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The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
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The Street Lawyer (1998)

by John Grisham

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6,38466608 (3.45)36
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Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
I found the abridged-audio version of this book thoroughly absorbing. The plot is interesting and while not entirely unpredictable, satisfying through to the end.

The action begins when a homeless man holds as hostage several members of a huge corporate law firm. Following their rescue (and the perpetrator's death), attorney Michael Drake investigates the dead man's situation, and finds him to have been a mentally ill veteran who had lost his place to live through the depredations of his very own firm. Drake quits his law firm to become the "Street Lawyer" of the book's title. The story tracks his evolution as an advocate for homeless, the effects on his marriage, and his own legal troubles he becomes sued by his old firm for theft and malpractice.

This audio book has my enthusiastic recommendation. ( )
2 vote danielx | Apr 16, 2015 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/11382074
  JosieRivers | Dec 28, 2014 |
John Grisham is one of my go-to guilty pleasures. When I want a fast read with a reasonably good story that I can read quickly, I often choose a Grisham. Like all his books, this one stands the test of what a ripping yarn should be like.

This book starts out with a bang. A group of corporate, well off attorneys are held hostage at gun point by a homeless man and quizzed on their generosity. The homeless man is quickly taken out by a sniper but the issues raised launch the rest of the story. I had to admit to wanting to know more about the man but it is really only touched on in the rest of the story.

The main character becomes deeply disillusioned with corporate law. Many of his colleagues try to convince him to take time out and do some public interest work and then come back and continue to greedily line his pockets. Throughout the book, except for about three characters, no one can understand why someone would walk away from making a lot of money because they find it soul destroying. This was one thing in the book I found eminently understandable. I have walked in those shoes (miles) and the one good thing to come out of re-reading this is that it made me think about what I did before to make my own life more meaningful.

At any rate, the story revolves around the homeless: their invisibility, their resilience, their vulnerability and their facelessness. There are a few red herrings that I wish Grisham would have followed to a more logical conclusion and explained a little bit better. The reality is, life is often inexplicable so maybe it's better to just embrace what's written and enjoy the rest of the story without diving too deep - after all, Grisham books are more about entertainment than a deep examination of life.

This is a decent book for a two day read. It's fun, enjoyable and easy on the brain and eyes. It stimulates a little bit of thought without driving you crazy. It's summer. Grab this one and park yourself with a beverage in a comfy chair and read. Preferably while on a great vacation somewhere.

( )
1 vote ozzieslim | Dec 28, 2014 |
Take it from a guy who reads about once a year, it's a pretty good read! It even managed to inspire me to get out and do some community service. ( )
  SirJohnJameson | Sep 19, 2014 |
I really enjoyed this book. It didn't have his usual suspenseful build-up, but it was more character-driven. The ending was more satisfying than many I have read of Grisham's. It seemed an appropriate read at this time, too, putting a focus on both corporate greed and homelessness. ( )
  AliceAnna | Aug 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 60 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John Grishamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Salojärvi, HeikkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The man with the rubber boots stepped into the elevator behind me, but I didn't see him at first.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385339097, Paperback)

John Grisham is back with his latest courtroom conundrum, The Street Lawyer. This time the lord of legal thrillers dives deep into the world of the homeless, particularly their barely audible legal voice in a world dominated by large, all-powerful law firms. Our hero, Michael Brock, is on the fast track to partnership at D.C.'s premier law firm, Sweeny & Drake. His dream of someday raking in a million-plus a year is finally within reach. Nothing can stop him, not even 90-hour workweeks and a failing marriage--until he meets DeVon Hardy, a.k.a. "Mister," a Vietnam vet with a grudge against his landlord--and a few lawyers to fry. Hardy, with no clear motive, takes Brock and eight of his colleagues hostage in a boardroom, demanding their tax returns and interrogating them with a conviction that would have put perpetrators of the Spanish Inquisition to shame. Hardy, a man of few words and a lot of ammunition, mumbles cryptically, "Who are the evictors?" as he points a .44 automatic within inches of Brock's face. The violent outcome of the hostage situation triggers an abrupt soul-searching for the young lawyer, and Hardy's mysterious question continues to haunt him. Brock learns that Hardy had been in and out of homeless shelters most of his life, but he had recently begun paying rent in a rundown building; that means he has legal recourse when a big money-making outfit such as Sweeny & Drake boots him with no warning. When Brock realizes that his profession caters to the morally challenged, he sets out on an aimless search through the dicier side of D.C., ending up at the 14th Street Legal Clinic. The clinic's director, a gargantuan man named Mordecai Green, woos Brock to the clinic with a $90,000 cut in pay and the chance to redeem his soul. Brock takes it--and some of the story's credibility along with it; it's hard to believe that a Yale graduate who sacrificed everything--including his marriage--to succeed in the legal profession would quickly jump at the opportunity for low-paying, charitable work. However, Brock's search for corruption in the swanky upper echelons of Sweeny & Drake (via the toughest streets of D.C.) is filled with colorful characters and realistic, gritty descriptions. In the The Street Lawyer, Grisham once again defends the voiceless and powerless. In the words of Mordecai Green, "That's justice, Michael. That's what street law is all about. Dignity."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:10 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

A corporate lawyer in Washington goes to war against his own company to defend the homeless. It happens after Michael Brock is abducted by a homeless man and held hostage. The homeless man is killed by a police sharpshooter and the lawyer is rescued, but the experience changes his life. Michael was in a hurry. He was scrambling up the ladder at Drake & Sweeney, a giant D.C. law firm with eight hundred lawyers. The money was good and getting better; a partnership was three years away. He was a rising star with no time to waste, no time to stop, no time to toss a few coins into the cups of panhandlers. No time for a conscience. But a violent encounter with a homeless man stopped him cold. Michael survived; his assailant did not. Who was this man? Michael did some digging, and learned that he was a mentally ill veteran who'd been in and out of shelters for many years. Then Michael dug a little deeper, and found a dirty secret, and the secret involved Drake & Sweeney. The fast track derailed; the ladder collapsed. Michael bolted the firm and took a top-secret file with him. He landed in the streets, an advocate for the homeless, a street lawyer.… (more)

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