The Broker

The Broker

by John Grisham


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The Broker 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 336 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I still call myself a Grisham fan - especially with the goofy cartoon characters that appear in his prose - this book didn't work for me for two reasons: 1- Too much time and energy is spent on the Italy experience. It came across as an Italian travel commercial. 2- Like 'The Brethren', since there was no real protagonist to root for, by the end I didn't care a flying fig how the story came out. I didn't feel the slightest bit of empathy for Joel. Teddy was a sadistic piece of work. Luigi was too cardboard to be of any help. The one engaging relationship - the love interest - was drawn far too subtly for my liking. C'mon - the guy was in prison for six years... would you want to look at porticos for two hundred pages? Extremely disappointing. Terribly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book and loved it! I felt that Grisham really grabbed my attention right from the beginning on this one. From the late night pardon all the way to the trip back to Italy to find the lady who saved Joel's life, it was unescapable!! I bought the audio to listen to while at work and I listen to it over and over. This book is worth the read!
LadyDi6226 More than 1 year ago
True to John Grisham, a totally unexpected ending.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was glued from the get-go and didn't want it to end. I wanted to know what happened after. I enjoyed reading about parts of Italy and learning a little Italian too - what fun.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book had potential, but fizzles. Was Marco supposed to be changed into a decent human being by the end? Didn't happen. I never did care for his whiny, self-serving attitude toward everyone he met (including his son). Add to that the fact that the plot became a non-event instead of a climax. I don't need every loose end tied up, but come on! He's hunted by the best, and within one page he very easily catches a plane to DC, waltzes around hotels, & cuts a deal. Who knows where the Tin Man even is (might have gotten the name wrong, I've forgotten already!). Don't make such a big deal about the guy if he's not a player. That said, I didn't mind the tourist info and the language lessons - but he could have tied it into the story a little better (Dan Brown has a REASON for giving all those details). To the reviewer who complained that Francesca's description of the art and buildings was 'straight from a tour guide': well ... Francesca IS a tour guide. Think that might be why? Anyway, too many undeveloped secondary characters too. (Madame from the train for ex.) That said, I bet I'll still buy his next one I bet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written character study. Grisham is a master story teller even when he diverts from his normal legal genre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you like John Grisham, he won't disappoint in this story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good reaad nice book bit slow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
ukaissi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is easy to read. Yet I found it a little lengthy in the way it describes Bologna and Italy as well the experience of the main character in learning the Italian language. However I enjoyed learning some Italian vocab and since I like traveling describing Italy too much is not a big deal. The Story becomes more interesting and fast toward the end of the book. I guess the author compensates by a fast moving and thrill ride action toward the end of the book.
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A straight-forward thriller from Mr. Grisham that just doesn't deliver much in the way of thrills. It flows along reasonably well, bogging down only occasionally for travelogue. I had it in the audio book version and it ate up its share of miles. I'd probably have given it a 3-star "well, it passed an afternoon" except for the very unsatisfying ending: abrupt, more than a bit unbelievable and, once one thinks about it, inconclusive.
darlingtrk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have read fewer than a half dozen Grishams. This one is quite engaging. The protagonist Joel, Marco, whoever, is likable in spite of the fact that he is a confirmed criminal and a traitor. Lik...e so many people, when he personally experiences the fear he generates, he has a change of heart. Like Playing for Pizza much of the story is set in Italy, giving something of a Ludlumite authenticity to the spycraft. The book is entertaining, though it is nobody's classic. A fun read.
MsBeautiful on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Avg. legal thriller, not his best
Cecilturtle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love espionnage; I love Italy - this was a great match!
harpua on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never been much of a Grisham fan, just never thought I'd enjoy his books. About a year ago I picked up a pile of Grisham books for cheap. It's taken me a year, but I've now finished my second Grisham novel. I must say this was enjoyable. Only thing wrong with this, is the ending. While it wrapped up nicely in once sense, it left a lot of dangling threads. This seems more like book 1 of a trilogy or something instead of a standalone. But nevertheless, I enjoyed this and will read my way through the rest of the Grisham novels sitting on my shelf over the next year or so.
seldombites on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pretty good book actually. The usual thriller stuff but definitely readable.
gilroy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely within the realm of a John Grisham novel. Lots of legal stuff, intrigue. I enjoyed the book in the fact that it gave me ideas for my own writing. It offered insight into what people consider good writing. The person reading the book sounded interesting. Maybe if I get a book published, he'll read mine. :>I do say it is a worthy listen.
LBM007 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not a bad story, but reading all the Italian dialog (followed by English translations) got annoying after awhile.
csayban on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Grisham has brought us a succession of nail-biting thrillers including A Time to Kill, The Firm, The Partner (3.5 stars) and The Street Lawyer (4.0 stars). The Broker, however, turns out to be a thriller without very many thrills. There are a couple moments of tension, but they are so mild and scattered that they don¿t provide any real trepidation. This seems strange considering the plot of the book has nearly every intelligence agency in the world intent on killing the main character. As if that were not enough, Joel Backman¿s own CIA handlers want him dead. To top it off, Joel has little money and even less training, yet he appears more than capable of strolling right past everyone with surprising little effort even though everyone knows where he is. I never felt like he was in any kind of real jeopardy even when he should have been in all kinds of real jeopardy. Instead, most of the forces against him just fall out of the story without any explanation. At one point, Grisham describes in detail one of the most diabolical assassins in the world, only to leave him out of the rest of the story. I suppose he must have gotten lost.Instead of a thriller, the meat of the book is really a character piece where we watch Joel try to blend into the northern Italian college town of Bologna. Taking the name `Marco,¿ he learns to speak, dress and ¿ more than anything ¿ eat like a native Italian. This turns out to be the strongest part of the book. Grisham does a nice job of painting a picture of the northern Italian lifestyle and giving a guided tour of its history that feel very organic to the story. In fact, if he had written something akin to A Painted House, it might have been a fascinating character study in a beautiful location. Unfortunately, he stuffed it inside of an espionage thriller that simply didn¿t come off. The plot holes and anticlimactic ending certainly didn¿t do the story any favors, either. But while I can¿t say that I really liked the book, I can¿t say that I disliked it either. There was something about the character of Joel Backman and his attempt to integrate with Italian life that made the story tolerable. Also, Grisham¿s polished writing moves along easily which prevents the story from becoming a monotonous bore. If it is already sitting on one of your shelves and you want to learn some things about northern Italy, it might still be worth sitting down with it. However, it is not one of Grisham¿s better books.
madamejeanie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Grisham has been a bit off his mark with the last couple of books, buthe's back in stride with this one. It's a thriller and has lawyers init, but it's not his typical legal thriller.Joel Backman was a power broker, a high profile lawyer turned lobbyistin Washington who has clawed his way to the top, living hard, spendingmuch, and leaving broken lives and marriages in his ruthless path. Butwhen three young Pakistani men come to him with a discovery that willset the world's governments on their collective ears, he peddles thesecrets to several governments at once, greedy to the end, and managesto touch off a firestorm that leaves his law firm in shambles, a senatordead, and indictments ready to be handed down against not only him, buthis son. He pleads guilty to lesser charges and is quietly shipped offto federal prison to serve a 20 year sentence in solitary confinement.Six years later, the political wheels in Washington have turned andother power hungry men are eager for his blood. So, bargains are madeand an outgoing disgraced president grants him a full pardon at thebehest of the CIA and he finds himself spirited out of the prison in themiddle of the night, bundled onto a military plane and headed to Italyfor a new life, with a new name and a bunch of mysterious new "friends"who will teach him to speak the language and to blend in with the peopleof the city of Bolgona. But something isn't quite kosher in this newsetup and he is under constant surveillance. His own government issetting him up for professional assassins from at least five countriesand the CIA intends to sit back and wait to see which one gets himfirst, trying to solve the biggest mystery to hit the US government indecades.This book is fast paced and has more twists and turns than a Georgiacounty backroad. It's well written and moves right along. It was goodall the way up to the last page, but it felt as if it ended tooabruptly, leaving you to imagine exactly what's going to happen next.Still, it was pretty good and I'll give it a 4.
neringros on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a good airplane read. Fast. A bit formulaic.I really liked the descriptions of Italy, some of character descriptions were very good and some felt rushed, unfinished.The ending felt like it was slapped together at the last minute before going to print - lacking in character and place descriptions, some connections.There were just too many unfinished threads left dangling...Not a re-read by any means, but I would recommend this book to Grisham fans or someone looking for a quick mystery/espionage read.
JoAnnSmithAinsworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed it a lot. Grisham at his best.
NancyChase on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 instructions on the topography of Italy and the language was a bit too much. Actually, this part of the book got really boring. The main character, Joel Backman gave me fits. I never was really sure if he was decent sort of a fellow or just a down right crook. I could never get the feeling that I should root for him or just hope for his quick exit from the story. In summary, there were parts of the story that I didn't care for, but overall I thought it was real decent book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to all my friends.
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Joel Backman is "the Broker"--a Washington power broker-lobbyist. Then his empire collapses when a deal collapses involving a hacked spy satellite that nobody acknowledges, and Backman ends up in jail, broke.Six years later, he's pardoned by a lame duck President, and whisked away to Italy by the CIA. Everyone's after him, including the CIA, though they're more interesting in finding out who kills him than in either killing him themselves or keeping him safe.So Backman is completely out of his element, under constant surveillance, and kept deliberately short of money and paperwork so he can't run far, even if he tries. But he didn't get to be "the Broker" by being stupid, either.This was a fairly low-key suspense book, but I enjoyed the transformation from wealthy cold-hearted power broker to someone who's dependent on others for everything, and who's learning to reevaluate his priorities. It was also quite lovely to revisit Italy.
schiffell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful, quick read. Highly recommned it!