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Publisher's Summary

John Grisham's newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that shouldn't exist.

Law students Mark, Todd and Zola wanted to change the world - to make it a better place. But these days these three disillusioned friends spend a lot of time hanging out in The Rooster Bar, the place where Todd serves drinks. As third-year students, they realise they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specialising in student loans, the three realise they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.

So they begin plotting a way out. Maybe there's a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they have to leave law school, pretend they are qualified and go into battle with a billionaire and the FBI....

Ingenious, immersive and page-turning, The Rooster Bar is a John Grisham legal thriller bar none.

©2017 Belfry Holdings, Inc (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

Praise for John Grisham:
"The best thriller writer alive." (Ken Follett)
"A superb, instinctive storyteller." ( The Times)
"A giant of the thriller genre." ( Time Out)
"John Grisham has perfected the art of cooking up convincing, fast-paced thrillers." ( Telegraph)
"No one does it better than Grisham." ( Daily Telegraph)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Law school scam

Fascinating subject.... makes you wonder if this does actually happen.... ‘makes you think, doesn’t it?’

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Darren Kelly
  • Darren Kelly
  • 11-11-17

Not up to Mr Grisham's usual compelling level.

The storyline is original but not strong enough not to leave you wondering if a better one is about to develop as new characters are introduced. It felt more akin to a few weak episodes of "Suits" than a stand alone thriller except I was far less invested in the characters.

I found the verbose repetition of the email correspondence to and from the loan officers to be a frustrating waste of time. It had no real purpose or pay off in the story and felt like padding of the duration.

If you are happy enough with a competently written yarn which you can have wash over you whilst doing something else it's ok.

If like myself you prefer a gripping story where you care what happens next and which engages you enough to give you a break from your day, this one isn't for you.

Three stars overall as there was nothing wrong with the narration and the storyline was well constructed but in the end had no teeth.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Simon
  • Simon
  • 10-20-17

Grisham Raises The Bar

NB This review is from the original 20th October release which was withdrawn by Audible in favour of a newer version with enhanced audio.  I cannot comment on just how "enhanced" the audio is but the original seemed fine to me.

Like many I was pretty disappointed with Grisham's previous release, Camino Island but Rooster Bar sees him returning to more familiar legal territory and things improve markedly as a result. ­­  The novel was inspired by an article of investigative journalism about student lending in the US.  Grisham once again weaves an entertaining story around legally engineered social injustice within the US.  The luckless law students entrapped by the loans system embark on some imaginative ways out of the hole that they find themselves in.  It's clever writing and displays the author's usual healthy cynicism about the American Dream.  I worried it might head towards some kind of US Robin Hood style scenario but Grisham blurs the lines between the good and bad guys to a delicious murkiness as the naiveté of the young mavericks leaves a trail of disruption in their wakes. Ari Fliakos gives his usual assured performance as the narrator and suits the material well.

This is Grisham on his home turf; street lawyers, injustice in US society and some interesting legal procedural shenanigans.  I for one am much happier with this return to familiar ground.

23 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for holly bird
  • holly bird
  • 01-26-18

Just Great!

Grisham pulls it off again. He manages to get across complicated legal stories in a wildly entertaining way. He is a master of the genre. Love them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Kirstine
  • Kirstine
  • 11-13-17

Entertaining

I've read and listened to many of the author's books. Most have an honest lawyer as the hero who pits his wits against big business or fat-cat lawyers who are on the side of the bad guys. The present book is different. The lead characters are three students impoverished by huge debts run up to pay their law school fees. However, instead of being wholly sympathetic figures they become criminals embarking on a series of outlandish money-making escapades.

Unlike earlier books this is not a modern morality tale of good versus evil: more the little guys getting their own back on the system by dubious means. Despite their actions I found myself wanting them to get away with their felonies as their targets were the less admirable practitioners of the law.

A more serious side story involves the family of one of the law students highlighting the precariousness of life for illegal immigrants and what they face when deported.

Overall an entertaining novel, more humorous than earlier books.

The narrator is good

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Ljones78
  • Ljones78
  • 03-05-18

Engaging but heavily flawed premise

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Honestly, no. I read a lot of JG's early books, but took a break about 8 years ago. This book hasn't exactly endeared me back to him. A massively flawed premise where the 2 main male characters make moronic decisions time after time until you start venting your own frustrations at how much more dumb they can get.

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

Still no.

Which character – as performed by Ari Fliakos – was your favourite?

Ari did a decent job with the characters, nothing stand out - but no issues either.

Was The Rooster Bar worth the listening time?

I listened all the way through... just.

Any additional comments?

Poor addition to the JG catalogue

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil
  • 01-30-18

Farfetched

Not the most believable story but to be fair the author does admit to stretching fact of law.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Christopher
  • Christopher
  • 12-07-17

Great yarn, could it be true.

Another great legal story and I am sure it could be reality.
Great ending and hope it lasts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mr
  • Mr
  • 12-07-17

Good but not his best

A pleasant book but not up there with his earlier work in my opinion, the performance is good and I preferred this book to the last Grisham (Camino Island) effort but I do miss the old stories, maybe it's just nostalgia.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Joan
  • Joan
  • 12-07-17

Did John Grisham really write this?

I have read all of his novels. This one is a real disappointment. Over written, with a meandering, confusing plot, I seriously wonder if The Rooster Bar was written by Grisham. This unbelievable story had more holes in it than barbed wire. The main characters were hard to like, and the book, although well read, was so removed from the authors usual style and standard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mr Logic
  • Mr Logic
  • 11-29-17

Dire

Good performance but such a banal novel. Grisham no longer seems to be even trying. Used to quite enjoy his trash.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-29-17

A ripping good yarn

John Graham has lived up to his reputation and provided a great story, well told

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Russell
  • 11-02-17

Amazing!! couldnt stop listening

How good is Grisham back to his best for this one. p.s follow the money

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Deanne
  • Deanne
  • 03-25-18

Great as always

Thank you Mr Grisham once again you have wriien an interesting book, well worth the read

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Richard
  • Richard
  • 02-25-18

Solid Grisham Offering

Nothing spectacular or ground breaking, after so many books in the same genre it must be hard to come up with new ideas. But it was enjoyable, though the main characters weren't that likeable, don't know if they were meant to be or not. If you are a fan of Grisham and his style it is worth a read.

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Profile Image for Shelley Lewtas
  • Shelley Lewtas
  • 01-31-18

Rooster Bar review

i didn't really find the story that engaging so it was quite hard to finish

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Gerry
  • Gerry
  • 01-24-18

Most disappointing

I never got into this book and was most disappointed. I stuck it out till the end but it was a real effort.
I had no empathy with the 3 lead characters and the 3 were all so shallow and indeed, criminals.
I found the narrator quite flat and boring.
I might pass up on John Grisham in future despite the fact I enjoyed many of his earlier books. One of the less riveting books I have suffered through.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Skye
  • Skye
  • 01-06-18

Not a fan.

I like the idea of the plot but don't feel like it was done quite right. The characters were hard to root for despite that being the intention of the story....I think.
My first story from this author and unfortunately I don't think I'll try another.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Joan
  • Joan
  • 01-03-18

Rooster Bar

Enjoyable story as long as you pay attention to the characters and where they are in the story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Harry Kaplan
  • Harry Kaplan
  • 12-20-17

Fantastic

Unable to stop listening
Brilliantly spoken and inspiring!
You will definitely enjoy, well worth the effort

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for H. Anthony
  • H. Anthony
  • 12-17-17

so so

Lost interest half way through, long winded, took too long to get to the crux of the story