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3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  233,283 ratings  ·  1,611 reviews
In suburban Georgetown a killer's Reeboks whisper on the front floor of a posh home... In a seedy D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to death... The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief... To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a ...more
Published May 1st 1995 by 新潮社 (first published 1992)
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This book was a lot more suspenseful and entertaining than I thought it would be. I don't know why I thought it would be so boring, since John Grisham is so popular. It was incredibly suspenseful at parts. It was the first book I'd read by Grisham, so I really didn't know what was coming. I had three problems with it: 1) Although, like I said, the book as a whole was really suspenseful, I thought the end was a bit anticlimatic. 2) The environmentalism was a bit heavy handed. I'm all about preser ...more
I worked at a law firm where part of the movie was filmed. When Julia Roberts's character goes into a law firm to ask for a particular lawyer only to find out that he no longer works there and she leaves, that is my old firm. It is an ornate marble lobby with a small stream of water in the middle of the lobby. She goes through a glass door and can either go up an escalator or up some stairs to the reception desk, which overlooks the lobby. The walls are all glass and she can see across the floor ...more
May 15, 2007 Whitney rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who can read books very, very quickly
i had read a less well-known grisham book, and was pretty disappointed, so i decided to read this one, which is supposedly one of his best. terrible ending, tedious story for the most part. if you can read quickly you might not think you're wasting your time on this book.
Stefania T.
John Grisham: primo fatale incontro.

'Il rapporto Pelican' è un libro "da apnea", ovvero appartiene a quel genere di libri che ti lasciano come unica via d'uscita la totale immersione. Non puoi smettere di leggere, il demone della frenesia da lettura si impossessa di tutte le tua facoltà fisiche e mentali, perciò non puoi fare altro che arrivare, in preda all'ingordigia, all'ultima pagina.

Tanto di cappello! Quante volte mi è capitato di avere la necessità fisica e mentale di letture simili? In qu
Tom Barnes

Washington wakes up to the gruesome news that two members of the Supreme Court have been murdered overnight. The shocking part was in their diversity. The old, should have retired years ago, Democrat Justice Rosenberg and the younger Republican Justice Jensen. The fact that they were almost always on opposite sides of any issue left law enforcement with no clear political motive. The only clues left behind seemed to be ones of the killer’s choosing. A nylon cord used to garrote Jensen as he sat
John Yelverton
An edge of your seat thriller that keeps you turning the pages right up until the very end. A well done book by a great author.
Nabil Dabbagh
I expected nothing but greatness from Grisham, and he didn't let me down (though that doesn't mean I don't have some small critiques).

Though The Pelican Brief was filled with suspense, the beginning to mid section of the novel did feel a little slow, but as the chapters go the book started sticking to my hands. (NOTE: Do not -- I repeat -- do not, read the last 5-7 chapters before going to bed. Give yourself enough time. I made the mistake to start reading the end at 11:30pm and didn't put the b
Tina Suraj
My first Grisham novel and probably my last. The book was much too formulaic and a bit dull (not for an avid mystery reader and an adrenaline junkie)though at certain points it was a fast page turner. The plot was really weak. Maybe this environmental conspiracy plot was breakthrough in the 90s but in 2010, it's a tad bit overused and overdone. What made this book unbearable was Grisham characterization of Darby. She is the generic 90s heroine...extremely smart, absolutely stunning, with a spunk ...more
Harish Kumar Sarma Challapalli
One of the boring plots!! Formula of Grisham!! Extortions, scams, legal issues, gayism, some political flavor!! There are many unanswered questions in the plot!! There are some thrilling points during the plot, but not very gripping at some times which leaves the reader a puzzled feeling!!

The story begins with the assassination of two
philosophically divergent Supreme Court
Justices. Liberal Justice Rosenberg is killed
at his home, while the conservative Justice
Jensen is killed inside a gay porn ci
Such an exciting read. I've never watched the movie, but now I must see it.

The story is a testament to the adage "small but incredible". The package may be small, but it could be a bomb inside. Who'd have thought that a brief written by one gorgeous law student would be the downfall of many powerful men?

Grisham did a good job on playing out the whole story. Nothing was missed and cut; I didn't have unanswered questions. This is one of his best.
I recently re-read The Pelican Brief. Also known as John Grisham’s love letter to Julia Roberts. (He wrote the character of Darby Shaw with Julia Roberts in mind). Did he write the character of Gray Grantham with Denzel Washington in mind? Methinks probably not.

You probably know the plot - two Supreme Court justices get knocked off. A Tulane University student named Darby Shaw comes up with a theory as to who is responsible for the killings. She's spot on, and has to go on the run to save her ow
Ashley Leader
This book was entertaining and pretty suspenseful, but it has a lot of problems. I have read two other Grisham books, The Client and The Firm, and I didn't think this one was as good.

Okay. Firstly, the characters are flat. This is acceptable because this is a thriller, but it would have been much better if people had some personality. Darcy, the protagonist, was so stereotypical as a beautiful (men can't help but lust after her oft-mentioned long legs) and brilliant law student.

Secondly, the who
This must be where John Grisham started to lose whatever allure he'd built with me. His first two novels were captivating legal thrillers, but this one more resembles a block of wood with letters carved on it, for all the razzle-dazzle of his prose. Darby Shaw is a 24-year-old law student who takes it upon herself to investigate the assasinations of a couple of Supreme Court justices, inadvertently realizes the truth, and runs for her life when her memo on her theory winds up in the wrong hands. ...more
OM. This book kept my interest, PAGE after PAGE.
The story is different from normal storyline in most of the books found on the shelves. :)
It gets you reading again and again so that you won't have to set this aside for a bit.

It's a one sit book - you sit and read then you're finish~voila!(of course with a taste of awesome satisfaction afterwards)

John Grisham truly writes legal mystery novels that will really keep your interest from the first page to the last.

This is one of my favorite books(afte
Amber McAlister
This was my first Grisham novel. A fun, suspenseful read. It kept my interest. It's not the sort of book that deeply effects, makes one think profoundly, or covers any important social issues. So, I wouldn't call it an Important read, but if you need a good place-filler, something suspenseful and absorbing, this book could fit the bill.
It's likely that I'll be giving another Grisham novel a chance. They keep the reading muscles toned.
Legal Stuff: Well thought-out and interesting stuff. Makes me wary of EVERYONE.


Darby - She's super-smart, but I'm annoyed that she'd write this awesome brief, and then dismiss it, like she's not smart enough to know that she's smart ... and she's gorgeous, has great legs, red toenails, is great at cloak-and-dagger, and loves her men.

Thomas - 20 years older than Darby, sleaze who sleeps with students, drinks unrealistic amounts of alcohol .... what's not to love?

Gray - Decent her
Luke A. Bunker
This is my kind of book! This isn't the traditional legal procedural I've come to expect from Grisham, but it's one of his earliest and one of his best that I've read so far. I loved the interplay between Washington politics, New Orleans sleuthing, and a heavy touch of my more favorite genres, the espionage thriller. Loved it!
First time I read this was 20 years ago. Just reread it for a book club and it's as exciting and relevant today as it was then.
One of Grisham's best, if not THE best. A suspense classic.
When two Supreme Court justices are assassinated on the same night, there is plenty of speculation as to who the assassin or assassins are and why the judges were murdered. Like many others, law student Darby Shaw thinks she knows the motive. She writes a brief, soon to be known as The Pelican Brief, and shows it to her law professor/lover, Thomas Callahan. Unfortunately, he shows it to a friend of his who works for the FBI, who passes it along, and it falls into the wrong hands. When Callahan i ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Steven Brandt (Audiobook-Heaven)
The Pelican Brief is not my favorite John Grisham audiobook. I like his stories about young, hotshot lawyers going up against multi-million dollar insurance companies and things like that. Instead, The Pelican Brief is about a law student who has to go on the run after inadvertently identifying the guilty parties in a high-profile assassination. It’s not a bad story idea, but I don’t think Grisham pulled it off.

The law student, Darby Shaw, is primarily interested in constitutional law, and t
Todd Russell
The best character names provide an instant snapshot of what the person might be like. Enter Darby Shaw, the prodigal, beautiful (of course!), classy female law student who writes what seems like a far-fetched brief on who was responsible for the murder of two supreme court justices. This so-called pelican brief starts a chain of very bad events, over-reactions, involving villains that send Darby on the run. Enter chase scenes and tons of Oh No, I Think I'm Being Followed paranoia.

Some of what I
Sara Sbaraglia
Consigliatomi da mio padre, che è un appassionato del genere.
Visto e considerato che i miei gusti e i suoi fanno a cazzotti, per tutte le 400 pagine in questione mi sono chiesta perché diavolo l'ho assecondato.
(OT: quando gli ho riferito il mio giudizio negativo mi ha risposto che non era il libro che più mi consigliava, era un altro che ci teneva a farmi leggere, che questo non è niente di che, effettivamente, ma l'altro è bellissimo. Credo che come minimo farò passare due-tre anni prima di dar
Robert Gelb
A thriller novel that might as well have been a movie. There are few decent transitions, little insight in the aspects of the law (a legal thriller), and convoluted plot devices and decisions. With all of the running around and developing tension the story, you'd expect some sort of grand crescendo near the end. Not here. Pacing is hit or miss at best.

Where are the morals? Why must all of the bad guys be sociopathic or unfeeling? And how come the protagonist goes from diligent-and sexy, as EVER
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Very disappointed! This book is by far the worse John Grisham book I have read. It is such a hand wringing liberal exercise that it almost becomes a farce. All the Republicans are evil men who are in bed with big business. The character of the president is such an aloof man that it is hard to see how such an idiot would be elected. Of course, he must of had his wicked henchmen win the election for him.
All the characters in this book take on such cartoon qualities that it ruins the plot. The man
This book kept my interest, page after page.

The story is different, in fact,very different from normal storylines in most of the books out there on the market. It is refreshing and interesting because it shows how one ordinary lady, Darby Shaw, can come up with a solution that all the experts could not think of. Even after two justices are killed without a trace of evidence, she decides to uncover the killer. Then, when her brief is handed over to the FBI, the agent dies two days later in Darby'
A review of Grisham's latest reminded me that I'd never read anything by this author. The first half of the novel annoyed me. Yes, Grisham is setting up the sexist and homophobic characters as bad guys, but I didn't feel that he was distancing himself enough from those attitudes (that it is awesome for a professor to date a student, that it's inherent embarrassing to be gay, etc.), and it got under my skin. Amazingly, in this dispiriting election season, this book managed to make me happy to be ...more
This book has its way of making the reader hooked. It kept me awake all night. But it was predictable. It lost its charm after Victor Mattiece was revealed as the mind behind the killings of two Supreme Court Justices. John Grisham wasn't able to maintain the thrill which was present in the first half of the story. I find Darby Shaw's decision to fly to D.C. and help Gray Grantham stupid. Her life was in danger. If I were her I would've run as fast as I can as far as possible. I've also noticed ...more
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  • Disclosure
  • The Burden of Proof (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #2)
  • The Simple Truth
  • Executive Orders (Jack Ryan, #8)
  • The Judge (Paul Madriani #4)
  • The 13th Juror (Dismas Hardy, #4)
  • The General's Daughter
  • A Stranger Is Watching
  • Cruel & Unusual (Kay Scarpetta, #4)
  • The Brass Verdict (Harry Bosch, #14; Mickey Haller, #2)
  • The Matarese Circle (Matarese #1)
  • Cradle and All
  • Degree of Guilt (Christopher Paget, #2)
  • E is for Evidence (Kinsey Millhone, #5)
"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 about John Grisham...
A Time to Kill (Jake Brigance, #1) The Firm The Client The Runaway Jury The Rainmaker

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“What kind of name is Siler-Spence? I mean, what's wrong with these women who use hyphens? What if her name was Skowinski and she married a guy named Levondowski? Would her little liberated soul insist she go through life as F.Gwendolin Skowinski- Levondowski?” 3 likes
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