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5.0 out of 5 stars John Grisham is always a good read.
John Grisham is my favorite crime writer! I love The Pelican Brief as a suspenseful fast paced read. You always get transported into the midst of all the angst without being in danger yourself!! Love it.
Published 4 months ago by Heather Cormack

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3.0 out of 5 stars not grisham's best
i don't regard this as grisham's best novel, as it is a bit weak both in content and in narration.
the pace is fast, but i won't consider them exciting enough... the usual stuff, like killers, sleazy reporters, innocent protagonists, dirty politicians etcetc. they are somewhat expected. and i'm espcially not happy with the ending, for the final romance is utterly...
Published on April 30 2004 by rony


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5.0 out of 5 stars John Grisham is always a good read., March 14 2014
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John Grisham is my favorite crime writer! I love The Pelican Brief as a suspenseful fast paced read. You always get transported into the midst of all the angst without being in danger yourself!! Love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded my expectations!!, Aug. 5 2013
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You have asked if this novel "me my expectations"?... As with every novel I have read by John Grisham it not only met my expectations, it picked them up and took them on a wild ride and left them breathless on the curb! My expectations and I can't wait for the next time!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Grisham's best, Dec 4 2003
By 
K. Koschnitzki (Laramie, WY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Audio Cassette)
Grisham's books have been progressively less good after A Time to Kill, The Firm and The Pelican Brief. The Pelican Brief, particularly as read by Anthony Heald, is quite good. Once the reader accepts that Grisham's plots are absurd, these early books are well written with clever characterizations and very enjoyable. Heald's work is especialy good. The book is better by far than the movie version.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Pelican Brief�s Suspension of the Unknown, Feb. 20 2003
By 
trippfox (Denver, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Mass Market Paperback)
In The Pelican Brief by John Grisham, suspense is used to keep the reader's attention. Darby Shaw is an innocent student of law who comes up with a theory as to who committed murders, and she calls this the Pelican Brief. Unbenownced to her, she has uncovered the true murderers. When they get a hold of her brief, her world changes drastically. Grisham uses a tactic where he leads the reader in one direction and then suddenly the story goes a different direction. We come to realize that this type of device used by Grisham often makes us keep reading because we want to find out what is going to happen to the character in the next scene.

At the beginning of the novel, Grisham lacks the use of suspension. This makes it hard for us to read when we have no real drastic change that quickly changes our point of view. As soon as Thomas Callahan dies from a car explosion we come to realize that Darby's life is at stake. When she is scared and is living in hotels where anyone can find her, we are left in suspense where we don't know what is going to happen to her. Later on in the novel, we follow Darby and Gray Grantham through the underground just waiting for them to be caught.
In the end the device of suspense is what keeps the reader interested throughout the novel. It keeps us waiting to find out if the good or the evil of the world will win the battle. Any part of a novel without suspense, which we discover in the beginning, is not keeping our attention. Once our opinions keep changing we keep wanting to read more and more about how the character ends up. Suspension helps make us more open to new opinions and quick changes in our own world; although, Grisham uses this to make us more attentive to his story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasant and necessary inside info for the movie, Feb. 19 2010
By 
stillalbertaone (British Columbia, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Mass Market Paperback)
THe movie was great, but having seen it repeatedly, and enjoying it every time, I was astounded at the extra information the book provided. Now I understand what was missing from an already outstanding story covered in the film. Thanks to John Grishams writing skills, drawing from his personal experiences and his astute grasp on current attitudes and reactions, this is indeed A WINNER..GLR
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4.0 out of 5 stars Corrupt Lawyers Act on Behalf of a Corrupt Client to Manipulate Corrupt Politicians and Be Chased by Investigative Reporters, April 24 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Mass Market Paperback)
If you are thinking about going to law school, this wouldn't be a bad novel to read to get a sense of what the profession is all about before you commit yourself to three expensive (and potentially boring) years of education. I don't recall a book that displays so many of the corrupt sides of legal practice and education in a single fictional tale. If that weren't enough, the book also delves deeply into the international assassination genre and creates a modern-day fictional version of investigating a government cover-up at the highest levels, a la Watergate.

But a pure heart among all the jaded ones can make a difference . . . that's the morale of this story as beautiful, dedicated, and brilliant law student Darby Shaw speculates on what motive might tie the assassination of two Supreme Court justices back to a pending legal case. Improbably (the weakest part of the story), she sniffs out the potential that no one else does -- that this is an attempt to fix an appeal.

The Pelican Brief as a title is a misnomer. Darby writes her thoughts (a crude essay, not a brief) about what might be going on and shares them with her professor lover who passes them along to a counsel for the FBI. Pretty soon someone is taking her ideas seriously, and the pages will fly through your fingers as fast as you can read until you get to the end.

John Grisham doesn't quite have his genres down in this book, and apparently the success of The Firm meant that his editors were more interested in getting The Pelican Brief published than making it better. You could fix this novel into a five-star effort with about two hours of editing to reduce the improbabilities and speed up the slow parts.

But if you don't mind having unlikely events pull a riveting story together, you'll have a lot of fun with The Pelican Brief. I listened to the reading by Alexander Adams and felt that the story worked better listened to than it would be if read silently.

I admire John Grisham for the imagination to conceive of such a wild story. He kept surprising me with his plot developments, and the trip was almost all fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It had to be a movie, July 16 2007
This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Mass Market Paperback)
Okay, saw the movie first, then read the book. Ordinarily this would not have worked for me as they don't do justice to books in film, but I liked the pacing and way both media were handled. THE PELICAN BRIEF is truly a page turner, and if you liked THE FIRM, you'll warm to this one right off. Fact is, I think it's even better. Plot: A tulane law student comes up with a theory about how and why to Supreme Court Justices are assinated. Trouble is, it's a good guess. All this is politically linked and you'll find the usual good cop bad cop situations. Car bombs, car chases, escapes, and nail-biting scenes make up PELICAN, and the premise, follow through, and writing are all great. Have read two other books I really liked recently, though totally different from Grisham's style and content, and those were "Hotel New Hampshire" by Irving, and a wacky southern gothic funny/disturbing book titled "Bark of the Dogwood." All are great, but you just can't go wrong with a Grisham thriller.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a very intellectual review of the pelican brief, May 26 2004
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This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Hardcover)
John Grisham fans will not need to worry about being disappointed with this fast-paced thriller. The Pelican Brief, like many other novels that he has written is based on law. It has a thrilling plot and is suspenseful from the moment you lay your eyes on the first page. It will keep you reading into the small hours of the morning.
Most of Grisham's characters are related to law or to the government. Thomas Callahan is a professor at law, while Darby Shaw is a student of law. The rest of the characters are government officials and such.
The story begins with the murders of two supreme court justices. Supreme Court Justice Abe Rosenberg and Justice Glenn Jensen are both murdered on the same night by the same guy. Both murders where perfectly executed crimes. The murderer left no evidence and nothing for the government to pick up on.
After hearing about the murders, Darby Shaw gets quite interested decides to do some investigating of her own. After a few days of skipping classes and thorough research Darby put together a theory on what she found. She discarded it later on facts she thought proved it false. Thomas Callahan, a professor at Tulane, is having an affair with Darby. He takes her theory to an old friend in D.C. thinking it was ingenious. His friend, Gavin, thought it was amazing and sent it to the White house. It got to the president and eventually made its way outside of the White house.
When Thomas returned to Tulane, him and Darby went out to eat at a restaurant. Thomas got so drunk that Darby refused to ride with him. Thomas , being stubborn as he is, wouldn't let Darby drive and got in the car and when he started the engine a bomb went off. Darby hit her head on a bumper and got knocked out. While she was regaining consciousness a man dressed in a police uniform took her to a car asked her what her name was and then left her in the car. The police arrived soon after and found her lying there. The police deny that the man was part of the law enforcement.
The police took Darby to a nearby hospital and told her to wait there for help. She leaves when they are out of sight and gets a room at a hotel. She calls the only person she can think of at the moment, Gavin. She then finds out that she is a suspect at the murder of Thomas and the only person she can trust is his best friend.
This novel will take you through many twists and turns. It is gripping and will have you reading through to the very last word. Darby's theory has made someone very upset and they will go at all costs to have her executed. All Darby did was write down her best guess at the murders and now she is running for her life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 'The pelican became the hero', May 24 2004
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This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Mass Market Paperback)
"The politicians from the governors down took the oil money and played along. All was well, and so what if some of the marshlands suffered."
Years ago I would read every Grisham book that came out. John Grisham is a fellow southerner, born and raised in Mississippi, schooled at Ole Miss. His characters remind me so much of the people I grew up with, remind me of my home. The Firm is my least favorite of his books which is surprising since the setting for that story is in my hometown of Memphis, TN; the movie was even worse since whoever directed or produced it totally botched the ending.
I read this book in one day in my backyard. I lay motionless in a lounge chair only moving the muscles in my thumb and forefinger; I've never read a book like that in my entire life!
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3.0 out of 5 stars not grisham's best, April 30 2004
By 
rony (Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pelican Brief (Hardcover)
i don't regard this as grisham's best novel, as it is a bit weak both in content and in narration.
the pace is fast, but i won't consider them exciting enough... the usual stuff, like killers, sleazy reporters, innocent protagonists, dirty politicians etcetc. they are somewhat expected. and i'm espcially not happy with the ending, for the final romance is utterly unconvincing.
i am also disappointed at the characterisation. Darby Shaw lacks depth, and has the character of the average heroine.
if you want grisham's best in words (not movies), go for THE CLIENT, THE RAINMAKER or THE FIRM. they're all my favourite.
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The Pelican Brief by John Grisham (Mass Market Paperback - Feb. 1 1993)
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