Liked It2 of 2 members found this review helpful
“While the writer is always excellent at the mystery thriller form as well as background information fo the story he writes, and this book is no exception, this one on the other hand gives a special pleasure in the history of Bologna and its detailed description and beauty. One wishes one could...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“This book was good and an easy read. It was not as fast paced as the usual John Grisham novels or as intriguing and I expected some characters to be explored later in depth but they were not. What I did like is the way we got to explore a little of Italy.”see full review » see other reviews »
“I loved it for what it is - a great beach read. ”Patti B wrote this review Tuesday, April 2, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Read this after The Racketeer.Very different books. Contras: there's little "suspense" in this book. No mysteries or plot twists. It's a straightforward story following what happens to a once very powerful man, The Broker when he becomes a pawn of the CIA in an chess game of international espionage.
It also continues as further literary indulgence of Grishman's love affair with Italy with in-depth and detailed "life in Italy". I enjoyed it a lot and is a big part of the reason I'm fond of the Playing For Pizza book as well.
It was rather relaxing to read... action but at a leisurely pace. ”
“I read Grisham's books simply for my love to read court room dramas.”Kumar Sridhar wrote this review Saturday, February 9, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Just another novel by Grisham. The fist 10% or so was fast enough, the middle quite slow and then last 25% or so fairly fast again. If you like a lot of description and word-pictures this is a very good novel; it's not a page-turner like "The Pelican Brief" or "The Rainmaker" but is is much faster than "A Painted House"”Aasim wrote this review Sunday, February 3, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Good story. A powerhouse lobbyist (Joel Backman) has been sentenced to Fed. Penn. Six years into the sentence, he is suddenly pardoned by the out-going President. He is given a new name and taken out the of the country. The opperative goal is to leak where he is and see who comes to kill him.
It read easy. There were chapters that really didn't have much purpose except to drag out the storyline, but still a good book. ”
“Plot too slow. But still, it's Grisham. This man practically helped me with English (along with Sweet Valley High, Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley University. :D)”Leia Solo wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“7/20 After reading The Testament, I'm up for another Grisham book. First 100 pages develop a lot of plot excitement. I didn't know or expect to see a lot of Italian in a Grisham book, but this one has it and it's great! 7/28 finished! Another pretty good read. The ending was a bit weak, but still a fun, though lighter read than most of what I've read from Grisham. This one was a bit like "Playing for Pizza." ”Thomas G. Schober wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The Broker by John Grisham is an intense thriller that can keep a reader interested throughout the novel. The story is about one of the nation's most powerful lawyer and power broker in Washington DC and his fall from the top to the bottom. His demise included a long jail sentence that ended early with a pardon by a President who was in the twilight of his presidency. Joel Backman, the broker, after being pardoned has to run from numerous people in order to stay alive. Due to this fact, the CIA helps him start a new life in Italy in order to keep him alive, but in reality they have a diabolical plan in place that they hope will end with the death of Joel Backman. I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys the genre of thrillers and the intensity that goes along with them.”Marco Gutierrez wrote this review Friday, January 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“As always, Grisham delivers a suspenseful legal thriller worthy to be visualized.”Shernard R wrote this review Tuesday, November 13, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The last time I read a book by John Grisham was in high school after The Rainmaker with Matt Damon came out and I was on a Grisham kick for a while. I remember liking the pacing of his novels, the characters doing what is right despite the odds being stacked against them, and Grisham's easy writing style that provided enough detail to sympathize with the underdogs but never crossed into too much familiarity. So when I came across the paperback of The Broker memories did their thing and the book came home with me. It sat on the shelf through my well-intentioned "reading schedule" phase, got passed over a couple of times after that until finally I was in the mood for it.
Almost immediately I saw that either my memories were flawed or The Broker didn't fit in with the Grisham novels I read. In the beginning there was a lot of backstory setting the scene for Joel Backman's release from prison. It painted him as a ruthless, greedy man unfamiliar with the very concept of morality, and even as freedom was offered to him after years in solitary confinement in conditions that were clearly meant to break him he accepted it as if it was his due. And then Joel was moved to Italy and with the new clothes and a pair of Armani glasses he seemed to take on a new identity in more than just name - still demanding and knowing exactly what he wanted, he at the same time has acquired an appreciation for the simpler things in life, and seemed to have re-evaluated his past and was determined to live differently. Unfortunately this transformation got almost no page time, it was more or less just there, leaving the reader to arrive at their own conclusions as to how Joel got from point A to point B.
Pacing left much to be desired as well. Events rolled along leisurely for about three quarters of the book with Joel endlessly going from Italian lessons to meals and back, and things started to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, until in a blink of an eye our protagonist transformed from a frustrated tourist into a man of action masterminding his true freedom and once again manipulating some of the highest powers in Washington into doing his bidding. This transition, though not unexpected, was so sudden and swift that it almost gave me whiplash and once again left me with a sense of dissatisfaction.
My favorite scenes in the book were where Joel was shown adjusting to life in Italy. His first attempts to order food in a foreign language, his growing familiarity with Bologna, even his overwhelming drive to learn Italian made him into a sympathetic character despite his thoroughly unsympathetic past. I really could do with more of that because I think it would develop the characters and the book wouldn't feel so much like a chronology of events past and present.
All in all it was a decent read and I was glad for the way things turned out. I just wish it was more fleshed out in every aspect. ”