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The Brethren Audiobook

The Brethren

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Publisher's Summary

Trumble is a minimum security federal prison, a "camp," home to the usual assortment of relatively harmless criminals - drug dealers, bank robbers, swindlers, embezzlers, tax evaders, two Wall Street crooks, one doctor, and at least five lawyers. And three former judges who call themselves the Brethren: one from Texas, one from California, and one from Mississippi. They meet each day in the law library, their turf at Trumble, where they write briefs, handle cases for other inmates, practice law without a license, and sometimes dispense jailhouse justice. And they spend hours writing letters. They are fine-tuning a mail scam, and it's starting to really work. The money is pouring in. Then their little scam goes awry. It ensnares the wrong victim, a powerful man outside, a man with dangerous friends. The Brethren's days of quietly marking time are over.

©2000 Belfrey Holdings, Inc. (P)2000 Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (881 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (357 )
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (361 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    leigh 08-18-16
    leigh 08-18-16 Member Since 2015

    Stories are a journey and a destination worth while.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Took a while to get interested"
    Would you try another book from John Grisham and/or Frank Muller?

    Yes I would. Frank Muller does an excellent reading and John Grisham is a good writer. I have read a few of Grishams other books and some are better, some are worse than this.


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

    Frank Muller comes across as an excellent character. I like his voice a lot and he doesn't get to theatrical.


    Was The Brethren worth the listening time?

    Yes, I am glad that I took the time for this book. However, it took a very long time to really catch my attention. Throughout the first half of the book I kept considering giving up because it was not grabbing me, making me think, or keeping me guessing. It drug on for a very long time, but in the end I did enjoy the direction the plot took. It just took a very long time to get there.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angela 06-01-16
    angela 06-01-16 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "love 2"

    what time does the bank in Whitehall absolutely one of the best books ever written I can't wait to listen to more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy 11-06-15
    Cathy 11-06-15 Member Since 2015

    Cathy

    ratings
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    "My favorite!!"

    Love Grisham and this one has the humor and all the great twists and turns!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kentucky Woman Louisville, KY United States 06-03-15
    Kentucky Woman Louisville, KY United States 06-03-15 Member Since 2009
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    "Intriguing story, unlikable characters"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was entertaining


    Would you recommend The Brethren to your friends? Why or why not?

    John Grisham's books are always easy to listen to and he weaves a good tale. This one seemed a bit dated in light of events of the twenty-first century.


    Any additional comments?

    Good book, not great

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W Perry Hall 11-25-14

    "There is scarcely any passion without struggle." Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shallow, Contrived and Uninteresting"

    I'm familiar with the prison pen pal scams in LA and MS. Maybe that's why this novel seemed like Grisham picked the plot from his list of "maybe's," yet then when writing it his heart just wasn't there. I'm a fan of much of Grisham's work, but this one seemed neither real nor true, and it lacked a shred of suspense, which is normally Grisham's strongest suit. Written as if Grisham just phoned it in.

    I was very disappointed.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Claire Jerusalem, Israel 04-20-14
    Claire Jerusalem, Israel 04-20-14 Member Since 2011
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    Story
    "Very disappointing."

    There are three story lines in The Brethren. One takes place mainly in a minimum security federal prison camp where three disgraced former federal judges are incarcerated and from where they operate an extortion scam. A second story line takes place entirely within "the bunker", a windowless room from which Teddy Maynard, the aging and disabled director of the CIA, plays kingmaker and manipulates domestic and international events. The third story line involves the people outside prison and the CIA who are affected by the machinations of the judges and the kingmaker: primarily the judges' lawyer and their victims.

    The plot is based on the premise that Teddy Maynard, the CIA director cum kingmaker feels that the US needs a stronger military. To that end, he grooms a relatively unknown member of Congress, Representative Aaron Lake, to become the next president of the United States, a president beholden to the CIA and especially to Teddy himself. With unlimited funds, personnel and influence, Teddy molds reality to his liking.

    But all the resources that Teddy commands almost fail to discover Lake's secret, a secret that would surely lose him the election if discovered. The bulk of the novel is about the extensive measures taken by Teddy and the CIA to protect their investment in Lake, eventually bringing together the three story lines in what is probably supposed to be a shocking conclusion.

    Not one of the characters in the book is well-developed. None of them have interior lives and none of them are particularly interesting. Indeed, none of them are particularly likable. I was unable to connect with any of the characters enough to root for or against them. Their interactions are formulaic. They seem to have no hopes or dreams, no love, no hate, no regrets, no ambition.

    The great potential for including CIA gadgets and "trade craft" to spark interest went unexploited. The legal side of the story--John Grisham's strong suit--is completely neglected. The three women in the book are almost caricatures... but so are most of the men.

    The narration by John Muller was marred by his habit of exhaling while pronouncing words, making it sound like he was on the treadmill while recording.

    All in all, I found The Brethren a great disappointment. The only reason I listened all the way to the end was my vain hope that there would be a twist in the story and something interesting would happen


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer West Monroe, LA, United States 09-11-12
    Amazon Customer West Monroe, LA, United States 09-11-12
    ratings
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    2
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    Story
    "Interesting and thought provoking"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, Just to discuss issues the story provokes


    Any additional comments?

    It makes you think that there are a lot behind politicians we don't see

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Brunswick, Maine, United States 07-16-12
    Sherry Brunswick, Maine, United States 07-16-12 Member Since 2017
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    "Very dated, unfortunately"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I expect John Grisham would change it, too, now. A huge part of the plot is a scam to trap and extort gay men, and everyone in the book treats this as though it is the most horrific, dirty, unacceptable secret ever. Just seems both dated and impossibly silly in this day and age, when being gay is not such a big deal. But at times it came off as really homophobic.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Actually I'm not there yet.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Frank Muller?

    No, I'm going to try to avoid him -- he's very breathy, trailing off into an ominous whisper even on very ordinary sentences.

    Pretty good job doing a variety of voices, so if you don't mind a little overdramatic breathy whispering, he might not bug you.


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taiwo Germantown, MD, United States 06-18-12
    Taiwo Germantown, MD, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Narration was the resistance, very disappointing."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Could not get over the irritation of the narration, as a result was unable to get to the end if the book. I have tried to listen and press on three times now, but cannot.


    What didn’t you like about Frank Muller’s performance?

    High mono tone ran throughout. Very irritating.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    I will, because I think the story is good I was just put off by the narrator.


    Any additional comments?

    The book might be worth listening to with another narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Clio, MI, United States 06-18-12
    Diane Clio, MI, United States 06-18-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pretty typical for Grisham....great & witty!"
    Would you listen to The Brethren again? Why?

    I would read The Brethren again. If I ran out of other books on audible and if I'd read all of Grisham's others, I suppose I'd pick this one off again.


    What other book might you compare The Brethren to and why?

    This one is quick spirited and witty like The Street Lawyer. Fast paced.


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

    Everything! Whether he's speeding up or slowing down the sentences or words themselves it helps in getting the images in my head. I can almost see the people in the story just by the narrative tone.


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

    Nothing particular, I was just amused actually by the "inmates" of the story....what a hoot!


    Any additional comments?

    The only other comment I have about this book is that I was glad I got it. It was a fast read, as all Grisham's are for me. I've read about 7 now and going back for more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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