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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Interesting story, great main character & an crash course in Italian. Last quarter of the story stepped up in pace. Grisham does not disappoint.
Published 27 days ago by Mealoaf

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3.0 out of 5 stars A great suspense but the author forgot to write the ending....
While reading this book, you will learn a little bit of Italian and get to visit Northern Italy at the same time! Yeah! I've read a few Grisham books and so far I've enjoyed most of his distinctive legal suspense. This is an excellent book for 99% of the way -- and then, it ends brutally with many side plots left hanging and too many loose ends to count. What...
Published 2 months ago by Pat the cat


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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, March 22 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Broker (Kindle Edition)
Interesting story, great main character & an crash course in Italian. Last quarter of the story stepped up in pace. Grisham does not disappoint.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A great suspense but the author forgot to write the ending...., Feb. 5 2014
By 
Pat the cat - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Broker (Paperback)
While reading this book, you will learn a little bit of Italian and get to visit Northern Italy at the same time! Yeah! I've read a few Grisham books and so far I've enjoyed most of his distinctive legal suspense. This is an excellent book for 99% of the way -- and then, it ends brutally with many side plots left hanging and too many loose ends to count. What happened?! I was sitting on the edge of my seat until the end and then bang, nothing. Oh what a disappointing ending. Is there a sequel? Here I was, telling myself how fun it was to read a Grisham book and enjoying how he was cleverly setting up the story, putting in place the various assassins...here I was, worrying for the life of Joel Backman (aka, Marco Lazzeri) and his family/friends, crossing my fingers that they would manage to pull it off and then, it seems like the author gave up and just ended the book with a quick, "that's it folks." We don't know what happens to anybody. Perhaps my paperback was missing pages?! I was going to give it 5/5 stars but now, the best I can do is 3 stars -- i,e.., good, especially if you like reading travelogues featuring Italy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A breath of fresh air, Jan. 26 2014
By 
John T C (Raleigh, NC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Broker (Kindle Edition)
The Broker is an exciting, action packed fiction and page-turner of the top class. I found it as enjoyable as most of his previous titles. I enjoyed this book as a good thriller which left me on the edge of my seat. The characters are masterfully depicted, and so too is the plot. John Grisham's portrayal of international conniving, espionage, conspiracies, betrayal, corruption in government, mystery, suspense, murder and sex are the ingredients that put this book amongst his best. With the fastness of the pace, any reader will certainly finish the book before he/she realizes it. As someone who lived in Europe and Italy in particular, John Grisham's Italian setting was perfect. I also loved the way he wrote about food in the book.

The fact that international espionage is not his field, I give credit to Grisham for making this story remarkably believable. Even though it wasn't entirely credible, it had a lot of credibility. I recommend this book to any thriller fan. The style employed here is similar to that in Triple Agent Double Cross, with their colorful characters, unique settings and gripping plot.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Average book, April 19 2013
By 
G. Camilleri (Toronto, Ont) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Broker (Audio CD)
This is not one of John Grisham's best efforts. I found the book very predictable. The last 100 pages are well written but if you are expecting a plot twist then this book is not for you.

The book has some good descriptive text of life in Bologna, Italy but Mr. Grisham went on and on.

I would spend my time reading something else.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Wet Firecracker..., Nov. 19 2006
This review is from: The Broker (Mass Market Paperback)
The Broker by John Grisham - if the cover is to be believed - was once a New York times bestseller which boggles me completely since this was such a bad novel. But taking a step back I see how it is easy to mistake this book for an intense thriller. One: the piece in question is written by John Grisham a widely acclaimed writer. Two: the plot summary makes the book sound like the perfect spy thriller.

The main character Joel Backman has just been granted a last minute pardon from the president and the CIA whisks him off to Italy. Why? Because before he was arrested Backman was the most powerful lobbyist in Washington and during his career he compromised the world's most advanced satellite system. This led to his subsequent arrest; his jail time working as both punishment and protection. Protection from some angry people not only in the US but also in other countries. Now the CIA intends to keep Backman in Italy, leak his whereabouts to several foreign governments, and see who gets him, hopefully answering some of their own questions about the satellites.

Sound ominus and exciting? That's exactly what I thought when I first bought it. But boy was I wrong. The plotline has as much bang as a wet firecracker. It is also frequently illogical and un-realistic. Grisham, known for his lawyer stories, warns readers that espionage novels are not his speciality. The only problem is he tells us this in the afterword. If only he warned me in the introduction!!!

Two moderately good things come out of this mess. One is the main character. Even though he glosses over physical appearance, he makes Backman a very charismatic character. Witty and intelligent I began to like him despite his slimy background as a lobbyist. I also give Grisham props for his research of Bologna, Italy the main setting for the story. History, landmarks, streetnames, he knew it all. Besides Backman and Bologna though Grisham fails miserably to bring anything else to life.

My Verdict: Don't under any circumstances buy this book unless your a hardcore collector of Grisham books. Or maybe you want a narrative guide of Bologna, Italy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Much better this time, Nov. 14 2006
This review is from: The Broker (Mass Market Paperback)
I think The Broker is an improvement from the last few Grisham's titles which gave me the impression that he was already past his prime. On the other hand, considering the number of titles that he produced within the last few years, sometimes I was sometimes questioning whether some to the books were indeed written by him, or maybe they were just bearing his name to help selling them. In some way The Broker brought us back the old Grisham . I have again spent a few sleepless nights with the book in bed (I am a slow reader). It is definitely worth your time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Grisham Out of His Depth, Feb. 26 2005
By 
"corbs66" (Listowel, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Broker: A Novel (Hardcover)
In the Author's Notes at the end of the book, Grisham states "If something in this novel approaches accuracy, it's probably a mistake". Purchasing this book in hardcover was my mistake.
He admits that his background is not in tecnology or espionage, and that he did not do any research when writing this book. This laissez faire attitude toward his craft greatly shortchanges his readers. Other writers (Jeffery Deaver and Greg Iles come to mind) spend a great deal of energy researching their subject matter and it comes through in their work. What Grisham has done here is an amteurish hack job.
I have been a fan of Grisham for years, but this book was simplistic and boring. Part of what has made Grisham a bestselling author is his ability to create sympathetic characters (be they scoundrels are outright criminals). In The Broker he has failed to create a chracter who is even interesting. By the end of the book I suspect most readers will not even care what happens to the Broker.
If you are looking for a good spy novel try Robert Ludlum.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Grisham=lawyer not mystery, July 31 2011
This review is from: The Broker (Mass Market Paperback)
I have read a number of John Grisham books which were all lawyer/legal thrillers. The books that I have read (The Chamber, The Runaway Jury) I found very good with a great plot line. Reading The Broker though has changed my opinion. Like many have said, this book is really a tourism book for Italy (which is a wonderful place). Grisham uses alot of book space to describe Italy and how Backman gets around. He finally, near the end of the book (it has to end after all), he spends very little time in describing the escape to the US and the eventual deal that was made. In my opinion, 85% of the book was about Backman's life in Italy, and 15% was about whether Backman will live (with assassins at the ready. My recollection is that there wasn't even near misses).

Them's my thoughts.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Page-Turner That Will Help You Learn Italian, Dec 6 2008
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 122,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(#1 HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Broker (Mass Market Paperback)
In the Author's Note for this book, John Grisham observes that his background is law . . . and not satellites or espionage. In addition, he admits to being a technophobe when it comes to electronic gadgets. Be aware of this information before deciding if you want to read this book or not.

The Broker is a book about high tech satellites, espionage and involves advanced use of all kinds of electronic gadgets. Those are clearly the weakest parts of the story . . . for the reasons stated above.

You can also read the book as a variation on the old television series, The Prisoner. The book works better that way. A lame, lame-duck president is encouraged by a Machiavellian CIA director to pardon Joel Backman, a traitorous deal maker. The CIA wants to see who kills Backman as a way to solve some old mysteries.

From that premise, the story mostly moves to Backman's perspective as he is unexpectedly removed from a very unpleasant solitary confinement into being shepherded around Italy in a process of assuming a new identity . . . as an Italian. You will struggle with Backman as he learns Italian (and pick up a lot of phrases and words yourself) and follow him through the tourist sites and back streets of Bologna. You will probably also get some ideas for Italian foods you'd like to try. This part is the most appealing aspect of the book.

From there, Grisham puts a target on Backman's back and the thriller part of the story begins. I found that aspect of the book to be well below average. Grisham would be well advised to follow the advice of those who tell writers to stick to what they know.

As compared to most page turners, The Broker is perfectly acceptable. If you are looking, however, for a book that captures the early Grisham style and appealing story lines, this isn't it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars First Grisham Book its OK, July 30 2008
By 
M. Leighton (CAN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Broker (Mass Market Paperback)
First book that I have read from Grisham, not bad, but I am looking forward to reading more from him
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The Broker
The Broker by John Grisham (Mass Market Paperback - Nov. 22 2005)
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