Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The King of Torts” as Want to Read:
The King of Torts
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The King of Torts

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  60,505 Ratings  ·  1,560 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, 388 pages
Published December 27th 2005 by Delta (first published February 4th 2003)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The King of Torts, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The King of Torts

A Time to Kill by John GrishamThe Firm by John GrishamThe Client by John GrishamThe Street Lawyer by John GrishamThe Pelican Brief by John Grisham
The best of John Grisham
19th out of 33 books — 245 voters
The Firm by John GrishamA Time to Kill by John GrishamThe Lincoln Lawyer by Michael ConnellyCornered Coyote by Dianne HarmanThe Pelican Brief by John Grisham
Legal Thrillers
22nd out of 165 books — 314 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 11, 2008 Shannon rated it did not like it
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.
Jul 27, 2008 Beth rated it did not like it
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
Jun 02, 2008 Caralee rated it it was ok
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
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
Jul 11, 2013 Priscilla rated it really liked it
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
Madiha Riaz
Aug 22, 2013 Madiha Riaz rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-so-good

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
Mar 24, 2016 Mahlon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A big pharmaceutical company creates a drug that cures addiction, it is 90% effective and only 2 percent of the people in the study relapse, and go back to life on the street. Sounds great right? Here's the problem, in the remaining 8% it creates an overwhelming, and apparently irresistible desire to kill. This seemed like an implausible plot, even for a John Grisham book.
Brandi Doctoroff
May 13, 2008 Brandi Doctoroff rated it did not like it
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
Xime García
Le pondría menos nota. Debería. Quizá lo haga. Tal vez no se lo merezca, pero mi nivel de frustración actual me dice que le ponga dos estrellas. *aleja la mano del pad de la notebook*
Edit: le puse dos estrellas nomás.

Spoilers!! Porque estoy enojada como para marcarlos.

La cuestión, claramente acabo de leer un libro de FANTASÍA porque JAMÁS le pasaría esto a un abogado tan corriente como a Clay. Me reía de los escandalosos números que manejaba este hombre. Claro, nadie quiere leer sobre un defe
Aug 06, 2009 Ralph rated it liked it
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
May 19, 2012 Jake rated it it was ok
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
Mar 08, 2008 Vicki rated it it was amazing
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.
I thought this book and "Street Lawyer" focused on a few similar scenarios: a washed up lawyer working for the poor; loser in the relationship part; greed in the legal world; and the resentment toward corporate lawyers. It seemed to me that the author's political view was all over Street Lawyer and for that, I didn't care for the book. However, this book actually made the Street Lawyer story look better in my opinion. At least in Street Lawyer, the author made the main character, a white lawyer, ...more
Christine Blachford
Feb 06, 2014 Christine Blachford rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 30, 2011 Corey rated it really liked it
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
Oct 08, 2014 Bjarki rated it it was ok
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
Trevor Poe
Mar 01, 2009 Trevor Poe rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 23, 2010 Jerry rated it did not like it
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
Jan 28, 2012 Valencia rated it liked it
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
Nov 04, 2010 Mweene rated it did not like it
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
Sep 30, 2013 Sharon rated it liked it
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
Oct 14, 2011 Michelle rated it liked it
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
Debbie Petersen
Apr 15, 2008 Debbie Petersen rated it did not like it  ·  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.
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.
May 08, 2012 Bolortuya rated it it was amazing
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
Dorkhan C.
Apr 07, 2016 Dorkhan C. rated it it was amazing

They say that lawyers make big earnings. They say that lawyers are penny-pinchers. Well, are lawyers really that successful in life? “The King of Torts” by John Grisham explores this hot topic as the reader embarks on the journey of Clay, a former lawyer, who files lawsuits on multiple drug companies. After Clay receives inside information on the intentions of large companies, he sues the drug groups. Named “The King of Torts” (256) as he goes from earning “40,000 to 100,000,000 in six months”
Apr 03, 2016 Bryan rated it really liked it
Whenever I see another class-action lawsuit advertisement on T.V. I will always think of this book.

The story revolves around a lawyer in the trenches of the D.C. criminal defense system, Clay Carter, who works for Washington D.C.'s Public Defense Office. He and his whole department are overworked and underpaid, and the career ladder there is pretty grim. He loves his girlfriend Rebecca but the low pay and prestige of his job takes a toll on their relationship, especially aggravated in no small
Isaura Pereira
Dec 11, 2015 Isaura Pereira rated it really liked it
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Would you...? 7 74 Oct 23, 2014 06:07AM  
  • All He Saw Was The Girl
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography
  • Will You Die for Me?
  • Saving Faith
  • Stop & Frisk
  • No Safe Place (Kerry Kilcannon, #1)
  • The Attorney (Paul Madriani, #5)
  • Personal Injuries (Kindle County Legal Thriller, #5)
  • The Teeth of the Tiger (Jack Ryan Universe, #12)
  • The Bancroft Strategy
  • Beach Road
  • Nothing but the Truth (Dismas Hardy, #6)
  • The Hammer of Eden
  • The Tenth Justice
"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...

Share This Book

“Rich folks can tolerate almost anything, but not rejection.” 0 likes
“[Golf Club description:] Once it had enough members to sustain itself, it began the obligatory practice of excluding others.” 0 likes
More quotes…