The King of Torts
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The King of Torts

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  50,334 ratings  ·  1,275 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
Paperback, 400 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Delta (first published 2003)
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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.
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
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
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
Madiha Riaz

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
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
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 1 of 5 stars
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
Trevor Poe
Mar 01, 2009 Trevor Poe rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
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
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
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
Feb 09, 2009 Becky rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
May 19, 2012 Jake rated it 2 of 5 stars
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another audiobook for another long drive. At least this one came from a thrift store. This book is about class action law-suits against the pharmaceutical industry. There is a plot (sort of) but most of this book is spent explaining class-action lawsuits along with their benefits and consequences (YAwn). Occasionally there are descriptions of scantily clad paralegal hookers and a bisexual underwear model which I think are supposed to spice things up a bit, but that didn't do anything for me. I a...more
First JG book read. Story line intriguing in the beginning. Protagonist believable, sadly human. Kept my interest, Good dialogue throughout. Does not loose platform through the meandering and mounting legal entanglements - a plus, in my book, as some authors lose characters in the labyrinth created.
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
I listened to “The King of Torts” by John Grisham and found it lightly entertaining. Although it is better than some of his last books it is definitely not as good as his earlier works. The story take the main character, a not very likable character Clay Carter from a unknown lawyer to the top of his game. Tort law was well explained

In the book, showing that one attorney can represent many clients and often sue a deep pocket corporation. Often the individual clients are not well compensated but...more
I bought this book in the Portland, OR airport and finished it by the time I reached Orlando with a stopover somewhere. It was this or Sky Mall Magazine. What attracted me to the book over the others in the airport was that I'd requested The Innocent Man from my library after having read a good review of that book, but was on a waiting list and didn't have it to read on the trip. I guess I should have bought the latest Danielle Steele or Stephen King from the airport shop instead.
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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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