The Rooster Bar

  • by John Grisham
  • Narrated by Ari Fliakos
  • 10 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

John Grisham's newest legal thriller takes you inside a law firm that shouldn't exist.
Law students Mark, Todd and Zola wanted to change the world - to make it a better place. But these days these three disillusioned friends spend a lot of time hanging out in The Rooster Bar, the place where Todd serves drinks. As third-year students, they realise they have been duped. They all borrowed heavily to attend a law school so mediocre that its graduates rarely pass the bar exam, let alone get good jobs. And when they learn that their school is one of a chain owned by a shady New York hedge-fund operator who also happens to own a bank specialising in student loans, the three realise they have been caught up in The Great Law School Scam.
So they begin plotting a way out. Maybe there's a way to escape their crushing debt, expose the bank and the scam, and make a few bucks in the process. But to do so, they have to leave law school, pretend they are qualified and go into battle with a billionaire and the FBI....
Ingenious, immersive and page-turning, The Rooster Bar is a John Grisham legal thriller bar none.


What the Critics Say

"The best thriller writer alive." (Ken Follett)
"A superb, instinctive storyteller." (The Times)
"A giant of the thriller genre." (Time Out)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I've read and listened to many of the author's books. Most have an honest lawyer as the hero who pits his wits against big business or fat-cat lawyers who are on the side of the bad guys. The present book is different. The lead characters are three students impoverished by huge debts run up to pay their law school fees. However, instead of being wholly sympathetic figures they become criminals embarking on a series of outlandish money-making escapades.

Unlike earlier books this is not a modern morality tale of good versus evil: more the little guys getting their own back on the system by dubious means. Despite their actions I found myself wanting them to get away with their felonies as their targets were the less admirable practitioners of the law.

A more serious side story involves the family of one of the law students highlighting the precariousness of life for illegal immigrants and what they face when deported.

Overall an entertaining novel, more humorous than earlier books.

The narrator is good
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- Kirstine

Grisham Raises The Bar

NB This review is from the original 20th October release which was withdrawn by Audible in favour of a newer version with enhanced audio.  I cannot comment on just how "enhanced" the audio is but the original seemed fine to me.

Like many I was pretty disappointed with Grisham's previous release, Camino Island but Rooster Bar sees him returning to more familiar legal territory and things improve markedly as a result. ­­  The novel was inspired by an article of investigative journalism about student lending in the US.  Grisham once again weaves an entertaining story around legally engineered social injustice within the US.  The luckless law students entrapped by the loans system embark on some imaginative ways out of the hole that they find themselves in.  It's clever writing and displays the author's usual healthy cynicism about the American Dream.  I worried it might head towards some kind of US Robin Hood style scenario but Grisham blurs the lines between the good and bad guys to a delicious murkiness as the naiveté of the young mavericks leaves a trail of disruption in their wakes. Ari Fliakos gives his usual assured performance as the narrator and suits the material well.

This is Grisham on his home turf; street lawyers, injustice in US society and some interesting legal procedural shenanigans.  I for one am much happier with this return to familiar ground.
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- Simon

Book Details

  • Release Date: 24-10-2017
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton