pay!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Found it most interesting.

listen to it every opportunity I found till the final words of the Final Chapter

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Narrator is not from around here!

Being a Mississippian, you can certainly tell that the narrator has no idea how to properly pronunciate places like Biloxi. I think it a case like this , it would have been a good idea to get someone from Mississippi to pronounce local names and cities for the narrator. Other than that it was a good job.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Worth a Listen

Intriguing story. Perhaps a few too many side stories to follow in an audio book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Read!

What made the experience of listening to The Fall of the House of Zeus the most enjoyable?

The narrator was not mono-toned at all!

What did you like best about this story?

The intertwined web of connections and betrayal.

What about Sean Runnette’s performance did you like?

His inflections! Really gave the story a feeling of a thriller.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The lawyer's interaction with Zak after he left his sentencing. I could feel the burn of those words.

Any additional comments?

I would recommend this book to anyone. It really is an button pusher, since I could not help but press play every time I had a chance to listen. I am about to listen to it again. It was so well written and narrated. Great non-fiction book!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well written and meticulously researched

The well written and meticulously researched tale of the rise and fall of an iconic trial lawyer. A first rate morality play.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • s
  • PLANO, ILLINOIS, United States
  • 02-23-14

fair

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes it is a good listen

What did you like best about this story?

he went to jail

What does Sean Runnette bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

a personal touch

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

no

Any additional comments?

it is a good story

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sad story

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes--

What other book might you compare The Fall of the House of Zeus to and why?

John Grisham's novels

Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Have not listened.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No--it made me so sad to hear the greed and jealously of people.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Lawyers Behaving Badly

This is interesting stuff, although the author's bias in favor of Dickie Scruggs makes the book come across as less than the whole story. Still, a fascinating look at how the legal community in Mississippi worked (and didn't) together. A huge influx of money from different sources resulted in some very nasty fights amongst the participants, most of which ended up in court. One would think that a bunch of lawyers would know better than to air their dirty laundry in public. Also a nice look at how politics works in a small state where things are controlled by a small number of players.