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The Testament: A Novel
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The Testament: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

John Grisham
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,058 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 11.99
Kindle Price: CDN$ 8.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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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.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1662 KB
  • Print Length: 460 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385493800
  • Publisher: Dell; Reissue edition (March 16 2010)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003B02O7I
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,058 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #10,465 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Master storyteller June 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Grisham has literally before our eyes turned into a master storyteller with his book, THE TESTAMENT. His characterizations are vivid in depth portrayals and his smooth plots go down like a shot of Jack Daniels on a hot summer afternoon. As the plot the book progresses, the characters find themselves in life-and-death situations, entangled in the legal process, and fighting against others and their own wills. Will Nate ever find Rachel? And if so, what is she like? Will she accept Troy's fortune? Will the greedy Phelan family get to it first? The Testament has a detailed and gripping plot, threading the legal world to that of our own actions and resolve. John Grisham has written another best seller, one that everyone is sure to appreciate. Not since McCrae's THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and Grisham's KING OF TORTS have I so enjoyed a book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Obsess Much? June 21 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John Grisham has written a novel with almost no sympathetic characters. There's a huge amount of money to be divided up by an eccentric billionaire...all of his relatives are greedy, almost worthless human beings. Nate, the guy sent to find one last heir, is a recovering alcoholic/drug addict...I personally didn't care who got the money, but John Grisham really seems to be obsessed with large amounts of money. Grisham's books are typically page turners, but this one was a tough one to plow through.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT WHAT I EXPECTED! June 28 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback was a good read. I was expecting something a little more thrilling, a little more intense and exciting. But the slower pace of this book still kept my attention. Grisham has a good writing style and had no trouble getting me interested in the story, the location, the people. Parts of it were like a travel documentary, but surprisingly I found it all interesting. I was never at the edge of my seat, but never wanted to put the book down.
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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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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Like clockwork, John Grisham churns out at least one novel a year, as he has for the past eight years. The Testament, his most recent in paperback, meets all the basic requirements of his previous novels (legalese with tension), but it has a new twist that sets it apart from the rest.
Grisham attracted the attention of litigious America in 1992 with his first novel, A Time to Kill, the tale of a lawyer defending a black Vietnam war-hero who killed the men who raped his child. Since then, Grisham's lawyers have found themselves in different compelling plots that make for enjoyable reads without inundating the reader with any deeper meaning.
With The Testament, Grisham seems to have left his usually formulaic writing behind - here he creates a deeper, more involved story.
Troy Phelan is planning his last will and testament and wants to make sure that his good-for-nothing, money-grubbing children don't get their hands on a red cent of his 11-billion dollar fortune. He plans everything down to the most minute detail and then jumps off a balcony to his death.
When the will is finally read to his heirs, everyone is surprised to learn that every last penny is left to Rachel Lane, an unknown, illegitimate daughter of Phelan's, currently working as a missionary in a Brazilian jungle.
Josh Stafford and his law firm must ensure Phelan's last wishes are carried through - the first and most difficult task falls upon the shoulders of Nate O'Riley.
O'Riley has just finished a stay at a detox center, one of many such programs he has been through. Stafford and his partners decide that sending O'Riley to South America might be the best way to keep him away from the stresses of the law firm for just a little longer.
Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant Read May 26 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To start with, I take issue to annmason1, who wrote the review "Hogie Sandwhich". She obviously has trouble with Grisham and his stories...why read him if you have so many hangups with the man's talent? I also must add that hogies down here in the south must be MUCH different than they are in the pacific northwest, because here in Dixie we pile on the meat.
And to be honest, southern-boy John Grisham did the same in this book-piled on the meat. I won't go so far as to say this is better, or even in the ballpark, with "The Firm" and "Pelican Brief", but it is on par with "The Client", "The Chamber", and "Runaway Jury".
There are moments in the book, as there are in ANY book, that people will look at as nothing but filler (or bread, as it where, since we are on this sandwhich kick at the moment). But as a whole, the story is well-written, superbly laid out, and flows easily from beginning to end.
If only ALL hogies sandwhiches could say that...
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Testament
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. Read more
Published 4 months ago by joeyrou
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Great read. As usual, Grisham's detailed writing brings you right into the story and makes you feel like you've been there.
Published 7 months ago by Rita lagacé
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
One of his best ! Would highly recommend. Like new even though I bought it used. I like it. Thank you.
Published 8 months ago by Benoit Marleau
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT READ
Published 20 months ago by DEANNA
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and interesting book
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. Read more
Published on Feb. 2 2012 by D. Paine
4.0 out of 5 stars A study in wicked estate planning
I've read about 6 or 7 other Grisham books so far -- all very well written. This one, The Testament, is quite good but not excellent on a Grisham standard. Read more
Published on Aug. 8 2011 by Pat the cat
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
That book was hard to put down and, as a consequence, dishes and laundry were piling up over the weekend. Read more
Published on Sept. 14 2009 by Dark Chocolate
5.0 out of 5 stars A Testament to Great Writing
This is in my opinion the best John Grisham book there is. All of his books can keep a reader interested, but weaker ones like King of Torts and The Brethern don't make the reader... Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2008 by Harris Macklin
3.0 out of 5 stars A Nutty Billionaire, Hapless Heirs, Greedy Lawyers, a Brazilian Search...
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... Read more
Published on June 21 2008 by Donald Mitchell
3.0 out of 5 stars A Nutty Billionaire, Hapless Heirs, Greedy Lawyers, a Brazilian Search...
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... Read more
Published on June 21 2008 by Donald Mitchell
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