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The King of Torts

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3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  59,088 Ratings  ·  1,506 Reviews
The office of the public defender is not known as a training ground for bright young litigators. Clay Carter has been there too long and, like most of his colleagues, dreams of a better job in a real firm. When he reluctantly takes the case of a young man charged with a random street killing, he assumes it is just another of the many senseless murders that hit D.C. every w ...more
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published February 4th 2003 by Doubleday (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shannon
Mar 11, 2008 Shannon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
booooooooooooring and tedious. Very disappointed with this book from Grisham. While I learned a little about Tort Law, I also could have learned same from an internet site. The story was long, repetitive and boring. Showed the greed of tort lawyers without allowing the reader to really get to know any of the characters. I’m not sure why I even bothered finishing this one. Better hit me with something better next time, Grisham, or I just might stop reading you.
Beth
Jul 27, 2008 Beth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why do I keep doing this to myself?
Every Grisham I read seems to get worse and worse and this was the worst --- unless of course you like to read about privately owned jets, earning millions of dollars, winning class action suits that bring in billions (yes, I'm not exaggerating), fast cars, and slimy lawyers. The relationship aspect is at the beginning and end of the book. My suggestion is to read the first three chapters and then skip to the end (unless you enjoy laundry lists of the plaything
...more
Caralee
Jun 02, 2008 Caralee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As usual, this book it well written. Grisham tells the story of the meteoric rise and subsequent fall of the newest, hottest lawyer in the DC area. The problem that I found with this book is that I simply didn't care about any of the main characters in this book. The main character's greed and foolishness is shocking, and by the end of the book I found that like him, I was shrugging at 9 million dollars. But still, I found the characters uninteresting or distasteful. It was more out of a sense o ...more
Carol Storm
Jun 20, 2014 Carol Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Has anyone noticed that this guy can't write? And that he hates women?

There were scenes in this book so sexist that they literally took my breath away. Clay Carter, the young lawyer with the heart of gold, is being stalked by two beautiful women who are absolute cartoon characters. I mean, really! They are shallow, selfish, two-faced, manipulative, lazy, whiny, clingy, needy, bossy, weepy, and dishonest.

That would be bad enough, but the weird thing about the way Grisham writes is that . . . he
...more
Priscilla
Jul 11, 2013 Priscilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is one of those books I can't stop thinking about! I read it for a business law class I'm taking and it is great!

Clay Carter is working for Washington D.C.'s Public Defense Office when he is given a murder case. The murderer is a young, black man and Clay assumes it's a typical murder case. Then, he is approached by Max Pace, an agent for a pharmaceutical company. Max explains a bigger case behind the murder: the murderer was taking pills, the side effects made him unusually violent. Max hi
...more
Madiha Riaz
Aug 22, 2013 Madiha Riaz rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-so-good
Did.Not.Like.It.

Don't take me wrong, I like Grisham's novels, I'm not a big fan, but I enjoy reading his books nonetheless. He is not a master storyteller but he writes enjoyable stuff.

But after reading The Street Lawyer and now the King of Torts, I had a hard time giving another of his books much thought. Unfortunately, in a bargain, I had bought many of his books and now I'm going to try and finish the lot (to get my money's worth).

There was absolutely no rythm to the book. It started as a cri
...more
Ralph
Aug 06, 2009 Ralph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It really took me a while to get into this book. It started out pretty slow, but it was interesting. I kept reading, and I'm pretty disappointed with the novel.

The novel follows a man named Clay Carter - a lawyer working for the Office of the Public Defender. His job is going no where, his girlfriend and her parents are after him to "make something of himself" which translates into "make our daughter rich." It seems like his life is going no where.

Then he meets Max Pace. The guy pops up out of n
...more
Vicki
Mar 08, 2008 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost always enjoy a good John Grisham book and love to read them on an airplane as they make the time go by so fast. This was one of my favorites as it gives an inside look at the huge class-action lawsuits and how they can affect the lives of those involved, especially in the legal field. There is so much money to be made, it leads to unscrupulous behavior and should be a warning to us all. It was informative as well as entertaining and that rates five stars from me.
Brandi Doctoroff
May 13, 2008 Brandi Doctoroff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brandi by: Mama
Seriously...did Grishham fall asleep at the end? No spoilers, but it seems like for the last few chapters he was in a big rush to finish the book and just made everything end real abruptly. Especially considering that the rest of the book was quite long and drawn out....

This was the first book by Grisham that I've read thus far, and I'm not sure that I am jumping in to read more... Maybe I should have started with a more popular...better...book.
Jake
May 19, 2012 Jake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pulp
I don't think I'll ever read Grisham again, his stories are just too stupid. The protagonist inexplicably acted like an ass despite professing to being a moral person, acted wildly irrationally, made unbelievable errors in judgement concerning the wasting of money and lack of caution. His character was so poorly developed that I knew mid way through that I didn't give a shit what happened to him, because his character was both unbelievable and ultimately not likeable. Most problematic though wer ...more
Christine Blachford
Plot: Clay Carter is in a lowpaid but moral job, until the opportunity arrives for riches and stardom. An unknown informer helps him set up his company and gather clients, and it isn’t long until his morals are taking a battering.

Characters: Clay is an interesting character because in his desperation to get somewhere in life, he’s willing to sacrifice his principles and lower his standards. Once he has money, he begins to change and it’s interesting to see whether he can hold on to any of his op
...more
Sanchi
Jul 23, 2015 Sanchi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was long.

King of Torts, being a bestseller itself and coming from John Grisham gathered high expectations but to me, it was nothing but a disappointment. The story follows escapades of young John Clay Carter II-his meteoric rise and equally dramatic fall in the class action business(?). Full of tedious repetitions and full of terms that are still alien to me, it took me a while to get into the book. My interest, which it eventually lost after chapter 10, after which I was actually count
...more
Trevor Poe
Mar 01, 2009 Trevor Poe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes legal thrillers and books about lawyers and lawsuits
Recommended to Trevor by: My mother
I’ve never knew much about law cases, but John Grisham made me feel as if I was a lawyer in Washington, D.C. myself. Clay Carter, a lawyer for the firm OPD, is a man struggling to make money at the law firm he works at. “The beginning salary for an OPD lawyer was 36,000 dollars. The most senior lawyer, a frazzled of man of forty-three, earned 57,600 dollars and has been threatening to quit for nineteen years.” When given an unbelievable opportunity, the story tells about how he handles himself w ...more
Jerry
Jul 23, 2010 Jerry rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A really lousy book: rags to riches to rags, the end!

We've read every Grisham offering, including his two non-legal- thrillers, and find most of his novels to be good or great, a couple just so-so. For the first time, we'd rate this one at the bottom of the barrel. It has virtually no plot: a down-trodden public defender falls for a get-rich-quick scheme involving settling a few cases with some murder victims (due to bad drugs), for which our hero, Clay Carter earns like $15 million. Getting th
...more
Valencia
Jan 28, 2012 Valencia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
I really don't know what I expected from this book: amazing action scenes, crazy unexpected twists, and a heart wrenching story with a great lesson. I got none of that. What I got was 400 pages of legal terms and a money crazed, horny lawyer. It was humorous at some points and the story really pulled me in to read more, but most of the time I was begging for the book to end. I really believe Grisham could have done better. I've heard so much hype about his books that I was glad that I finally go ...more
Sharon
Sep 30, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Picture the office of the public defender, litigators stretched to the limit and beyond, exposed to circumstances they have no ability to deal with, day in and day out, underpaid, over worked and hopeless. This is Clay Carter's life. A new assignment, a young man charged with a random shooting. This client is an addict, though in successful recovery with no history of violence, in fact, just the opposite. Clay starts the discovery and the facts are not adding up as he probes into the case. Enter ...more
Michelle
Several years ago, I read everything John Grisham wrote. I guess, though, burnout set in, and after I read The Brethren, I was done with Grisham. I liked The Brethen enough. I guess. I just can't say that I remember it very well. In any case, I was tired of legal thrillers. Other than An Innocent Man, which doesn't really count because it is a true story, after all, I haven't read a Grisham novel for well over ten years.

And this was decent. But I'm thinking of stories like The Partner, The Firm
...more
Debbie Petersen
Apr 15, 2008 Debbie Petersen rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: men who aren't deep thinkers
Recommended to Debbie by: Someone I am no longer friends with
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Tabasco
Mar 29, 2014 Tom Tabasco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The King of Torts, read by Dennis Boutsikaris, is incredible fun. I read this after reading "Sycamore row", a much deeper and multi-layered novel, and despite the very different, almost light-hearted tone, and the much quicker pace (maybe because of the abridged version), this is another fantastic read. Yes there is not much character development, but I think that was a choice. The plot moves very fast, it has a great rhythm, and you learn about the world of class action torts in the process.
Whi
...more
Corey
Jul 30, 2011 Corey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ending of this book really disappointed me. For being about mass tort litigation, it did a good job of keeping me interested and I read it quickly, but the ending was so unsatisfactory.

SPOILER ALERT (if you care about those)

After he had built himself up so much doing shady things, it started to crumble. When he started to fall, I really wanted to see him fall. I wanted him to have to deal with it. I wanted to see him fall hard because I felt that's what he deserved. But he didn't. He got th
...more
Bolortuya
May 08, 2012 Bolortuya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a lover of legal thrillers, I try to read all of John Crisham's books. This book was really interesting and such a page turner from the very beginning: there is not any moment of boredom for readers, nor anything unconvincing! I got more and more intrigued as the story went on, I was constantly thinking about our main man - Clay Carter - even when I am not reading. The book introduced me to a new (and probably very miniscule (in terms of size) world) of mass tort lawyers and pharmaceutical in ...more
Isaura Pereira
Este é o primeiro livro que leio do autor John Grisham e certamente não será o último. John Grisham é o autor de Tempo de Matar, um livro que não li, mas vi a sua adaptação cinematográfica e que é um dos meus filmes preferidos. Logo, senti que tinha ler um livro deste autor.

Este é um livro sobre dinheiro, poder, ganância e segredos. Acompanhamos a vida profissional e pessoal de Clay Carter. Um jovem advogado que sonha com um melhor local de trabalho.

A escrita de Grisham é brilhante. Conhecemos a
...more
Bjarki
Oct 08, 2014 Bjarki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story kept me engaged for the first half of the book. It is a fast paced ride from rags to riches in the world of mass torts. But when the action slows down, the flaws of the story become apparent and the last few chapters feel really rushed. The only character development happens in reverse. The protagonist feels more one-dimensional at the end than he did at the start and I lost all sympathy for him at some point, probably during one of those awkward relationship scenes where his lack of c ...more
Karah
Jan 25, 2014 Karah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I love a good Grisham book, especially when I haven't read one in awhile. This is the story of Clay Carter, a young lawyer in Washington DC, working for the public defender's office. His job pays him next to nothing, his 4-year relationship is in a rut, and he'd love to live on his own--without a roommate. After wrapping up a lengthy murder trial, he gets stuck with another one. Everything appears to be the typical street crime/indigent story until a mysterious phone call lands Clay in a posh ho ...more
Becky
Feb 09, 2009 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Diehard Grisham Fans, Broke lawyers looking for get-rich-quick schemes
First let me say that I am a big fan of John Grisham. This was the 5th book of his that I've read, and I have 5 more at home waiting for me to read them. I really like his style: fast-paced legal thrillers that keep me on the edge of my seat and flipping pages like a cartoon flip-book. So far, all of his books have been that way for me. Except this one.

In Washington D.C., a random street-killing lands on the desk of Clay Carter, who is working as a public defender for minimum wage. Enter myster
...more
Mweene
Nov 04, 2010 Mweene rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book left no impression on me whatsoever. What kind of a name is 'Clay' for a main character? This guy simply had no substance to him and he certainly did not deserve to be the hero in this book. Not that he was ever in danger of some other character stealing the lime light from him. Not a single person in this book was worth the trouble, not one.
Sure it shows us just how greedy lawyers can be but come on now, surely we don't have to read such a boring book to find this out. My die hard pr
...more
Dark-Draco
Oct 07, 2013 Dark-Draco rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
I've always liked a good thriller-mystery-crime kind of story and Grisham doesn't usually disappoint, but I can't say that I really loved this one. The story starts of well enough, with impoverished city defence lawyer, Clay Carter, taking on the case of a man accused of murder. There is no chance that the man is innocent and Clay is dispirited by the thought of having to defend him. Then steps in mystery man Max Pace, who has evidence that the murder was caused by the side effects of a addictio ...more
Solace Winter
The old adage, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” would have been the perfect lesson for the main character to repeat in his head through this book. What is it about a slick man promising a lot of money that people just jump at the chance of? Oh right, the promise of a lot of money.

The ending is predictable, which is likely why it’s left for the very end. The majority of this book is about Clay Carter’s rise to the King of Torts than it is about the inevitable fall he suffers onc
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Oct 01, 2013 Ahmad Sharabiani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
نویسنده: جان گریشام، مترجم: فریده مهدوی دامغانی
شخصیت اصلی رمان «شاه زیانکاران»، وکیلی جوان به نام «کلی کارتر» است. او که پسر وکیل بزرگ «جرت کارتر» است موفقیت چندانی در زندگی و شغل خویش کسب نکرده است. اما ملاقات وی با فردی به نام «مکس پیس» که به گفته خودش «یک مامور آتش نشانی!» است، سبب تغییر مسیر زندگیاش میشود. «مکس» مامور لاپوشانی اشتباهات مخاطرهانگیز شرکتهای بزرگ تجاری است، و حالا این وکیل جوان است که باید تصمیم بگیرد، که با «مکس» همکاری کند یا خیر ...«دفتر وکالت عمومی از شهرت شرکتهای حقوقی خصو
...more
Trish
Jun 08, 2011 Trish rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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"Long before his name became synonymous with the modern legal thriller, he was working 60-70 hours a week at a small Southaven, Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time before going to the office and during courtroom recesses to work on his hobby—writing his first novel.

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, to a construction worker and a homemaker, John Grisham as a child dreamed of
...more
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