The Pelican Brief

The Pelican Brief

by John Grisham

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In suburban Georgetown a killer's Reeboks whisper  on the front floor of a posh home... In a seedy  D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to  death... The next day America learns that two of its  Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And  in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a  legal brief... To Darby Shaw it was no more than a  legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the  Washington establishment it was political dynamite.  Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder — a murder  intended for her. Going underground, she finds  there is only one person she can trust — an  ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate  — to help her piece together the deadly puzzle.  Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the  White House's inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is  being engineered. For somone has read Darby's  brief. Someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the  evidence of an unthinkable crime.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781856955867
Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books, Ltd.
Publication date: 07/01/1993
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 2.75(h) x 6.30(d)

About the Author

Born on February 8, 1955 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, John Grisham dreamed of being a professional baseball player. Realizing he didn't have the right stuff, he shifted gears and majored in accounting at Mississippi State University. He practiced law for nearly a decade in Southaven and served in the state House of Representatives until 1990. Inspired by the actual testimony in a rape case, Grisham got up at 5 a.m. every day to get in several hours of writing time before heading off to work. He spent three years on A Time to Kill; it was eventually bought by Wynwood press, who gave it a modest 5,000 copy printing and published it in June 1988. The day after Grisham completed A Time to Kill, he began work on another novel, the story of a hotshot young attorney lured to an apparently perfect law firm that was not what it appeared. Spending 47 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list, The Firm became the bestselling novel of 1991. Grisham lives with his wife and their two children. The family splits their time between their Victorian home on a farm in Mississippi and a plantation near Charlottesville, VA. When he's not writing, Grisham devotes time to charitable causes. He also keeps up with his greatest passion: baseball. The man who dreamed of being a professional baseball player now serves as the local Little League commissioner. The six ballfields he built on his property have played host to over 350 kids on 26 Little League teams.


Oxford, Mississippi, and Albemarle County, Virginia

Date of Birth:

February 8, 1955

Place of Birth:

Jonesboro, Arkansas


B.S., Mississippi State, 1977; J.D., University of Mississippi, 1981

Read an Excerpt

The Pelican Brief

International Edition
By John Grisham

Dell Publishing Company

Copyright © 1992 John Grisham
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0440295211

Chapter One

HE SEEMED INCAPABLE of creating such chaos, but much of what he saw below could be blamed on him. And that was fine. He was ninety-one, paralyzed, strapped in a wheelchair and hooked to oxygen. His second stroke seven years ago had almost finished him off, but Abraham Rosenberg was still alive and even with tubes in his nose his legal stick was bigger than the other eight. He was the only legend remaining on the Court, and the fact that he was still breathing irritated most of the mob below.

He sat in a small wheelchair in an office on the main floor of the Supreme Court Building. His feet touched the edge of the window, and he strained forward as the noise increased. He hated cops, but the sight of them standing in thick, neat lines was somewhat comforting. They stood straight and held ground as the mob of at least fifty thousand screamed for blood.

"Biggest crowd ever!" Rosenberg yelled at the window. He was almost deaf. Jason Kline, his senior law clerk, stood behind him. It was the first Monday in October, the opening day of the new term, and this had become a traditional celebration of the First Amendment. A glorious celebration. Rosenberg was thrilled. To him, freedom of speechmeant freedom to riot.

"Are the Indians out there?" he asked loudly.

Jason Kline leaned closer to his right ear. "Yes!"

"With war paint?"

"Yes! In full battle dress."

"Are they dancing?"


The Indians, the blacks, whites, browns, women, gays, tree lovers, Christians, abortion activists, Aryans, Nazis, atheists, hunters, animal lovers, white supremacists, black supremacists, tax protestors, loggers, farmers--it was a massive sea of protest. And the riot police gripped their black sticks.

"The Indians should love me!"

"I'm sure they do." Kline nodded and smiled at the frail little man with clenched fists. His ideology was simple; government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians, give them whatever they want.

The heckling, praying, singing, chanting, and screaming grew louder, and the riot police inched closer together. The crowd was larger and rowdier than in recent years. Things were more tense. Violence had become common. Abortion clinics had been bombed. Doctors had been attacked and beaten. One was killed in Pensacola, gagged and bound into the fetal position and burned with acid. Street fights were weekly events. Churches and priests had been abused by militant gays. White supremacists operated from a dozen known, shadowy, paramilitary organizations, and had become bolder in their attacks on blacks, Hispanics, and Asians. Hatred was now America's favorite pastime.

And the Court, of course, was an easy target. Threats, serious ones, against the justices had increased tenfold since 1990. The Supreme Court police had tripled in size. At least two FBI agents were assigned to guard each justice, and another fifty were kept busy investigating threats.

"They hate me, don't they?" he said loudly, staring out the window.

"Yes, some of them do," Kline answered with amusement.

Rosenberg liked to hear that. He smiled and inhaled deeply. Eighty percent of the death threats were aimed at him.

"See any of those signs?" he asked. He was nearly blind.

"Quite a few."

"What do they say?"

"The usual. Death to Rosenberg. Retire Rosenberg. Cut Off the Oxygen."

"They've been waving those same damned signs for years. Why don't they get some new ones?"

The clerk did not answer. Abe should've retired years ago, but they would carry him out one day on a stretcher. His three law clerks did most of the research, but Rosenberg insisted on writing his own opinions. He did so with a heavy felt-tip marker and his words were scrawled across a white legal pad, much like a first-grader learning to write. Slow work, but with a lifetime appointment, who cared about time? The clerks proofed his opinions, and rarely found mistakes.

Rosenberg chuckled. "We oughta feed Runyan to the Indians." The Chief Justice was John Runyan, a tough conservative appointed by a Republican and hated by the Indians and most other minorities. Seven of the nine had been appointed by Republican Presidents. For fifteen years Rosenberg had been waiting for a Democrat in the White House. He wanted to quit, needed to quit, but he could not stomach the idea of a right-wing Runyan type taking his beloved seat.

He could wait. He could sit here in his wheelchair and breathe oxygen and protect the Indians, the blacks, the women, the poor, the handicapped, and the environment until he was a hundred and five. And not a single person in the world could do a damned thing about it, unless they killed him. And that wouldn't be such a bad idea either.

The great man's head nodded, then wobbled and rested on his shoulder. He was asleep again. Kline quietly stepped away, and returned to his research in the library. He would return in half an hour to check the oxygen and give Abe his pills.

THE OFFICE of the Chief Justice is on the main floor, and is larger and more ornate than the other eight. The outer office is used for small receptions and formal gatherings, and the inner office is where the Chief works.

The door to the inner office was closed, and the room was filled with the Chief, his three law clerks, the captain of the Supreme Court police, three FBI agents, and K. O. Lewis, deputy director, FBI. The mood was serious, and a serious effort was under way to ignore the noise from the streets below. It was difficult. The Chief and Lewis discussed the latest series of death threats, and everyone else just listened. The clerks took notes.

In the past sixty days, the Bureau had logged over two hundred threats, a new record. There was the usual assortment of "Bomb the Court!" threats, but many came with specifics--like names, cases, and issues.

Runyan made no effort to hide his anxiety. Working from a confidential FBI summary, he read the names of individuals and groups suspected of threats. The Klan, the Aryans, the Nazis, the Palestinians, the black separatists, the pro-lifers, the homophobics. Even the IRA. Everyone, it seemed, but the Rotarians and the Boy Scouts. A Middle East group backed by the Iranians had threatened blood on American soil in retaliation for the deaths of two justice ministers in Tehran. There was absolutely no evidence the murders were linked to the U.S. A new domestic terrorist unit of recent fame known as the Underground Army had killed a federal trial judge in Texas with a car bomb. No arrests had been made, but the UA claimed responsibility. It was also the prime suspect in a dozen bombings of ACLU offices, but its work was very clean.

"What about these Puerto Rican terrorists?" Runyan asked without looking up.

"Lightweights. We're not worried," K. O. Lewis answered casually. "They've been threatening for twenty years."

"Well, maybe it's time they did something. The climate is right, don't you think?"

"Forget the Puerto Ricans, Chief." Runyan liked to be called Chief. Not Chief Justice, nor Mr. Chief Justice. Just Chief. "They're just threatening because everyone else is."

"Very funny," the Chief said without smiling. "Very funny. I'd hate for some group to be left out." Runyan threw the summary on his desk and rubbed his temples. "Let's talk about security." He closed his eyes.

K. O. Lewis laid his copy of the summary on the Chief's desk. "Well, the Director thinks we should place four agents with each Justice, at least for the next ninety days. We'll use limousines with escorts to and from work, and the Supreme Court police will provide backup and secure this building."

"What about travel?"

"It's not a good idea, at least for now. The Director thinks the justices should remain in the D.C. area until the end of the year."

"Are you crazy? Is he crazy? If I asked my brethren to follow that request they would all leave town tonight and travel for the next month. That's absurd." Runyan frowned at his law clerks, who shook their heads in disgust. Truly absurd.

Lewis was unmoved. This was expected. "As you wish. Just a suggestion."

"A foolish suggestion."

"The Director did not expect your cooperation on that one. He would, however, expect to be notified in advance of all travel plans so that we can arrange security."

"You mean, you plan to escort each Justice each time he leaves the city?"

"Yes, Chief. That's our plan."

"Won't work. These people are not accustomed to being baby-sat."

"Yes sir. And they're not accustomed to being stalked either. We're just trying to protect you and your honorable brethren, sir. Of course, no one says we have to do anything. I think, sir, that you called us. We can leave, if you wish."

Runyan rocked forward in his chair and attacked a paper clip, prying the curves out of it and trying to make it perfectly straight. "What about around here?"

Lewis sighed and almost smiled. "We're not worried about this building, Chief. It's an easy place to secure. We don't expect trouble here."

"Then where?"

Lewis nodded at a window. The noise was louder. "Out there somewhere. The streets are full of idiots and maniacs and zealots."

"And they all hate us."

"Evidently. Listen, Chief, we're very concerned about Justice Rosenberg. He still refuses to allow our men inside his home; makes them sit in a car in the street all night. He will allow his favorite Supreme Court officer--what's his name? Ferguson--to sit by the back door, outside, but only from 10 P.M. to 6 A.M. No one gets in the house but Justice Rosenberg and his male nurse. The place is not secure."

Runyan picked his fingernails with the paper clip and smiled slightly to himself. Rosenberg's death, by any means or method, would be a relief. No, it would be a glorious occasion. The Chief would have to wear black and give a eulogy, but behind locked doors he would chuckle with his law clerks. Runyan liked this thought.

"What do you suggest?" he asked.

"Can you talk to him?"

"I've tried. I've explained to him that he is probably the most hated man in America, that millions of people curse him every day, that most folks would like to see him dead, that he receives four times the hate mail as the rest of us combined, and that he would be a perfect and easy target for assassination."

Lewis waited. "And?"

"Told me to kiss his ass, then fell asleep."

The law clerks giggled properly, then the FBI agents realized humor was permitted and joined in for a quick laugh.

"So what do we do?" asked Lewis, unamused.

"You protect him as best you can, put it in writing, and don't worry about it. He fears nothing, including death, and if he's not sweating it, why should you?"

"The Director is sweating, so I'm sweating, Chief. It's very simple. If one of you guys gets hurt, the Bureau looks bad."

The Chief rocked quickly in his chair. The racket from outside was unnerving. This meeting had dragged on long enough. "Forget Rosenberg. Maybe he'll die in his sleep. I'm more concerned over Jensen."

"Jensen's a problem," Lewis said, flipping pages.

"I know he's a problem," Runyan said slowly. "He's an embarrassment. Now he thinks he's a liberal. Votes like Rosenberg half the time. Next month, he'll be a white supremacist and support segregated schools. Then he'll fall in love with the Indians and want to give them Montana. It's like having a retarded child."

"He's being treated for depression, you know."

"I know, I know. He tells me about it. I'm his father figure. What drug?"


The Chief dug under his fingernails. "What about that aerobics instructor he was seeing? She still around?"

"Not really, Chief. I don't think he cares for women." Lewis was smug. He knew more. He glanced at one of his agents and confirmed this juicy little tidbit.

Runyan ignored it, didn't want to hear it. "Is he cooperating?"

"Of course not. In many ways he's worse than Rosenberg. He allows us to escort him to his apartment building, then makes us sit in the parking lot all night. He's seven floors up, remember. We can't even sit in the lobby. Might upset his neighbors, he says. So we sit in the car. There are ten ways in and out of the building, and it's impossible to protect him. He likes to play hide-and-seek with us. He sneaks around all the time, so we never know if he's in the building or not. At least with Rosenberg we know where he is all night. Jensen's impossible."

"Great. If you can't follow him, how could an assassin?"

Lewis hadn't thought of this. He missed the humor. "The Director is very concerned with Justice Jensen's safety."

"He doesn't receive that many threats."

"Number six on the list, just a few less than you, your honor."

"Oh. So I'm in fifth place."

"Yes. Just behind Justice Manning. He's cooperating, by the way. Fully."

"He's afraid of his shadow," the Chief said, then hesitated. "I shouldn't have said that. I'm sorry."

Lewis ignored it. "In fact, the cooperation has been reasonably good, except for Rosenberg and Jensen. Justice Stone bitches a lot, but he listens to us."

"He bitches at everyone, so don't take it personally. Where do you suppose Jensen sneaks off to?"

Lewis glanced at one of his agents. "We have no idea."

A large section of the mob suddenly came together in one unrestrained chorus, and everyone on the streets seemed to join in. The Chief could not ignore it. The windows vibrated. He stood and called an end to this meeting.

JUSTICE GLENN JENSEN'S OFFICE was on the second floor, away from the streets and the noise. It was a spacious room, yet the smallest of the nine. Jensen was the youngest of the nine, and he was lucky to have an office. When nominated six years earlier at the age of forty-two, he was thought to be a strict constructionist with deep conservative beliefs, much like the man who nominated him. His Senate confirmation had been a slugfest. Before the Judiciary Committee, Jensen performed poorly. On sensitive issues he straddled the fence, and got kicked from both sides. The Republicans were embarrassed. The Democrats smelled blood. The President twisted arms until they broke, and Jensen was confirmed by one very reluctant vote.

But he made it, for life. In his six years, he had pleased no one. Hurt deeply by his confirmation hearings, he vowed to find compassion and rule with it. This had angered Republicans. They felt betrayed, especially when he discovered a latent passion for the rights of criminals. With scarce ideological strain, he quickly left the right, moved to the center, then to the left. Then, with legal scholars scratching their little goatees, Jensen would bolt back to the right and join Justice Sloan in one of his obnoxious antiwomen dissents. Jensen was not fond of women. He was neutral on prayer, skeptical of free speech, sympathetic to tax protestors, indifferent to Indians, afraid of blacks, tough on pornographers, soft on criminals, and fairly consistent in his protection of the environment. And, to the further dismay of the Republicans who shed blood to get him confirmed, Jensen had shown a troubling sympathy for the rights of homosexuals.

At his request, a nasty case called Dumond had been assigned to him. Ronald Dumond had lived with his male lover for eight years. They were a happy couple, totally devoted to each other, and quite content to share life's experiences. They wanted to marry, but Ohio laws prohibited such a union. Then the lover caught AIDS, and died a horrible death. Ronald knew exactly how to bury him, but then the lover's family intervened and excluded Ronald from the funeral and burial. Distraught, Ronald sued the family, claiming emotional and psychological damage. The case had bounced around the lower courts for six years, and now had suddenly found itself sitting on Jensen's desk.

At issue was the rights of "spouses" of gays. Dumond had become a battle cry for gay activists. The mere mention of Dumond had caused street fights.

And Jensen had the case. The door to his smaller office was closed. Jensen and his three clerks sat around the conference table. They had spent two hours on Dumond, and gone nowhere. They were tired of arguing. One clerk, a liberal from Cornell, wanted a broad pronouncement granting sweeping rights to gay partners. Jensen wanted this too, but was not ready to admit it. The other two clerks were skeptical. They knew, as did Jensen, that a majority of five would be impossible.

Talk turned to other matters.

"The Chief's ticked off at you, Glenn," said the clerk from Duke. They called him by his first name in chambers. "Justice" was such an awkward title.

Glenn rubbed his eyes. "What else is new?"

"One of his clerks wanted me to know that the Chief and the FBI are worried about your safety. Says you're not cooperating, and the Chief's rather disturbed. He wanted me to pass it along." Everything was passed along through the clerks' network. Everything.

"He's supposed to be worried. That's his job."

"He wants to assign two more Fibbies as bodyguards, and they want access to your apartment. And the FBI wants to drive you to and from work. And they want to restrict your travel."

"I've already heard this."

"Yeah, we know. But the Chief's clerk said the Chief wants us to prevail upon you to cooperate with the FBI so that they can save your life."

"I see."

"And so we're just prevailing upon you."

"Thanks. Go back to the network and tell the Chief's clerk that you not only prevailed upon me but you raised all sorts of hell with me and that I appreciated all of your prevailing and hell-raising, but it went in one ear and out the other. Tell them Glenn considers himself a big boy."

"Sure, Glenn. You're not afraid, are you?"

"Not in the least."


Excerpted from The Pelican Brief by John Grisham Copyright © 1992 by John Grisham. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Pelican Brief 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 217 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the inocent Aura Darby had about her. John Grisham is the most incredible author i've ever read. And he made Darby so inocent and realistic is was mind boggeling. I Loved the quick to start out beginging. Unlike in the firm. Which is by the way my favorite book. Yet I dind't like how he wrapped up the problem. I still rate this book 4 STARS and hope it the best of luck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really liked it. I don't like reading but this kept my interest.
BeachRead245 More than 1 year ago
A few years ago John Grisham wrote a novel The Pelican Brief. I recently reread it! Is it still as good as before? Synopsis: Darby is in her second year of Law School at Tulane University. She is having an affair with her professor Callahan. Life could not get any better! Then one day Justices Rosenberg and Jenson are murdered. Darby hears about the murders and thinks she can figure out who did it. Classes are skipped hours are spent figuring out a theory on who did it. One day Callahan takes a look at the brief after Darby dismisses her theory. He offers to show her brief to a friend of his in D.C. who works with the FBI. Little did they know the chain reaction of events that would happen because of this brief? People start dying in order to protect the interests of one wealthy client of White and Blazevich. Who can Darby rely on once these events start occurring? My Thoughts: I think that The Pelican Brief will have a permanent place on my bookshelf. I don’t know if it is the strong female lead character of Darby Shaw. Don’t get me wrong the other characters are great too! To write a good thriller there must be detail. It helps us understand the action later in the story. There are times when I want to say okay this great but why is this important! Then it is revealed later in the story. There were some slow spots in The Pelican Brief but still a great story.
MsTiptress More than 1 year ago
This was a SERIOUS law thriller. And I'm not to much of a huge person with law. I enjoyed being chased down the New Orleans streets with Darby. And that Darby, was a very sexy down to earth, law student and might I add very strong and intelligent. Darby made the story what it is. Without her as a character this book may not have surivied rather watch the movie...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Pelican Brief by John Grisham is a thrilling suspense murder mystery that keeps the reader enthralled. Grisham captivates the reader with detailed, fast paced sentences that entice the reader to want more. Darby Shaw, a law student at Tulane law school, sets out on a mystery to discover the killers of two Supreme Court justices. After writing a very controversial brief, she finds herself running for her life. Will Darby be able to stay alive on the streets of some in some of the toughest cities? This is a great book filled with suspense, and mystery that captivates the reader. Grisham does an awesome job of combining law and suspense into a splendid story that grabs the attention of everyone who reads.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. I first saw the movie and really liked it. The book is much better.
LAlion More than 1 year ago
I am presently reading this book and enjoying the twist and turns it makes quite often. This is my fourth novel selecting since the purchase of my NOOK BOOK and I'm very happy with the online quickness of receiving my purchsed novels as well as the writings of John Grisham. Strickly adult reading,I am quick to select writings by this Author. I am 83 years old and read at least a chapter each night after retiring.
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two supreme justices are murdered on the same day. Many people are attempting to find the relationship between the two men and a motive for the killing.Darby Shaw is a bright law student at Tulane and thinks she knows why the justices were murdered. She researches her opinion and publishes her findings in a document called "The Pelican Brief.'Darcy is a lover of law school professor Thomas Callahan and gives him a copy of the brief. He gives it to a friend in the FBI to see what he thinks and soon after, Callahan is murdered and Darcy becomes a hunted person.John Grisham is an excellent storyteller and master of creating suspense. The reader can empathise with Darcy who stays alive by her intelligence but doesn't know who she can trust. Nevertheless she continues in her attempt to expose the guilty person, at the risk of her life.
ConnieJackson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book kept my interest, page after page.The story is different, in fact,very different from normal storylines in most of the books out there on the market. It is refreshing and interesting because it shows how one ordinary lady, Darby Shaw, can come up with a solution that all the experts could not think of. Even after two justices are killed without a trace of evidence, she decides to uncover the killer. Then, when her brief is handed over to the FBI, the agent dies two days later in Darby's place.Once, she realizes that the killers are after her, she knows that she must stay one step ahead of them, so she doesn't stay in one place for two nights. During these chapters the book is thrilling when Darby is being chased, and each time you think this is her last day on Earth she escapes death.In my opinion, Grisham, wrote a trilling, legal mystery that will keep your interest from the first page to the last page.Enjoy, I highly recommend this book.
bribre01 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A decent read, but not Grisham's best. Probably my least favorite Grisham novel. It started slow for me, but picked up about halfway through. An interesting plot, but it could have been made more exciting.
susanbevans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book in high school for a "free read" - the teacher gave us a list of "acceptable" contemporary books. My three star rating is more due to the fact that this was just not my cup of tea, not that it was badly written or anything. Many fans of this genre love Grisham. It just wasn't for me.
JaimiTaylor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it better than the movie.
les121 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An excellent murder mystery. Very suspenseful.
drebbles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When two Supreme Court justices are assassinated on the same night, there is plenty of speculation as to who the assassin or assassins are and why the judges were murdered. Like many others, law student Darby Shaw thinks she knows the motive. She writes a brief, soon to be known as The Pelican Brief, and shows it to her law professor/lover, Thomas Callahan. Unfortunately, he shows it to a friend of his who works for the FBI, who passes it along, and it falls into the wrong hands. When Callahan is killed by a car bomb, Darby realizes someone wants her dead and she goes on the run. She hooks up with Washington Post reporter Gray Grantham and the two of them try to stay alive long enough to expose the truth. This was an exciting but implausible thriller. Darby is a well-written character and it's nice to read a book with a strong, intelligent heroine. Unfortunately, it's not clear until well into the book what Darby's feelings for Callahan really were, it should have been clear earlier that she loved him and was not a student having an affair with a professor in order to get an A. She conveniently has plenty of money, so she can use cash on the run, rather than leave a trail by using plastic. And it strains readers credibility that a law student can outwit trained assassins. Some of the other characters in the book blend into each other and I wasn't always clear as to who some of them were. Grisham does clear up some loose ends, but at the last minute, as if he suddenly remembered them. Despite these flaws, the story is exciting enough to keep the reader turning pages and worth reading as long as you don't think too much about it.
Kace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first John Grisham book that I devoured. It was so good. Very intriguing, and a little bit of a paranoia magnet...I totally saw conspiracies everywhere after reading this book. Grisham kept up his great writing for anther 3 books or so, but then it was the same idea recycled time after time.
Anagarika-Sean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book was good. A real page turner.
akfarrar on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve known of the book for some time and even, on one or two occasions picked it up and considered reading it ¿ always to return it to the shelf: For some reason I thought it was a `lawyer¿ story.Now, with it firmly on the CAE reading list, as a matter of duty, I¿ve read it.I am tempted to name a new literary genre:The Time Filler.A good time filler is strong on plot, adequate with language, sufficient with character and not too far from realism to cause concern. It will roll along never pausing for too long in any one place or with any one person, love affairs are reduced to brief encounters, killings are counted in serial-numbers and enough petrol and aviation fuel is burnt to raise the Earth¿s average temperature another degree.The Pelican Brief is a good time filler.I took four sessions to finish the 420-odd pages, and didn¿t feel pressed for time ¿ it is a rapid read.The plot is sort of realistic in that you can imagine someone wanting to bump off a couple of American Supreme Court justices to change the `political¿ make-up of the Supreme court ¿ but the book does stretch credibility a little with the descriptions and personalities of both the victims and their executioner ¿ it seemed as though Gresham had gone through a check list of `most likely to make a best seller¿ qualities and selected them for inclusion.The same too with his heroine, Darby Shaw, who is a least female and intelligent ¿ more intelligent than most of the other characters in the book. However, she never really escapes the cliché of female as victim in need of a good man to support her. Why did she have to be a blond bombshell? Why couldn¿t she have been short, stumpy even, and ugly? Why does the book have to end in such a `happy ever after¿ way on a beach?One answer is the sales figures ¿ and film rights.All the way through I felt I was getting exactly what I wanted ¿ no surprise other than a needed plot twist, no truly ambiguous character ¿ just good guy and bad guy (and a very obvious ¿ you got it wrong, good guy portrayed as bad).And some very film-able locations ¿ including Washington, New York and a pre-deluge New Orleans.It occupied me pleasantly enough, but I ended with a ¿ that¿s it? and so what? Turned the light off, and slept well.
robertdatson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've just read The Firm, and now The Pelican Brief. The former hooked me in very quickly. The Pelican Brief has a confusing start, dumping a pile of unrelated events upon us, setting the scene. It takes a little while for us to meet the main character, and at no stage do we get a strong understanding of her. Sure, she's clever, resourceful, etc., but she is two dimensional. Hence, I don't care about what happens, and this lessens the tension of the story.Having read both of these books back to back, I can also see the similarities of Grisham's view of the legal profession, and whilst he is the expert, and I am not, I find it hard to believe that the lawyer firms he describes are just big sweatshops, where everyone works 12-18 hour days, six days a week. Lawyers are supposed to be intelligent...Not sure now if I am going to keep reading Grisham - the lack of attention to character development is the big miss for me.
evanplaice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It has been over 5 years since I read this book and I still have a bitter taste in my mouth when I think about it. Calling it anticlimactic would be an understatement. It seems as though the author tries to make up for the lack of depth in the plot by introducing random plot twists. If you're the type of person who drools over legal thrillers you may like the book more than I did. I just can't forget that this book had the worst ending of any book I have ever read. I literally cringed when I picked it up to enter it into my library listing.
wenestvedt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My big brother worked for West Publishing at the time this movie was made, and he generated the screens of data that Julia Roberts pages through in one scene. See, every American lawyer uses West's law databases, so my brother's work provided some real street cred to this flick. *snort* Regardless of how closely I watched, I didn't see a line of it -- sorry, Cris. Not a bad movie, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book and then watched the movie. Books have more details than the movie does. I was not able to put the book down once I started reading it. I love this book and I'm going to read it again. I love his books they keep your interest to the very end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just read rhis-saw movie ages ago Those who fear the Trump regime should not read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago