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The Testament [Hardcover]

John Grisham
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,058 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 41.00
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Book Description

Feb. 2 1999
Troy Phelan is a self-made billionaire, one of the richest men in the United States.  He is also eccentric, reclusive, confined to a wheelchair, and looking for a way to die.  His heirs, to no one's surprise--especially Troy's--are circling like vultures.

Nate O'Riley is a high-octane Washington litigator who's lived too hard, too fast, for too long.  His second marriage in a shambles, and he is emerging from his fourth stay in rehab armed with little more than his fragile sobriety, good intentions, and resilient sense of humor.  Returning to the real world is always difficult, but this time it's going to be murder.

Rachel Lane is a young woman who chose to give her life to God, who walked away from the modern world with all its strivings and trappings and encumbrances, and went to live and work with a primitive tribe of Indians in the deepest jungles of Brazil.

In a story that mixes legal suspense with a remarkable adventure, their lives are forever altered by the startling secret of The Testament.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Troy Phelan, a 78-year-old eccentric and the 10th-richest man in America, is about to read his last will and testament, divvying up an estate worth $11 billion. Phelan's three ex-wives, their grasping spawn, a legion of lawyers, several psychiatrists, and a plethora of sound technicians wait breathlessly, all eyes glued to digital monitors as they watch the old man read his verdict. But Phelan shocks everyone with a bizarre, last-gasp attempt to redistribute the spoils, setting in motion a legal morality tale of a contested will, sin, and redemption.

Our hero, Nate O'Riley--a washed-up, alcoholic litigator with two ruined marriages in his wake and the IRS on his tail--is dispatched to the Brazilian wetlands in search of a mysterious heir named in the will. After a harrowing trip upriver to a remote settlement in the Pantanal, he encounters Rachel Lane, a pure-hearted missionary living with an indigenous tribe and carrying out "God's work." Rachel's grave dedication and kindness impress the jaded lawyer, so much that a nasty bout of dengue fever leads him to a vision that could change his life.

Back in the States, the legal proceedings drag on and Grisham has a high time with Phelan's money-hungry descendents, a regrettable bunch who squandered millions, married strippers, got druggy, and befriended the Mob. The youngest son, Ramble, is a multi-pierced, tattoo-covered malcontent with big dreams for his rock band, the Demon Monkeys. Will Nate get straight with Rachel's aid? Do the greedy heirs get theirs? What's the real legacy of a lifetime's work? The Testament is classic Grisham: a down-and-out lawyer, a lot of money, an action-packed pursuit, and the highest issues at stake. It's not just about great characters; it's about the question of what character is. --Rebekah Warren

From Publishers Weekly

A traditional gangbuster Grisham opening?in which an aged billionaire outfoxes his greedy heirs by signing a bombshell will, then jumps to his death?gives little clue how this seductive tale will develop. The novel also features the usual attorney hero and legal action, but Grisham confounds expectations by sweeping readers into adventure in the Brazilian wetlands and, more urgently, into a man's search for spiritual renewal. Nate O'Riley, 48, is a drunk. He's also a top D.C. attorney who, winding up his fourth rehab stint in 10 years, is asked by his firm to find one Rachel Lane. The illegitimate daughter to whom the firm's client, tycoon Troy Phelan, has left his entire $11 billion fortune, Rachel is a missionary-physician tending Indians somewhere in Brazil's Pantanal region. Nate's experiences there prove nightmarish, including fierce storms, a plane crash, dangerous animals, hunger and, finally, dengue fever, which nearly kills him. But as Grisham crosscuts from Brazil to D.C. and the sleazy machinations of Phelan's other children and their lawyers to negate Phelan's will, readers will wonder which is the real jungle; never has Grisham revealed so nakedly his contempt for the legal profession. What Grisham holds dear is made clear in his unforgettable portrait of Rachel, whose serenity and integrity stun Nate, while inspiring him to forsake forever his lust for booze, power and money and to turn toward God. The message (which isn't entirely new to Grisham; see The Street Lawyer) and the storytelling that conveys it aren't subtle, but Grisham's smart use of the suspense novel to explore questions of being and faith puts him squarely in the footsteps of Dickens and Graham Greene. Sincere, exciting and tinged with wonder, this novel is going to sell like an angel, and deservedly so. Agent, David Gernert. 2.8 million first printing. (On-sale date: Feb. 1)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Testament May 17 2014
By joeyrou
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed this John Grisham book. You never knew just what was going to happen to the family or the money even when he found the rightful heir. It was a surprise when he found that she had died in the depths of Brazil.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great read. Feb. 2 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read. As usual, Grisham's detailed writing brings you right into the story and makes you feel like you've been there.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book Dec 23 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of his best ! Would highly recommend. Like new even though I bought it used. I like it. Thank you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ Jan. 13 2013
By DEANNA
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
ANYTHING JOHN GRISHAM WRITES IS TERRIFIC, YOU LEARN ABOUT MANY THINGS & YOU CAN'T PUT THE BOOK DOWN. I WOULD RECOMMEND ALL OF HIS BOOKS.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and interesting book Feb. 2 2012
Format:Paperback
This is the first book by Grisham I have ever read because his stuff doesn't normally interest me but this book caught my attention and it was well worth reading. I have over the years read this book more than once. I get a kick out of people ruining their greedy families lives like this.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Troy Phelan, worth $11 billion, loves his business and hates his ex-wives and children. Rumored to be suffering from terminal cancer, Phelan calls the family together to sign a new will. The heirs cooperate by providing psychiatrists to observe and verify that Phelan is in his right mind. That's the apparent game plan, but Phelan has a second and more shocking one. Thus opens The Testament.

Probate law isn't very exciting, and John Grisham decides to dress it up with a cast of characters that are almost parodies of parodies, so much so that they didn't resonate with me. As a result, the "exciting" beginning bored me.

The bulk of the story eventually shifts to recovering alcoholic and drug addict, attorney Nate O'Riley, who is sent straight from rehab to Brazil to find a missing heir, Rachel Lane, who is a medical missionary to the indigenous people there. His journey is harrowing and tests his limited strength to the limits. But the journey also is a beginning of his personal redemption through receiving Salvation for the Lord, Jesus Christ. As soon as the redemption part of the story begins, the book vastly improves. Without that element, I would have rated this as a one- or two-star effort.

It's unusual for a secular writer to put a major Christian theme in a popular work of fiction. I applaud Mr. Grisham for doing so.

I enjoyed the reading by Frank Muller which added a lot of emotional depth to the book that would be missed by simply reading The Testament.

May God bless you, Mr. Grisham!
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Troy Phelan, worth $11 billion, loves his business and hates his ex-wives and children. Rumored to be suffering from terminal cancer, Phelan calls the family together to sign a new will. The heirs cooperate by providing psychiatrists to observe and verify that Phelan is in his right mind. That's the apparent game plan, but Phelan has a second and more shocking one. Thus opens The Testament.

Probate law isn't very exciting, and John Grisham decides to dress it up with a cast of characters that are almost parodies of parodies, so much so that they didn't resonate with me. As a result, the "exciting" beginning bored me.

The bulk of the story eventually shifts to recovering alcoholic and drug addict, attorney Nate O'Riley, who is sent straight from rehab to Brazil to find a missing heir, Rachel Lane, who is a medical missionary to the indigenous people there. His journey is harrowing and tests his limited strength to the limits. But the journey also is a beginning of his personal redemption through receiving Salvation for the Lord, Jesus Christ. As soon as the redemption part of the story begins, the book vastly improves. Without that element, I would have rated this as a one- or two-star effort.

It's unusual for a secular writer to put a major Christian theme in a popular work of fiction. I applaud Mr. Grisham for doing so.

May God bless you, Mr. Grisham!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Book! July 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This was my first John Grisham book and I certainly enjoyed it.
In this book one of the ten richest men in the country(Troy Phelan) has a ceremony to read his last will and testament to
his greedy family.He has three psychiatrists on hand to verify his sanity.After the ceremony ends and the family leaves he
produces a holographic will disinheriting his family and leaving
the entire estate to an illigitemate daughter who is a missionary
in Brazil.Phelan has left each of his children $5 million dollars
on their 21st birthday.They have all squandered the money.In the
meantime the daughter Rachel Lane must be found.
That job is given to lawyer Nate O'Reilly(a rehabbed drunk).He
makes a perilous trip to Brazil to locate the missing heiress.He
discovers that she wants nothing to do with her 11 billion dollar inheritance.Nate returns to America emptyhanded.In the meantime the disinherited heirs and their lawyers are trying every type of legal manuevering to overturn Troy Phelan's will.
It is imperative that Nate return to Brazil and talk to Rachel
Lane again.
This was a very good book that I enjoyed reading.The ending was
shocking.Buy it and read it.
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