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The Broker

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  63,621 Ratings  ·  2,011 Reviews

In his final hours in office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems that Backman,
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 16th 2010 by Dell (first published 2005)
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Eric Dunn
Jul 12, 2011 Eric Dunn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This is another novel in a long line of great books by John Grisham. You know it's going to be a fun book when the CIA is leaking someones whereabouts just to see who kills him. When I read the jacket of the book I was afraid that they may have given too much of the plot away. I was wrong. There was still plenty of suspense and drama to be had. This book had me guessing how it was going to end until it was over. I must admit that I didn't guess right at all.

The characters in this book are well
Jr Bacdayan
It's OK. Not that bad, not that good either. The plot was promising, but I got bored along the way. Because it's Grisham, the characters are always interesting and the writing is always great. But my problem here was the pace. There were a lot of instances where I thought Grisham was beating around the bush. He was rather fond of the Italian culture and took lengths to explain quite a few things and that would have been nice if this was a book about Italy. But, this is an espionage thriller of s ...more
“The president had shifted to the 'we' mode now, something he invariably did when a potentially unpopular decision was at hand. For the easy ones, it was always 'I.' When he needed a crutch, and especially when he would need someone to blame, he opened up the decisionmaking process and included Critz.”

Every so often, we wonder how the decision making process goes inside the government, particularly in the seemingly superior branch of the government (go figure). The Broker gave us a little previ
Jan 15, 2016 Dimitrios rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-grisham
Some time ago, i entered a multistore in my area. I was just browsing books, when this book caught my eye. I took it in my hands to take a look at it. When i saw writers name, a had a feeling that i know this name.

«John Grisham? John Grisham? I know him for sure…», i thought. It felt like, i’ve heard of him, before. Of course! It’s the write of «Pelican Brief», the book that, the 1993 homonymous film, was based on. As i start to read it, it felt like i was the main protagonist and i was commiser
Apr 01, 2016 SumitRK rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It starts promisingly.. Then it gets repetitive and reads like Italy's tour guide instead of a thriller. Even the ending seems too far fetched & implausible.
Jul 25, 2013 Judy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
My brother recommended this book. Since I want him to read Joel Salatin, in a tit-for-tat deal I agreed to read The Broker. The first 13 pages, the political pardon arrangement, were hilarious. I was hooked. But not for long. After the main character, Backman, was whisked away to Europe by the CIA, the spy-vs-spy vs innocent-in-a-strange-land story - or whatever this was supposed to be - went awry. At this point Grisham's editor - he does have one, I presume - should have sent back the manuscrip ...more
Aug 08, 2012 Pascale rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In this hefty 422-page wanna-be spy-novel-travel guide, -421 pages too long-, Mr. Grisham confirms that he is fortunate, indeed, to make so much money with so little talent. This book is generously peppered with little gems, such as, ‘”I love Stuttgart,” Marco said, just to watch it unwrinkle.’ Or, “He met Joel at the powerful oak door and they shook hands properly, but not like old friends.” “In other days, he’d have followed Elke anywhere, but now it was only downstairs.” Mr. Grisham, who is n ...more
Judy & Marianne from Long and Short Reviews
Originally posted at:

He might have pled guilty, but that doesn't mean he was.

Okay, so why would an innocent man plead guilty if he wasn't? That's what The Broker is about. There are a very few auto-buy authors for me. John Grisham is one of those authors. Once I sit down to read one of his books, I'm there for the long haul. I never know what will happen next and can't wait to find out how it happens.

Joel Backman did a lot of bad things. He brokered deals
Tom Tabasco
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jesse Broussard
This is probably my favourite of Grisham's books, despite a smattering of sentimental cliches that make me desire to inspect the brains of some fairly central characters with a fire poker. The worst one:

(She:) "Have I offended you?"
(He:) "You could smile more."
She nodded slightly and her eyes were instantly moist. She looked away, through the window, and said, "I have so little to smile about."

This type of thing, along with the rhythm (wretched) of most of his prose convinces me that Grisham ou
V. Gingerich
I read every book Grisham writes but seldom read one twice. The Broker is by far my favorite, thanks to the Italian setting. (Yes, I know it's becoming cliche to set books in Italy but I am shamelessly in love with that country and believe you can't have too much of a good thing in this case.)

Caution: do not read while hungry and especially not while in need of coffee with no way of getting any. I considered counting how often the main character drank espresso or some other delectable Italian co
Feb 09, 2014 S. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm toying with the idea of only commenting on books on other people's entries, but although this is a departure from typical GR practice, it might end up just adding lots of complexity to the site. but it does prevent people from reading straight book reviews if they're located on some other person's account. and, it involves losing data control over that review to another person. decisions, decisions!

since a chunk of time has passed since departure from Club H, I guess feelings have calmed dow
Stephen Escalera
I'm relatively new to Grisham's work, but even I could tell that this book was not up to his standards. The story follows Joel Backman, a high-powered broker who gets himself into a lot of trouble and is sent to a federal prison to be kept in solitary confinement. What that trouble is exactly we don't find out until about halfway through the book. When we are first introduced to Backman, he is described in such terms that make you glad he got caught. Surely, he is the bad guy in the book, right? ...more
Everyone who's ever read any Grisham knows that he has the world's most convenient plots. Things that wouldn't occur under any other circumstances happen in his books. To make the suspension of disbelief even harder for me, I've worked in the U. S. legal field for 40 years, in both civil and criminal litigation. Thus, I know how it really works.

I'd actually given up reading his books when during The Runaway Jury I said to myself four times "Like that would ever happen!" But I have a very good f
Feb 26, 2009 Weavre rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students of introductory Italian
I grabbed some John Grisham off the shelf for a bit of fiction, knowing I can usually count on him for a bit of solid storytelling. This work, however, was unusually ... well ... bad.

Perhaps this is because the brilliant author failed to follow the good advice to "write what you know;" unlike his Southern law sagas, The Broker takes place largely in Italy, telling a story of high-level political powerbrokers rather than Grisham's usual attorneys. The plot simply broke down.

More accurately, perha
La trama è spesso improbabile, ma la lettura risulta comunque piacevole. Apprezzabile la descrizione di Bologna, pur prevalendo una visione da turista americano che rende alcuni particolari di vita italiana non realistici.
Dec 05, 2008 Ronald rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book I reviewing is The Broker by John Grisham. It's a fiction story based on the world of politics, crime and espionage.
The broker is about Joel Backman who is a broker who has stumble onto a conspiracy about a satellite surveillance system that can corrupt the power in office and the he also try to sell this satellite to the highest bidder in the world for a great profit that will benefit him. What the government does is they incarcerate him for 6 years to make sure that the secret of the
Theresa Leone Davidson
Picked this off of one of my bookshelves thinking I had not read it and fifty pages in, realized I had, but it is so good, especially in the lovely descriptions of one of my favorite destinations, Italy, that I read it again. I think I enjoyed it even more this time!

Most of this novel is set in Bologna, Italy, and I was reading it while vacationing in Warsaw, Poland, so I found myself absorbed by Grisham's descriptions of lovely Bologna (been to Florence, Rome, Pisa and Venice but not Bologna)
Trennon Leavitt
This book is about a power broker named Joel Backman. During his time as a high ranking attorney in Washington, three young, but brilliant, Pakistanis discover a surveillance satellite that has technology that is decades ahead of everyone else. The Pakistanis find a way to take over the satellite and manipulate it to work for them. Joel Backman decides to help them sell the program but when all three are found dead and no one accepts responsibility for the killings or the satellite, Joel becomes ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Awais rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: john-grisham
The Broker by John Grisham
Another great novel by john grisham. He displays a chracter which is wealthy and rich and is basically a lobbyist.He is having all kind of luxuries and lavishness one can think of. He charge his customers huge sums of money. Owns a law firm. He is approached by a group of three scientists. whos have developed a software to hack Neptune (A group of nine satellites sent into space by chinese) by which they can not only trace the satellite by control it in a manner so that it can provide with the
John Conrad
Fun, I liked the intro to Italy and tips for not looking like a tourist. I also liked the idea of a pardoned man escaping to Italy to hide (and be used as bait).

Some of the characters were memorable, but for the most part, the plot disintegrated about two-thirds through the book. Great villians were introduced and then abandoned. Suspense grew that there would be an attack on Backman, but it fizzled like a wet firework.

I would love to see Grisham as he was in The Firm, or Pelican Brief, but he
Ben Gosnell
Mar 23, 2015 Ben Gosnell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John Grisham’s novel, The Broker, is amazingly suspenseful. I have recently read many John Grisham books, The Rainmaker and The Runaway Jury. As I was searching for another book to read his name caught my eye and I wound up checking out the book from my school’s library. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I don’t recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick read that they can read for about 5 minutes a day, you can’t put it down! I recommend it to anyone who wants a great book to envelop themse ...more
Sep 12, 2015 Gabe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well I am glad to finally come across a good book, after few last experiences not very pleasant, this book is quite easy, very entertaining, with a great idea exploited in such a way only John Grisham can do.

I won't spoil your fun, but I would say it has a good plot unfolding under our eyes, well constructed characters, good dialog and beautiful scenes mostly from northern Italy, with some action and suspense surrounding some spy game intrigue, some kind of a satellite system and some new tech g
Asghar Abbas
Feb 21, 2016 Asghar Abbas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

John Grisham throughout his career had this weird affinity for Pakistan/Pakistanis, many of his minor characters featured in his books have been Pakistanis. Like for example in his holiday novella Skipping Christmas, the nonwhite residents that were driven out of the community by a zealot nosy neighbor were Pakistanis. And this fixation continued to this novel. But in it Pakistani characters graduated to the main plot. That was nice. Considering he is popular and read widely in Pakistan.

The nov
Evelina Rumenova
Feb 05, 2016 Evelina Rumenova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine a good CIA movie, with all the espionage stuff. Well... this book is much better than that!
Another gripping legal thriller by Grisham! At first, the inception of the action may give you a clue about the eventual turn of events, but no. A lot of suspense, however. Then Grisham gets you off guard.
The ending was so intense, I didn't even try to predict what was going to happen.
[SPOILER] Fortunately, the protagonist, who is my favourite Grisham character now, ends up safe and sound after
Gerald Sinstadt
Entertaining enough for the beach but John Grisham in (I think) semi-satirical mood is not John Grisham at his best.

There is skullduggery here in the White House, the CIA, the FB, Mossad and sundry other intelligence agencies. There is also a digression into the arcane world of Swiss banking. All very acceptable if taken with a large pinch of salt.

But the Italian episodes seem to have been written with the aid of a a guide book to Bologna, while the language lessons grow ever more tedious. Grish
What else can you expect from John Grisham? Fun read, passed the time just fine. As with all of his books, it fulfilled my purpose of escaping into a book.
Michael Twist
Wow! I'm not entirely certain this book had a protagonist. All the same, an interesting premise with enough cleverness to keep me going.
Feb 07, 2011 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An entertaining story with a fast moving plot.

I had an urge last week to read a story by John Grisham and The Broker was my selection. Before that I had read "The Summons"(It was a fair read). I don't read his novels in sequences which fortunately for someone like me there is no need, because each of Mr. Grisham's books will stand on their own. I thought The Broker was an easy read that was very entertaining. There was a lot of intrigue woven into a fast moving plot. I thought the class room in
Oct 07, 2012 Olga rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
The last time I read a book by John Grisham was in high school after The Rainmaker with Matt Damon came out and I was on a Grisham kick for a while. I remember liking the pacing of his novels, the characters doing what is right despite the odds being stacked against them, and Grisham's easy writing style that provided enough detail to sympathize with the underdogs but never crossed into too much familiarity. So when I came across the paperback of The Broker memories did their thing and the book ...more
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I HATE IT 33 203 Mar 09, 2015 09:44PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Correct Book information 2 18 May 05, 2014 12:39AM  
What's The Name o...: Convict sent to Italy [s] 4 17 Jan 13, 2014 07:45PM  
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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
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“The president had shifted to the 'we' mode now, something he invariably did when a potentially unpopular decision was at hand. For the easy ones, it was always 'I.' When he needed a crutch, and especially when he would need someone to blame, he opened up the decisionmaking process and included Critz.” 8 likes
“- Macie akta - odparł. - To było samobójstwo.
- O tak. Skoro w to wierzysz, to dlaczego przyznałeś się do winy i poprosiłeś o osobną celę?
- Bałem się. Samobójstwa bywają zaraźliwe.”
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