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The Broker

by

The Broker Cover

ISBN13: 9780440241584
ISBN10: 0440241588
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his final hours in the Oval Office, the outgoing President grants a controversial last-minute pardon to Joel Backman, a notorious Washington power broker who has spent the last six years hidden away in a federal prison. What no one knows is that the President issues the pardon only after receiving enormous pressure from the CIA. It seems Backman, in his power broker heyday, may have obtained secrets that compromise the world's most sophisticated satellite surveillance system.

Backman is quietly smuggled out of the country in a military cargo plane, given a new name, a new identity, and a new home in Italy. Eventually, after he has settled into his new life, the CIA will leak his whereabouts to the Israelis, the Russians, the Chinese, and the Saudis. Then the CIA will do what it does best: sit back and watch. The question is not whether Backman will survive — there is no chance of that. The question the CIA needs answered is, who will kill him?

Review:

"Readers will find an amiable travelogue to Italy and its charms in Grisham's latest. What they won't find are the suspense and inspired plotting that have made the author (The Last Juror, etc.) one of the world's bestselling writers. Yet Grisham remains a smooth storyteller, and few will fail to finish this oddball tale of what happens to ruined D.C. powerbroker Joel Blackman, 52, when he's suddenly released from federal prison after six years. Teddy Maynard, legendary CIA director, has engineered the release in order to put Joel into a variant of the witness protection program and then see who kills him. Many want him dead — the Saudis, the Israelis, especially the Chinese — because of his role in trying to sell a global satellite spy system that would alter the world's balance of power; that was what got Joel imprisoned, and the CIA hopes that whoever kills him will clue them in to who may have access to the satellites. Joel is relocated to Bologna, and much of the narrative consists of his touring that city, its historic sights and its many restaurants, and learning Italian ways from his male handler, Luigi, and his language tutor, Francesca — a middle-aged woman with whom he falls in love. A major subplot concerns Joel's secret dealings with his stateside son to prepare for escape from Bologna if necessary. Eventually, the CIA leaks Joel's whereabouts to his enemies, who dispatch killing teams. Can Joel broker his way to safety? There's some depth to the troubled relationship between Joel and his tutor, but otherwise the novel reads like a contented afterthought to a memorable Italian vacation, with little action or tension, plastic characters and plot turns that a tricycle could maneuver. Still, anyone wishing to learn how and why Bologna built its famed porticos, why to be wary of most Italian desserts and how to send an encrypted wireless message using a global cell phone will find that information cheerfully given here." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Perhaps Grisham deserves a commendation for trying something different, but the spy-chase story has been told often and better by others who know more about it. It's time for Grisham to go back to the courthouse." San Antonio Express-News

Review:

"I had a very good time with The Broker, found Backman believable and charming and interesting, got a few laughs and felt my pulse thumping as the climax approached." Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Most and best of all, it's Grisham living up to his reputation as a great storyteller. Readers looking for a non-stop thrill ride won't find it in The Broker. For those ready to relax and settle into an almost sensuous pace, The Broker is benissimo." USA Today

Review:

"Fans won't be disappointed with the subtle humor, fine plot, and rich character development. Well-constructed and perfectly paced, the book's only disappointment is that it doesn't last longer." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"The Broker is smart, quick and fun. Time will slip by. And like so many of the earlier novels, it has 'major motion picture' written on every page." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"What do you get when you combine a spy thriller with an Italian travel guide? After plodding through The Broker, I decided the answer must be 'John Grisham's tax-deductible vacation.'...As a thriller, it's a not very good travel guide." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)

Review:

"Grisham's weakest output in some time....What had the makings of a solid thriller...turns into one of Grisham's patented cat-and-mouse games, only this time with a lot more mouse than cat and a ton more tedium than thrills." Denver Post

Review:

"A tense situation and pacing, pacing, pacing will keep readers turning the pages of John Grisham's latest thriller....It's a good choice for killing time on a long flight, train ride or daily commute." Boston Herald

Review:

"A novel that is more travelogue than anything, with a smattering of spy mumbo-jumbo and sinister developments and a late-in-the-game chase. Grisham usually makes your pulse race but that will only happen if you drink cappuccino while you read." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"[F]ast-paced, entertaining and suspenseful....Traditional Grisham fans will be required to make a few mental adjustments, but still they will find another well-written and exciting thriller to help pass the time during the cold winter evenings to come." BookReporter.com

Review:

"[Grisham is] talented enough to keep The Broker intermittently interesting. But ultimately, The Broker is the printed equivalent of a breath mint. It might cause momentary tingling, but nothing more." Dallas-Ft. Worth Star Telegram

Review:

"It's certainly Mr. Grisham's prerogative to try new things, and to make his own personal escape from the thriller format. But The Broker switches gears so drastically that it seems to be two separate novels in a single binding." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Review:

"Lest Grisham fans worry, they should be assured that none of this emotional interplay lapses into sentimentality. The international killers are ferocious, even if depicted sketchily. And the author's command of pop fiction delivers crisp, sharp prose." Boston Globe

Review:

"It's tempting to dismiss Grisham's debut spy thriller as just undercooked fast-food fare. But Grisham is a fine writer, with a talent (like Conan Doyle) for creating memorable characters in even his weakest work." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"If you will be satisfied with a workmanlike spy-cum-politics novel, with some first-rate cloak and dagger intrigue, an uplifting vignette of father-son redemption and a poignant pastiche of unrequited love, then The Broker is the book for you." Alan M. Dershowitz, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Zippy but uneventful, the book tastes like something Robert Ludlum left sitting on his stove when he died....Grisham's novels are never boring, but this one is padded and unconvincing. (Grade: C" Entertainment Weekly

Synopsis:

Grisham's latest #1 New York Times bestseller about a Washington power broker, who is pardoned by the President of his crimes and used by the CIA as bait for international assassins, is now in paperback.

Synopsis:

With 14 years left on a 20-year sentence, notorious Washington power broker Joel Backman receives a surprise pardon. But Backman has serious enemies from his past. As the CIA watches him closely, the question is not whether he will be killed, but rather who will kill him first.

About the Author

John Grisham is the author of Skipping Christmas, The Summons, A Painted House, The Brethren, The Testament, The Street Lawyer, The Partner, The Runaway Jury, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, The Client, The Pelican Brief, The Firm, and A Time to Kill. He lives with his family in Mississippi and Virginia.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

redrockbookworm, July 22, 2008 (view all comments by redrockbookworm)
A political and social commentary in disguise. The theme seems to be we are a corrupt country where outgoing Presidents grant last minute pardons to convicted felons for large sums of money in order to assure a secure lifestyle after they leave office(Clinton??), are easily manipulated and are not too bright (Ford, Carter, Bush), and that the CIA really runs the entire show. (That takes care of the first couple of chapters).

After that we are given lessons in the Italian language(did Grisham just get back from a trip to Italy and is attempting to impress us with his fluency in the language), as well as a long, boring tour of the countryside. (This fills the middle of the book).

The final chapters are so contrived and unbelieveable it's like a fairy tale. In the real world, our hero would have been a dead man long before he was able elude his pursuers and "pull off" this caper. (Or perhaps our government agencies are really that inept......another political comment???)

All in all, this was a poor attempt. Pleeeeeeze, give me another Firm, or King of Torts......or anything but this.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
augmendoza, July 24, 2007 (view all comments by augmendoza)
The book is a refreshing escape from the typical Grisham courtroom-centric fare. I got the idea that John Grisham took a lovely break in Italy and decided that it would make a great setting for a novel (and with his earnings what a break it must have been.) This was also evident in The Partner, set in a the remote western rain forests of Brazil. The Fodor's Travel Guide detail of Italy works well as a backdrop for the hiding of a federal parolee who needs to disappear as terms for his parole. The nasty devil-in-the-details is that his very early parole is due to the fact that the CIA wants to observe which of his many powerful enemies will step-up and whack him. As in his other novels Grisham unwinds a thoroughly entertaining yarn that makes you feel like you just watched a fun movie. It's certainly not his best but this is primo beach reading (I literally read this sitting on a hotel balcony overlooking the Gulf of Mexico in Galveston while sipping a Dos Equis.)

Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
mm1990, June 5, 2007 (view all comments by mm1990)
I thought it was a great book. It kept you on the edge of your seat. It introduced you to the italian languege. A theme that constantly shows up in this novel is the concept that any normal person can be a hero. Joel Backmen was only a civilian lawyer, but he outran/lost professional assasins that were after him.
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(5 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780440241584
Author:
Grisham, John
Publisher:
Dell Publishing Company
Subject:
Espionage/Intrigue
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Attempted murder
Subject:
Legal stories
Subject:
Italy
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Penology
Subject:
Popular Fiction-Technothrillers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
20051131
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
6.96x4.17x1.19 in. .46 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Contemporary Thrillers
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Technothrillers

The Broker Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Dell Publishing Company - English 9780440241584 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Readers will find an amiable travelogue to Italy and its charms in Grisham's latest. What they won't find are the suspense and inspired plotting that have made the author (The Last Juror, etc.) one of the world's bestselling writers. Yet Grisham remains a smooth storyteller, and few will fail to finish this oddball tale of what happens to ruined D.C. powerbroker Joel Blackman, 52, when he's suddenly released from federal prison after six years. Teddy Maynard, legendary CIA director, has engineered the release in order to put Joel into a variant of the witness protection program and then see who kills him. Many want him dead — the Saudis, the Israelis, especially the Chinese — because of his role in trying to sell a global satellite spy system that would alter the world's balance of power; that was what got Joel imprisoned, and the CIA hopes that whoever kills him will clue them in to who may have access to the satellites. Joel is relocated to Bologna, and much of the narrative consists of his touring that city, its historic sights and its many restaurants, and learning Italian ways from his male handler, Luigi, and his language tutor, Francesca — a middle-aged woman with whom he falls in love. A major subplot concerns Joel's secret dealings with his stateside son to prepare for escape from Bologna if necessary. Eventually, the CIA leaks Joel's whereabouts to his enemies, who dispatch killing teams. Can Joel broker his way to safety? There's some depth to the troubled relationship between Joel and his tutor, but otherwise the novel reads like a contented afterthought to a memorable Italian vacation, with little action or tension, plastic characters and plot turns that a tricycle could maneuver. Still, anyone wishing to learn how and why Bologna built its famed porticos, why to be wary of most Italian desserts and how to send an encrypted wireless message using a global cell phone will find that information cheerfully given here." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Perhaps Grisham deserves a commendation for trying something different, but the spy-chase story has been told often and better by others who know more about it. It's time for Grisham to go back to the courthouse."
"Review" by , "I had a very good time with The Broker, found Backman believable and charming and interesting, got a few laughs and felt my pulse thumping as the climax approached."
"Review" by , "Most and best of all, it's Grisham living up to his reputation as a great storyteller. Readers looking for a non-stop thrill ride won't find it in The Broker. For those ready to relax and settle into an almost sensuous pace, The Broker is benissimo."
"Review" by , "Fans won't be disappointed with the subtle humor, fine plot, and rich character development. Well-constructed and perfectly paced, the book's only disappointment is that it doesn't last longer."
"Review" by , "The Broker is smart, quick and fun. Time will slip by. And like so many of the earlier novels, it has 'major motion picture' written on every page."
"Review" by , "What do you get when you combine a spy thriller with an Italian travel guide? After plodding through The Broker, I decided the answer must be 'John Grisham's tax-deductible vacation.'...As a thriller, it's a not very good travel guide."
"Review" by , "Grisham's weakest output in some time....What had the makings of a solid thriller...turns into one of Grisham's patented cat-and-mouse games, only this time with a lot more mouse than cat and a ton more tedium than thrills."
"Review" by , "A tense situation and pacing, pacing, pacing will keep readers turning the pages of John Grisham's latest thriller....It's a good choice for killing time on a long flight, train ride or daily commute."
"Review" by , "A novel that is more travelogue than anything, with a smattering of spy mumbo-jumbo and sinister developments and a late-in-the-game chase. Grisham usually makes your pulse race but that will only happen if you drink cappuccino while you read."
"Review" by , "[F]ast-paced, entertaining and suspenseful....Traditional Grisham fans will be required to make a few mental adjustments, but still they will find another well-written and exciting thriller to help pass the time during the cold winter evenings to come."
"Review" by , "[Grisham is] talented enough to keep The Broker intermittently interesting. But ultimately, The Broker is the printed equivalent of a breath mint. It might cause momentary tingling, but nothing more."
"Review" by , "It's certainly Mr. Grisham's prerogative to try new things, and to make his own personal escape from the thriller format. But The Broker switches gears so drastically that it seems to be two separate novels in a single binding."
"Review" by , "Lest Grisham fans worry, they should be assured that none of this emotional interplay lapses into sentimentality. The international killers are ferocious, even if depicted sketchily. And the author's command of pop fiction delivers crisp, sharp prose."
"Review" by , "It's tempting to dismiss Grisham's debut spy thriller as just undercooked fast-food fare. But Grisham is a fine writer, with a talent (like Conan Doyle) for creating memorable characters in even his weakest work."
"Review" by , "If you will be satisfied with a workmanlike spy-cum-politics novel, with some first-rate cloak and dagger intrigue, an uplifting vignette of father-son redemption and a poignant pastiche of unrequited love, then The Broker is the book for you."
"Review" by , "Zippy but uneventful, the book tastes like something Robert Ludlum left sitting on his stove when he died....Grisham's novels are never boring, but this one is padded and unconvincing. (Grade: C"
"Synopsis" by , Grisham's latest #1 New York Times bestseller about a Washington power broker, who is pardoned by the President of his crimes and used by the CIA as bait for international assassins, is now in paperback.
"Synopsis" by , With 14 years left on a 20-year sentence, notorious Washington power broker Joel Backman receives a surprise pardon. But Backman has serious enemies from his past. As the CIA watches him closely, the question is not whether he will be killed, but rather who will kill him first.
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