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The Testament

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  111,481 ratings  ·  3,141 reviews
In a plush Virginia office, a rich, angry old man is furiously rewriting his will. With his death just hours away, Troy Phelan wants to send a message to his children, his ex-wives, and his minions, a message that will touch off a vicious legal battle and transform dozens of lives.

Because Troy Phelan's new will names a sole surprise heir to his eleven-billion-dollar fortun
Paperback, 535 pages
Published December 28th 1999 by Island (first published February 2nd 1999)
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Dennis Raffaelli In the author's note at the end of the book, he says he visited these places with a Baptist missionary.…moreIn the author's note at the end of the book, he says he visited these places with a Baptist missionary.(less)
Josie This is my third Grisham read. It has a surprise ending, that's for sure. This one might be the best one out of the three I've read, but it could be a…moreThis is my third Grisham read. It has a surprise ending, that's for sure. This one might be the best one out of the three I've read, but it could be a 3-way tie too.(less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Testament, John Grisham

The Testament is an adventure story by American author John Grisham. It was published in hardcover by Doubleday on February 2, 1999.

I am the owner of this glass-paneled building, where I am sitting right now, ninety seven percent of the house-building company, located below, with its surrounding land, half a mile, and employees Where they are busy; everyone is in my possession.

I wrote a will two years ago, and I left all my assets to the last surviving ... I wrote an
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
What I learned from this book:

1) Everyone should have a fully executed will.
2) A poorly written Will is bad estate planning.
3) If you have lots of money and hate your family, make them think you are giving them $11 billion and then swap the Will that gives them nothing, and then jump off a building plunging to your death so that they can't do anything but settle with the estate.

This is my first Grisham book. And many more to come, I am sure!
Jun 30, 2007 rated it did not like it
An overly preachy and hastily written Grisham novel with his typical battle of big money versus the good of heart. I am always drawn to Grisham for a good rainy day read and the premise sounded pretty good, but from page one this one is a waste of time. Too many characters bogged the story down and it dragged on and on, especially when Grisham started getting preachy. By the end of the book, it felt like Grisham had tired of the story himself, and just threw something together to be done with it ...more
Nov 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A legal fiction by John Grisham published 1999.

3.5 stars
This is a typical Grisham version of the David and Goliath story.

Before taking his own life billionaire Troy Phelan makes a new Last Will and Testament in which he leave to his legitimate offspring next to nothing. He leaves the bulk of his estate, all of 11 billion dollars, to an unknown illegitimate daughter that only he knows anything about.
This of course goes down like a lead balloon with all the legitimate heirs and it’s not long befor
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grisham, favorites
A rich old man is dying,leaving behind an eleven billion dollar fortune.He doesn't want his ex-wives or his children to inherit it.But the one he wants it to have,doesn't want it !

The setting is exotic,and memorable, in the Brazilian jungle.It is a thrilling adventure.Grisham spent time in Brazil himself,and gives a fascinating description.

One of Grisham's best.
Natalie Vellacott
I used to be an avid reader of the likes of Grisham, Patterson etc but found myself moving away from secular fiction after I became a Christian. I remembered that a few of Grisham's novels had moral or Christian principles--The Testament is one of these.

The story centers around the suicide of billionaire Troy Phelan. He has effectively lived a careless life of self indulgence treating those around him with contempt. He married three times and was believed to have had six grandchildren whose liv
Jay Schutt
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal-thriller, owned
This is the kind of book we all hope to read. Excellent story right from the start to the very last page.
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
One of the best books I have ever read. Grisham does a great job of blending the law genre and the adventure genre. Nate O' Reilly, the main character is a lawyer fresh out of rehab, for the fourth time. Nate travels to South America to find out more about Rachel Lane, mysterious illegitimate heir to Troy Phelan's 11 billion dollar will. Out of Troy's 3 marriages, dozen's of children, Rachel Lane gets it all. Nate travels to Corùmba, Brazil in hopes to find Rachel Lane, a missio
Feb 15, 2011 rated it it was ok
I'm going to write a review. I'm going to do it. Why? Personal reasons.
first of all, I feel like John Grisham tries too hard to make this book seem action packed and suspenseful, when really, it's very predictable, cliche and slow moving. You always know what's coming. I found myself only reading one chapter, then putting it down. Then coming back hours later, reading another chapter maybe two, then putting it down again, etc. It didn't hold much interest. The only reason I read it so fa
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars. This is probably one of the best John Grisham books I've read. It's not the usual courtroom/murder drama....just people behaving badly. ...more
Lisa Dunckley
Jan 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Testament is a typical John Grisham novel—which means it's an entertaining and suspenseful read!

Troy Phelan, wealthy and dying, decides to teach his ex-wives and many children a lesson by changing his will and leaving his money to a daughter, Rachel, that no one knows about. The book alternates between the family members and their multiple attorneys who are fighting to get “their” money, and Nate O'Riley, a lawyer with the firm representing Troy. Nate is just out of yet another rehab, so he
Jay Pruitt
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it
As the book title implies, this is a story involving the last will and testament of one of the wealthiest men in the world. But it's really comprised of two separate storylines. One is the wrangling of heirs and their unscrupulous attorneys to overturn the final wishes of the deceased - essentially a money-grab. The second storyline is the journey of an ambulance chasing, alcoholic attorney who must brave dangers lurking in Brazil's Amazon in order to locate the rightful heir of this fortune.

Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Utterly fantastic audiobook even though I was not thrilled with the narrator's delivery. The story got me past that quickly. The setup of the story is great and unlike anything I've seen before. The most interesting part of the story has little to do with law and takes a lawyer with lots of problems into an adventure that is in the wilds and so engrossing. Besides being in the geographical wilds, it is also into the wilds of his being. The other part of the story is law, lawyers, greedy heirs an ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Second Read: I totally forgot that I have already read this book just over four years ago. I really liked it then, and really like it now. Highly recommend if you like good courtroom.

First Read: Fascinating!! I was extremely intrigued by this Grisham. His writing is above par, and definitely good enough to keep the readers at grasp and wondering what will happen next. I'm not too much into suicide, but the grip of it keeps us reading and wondering what the story is fully about.

Though different
Now this was the book I just could not wait getting to read when I decided I wanted to read all of John Grisham's novels (from the very first book and in order). I have read quite a few of his novels many many years ago, but not all of them and this one was the one that I remembered the most and since reading it the first time had kept it on my favourite books of all time list ever since. On second reading, I enjoyed this even more than the first time I read it - if that is at all possible!

This book absolutely blew me away. It had depth, heart, humour, and faith. Amazing. The ending was perfect. I loved it.
Another solid tale by Grisham! It wasn't a typical Courtroom Drama either like most of his books are.

The Testament opens us with the ruthless self-made Billionaire Troy Phelan, who is in his 90's who is dying, has written out his last will with the help of his Lawyer Josh Stafford, and being observed by 3 psychiatrists to see if he is of sound-mind. Phelan commits suicide by jumping out a window just seconds after writing his Testament, which says the rest of his estate will instead of to his mo
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
The Testament is an above average effort, but I wouldn't put it among Grisham's best. The subject is probate, which Grisham seems to enjoy and always does well. This time an eccentric billionaire Troy Phelan(One of my favorite Grisham characters ever) jumps out of a window to his death, after writing a new will, leaving his $11 Billion estate in limbo.

Despite being fully engaged by the story, there are a few things I didn't like about the book. I found the main character Nate O'reilly completely
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a shining light of what is really important in life. We all struggle in some ways. You just need to stay focused on what is really important
Jane Stewart
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal-fiction
Not much suspense, but a good story with unique and interesting characters.

Eccentric billionaire leaves all his money to an illegitimate child Rachel no one knew about. His six grandchildren are greedy idiots who hire attorneys to contest the will. Josh is executor of the will. He needs someone to go to the jungles of Brazil to find Rachel who is working with tribes as a Christian missionary. Josh asks Nate to go. Nate was a high-powered litigator who has been in rehab several times
Bibliophile Rose
It was a quite enjoyable read.

The Plot:
So, this story is about, An American billionaire named Troy Phelan. He's an 80years old man with three divorced wives and six heirs. Troy suffered from his illness so he decided to commit a suicide ( he's kinda crazy man). After his death, all his heirs and his wives wanted to read his will, his testament, (I know you're thinking about all his money and his lucky heirs but you have to read till the end!!) And all his money was left to his Illegitimate D
Gary  Beauregard Bottomley
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Let this book be a warning to me. I read it 20 years ago and loved it, but upon revisiting it, I would just say it was entertaining and leave it at that.

There's a lot of heavy handed preaching and simplified characters that would be worthy of a a junior high student.

I've changed who I was 20 years ago from when I first read this book, and the country has changed along with me. The paradigmatic insidious world we were thrown into 20 years ago are not who we are today. I, for one, think fiction
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another well written book by John Grisham that flows easily and keeps the reader wanting to read more.
The book is full of interesting if not nasty characters that are described perfectly by John Grisham. There are a number of sub plots that bring interest and intrigue into the novel. The first 100+ pages were very good but unfortunately the book did lose its way a little after that otherwise I would have rated it even higher.
Todd Russell
Aug 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller, novel, legal
Tenth in publishing order, THE TESTAMENT, shows an author with no sign of wear and tear.

Some guys don't like admitting they cry, but I don't care if others think I'm a wimp for this book making my eyes water. My oh my, it was good! I think it's a tie for me with A Time to Kill, both are brilliantly executed stories. I'm getting ahead of myself. Stay with me, this one cooks.

It starts in first person narrative with crotchety rich old guy, Troy Phelan, describing it detail just how desperately he w
~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Wells
I was very surprised to cry over this book as I sure did not expect it. Its amazing how he writes about what wicked liars lawyers can be. Everyone knows it but some of them reach new depths of lying in this book. I could hardly put it down for a minute. It kept me up until five am!! I am rapidly becoming a John Grisham fan.
Apr 27, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: everyone
I learned it's more important to forget the materialism of this world and be self-less for Christ like the heroine of this book was, than to get caught up in making a name for myself in my short time on earth. I forget the amount of family fortune she'd inherited, but she was so lost in her love for Christ that she was oblivious to the inheritance itself until a lawyer tracked her down from U.S to the Amazon to tell her/award her the inheritance. Her other-worldness was in stark contrast to the ...more
Jenny Maloney
Feb 14, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: have-read
I'm impressed that I made it through to the end. At first it seemed like a cool idea...guy goes down to jungle and comes out a changed man. Instead it's more about finding God within a malaria-fevered haze. Grisham entering his 'very-preachy' stage. ...more
Una Tiers
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
It wasn't until the window scene that I remembered reading this book before. It contained two parallel story lines about parenting. It is a terrific example of the imagination of Grisham. Some parts were a little tedious. The ending was something the reader anticipates. ...more
Sep 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 1st-quarter

I am reading The Testament, by John Grisham.It's about a man named Nate who is put in charge of finding the illigitament daughter of a billionaire.She's a missionary to a remote jungle and is, as far as he knows, unreachable.So he sets out on a journey with vivid characters and challenging situations.Jevy the body guard and Milton the pilot befriend him and try to help him on his journey.I love this book.I can't stop reading because Grisham describes Nate's trials with such color and emoti
Andre Gonzalez
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This one was a bit slower moving and not as exciting as most Grisham books. It may have been better served as a novella with a lot of the middle of the story cut out. It lacks the constant twists and turns I've become used to from Grisham (bear in mind, I'm reading all of his books in order for the first time ever), and this one simply grew boring in the middle.

Hoping the next book is back to his style!
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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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