Book Reviews

The Rooster Bar

Author: John Grisham
Published: October 24, 2017 by Doubleday
Genre: Legal Thriller
Hardcover: 352 pages
My Rating: 3 1/2 stars
Find it on Amazon

The Rooster Bar is the latest legal thriller by John Grisham. Mark, Todd, and Zola entered law school with lofty ideas of changing the world, but instead find themselves one semester away from graduation with student loans at a quarter of a million dollars each, and slim pickings in the job market. With a little research, they discover their law school is one of many for-profit schools owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who cares more about his bottom line than the students his schools are supposed to be educating.

So what do they do? Quit law school and practice law anyway? Hang around the court house and pick up DUI clients desperate for legal help? Does anyone check to see if you’re really licensed? The Rooster Bar can be described as a legal caper where the law students are constantly looking over their shoulder with fear of being discovered. As a reader that threat and sense of dome is always lurking in the background. You’re either waiting for everything to come crumbling down, or for them to beat the system like in Office Space when the three disgruntled employees find a way to steal a fraction of a penny (times thousands) from their employer.

I did get a kick out of the e-mails that go back and forth between the students and their loan officers. Everything you wish you could say to a creditor but don’t.

“Dear Ms. Nash: In my last e-mail I politely asked you to leave me alone because I’m in therapy and my therapist really doesn’t like you. He says that because my loans are so enormous and my debt so suffocating I could be on the brink of a serious emotional breakdown. He says I’m fragile. Please, please go away or I’ll have no choice but to ask my therapist to contact your lawyer.”

I found myself rooting for these kids even though they were doing every which way of illegal! The students were endearing, and there were laugh out loud moments. It may not go down as my favorite John Grisham novel, but it is a sold addition to the collection.

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