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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

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    28
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Even if you love Grisham - skip this one!

Like many others I end up buying all of Grisham's books, they are a normally reliable read or listen for that long plane journey or train ride. I really struggled to finish this one - it was hard to identify or empathise with the characters - the story didn't grip or excite, my disbelief was certainly not suspended.

In all I got the sense that JG was more interested in lecturing about the evils in society than entertaining us in this one.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nice to read a law story again

John Grisham never disappoints. Great read and it turned and ended where I did not expect. Wish they guys could get away with it a bit longer ....... but still enjoyable

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Grisham Disbarred

Unlikeable characters. Dull and repetitious. The Law (sic) treated like a doormat. Snowflakes welcome. Terrible.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ann D
  • 06-11-18

Good stuff!

Not right up there with his best, but still a very good tale by Grisham. The narration fitted perfectly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Shaun West
  • 05-24-18

Oh dear!

Looking at the average customer reviews for this title I can't believe these are for the same book that I just finished.

In his time Grisham has produced excellent and entertaining work. This is not it. Tedious, even irritating at times, it was a relief to get it over with (I don't abandon books but I may have to revise this policy).

It may be a long, long time before I consider another Grisham novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 03-12-18

Unlikable characters

I'm a big fan of Grisham but he has produced a book that has no credible or likable characters. So much of this didn't impress me and I'm sad to say it was a struggle to get thru it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • decerealcritic
  • 03-05-18

What was that about

I have just finished listening to this offering on Audible and I can safely say it is one of the dullest books that I have read or heard in years. The story lacked any sophistication and excitement. After a while I just played it late at night when I had trouble sleeping. Hope it reads better than it sounds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-18

what a waste of time

narration fine but what an insult to the intelligence of the reader this book was.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jackie Ellis
  • 09-08-18

Long-winded

I feel the synopsis for this book is misleading. It sounds like we are going to go headlong into this law school scam conspiracy... but the bulk of the book barely touches on it! Very disappointing and juvenile attempt with this book from a past stellar author. Narrator is good, story is dull.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeffrey R. Parker
  • 09-25-18

Unremarkable

A typical Grisham ending. But quite an interesting storyline. Could have been twice as exciting if a few twists followed through more.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Peter Scully
  • 09-17-18

An entirely orogonal but engrossing tale.

Characters that draw you in despite questionavle morals in a story line that keeps you turning pages. The conclusion is surprising ans surprisin88gly satisfying. All in all a great time spent in a different world and isn't that what a good novel is all about?

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-14-18

Disappointed

I usually thoroughly enjoy Grisham books but this one was monotonous and only mildly interesting. There were no highs, nothing to peak interest or get the heart or imagination running. If I'd been reading a paperback I would have cast it aside early. I persevered with the audio because I could do other stuff while I listened.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 08-26-18

A great read.

The Rooster Bar grabbed my interest from the start and held it to the last word. Believable twists and turns throughout.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • JBO
  • 07-25-18

Not his best but they are all good.

Totally worth the spend and time. Fun story of likeable characters. There are better Grisham books out there but I am yet to find a bad one.
Very good narrator.