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Book Club – The Racketeer

Good morning, good morning, good morning!

Well, what did y’all think of our latest read, John Gr.isham’s “The R.acketeer?”

I thought it was okay, nothing spectacular.  The first half of the book just plodded along and the second half wrapped everything up pretty neatly.  Too neatly really.  I know this was a work of fiction, but there didn’t seem to be any real impediments to the plan that Malcom Bannister and his friends pulled off and I was surprised at the lack of barriers in the story.  Additionally – and I’ve said this before – I like to have someone to root for (or against) in a story and I just didn’t find myself that vested in any character in the book one way or another.

This was the first Gr.isham book I’ve ever read and I was expecting more of a page-turning thriller.  Guess that just was not to be.

Anyhoo, go forth to the comments and let the discussion begin.  As always, I’ll jump in with my thoughts and opinions throughout the day.

If you weren’t able to join us for this read, I certainly hope you’ll consider joining us next go ’round.



17 thoughts on “Book Club – The Racketeer

  1. This was your first JG novel? How? I guess b/c I’ve got the legal background, I find his books fascinating. Try “The Litigators” on for size. There are definitely some barriers in that one.

    I liked this book. It read like a screenplay to me. I loved the fact that Malcolm was Black and was a “good guy” who knew how to use the law. I considered him fairly brilliant to be able to put things into play like that. Call me crazy, but I liked the twist in the book. I hate to read predictable plots. Having the judge’s killer not be what’s-his-face was a good twist. Up until then, I thought Malcolm was gonna get got, lol.

    This book was light on legalese and heavier on action to me. That was a bit different, but I still liked it. Again, it seemed like he wrote it with it being turned into a movie at some point. His other books were written as books and they happen to turn into movies. This one? Not so much.

    I like Ocean’s 11/Ocean’s Eleven, The Sting, etc. so capers with intricate cons intrigue me.

    • I’ve heard The Litigators was good – I’m going to give it a try. I started reading “A Time to Kill,” but decided that it would be more than I could stand and quit before I got started good.

      I could totally see this as a movie, and think this may be one of the rare cases where I’d enjoy the movie more than the book. I just kept waiting for “something” to happen and it didn’t seem like it ever did. I was glad that their plan succeeded, but wouldn’t have been dismayed had it not.

      There seems to be a lot of wronged black men getting back at the government as of late. Okay, maybe not a lot, but I surely thought about D.orner as I finished this book up. I am surprised that more people don’t fight harder against this system of ours which can be pretty unjust.

      • Time to Kill was his first and I think his best book. I still cry when I read it. You will be angry…but its REALLY good. I actually might suggest it as a book club read. I can read it over and over again.

  2. I also thought it was OK. It wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t memorable at all. I got an inkling that Malcolm and Quinn had something going on pretty early, but I didn’t really know how it was going to play out. I thought the scenes where they were faux-filming the documentary in order to set up Nathaniel took entirely too long. But I have to admit he stayed scheming (word to Rick Ross) and got over on the government which was pretty funny. One thing I do love about Grisham is that he writes fully fleshed out African American characters and he always has. He really shines at that. I would recommend this as a library check out but not a buy..Normally Grisham is a must buy, not this time though.

    • Now he was smart as all get out – and I did appreciate that. Far smarter than me, ’cause Smoochy and I would be sitting around looking at gold bars with no clue in the world as to how to cash them out!

      And old girl was ride or die – the way she fell for his incarcerated self AND agreed to help out with that plan? I’m not sure my husband could’ve talked me into that!

      I’m going to try another Grisham book – but the next one will be courtesy of the library and not my shallow pockets. Thanks for the suggestion – I look forward to reading more by him.

      • Stick with the older Grishams. It made me a true fan of his. I saw this book coming out and instantly pre-ordered it so it was on Snookie the day it came out.

  3. I ewnjoyed the book. Since I got my Kindle for Christmas 2011, I have been flying through books. Sometimes so fast that they become a blur. This book was like many others that I’ve read. At least IMO it wasn’t predictable. I wasn’t sure what was happening with the Witness Protection program, was it compromised or was there a mole selling information. I also was sure if Quinn Rucker was guilty or not. The most unbelievable part was when Vanessa was rooting around in Nathan’s cabin/trailer all by herself in the middle of the woods! Wouldn’t have been me. And then she actually finds the gold and drags it to a truck all by herself. Those parts of the story were a little far fetched to me. And all of the traveling on and off planes, up and down I-95 was making me dizzy.

    But all in all, it was a good easy read for me. A lot of twists and turns that kept my interest. I also didn’t have feelings for any of the characters. In the end I wasn’t super glad that Malcom stuck it to the Gov’t. But I wanted to be…

    • I am all about e-books! I don’t have a Kindle, but use the app on my tablet. Having access to so many books on one device has increased the number of books I read as well.

      The whole time I was reading I kept expecting to learn that Bannister was at least a little guilty of something! What did you think of the way he set Coley/Cooley up – particularly getting him thrown in Jamaican jail? I couldn’t decide if I were cool with that or not even though he was guilty of murder.

      • That was so cold blooded to set him up like that, even for a muderer. I didn’t wnat to feel sorry for him but I kinda did. lol

  4. It was okay. It took a while to get to the turning point. I don’t usually read J. Grisham novels – the last one that I read was The Pelican Brief some time ago. I was glad that Malcolm finally had his moment of victory, but it took a heck of a long time/lots of characters to get to it.

    • I found myself getting a little confused by the number of characters at a few points in the book. I’d have to go back and read the previous page or two to make sure I had the right person in mind as I was reading. I think shortening this book by 50/60 pages would’ve gone a long way in increasing my positive feelings about it.

      Like I said earlier, I’m going to try “The Litigators.” If I don’t care for it, it’ll be a long, long time before I pick up another of his works.

  5. Sounds like y’all had a good read and review session. I did not join you for this chapter of the book club but I look forward to being with you page turners for the next installment.

    Happy Reading!

  6. @Laughing 808, Kurlylicious, and Mamasez – holding you ladies to it! Really hope you’ll join us for our next read and discussion! Any suggestions on what we should read next?

  7. I enjoy Kimberla Lawson Roby, she just wrote a novel, The Perfect Marriage, it is not what you think the title implies, it was a page turner! I really want to discuss it! Check it out please.

  8. I read this months ago when it came out. I love Grisham.

    Anyway…I read it so long ago…that I really don’t remember it very well. I know I read it in about 2 days…because his style is so readable to me. I remember telling my mother it was a cross between The Firm and another book that I don’t recall. She is a huge fan of Grisham as well.

    i have a disk of books that I can send you…or are you familiar with dropbox? I can send you files. I have several Grishams on there as well as Pattersons, etc. Its almost 1000 books.

    Heck…let me give it to everyone and that way we can choose books off that disk! 🙂 You get a free book! You get a free book! YOUUUUU get a free book!

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