Micro review: Rooster Bar is a riveting legal thriller

1 year ago TNN 0

Bestselling author John Grisham comes up with an insightful novel highlighting the flawed world of for-profit legal education. In Rooster Bar, the former attorney Grisham picks up a few real-life scandals that focus on a group of law students.

Grisham’s latest legal thriller centres around Foggy Bottom Law School in Washington D.C. and a group of third year students, Mark, Todd and Zola. When the sizzle of the school’s false promises fades out, they learn the hard truth: Law is an elitist profession, and anybody with a dubious pedigree will face terrible job prospects and even worse debts. Their world changes when their friend Gordy Tanner commits suicide before proving a conspiracy theory he was working on. Gordy’s plan was to reveal that Foggy Bottom Law School admits unqualified students to profit from their student loans. Also, the school’s owner, a Wall-Street investor, owns a bank that specializes in student lending. Gordy’s death makes Mark, Todd, and Zola drop out of school as they soon realise they are the end products of a scam. They must change their identities to avoid creditors, and practice law without a license.

Grisham’s intelligent wordplay and well-constructed characters make the book all the more enchanting. Though the story is fiction, the premise is very much real and Grisham himself reveals in the author’s note that it was influenced by an article in the Atlantic called “The Law-School Scam”. The book has its moments of suspense and one would get a good deal of legal knowledge from the author’s take on the profession.

How critics view the book:

The Washington Post writes, “Bravo to Grisham for using his star power to shine another spotlight on an all-too-real problem in this gratifying and all-too-real book.”

The New York Times writes in a review, “As in all of Grisham’s best books, the reader of “The Rooster Bar” gets good company, a vigorous runaround and — unlike those poor benighted suckers at Foggy Bottom — a bit of a legal education.”

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