March 17, 2016

Looking Back - The Rainmaker

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

The Rainmaker by John Grisham
1995 Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Finished in February 1996
Rating: 4.5/5 (Terrific!)

Publisher's Blurb:

In his first courtroom thriller since A Time to Kill, John Grisham tells the story of a young man barely out of law school who finds himself taking on one of the most powerful, corrupt, and ruthless companies in America-- and exposing a complex, multibillion dollar insurance scam.

In his final semester of law school Rudy Baylor is required to provide free legal advice to a group of senior citizens, and it is there that he meets his first "clients", Dot and Buddy Black. Their son, Donny Ray, is dying of leukemia, and their insurance company has flatly refused to pay for his medical treatments. While Rudy is skeptical, he soon realizes the Blacks really have been shocking mistreated by the huge company, and that he just may have stumbled upon one of the largest insurance frauds anyone's ever seen-- and one of the most lucrative and important cases in the history of civil litigation. The problem is, Rudy's flat broke, has no job, hasn't even passed the bar, and is about to go head-to-head with one of the best defense attorneys-- and powerful industries-- in America.

My Original Notes:

Excellent! What a page-turner. I couldn't put it down. I think I read it in 3-4 days. Different style from his previous books. First person narrative. I highly recommend this for light reading.

My Current Thoughts:

There was a time when all I read was Stephen King, John Grisham and (shhhh, don't tell anyone), Danielle Steel. I loved Grisham's courtroom dramas and the suspense of the good guys beating the big bad guys. I only had a vague recollection of The Rainmaker's plot, but as soon as I pulled up the description on Goodreads, it came right back to me. Then I clicked over to IMDB to see who starred in the film version. My husband was sure it was Matthew McConaughey, but I knew that wasn't right, but was surprised to see that it was Matt Damon. I know we watched the movie when it came out on video, but I still only have a vague recollection of the details. This probably isn't a book I'll read a second time, but I sure would like to see that movie again.

Looking back, I see that I read almost every book Grisham published between 1989 and 2001:

A Time to Kill
The Firm
Pelican Brief
The Client
The Chamber
The Rainmaker
The Runaway Jury
The Testament
The Painted House
Skipping Christmas

So, basically, 10 of his 28 novels for adults. I tried to read one of his more recent books, but couldn't get interested and felt that the writing structure was too simplistic. Are there any that you would recommend? How many have you read?


  1. I've read a bunch of Grisham books, mostly in the early years. Haven't read one for a long, long time. I did read this one and vaguely remember it. I still like his early books and can remember them well - THE FIRM, A TIME TO KILL, and I remember really liking THE PELICAN BRIEF. That might be a good one to read again since it concerns the Supreme Court and secrets.

    Oh, and don't apologize for reading Danielle Steel. She has her place in the writing world - plus I read a bunch of her books in the day as well. LOL

    1. Kay, I remember a lot of these, but whether it's because of the book or the movie, I couldn't tell you! He did write some great thrillers back in the day, didn't he? A Time to Kill is one of the most memorable.

  2. I could have sworn I read that book but the plot doesn't sound familiar to me.

    1. Kathy, we've read so many books over the past two decades, it's probably no wonder we can't recognize a plot even though we read the book! :)

  3. I remember this book! John Grisham was a must read for me during that time period, too, and I read all the books you listed above except The Painted House. I went through a Stephen King phase, too, and tried reading a Danielle Steele book on vacation once. That was enough ;-)

    1. Yep, Grisham was a must read for me, too. I'm pretty sure we bought the books (in hardcover) as soon as they hit the shelves. I really enjoyed The Painted House because it was a departure from his usual courtroom dramas. Plus, I love baseball and there are a few passages the game that I just loved. Funny how I remember that detail and not others. Yep, Stephen King was one I read a lot of, too, although I had to read him in spurts because he scared the willies out of me!! Funny about Danielle Steele. :)


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