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The Rooster Bar

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  80,408 ratings  ·  6,861 reviews
Mark, Todd, and Zola came to law school to change the world, to make it a better place. But now, as third-year students, these close friends realize they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a third-tier, for-profit law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Doubleday
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Cathy I feel exactly the same way. I thought the beginning had promise, but soon lost any sympathy I had for the characters. I couldn't wait to finish it an…moreI feel exactly the same way. I thought the beginning had promise, but soon lost any sympathy I had for the characters. I couldn't wait to finish it and be done with it. What a disappointment !(less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  80,408 ratings  ·  6,861 reviews

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Joanne R.
Very disappointing

Horrible unlikable idiotic criminal main characters; barely fleshed out plot; I had to force myself to finish it. I cannot believe John Grisham wrote this. Total waste of time (and money!).
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, john-grisham
Oh, Grisham......

You are like the gentleman caller who promises wine and roses, but in the aftermath, there's a bit of a dull headache and the barb of the thorn.

My legs are dangling off a barstool in the ol' Rooster Bar. There's plenty to ponder here. Fellow occupants Mark, Todd, and Zola are in their third year of law school at Foggy Bottom (Yep). Many an individual drowns their sorrows here. But these law students, along with their buddy Gordy, are drowning in student loan debts. Just like the
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More disgruntled lawyer-types from Grisham doing questionable lawyer-type stuff. While not quite the same, I am reminded of The Litigators. If I ever really need a lawyer, I hope I don't end up with one from a Grisham novel!

This book was like watching a trainwreck and was actually quite enjoyable. His recent efforts have been both good (Camino Island) and disappointing (The Whistler). Luckily this one falls into the good category. While the series of events within are far fetched (as they often
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
Well this book certainly irritated me. I can not hold with the idea of would be pseudo lawyers pulling a scam on both unsuspecting clients and also corporations even if they are not on the up and up.

Perhaps my attitude toward this book is influenced by the fact that my eldest daughter is an attorney. She worked hard through law school while holding a full time job, passed the bar in both NY and DC, and is paying back her student loans and oh by the way, she has a job.

This book seemed to glorify
Oct 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
I was so looking forward to this book. I usually love reading John Grisham’s legal thrillers. The Rooster Bar started slowly and soon was all over the place. The social issues , which the author is known to address , were also all over the place and there were too many plot diversions along the way. The characters were shallow and I didn’t like any of them. I understood their plight and empathized for a while until I just couldn’t stand any of them. When good people use victimization as an excus ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Let’s call it 3.5 stars

John Grisham is back with yet another new take on the legal profession, shining lights where there has only been darkness, while entertaining readers in equal measure. Law school is a tough beast that only the fittest can survive. However, when Mark, Todd, and Zola arrived, they felt that their determination would help them sail through. Perusing the land into their last semester, all they can see are mountains of debt and a soon-to-be useless diploma from Foggy Bottom Law
Kevin Kuhn
Apr 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Let me start by saying I’m a big fan of John Grisham. He caught me with “The Firm” and I’ve appreciated his novels and movie adaptions ever since. His stories have an authentic feel due to his background and he writes taut and compelling action. Let me continue by saying this was my least favorite Grisham book so far. It’s good subject matter which I appreciated. It covers the trap of high-end college degrees such as law schools, where lower-middle class kids build gigantic student loan debts at ...more
Gareth Otton
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was ok
How sad is it that Mr Grisham has fallen so far that he can't even identify the interesting elements in his own stories anymore? (Warning, this review contains spoilers)

(view spoiler)
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Rooster Bar is a tale of four friends attending law school when they figure out the loans they took out for the second rate school is somewhat of a scam. They devise a plan to expose the shady lenders. They're going to pretend to be lawyers working for a firm. Nothing is real, it's all made up. A few of the characters have their own challenges going on. In the end it all ties together and it's good fun lawyer reading. Grisham can be hit or miss for me. This was a hit. ...more
Mar 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Not bad at all. The three characters were amusing in their shenanigans and their banter was entertaining. I was hesitant to read this because as a doctoral student, student loan debt hits home. But in the end it is a John Grisham novel so for me, a need to read. Most are going to admit wasn’t very thrilling as some of his legal thrillers but it offered a quick, entertaining story. I remember reading some stuff on how some people are considering law school to be a Ponzi scheme and also the Atlant ...more
Jonathan K
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's difficult not to enjoy stories by Grisham. Characters we can relate with, plots filled with surprises and pacing done to perfection. Similar in some ways to The Rainmaker, he twists the concept using frustrated students attending a questionable law school. Early in the story the trio decides to form as an illegitimate firm praying on drunk drivers and insurance cases. As the plot unwinds they elevate their game taking risks seasoned criminals would avoid. As momentum builds so does the dang ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
John Grisham takes on for-profit law schools, and wins!

"The Rooster Bar" is about a group of law school students who realize they've been scammed, and then try to do something about it. They each owe about $200,000 in debt, and the job market for new lawyers is so bad they don't have any hope of finding a professional job. Besides, they doubt they could even pass the bar exam because their law school has such low standards.

I don't read a lot of Grisham, but I picked up this one because I was int
Judy D Collins
4.5 Stars #1 New York Times bestselling author, John Grisham returns following Camino Island with his 25th novel THE ROOSTER BAR — a legal thriller exploring conspiracies inside for-profit law schools and the lives it destroys in this modern-day scandal ripped from today’s headlines.

Inspired by an article in the Atlantic called “The Law-School Scam,” a lengthy investigation of for-profit law schools, the author takes off an inside look at corruption in the legal field and student loans.

Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I like John Grisham books. They are like going to your favorite diner or regular restaurant, you know what you are going to get, it’s familiar and comforting. I describe these meals as pleasant, food has the same taste, same waiter/waitress. Generally the only time that meal isn’t good is when you decide to try something else and it’s not as good, you leave feeling unsatisfied and fulfilled.
Grisham’s book, “Rooster Bar” left me unfulfilled. I finished it and two things came to mind, glad I got i
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
John Grisham - Group

NYT #1 - 2017/11/12 (

This is another great Grisham book with a easy theme to follow & one of today's greatest legal crime - "For-Profit Law Schools". NY times & John Grisham's CBS interview links at the bottom of this review you must visit!

John Grisham link below, talks of the book in a great “Youtube” discussion. I feel the book could be made into another of his great movies easily.
This book is new, why are aren't more of us reading it?!

Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 Stars. Surprisingly enjoyable.
Janete Fabricio ON  SEMI HIATUS
This book started very well for me. I found it interesting and fun at the beginning, but when I was almost in the middle of the book, I began to feel bored and thought the author was going the wrong way. From then on, I dragged myself through the reading until I finished this book with great difficulty. It's a pity because I find that John Grisham wrote good entertaining books. ...more
Retired Reader
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable! Quick, funny, smart, likeable characters...
Todd Hogan
Oct 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 stars

A big thank you to Goodreads giveaways for an ARC copy of this book. I'm a loyal Grisham fan, and this one did not disappoint. It didn't exactly thrill me or delight me, but it was an enjoyable way to pass some reading time and kept my attention throughout.

The focus is on businesses passing themselves off as schools (here it's a D.C. law school) which really are only in it for the money and do not prepare it's students for actual careers, at all. In this case, four third-year students a
Johnny Carr
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I won an advanced reader's copy of this book. It is typical John Grisham and I loved it. His imagination is amazing. I finished the book after work in three afternoons.

If you are a fan Grisham, you will not be disappointed!
Cody | CodysBookshelf
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book in two sittings: on my lunch break and on my bed the moment I got home. I didn’t get up to eat dinner, use the bathroom, anything. The Rooster Bar is one of those books.

Like almost every Grisham novel, this is a high-stakes crime thriller . . . but the stakes here feel so much higher than in his other books — at least the ones I’ve read, which I admit isn’t a large number. Three laws students mired in debt without any job prospectives on the horizon decide to drop out of si
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Countless times we’ve been told about the importance of the first sentence of a book. We are told that editors and publishers scrutinize the first sentence and if they don’t like it you lost a deal. Many books might not get written because the budding writer cannot think of the perfect opening.
Yet, for a reader, the last sentence makes or breaks the story. It is what will sound in our ears for some time after we closed the book.
While reading “The Rooster Bar” I admit thinking that it is not Gris
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
This wasn't quite 4 stars, but I'll round up for the beginning and the ending. I've enjoyed Grisham novels, mostly his legal thrillers. I liked the humor, the dialogue, and the characters the most in this one. The hook in the beginning was effective and pulled me right in. I kept thinking this was the best Grisham novel I've read in a while. That feeling lasted for the first third of this book. That is where the story deviates from the hook and becomes about something entirely different. For me, ...more
Sherri Thacker
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Another great book by John Grisham but then I love most of his books. Grisham just has a way of telling a great story! Will be thinking about this one for a long time and wondering how they pulled off what they did for so long.
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
When I was about 100 pages, or a third of the way through this book, I found myself stopping to ponder. You know, I have never really ever read anything by John Grisham book that I didn’t enjoy. I went through all of his titles in my head, and yes, I liked some more than others, but I can’t say I didn’t like any of them. Grisham’s worst is still better than most everyone else.
That is until now…

Grisham’s new legal (if you can call it that) thriller, “The Rooster Bar” starts off during the Christ
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Early on I loved all of the John Grisham stories. A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Chamber. They had likable protagonists. In this latest offering we have neither a good story or a likable protagonist. I had hopes after Camino Island that he was back but it does not appear that is the case.

Mark, Todd, and Zola are in their third year of studying law at Foggy Bottom. May be one of them had been motivated because they wanted a career where they could help people and make difference but o
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok at best, painful through most, still not a bad story...

I generally love Grisham, especially the legal thrillers, however the best word I can use for this one is lazy, kinda like he wrote part, then changed his mind, then added that part, etc. (Caution some possible spoilers below).

For the majority of the book, you're not sure if you even want to cheer for the main characters. They're ridiculously stupid and it's painful to go from one utterly moronic decision to the next. You kinda expect the
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: law, mystery-thriller
As the book jacket says, "Pull up a stool, grab a cold one, and get ready to spend some time at The Rooster Bar."

The latest legal thriller focuses on issues John Grisham is shining a light on, namely for-profit law schools, student loan debt and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Four third-year students at Foggy Bottom Law School in Washington D.C. are in their final semester, assessing their crushing debt and lack of employment opportunities, partially due to the poor reputati
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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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